I have written on here before about Putin, but most people don’t seem to understand. He is a far, far bigger threat to us than the old Soviet Union of the Cold War was. Because Putin is actively attacking and fighting against democracies in Europe. He wants to destroy our lifestyles and institutions, he wants more conflicts and for those conflicts to escalate. He is using every weapon he can. His military, the RT broadcaster, with its lies and propaganda, by supporting fringe political parties throughout Europe, by creating ferment in Russian speaking communities, by having propagandists all over the internet and by using his energy resources as an economic weapon.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis the POTUS, John F Kennedy, made all his inner team read the fantastic book, The Guns Of August, which chronicles the origins of the First World War. He didn’t want the same mistakes made again. Everyone involved in handling the Putin situation would do well to do the same.
What we must do is to keep the hawks in their cage. Do not escalate militarily and do not engage against him on the ground. This is what he wants. Instead we should do the following.
- Dash for gas. Europe has the fracking resources to not need Russian gas. Our problem is ignorant scaremongering NIMBYs and ecofascists (supported by Putin and his lies) who would rather have Putin destroy our lifestyle than allow the extraction of shale gas and oil. This is a matter of great urgency, we need to cut short all the planning red tape and get fracking now. This would remove Putin’s biggest weapon.
- Block RT and all other Russian propaganda outlets immediately. These are insidious and nasty and there are enough who are hard of thinking in the West for this propaganda to have serious effect. Putin is brainwashing a sector of our population with his lies.
- Freeze and sequestrate all the assets in the West connected to Putin, his cronies and their families. It is all the proceeds of crime. Sell off the London and Riviera mansions, the yachts and the soccer clubs. Keep all the money in a safe place for when genuine plural democracy is returned to Russia, then return it to the Russian people, who it was stolen from.
- Vastly increase the scope and scale of the sanctions against individual Russians. Extend these to all senior officials and all parliamentarians. They are fellow travellers. Imprison those caught travelling in the West with false papers.
- Vastly reduce the amount of air traffic allowed to and from Russia to say one flight per Western country a week. Isolate and punish their elite, harm their trade.
- Greatly militarise the Baltics. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have sizable ethnic Russian populations, so Putin would love to do to them what he has done to Crimea. But they are members of NATO and the EU so form a potent tripwire to his ambitions. Already he is fomenting trouble there. We need to put Western troops on the ground, send more combat aircraft and more naval vessels. Putin needs to know that we are serious.
- Cut Russia off from SWIFT, Visa and all the other mechanics of international banking.
By now you must be getting the idea, contain Putin, reduce his capabilities and potential for action, make life very uncomfortable for him at home, protect our Western values and lifestyle. This would also involve considerable pain for the West, but this is nothing compared with what will happen if Putin is allowed to continue on his current course.