Putin’s Overture in EurasiaAsia Minor
There appears to be many opinions about what is going on in The Crimea. Most of it
appears to be wrong, confused, or misdirected.
As this is not about knowledge but rather about understanding, I will use no graphs, pie
charts, names of great leaders past, present, or future, and no list if historical dates.
Again, this is about understanding.
“If you want to know something, Google it; If you want to understand something, ask an
I have but two skills: an analytical mind and the ability to speak in metaphors. However,
if you don’t want to hear it from me, hear it from Einstein. “You can’t solve the problem
using the same kind of thinking that caused the problem.”
The article has several parts and does rely on metaphors. When you’ve finished the
article, you will have a better insight into Russia’s actions.
Respect means different things to different people. In some countries, people shake
hands. In other countries, people bow.
Now, people in the US who believe in treating others with respect simply do not
understand the concept.
He does not understand that other people do not want to be treated the way he wants to
be treated. He counters with all people wanting to be treated with respect. He does not
understand that respect means different things to different people. Case in point:
A pat on the back, a pulled pork sandwich, and a bottle of beer. “Sit down, put your feet
up, and relax.” That may be okay for me, however:
• You don’t touch people in Muslim countries.
• Muslims do not eat pork.
• Muslims do not drink alcohol.
• Don’t put your feet up!
First he is rude. Then he gets upset when other people don’t feel respected because he
treated other people the way he wants to be treated, and in less obvious situations, he
accuses other people of being snobs, elitists, or falls back on the old canard, “Who’s to
say what’s right or wrong?”
“Circumstances, if not consequences, will prove who is right and who is wrong; too often
when it is too late to benefit from the answer.” The quotations of Slim Fairview.
Now we go further.
The Fallacy of Win-Win Negotiations.
As form follows function (Bauhaus), I am using a metaphor to enlighten. Also, there is
an economics lesson thrown in for good measure.
You and your husband both work. You share the household chores. Your husband asks
you to do the dinner dishes for a week so he can watch some protracted sports event.
You negotiate. You make an offer.
You will do the dinner dishes every night except Thursday if he gives up golf on
Saturday to mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, and mulch the garden. As a sweetener, you
tell him he does not have to go with you to dinner at your parents’ house on Saturday
He counters with what he calls a win-win offer. He will do the dishes on Wednesday, he
will do all the yard work, but on Sunday, and he will go with you to your parents’ house
for dinner on Saturday—to please you. Sounds like a fair offer, doesn’t it?
If you get caught up in the paradigm too quickly you will agree. And, you made an
agreement and you keep your bargains. Your husband made immediate concessions.
You accept the deal. Now let’s look at the details, because actually, you lose on every
point. Here is why/
1. There is no game on Wednesday night.
2. You want the TV Thursday to watch a programme on Economics.
3. Your Dad dislikes your husband, but your husband loves your Mom’s Pot-Roast
with gravy and mashed potatoes.
However, the most important aspect is that you wanted the lawn work done on Saturday
because you invited the women from the Economics Club at work to an al fresco
luncheon at your house—Sunday.
Now, the Economics Lesson. Time, place, form utility.
You want to watch the Economics programme on Thursday because that will be the
topic of discussion in your Economics Club meeting on Friday. Time Utility. The Rerun
on Sunday night has no value.
Also, the yard work has time-form utility. In economics, the yard work is a “product or a
service.” On Saturday, the yard work is very valuable. On Sunday, the yard work is
worthless. The condition of the yard also has utility. In its present form, it has no value.
Once cleaned up and made presentable, the yard has form utility.
Your husband gives up nothing.
Now, this is not about respect v. disrespect; nor is this about chauvinism v. liberation;
nor is it about how to have a happy marriage, empowerment, or conflict resolution. This
is about economics. Why? Because, in global matters, the military option is no longer
viable—period! To understand this, let’s look at the hidden agendas.
Your husband does not want the Economics Club meeting at your house.
You don’t want him golfing with his Saturday buddies; you want him to go golfing with
his Sunday buddies.
Also, you want your husband out of the house all day Sunday. (Form utility) Your
husband is a good provider, a great Dad, and helps out around the house without being
told. However, he does not “show well” at al fresco luncheons with the women from the
There are also: deliverables and supply-chain considerations. You want to show the
other women that you can handle deliverables. The condition of the yard—form utility
and the locations of the husband—place utility. You can deliver.
Now on to the US v. Russia Understanding.
The Military Option is over. Ronald Reagan and his “Star Wars” build-up was not a
military campaign but rather an economic one.
The Nuclear Deterrent is nothing more than Diplomatic Legerdemain.
Before Nuclear Deterrence:
The USSR sends troops into Germany. German soldiers shoot back. The Headlines
Read: Germany and Russia at War.
After Nuclear Deterrence:
The USSR sends troops into Germany. The German soldiers do not shoot back. The
Headlines Read: Nuclear Deterrence Works.
Russia and Syria
I pointed out while back that the negotiations over Syria are not about Syria. They are
about something else. When we find out what that something else is, then we can
negotiate that and that will resolve the Syrian situation. We now know what that
something else is. However, we don’t understand it.
The fight for the Crimea is about a warm-water port. (Time, Place. Form Utility) In
addition, this is not for military purposes. This is for economic purposes.
President Putin is attempting to form a Eurasian Economic Union; ostensibly, as a
counterweight to the EuroUnion. Not quite true. With the condition of the EuroUnion
Economy, President Putin is merely seizing an opportunity, not land.
President Putin has been a witness to China’s Economic Success and Diplomatic
successes in Africa and in Latin America.
President Putin sees America’s lagging economy.
Indeed, we must also view Russia’s humiliations since the collapse of Ivan Grozny’s
However, there is still more.
Insight into Human Nature
Remember, Putin is seizing the opportunity presented by Europe’s weak economy.
Europe is too weak to rebuff Russia’s economic overtures to Eastern Europe with
Ukraine as a linchpin. And, Putin does not want to be Jimmy Carter to Eastern Europe.
The Bloc shift to the west was due to:
• The Strength of Reagan v. Gorbachev.
• The Runaway Success of the US Economy
• The Seduction of Perceived Freedom
• The Promise of Unbridled Economic Wealth.
That was then, this is now.
• The EuroCrisis
• US Economic Crisis
• Emerging Economies Slowdown
Now the Bloc Nations will be moving East.
The strict v. the weak.
Over 55 years, I’ve seen this scenario play out so many times that I can’t remember
them all. Here are a few for illustration.
Mrs. Reardon, Mrs. Burke, and Freddy.
The first two were 1st
grade teachers, respectively.
Each was known to be a terror. Very strict. Their students complained about the
constantly. However, if other students said anything against the teachers, their students
would rebuff the criticisms with a vehement defence. Almost the Stockholm Syndrome,
but not quite. And, I’ve been party to it, myself.
We had a mail handler supervisor named Freddy. Not disliked, or held in contempt, but
generally ridiculed by the carriers. His people, too, defended him against criticism. (I
personally, had no substantive opinion of him or his abilities.)
Then, one night, returning late from a collection run, I had to drive the mail to the
sectional center. There, on the dock, were two upper GS Jackasses. Finding out where
I was from, and that that was where Freddy had transferred to, began to make snide,
sarcastic, belittling remarks about Freddy. In response, I painted a glowing picture of
Freddy’s success at our Post Office. Not because I like Freddy, but because I didn’t like
Form schoolboy attitude of the two upper GS Jackasses. The difference? I knew
I was doing it.
50 years ago, then comedian Bill Cosby, now Dr. William H. Cosby, did a monologue on
an album about a shop teacher who used psychology to get students to confess to any
“Yep. Somebody must have a really rotten mother to put a bullet in the furnace.”
“Listen, I didn’t put the bullet in the furnace and stop talking about my mother.”
The psychology of it all seems to be universal and universally understood.
After more than a half a century of watching the scenarios played out, I don’t
understand why people are confused about what is going on in The Crimea.
The Bloc Nations Flirting East.
• Disillusioned by the failed promises of Western Economic Success.
• The Tendency of People to Forget
“It is a Universal Condition. We refuse to accept that all alliances and enmities are
transitory.” The Quotations of Slim Fairview.
• The Excess of US Successes
• The Witnessing to China’s Successes both Domestic and Global
• The Display of Western Excessive Military Power and Might and little to show for
• That the Global Military Option is no longer Viable.
• Economics is the new Weapon of Choice
• The Fallacy of Nuclear Deterrence
Remember the Quotation of Slim Fairview
“China will succeed because China will do as we did and not as we way.”
Russia will do the same thing with the offer of strong Military Support and Protection
and the Promise of Economic Well Being.