The Mistral is a mighty wind that blows across Provence after an Atlantic storm passes by. It’s also the name of large, state of the art, aircraft carriers, full of fancy electronics, four of which France is selling to Russia. The first contract delivery is in October 2014. Thus an interesting debate, touching on many issues (and the usual French bashing rising its ugly snout).
In 2008, Putin invaded Georgia, south of the Caucasus range. G.W. Bush sent some military personnel of the USA to Tbilisi, under humanitarian guise, in the hope that would incite Russian tanks to not invade the Georgian capital. Sarkozy, a man in many ways similar to Putin, sent himself, and talked Putin out of invading more of Georgia. Out of all this came the sale of four Mistral aircraft carriers from France to Russia.
The 200 meters long Mistral is a new class of “command and projection” ships. They allow to land troops and equipment.
(By contrast, the super carriers are increasingly vulnerable to countermeasures such as ever faster missiles and dormant submarine systems, while losing utility.)
Russian Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, explained that, had he just one Mistral ship, “Russia would have won its war against Georgia in 40 minutes instead of 26 hours”.
INFLUENCING HISTORY IS INFLUENCING THINKING; REMEMBER NAZISM:
The relationship between Putin and plutocrats, Western or not, is a tangled web. And it is, to a great extent, causative. This is reminiscent of the situation with Hitler in the 1930s. Then, it was not handled best: the Nazis could have been dispatched, if the Anglo-American leadership had accepted the explicit offer from German generals, to offer a united front.
Instead, the Anglo-American hidden leadership, truly made of plutocrats who saw in the Nazis a market of potential slaves and fellow devils, betrayed the German generals. In the end, the French Republic was left to do the dirty work, and deliberately attacked Hitler in September 1939.
One has to see history as the history of systems of thought. Systems of thought fight, and interfere.
The events of the 1930s, such as the hostility of Roosevelt to Paris right from 1934, and the British-Nazi “Naval” treaty of 1935 (it had a secret protocol encouraging Nazi aggression in the East, according to the doctrine of Keynes), only encouraged the Nazis to become ever more extreme.
Because, the more extreme the Nazis got, the more pleased Anglo-American plutocrats were: crisis meant opportunity.
A culminating point of all this happened when Hitler gave the monopoly of computing to the American IBM. General Motors and Ford were all over Germany, building millions of trucks and other vehicles for the Nazi military. USA companies brought much of what made the Reich great, from oil to all sorts of secret processes (such as synfuels).
THE GREAT PIG-OUT WITH RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS:
There are lots of parallels, in slow motion, between Putin’s “Big Country” and Hitler “Big Reich”. One of them, the war against homosexuality (especially as many top Nazis were homosexual).
Says The Economist: “Officials in Paris suggest that the only circumstances in which France might reconsider delivery would be an agreement with its allies to move to deeper “third-stage” sanctions, in such sectors as energy, finance and defence. But, say the French, this would have to include equally tough measures by, for instance, Britain against Russian assets in London. “There is an enormous amount of French ill-will towards the way the British are seen as having lived off the fat of Russia’s oligarchs,” says François Heisbourg, of the Foundation for Strategic Research. “The French will resist any idea that they take a unilateral hit.
The French government will take a final decision in October, when the first vessel is ready for delivery, says Jean-Yves Le Drian, the defence minister. America may disapprove, but there is little domestic pressure to cancel the order, despite the Ukraine crisis. Mr Hollande has not withdrawn his invitation to Russia’s Vladimir Putin to come to the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Normandy landings in June.”
To focus on the republic founded around human rights as Russia’s prime collaborator is outright anti-French. Sarkozy (Peace Not Be Upon Him) was the only one who really went out of his way (literally) to stop Putin in Georgia. If nobody takes a stand, evil will keep on rolling.
A Reuters article was even more anti-French, suggesting France was “still trying to deliver 2 warships to Russia”. Is the USA “still trying to go to the International Space Station?” American astronauts come and go to space, thanks to Russia.
The Reuters article was typical of the sort of Kremlin-Wall Street-Washington fascist propaganda that stinks to high heavens.
There is a big difference between delivering goods that have been paid for, like the Mistral ships, and engaging in new business.
The ones with the highest stakes with Russia are the City of London and its world-wide empire of plutocrats and, secondarily, Germany (see Schroder, ex-Chancellor, rich from Putin, and who just celebrated Putin’s birthday, and damn Ukraine).
An argument can be made that the plutocratic Putinocrats ought to be threatened enough to modify their behavior, that would be the best. They are getting increasingly angry.
On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, one of the plutocrats slapped by sanctions from the EU and USA, announced that the country would consider ending its participation in the space-station program in 2020; would prohibit the US military’s use of a rocket motor that powers the Atlas V, one of two launch workhorses for defense and intelligence satellites; and would close down global-positioning-satellite monitoring stations in Russia unless it was allowed to build comparable monitoring stations in the US for its own usage.
WE THE PLUTOCRATS, WE HATE THE FRENCH REPUBLIC:
I would suggest to quit with French bashing. But that’s like suggesting not to have the plutocracy in command. The dependency of the USA upon Russia for space could have been avoided by using French Ariane V rockets. Ariane V has been human rated for a very long time, and executed more than 50 perfect launches in a row.
This is a telling detail: the USA prefers to collaborate with the Russian dictatorship, even for such a strategic subject as accessing space, rather than with the French republic. Being anti-French is the first perfume American plutocracy wants to wear.
PUTIN IDIOTIC PROMISE’S DETECTED:
And what of Putin in all this? Well, the aim is to modify his behavior. Ukraine richest plutocrat, Rinat Akhmetov, just turned against the Russian dictator, rejecting separatism, and telling his 280,000 employees in Eastern Ukraine that they would probably lose their jobs under Putin.
Russia has made the very best weapons, ever since the Nazis attacked the USSR and found to their dismay that the robust and cheap to make T34 tank was better than the German models. A few months later the coldest General Winter in 50 years, struck. It was so cold that Nazi planes could not fly, and the Nazi offensive in the suburbs of Moscow turned to rout.
However, outside of weapons, and fossil fuels, Russian industry is not much: Russian GDP is smaller than Italy, with two and a half times the population. It’s pretty obvious that Russia, which can’t help itself, cannot help its neighbors. Whereas the European Union can, in the long run, help considerably Ukraine economically (just look at Poland, long more or less the same polity as, and entangled with, Ukraine; Poland, thanks to the EU, is doing great economically; it can even afford to build nuclear latest technology nuclear power plants).
The Russian economy is not much, because the all-plutocratic economy does not work as well as the mixed demo-plutocratic model. We know this, ever since the Roman Republic degenerated into the fascist imperial plutocracy “Augustus” created (I wrote “Augustus” because that’s supposed to mean the “Augmenter”; instead “Augustus” led Rome to long term ruin, just as Putin is doing to Russia).
PUTIN’S BEHAVIORAL THERAPY:
So what of Putin? Well, to treat him, one needs to make him go through a course of behavioral therapy. So invite him to D Day, give him his toys… As long as he modifies his behavior in the right direction.
And do not forget this: the French pilots were inside their planes, ready to take off to take out Assad. It’s Washington’s last minute loss of nerves that showed to the entire planet, that Assad could get away with mass murder, just to pursue his miserable personal domination.
That deplorable groveling of London and the USA, that miserable refusal to do what needed to be done, persuaded Putin that he could do whatever he wished, and Obama would go play golf with the uneducated, greedy simpletons he uses as friends. The sort of people Putin knows how to handle (as Putin speaks several languages, and has worked in non Russian speaking countries, he is far from totally uneducated. Mis-educated is more like it, hence the need, and possibility, for behavioral treatment).
Thus when Fabius (foreign minister and ex-PM) declared on May 13th, that France would take firmness lessons from nobody: “the rule with contracts is that contracts which have been signed are honoured,” he was correct.
In Mariupol, the region’s second-largest city and the site recently of a bloody confrontation, thousands of unarmed steelworkers, following their employer’s advice, took control of the city from the separatists on Thursday. The Putinist militants melted away. Similar throngs of miners and metalworkers fanned out in more than five cities, including the largest, Donetsk.
PUTIN IS BAD, HE HAS TO BE TAUGHT THE LAW:
The assessment that Putin did not have correct danger assessment came within the KGB, from his own superior officer, when he got started there.
Putin retired as a colonel from the KGB in 1991. He rose in Saint Petersburg, with the explicit objective, of putting the KGB in power. He boasted later of that, once he became president of Russia, in an official discourse (to the ex-KGB). In 1998, Putin was appointed head of the Federal Security, the FSB, the replacement of the former KGB, as well as head of Yeltsin’s Security Council.
200,000 were killed in the second Chechen war, 20% of the population, a war which Putin apparently orchestrated. The Western leaders decided to conveniently ignore this.
The annexation of Crimea is, prima fascies, a violation of International Law, and an act of war, and even, a WAR CRIME (it is a war crime to make a war to steal a country, in particular, to steal territory).
We have to teach Putin (and other plutocrats), the law, or its spirit. It starts with respecting it. So, if he behaves, give Putin his ships. The Russian generals are fretting that they won’t get the latest command and combat softwares the ships are supposed to come with. The ships would be dumbed down. Really? I wonder why…
P/S: After writing the preceding I learned that the Pentagon has several contracts with the Russian military-industrial complex, including one to buy 66 Russian combat helicopters Mi-33… for more than a billion dollars.