Putin’s Strategy Finally Beginning To Work?
By Paul Craig Roberts
have explained Russian President Valdimir
Putin’s Christian practice of turning the other
cheek to Western provocations as a strategy to
convey to Europe that Russia is reasonable but
Washington is not and that Russia is not a
threat to European interests and sovereignty but
Washington is. By accommodating Israel and
withdrawing from the multi-nation Iran nuclear-nonprolifertion
agreement, US President Donald Trump might have
brought success to Putin’s strategy.
Washington’s three main European vassal states,
Britain, France, and Germany have objected to
Trump’s unilateral action. Trump is of the
opinion that the multi-nation agreement depends
only on Washington. If Washington renounces the
agreement, that is the end of the agreement. It
doesn’t matter what the other parties to the
agreement want. Consequently, Trump intends to
reimpose the previous sanctions against doing
business with Iran and to impose additional new
sanctions. If Britain, France, and Germany
continue with the business contracts that have
been made with Iran, Washington will sanction
its vassal states as well and prohibit
activities of British, French, and German
countries in the US. Clearly, Washington thinks
that Europe’s profits in the US exceed what can
be made in Iran and will fall in line with
Washington’s decision, as the vassal states have
done in the past.
they might. But this time there is a backlash.
Whether it will go beyond strong words to a
break with Washington remains to be seen.
Trump’s neoconservative pro-Israel National
Security Advisor John Bolton has ordered
European companies to cancel their business
deals in Iran. Trump’s ambassador to Germany
Richard Grenell has ordered German companies to
immediately wind down their business operations
in Iran. The bullying of Europe and blatant US
disregard of European interests and sovereignty
has made Europe’s long vassalage suddenly all
too apparent and uncomfortable.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, previously a
loyal Washington puppet, said that Europe can no
longer trust Washington and must “take its
destiny into its own hands.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude
Juncker said that Washington’s leadership had
failed and it was time for the EU to take over
the leadership role and to “replace the United
States.” Various French, German, and British
government ministers have echoed these
The cover story of the German news magazine Der
Spiegal, “Goodbye Europe,” has Trump giving
Europe the middle finger.
declares that it is “Time for Europe to Join the
Although European politicians have been well
paid for their vassalage, they might now be
finding it an unworthy and uncomfortable burden.
I respect the virtue of Putin’s refusal to reply
to provocation with provocation, I have
expressed concern that Putin’s easy acceptance
of provocations will encourage more provocations
that will increase in intensity until war or
Russian surrender become the only options,
whereas if the Russian government took a more
aggressive position against the provocations, it
would bring the danger and cost of the
provocations home to the Europeans whose
compliance with Washington enables the
provocations. Now it seems that perhaps Trump
himself has taught that lesson to the Europeans.
has spent several years helping the Syrian Army
clear Syria of the terrorists that Washington
sent to overthrow the Syrian government.
However, despite the Russian/Syrian alliance,
Israel continues illegal military attacks on
Syria. These attacks could be stopped if Russia
would provide Syria with the S-300 air defense
and the US do not want Russia to sell the S-300
air defense system to Syria, because Israel
wants to continue to attack Syria and the US
wants Syria to continue to be attacked.
Otherwise, Washington would call Israel off.
years ago before Washington sent its Islamist
proxy troops to attack Syria, Russia agreed to
sell Syria an advanced air defense system, but
gave in to Washington and Israel and did not
deliver the system. Now again in the wake of
Netanyahu’s visit to Russia we hear from Putin’s
aide Vladimir Kozhim that Russia is continuing
to withhold modern air defenses from Syria.
Putin believes he has to do this in order not to
give Washington an issue that could be used to
pull Europe back in line with Washington’s
policy of aggression. Nevertheless, for those
who do not see it this way, it makes Russia
again look weak and unwilling to defend an ally.
Putin believes that he will have any influence
on Netanyahu in terms of selling peace
agreements with Syria and Iran, the Russian
government has no understanding of Israel’s
intent or Washington’s 17 years of war in the
Putin’s strategy works. If it doesn’t, he will
have to change his stance toward provocations or
they will lead to war.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of
the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate
editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was
columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News
Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many
university appointments. His internet columns
have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts'
latest books are
The Failure of Laissez Faire
Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West,
How America Was Lost,
The Neoconservative Threat to
Observatory for Human Rights receives nearly
£200k from UK – Peter Hitchens
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.