Revisiting the World in 1950

The red line on the map of Eastern Europe below shows the peak of USSR dominance in 1950. For decades the West has known that Vladimir Putin’s dream is to restore Russia to its largest expansion that was created by the Warsaw Pact. Evidently Vladimir thinks it is time to begin restoration.

The Russian aggression has pushed out of the news the inflamed issue of Pacific Ocean dominance vis-à-vis China. Today the issue is Ukraine and Crimea, which are immediately to the east of Poland and Romania, bordering the northern shore of the Black Sea. Crimea, already forcibly annexed by Russia, is the island at the north end of the Black Sea

One of the intellectual victories that came out of WWII negotiations, and one which sustained national independence through the Cold War, was an agreement that national boundaries cannot be changed by brute force.

Ukraine was part of Russia until it officially declared itself an independent country on August 24 1991, when the communist parliament of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine would no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of Ukraine, de facto declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. For the likes of Russian plutocrats, this has remained a thorn in the side. Vladimir surely believes that Ukraine and Crimea have always been part of Russia and should remain so.

Economically, Russia is hurting the way dictatorships usually suffer: Government sucks every dollar it can (not unlike American private equity firms) leaving too little for the citizenry to survive comfortably. The one thing Russia cannot tolerate is to be cut off from international trade via intensely restrictive sanctions – the strategy Biden and the EU have been touting. The problem that throws sand in the gears is that the EU is dependent on Russian oil and natural gas.

What Putin is banking on is that an invasion could be accomplished in a few days before opposing nations could respond to Russia’s execution of overwhelming military force, borrowing Syria’s strategy which is to level everything without regard for future functionality; Ukrainian leaders, like the opponents of Adolf Hitler, would be summarily executed.

On paper this has merit since Ukraine is not part of NATO and is not automatically protected.

The 1950s question is whether nations will be able to enforce the idea that boundaries cannot be changed by brute force without using brute force themselves.

All eyes are on Vladimir Putin.

Ancient Mariner

3 thoughts on “Revisiting the World in 1950

  1. Which grandkids are you planning to send off to fight the Great and Powerful Putin? You ever stop to think that maybe the same people that have lied to you time and time again might just be lying again? What if the U.S. is planning a false-false-flag so the U.S. can initiate a conflict? Does that ever cross your mind? Will you just blindly support the cause of war because they’ve already set you up with this ridiculous story? Have you ever consider you’ve been supporting the bad guy your whole life?

    • Sorry to invoke your ire, Fred. Mariner gets his news from more than a dozen proven to be reliable news sites on the Internet and deliberately doesn’t watch broadcast news from Fox to Msnbc and everything in between.
      The difficulty here is that one must take into account several perspectives at once. For example, Russia’s economy is about the same size as Italy’s. Putin is loosing favor with Russian citizens. Russia has a lot of land that is useless so agriculture isn’t a strength. Putin needs the agricultural base that Eastern Europe provides. He is a dictator so he can prioritize national strategies as he wants. He may well invade Ukraine but the West cannot afford to put a global, internet-driven economy on the line for Ukraine.
      What the West can do is shut down Russia’s small and weak economy. As mentioned on the blog, this is difficult for the EU because of fuel dependency.
      Putin is an unsophisticated bully. In the long run, this confrontation will only hurt Russia, war or sanctions.
      Another perspective makes Putin a mere nuisance because he distracts the US from another nation whose economy is larger than Italy’s: China. The US and China are fighting a war that Putin can’t afford; Who will be this century’s leading economy? Who will control global communication? Who will create the dominant world-wide supply chain?
      In short, the US can’t afford to play Putin’s game. It is easier and cheaper to shut Putin down with sanctions so the US can focus on China and the Pacific.

      • Don’t take it personally, all of society draws my ire. It’s repulsive. How many of the “dozen proven to be reliable” news sites ran a story about Russian bounties against U.S. troops? How many were around in 2003 and ran with Iraq WMDs stories? How many said Assad used chemicals at Douma? How many put as much research and exposure into the Fort Detrick lab leak theory as they did the Wuhan lab leak theory? How many said Lukashenko landed that plane for the sole purpose of detaining a dissenting (western intel puppet) journalist? How many told you that if you got vaccinated you wouldn’t catch COVID? How many have been running daily stories to shame the U.S. regime for the kidnapping and false imprisonment of Julian Assange? If you’re outsourcing your fact-checking to corporate news, you’re doing it wrong. I sure hope Americans aren’t getting their foreign policy advice from former-generals, weapons contractors, and intelligence spooks.

        The problem I have with your perspective, which is admittedly a common one among the populace, is you seem to believe the United States has some moral high ground and authoritative right to maintain unipolar dominance around the globe. I don’t. We have over 800 military bases around the world. We practically have Russia and China surrounded. We have a long history of toppling nations to maintain our global dominance through both military and covert operations. Not only do we lack the moral standing, I’m often surprised the rest of the world hasn’t already converted the U.S. into rubble and ashes. No one likes a bully… and the bully usually gets it in the end.

        Sanctions are a regime change tool of the empire. Especially as you called for them – to “shut down” their small weak economy. Who will that benefit? Who will they ultimately harm? They’ll harm the prosperity of the people of Russia. That doesn’t sit well with me. “Sanctions” is just a pretty term the empire uses for economic warfare. It’s also one of the steps in invoking a color revolution so I find it no surprise that the “experts” always lean on it as an alternative to war. I don’t care how it’s sugarcoated, it’s not a peaceful resolution. We can find another way, or we can simply butt out and mind or own business.

        Russia is not my enemy. China is not my enemy. Iran is not my enemy. North Korea is not my enemy. The ruling class is my enemy. The “men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nest” are my enemy. Everything else is a distraction.

        “Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia.” –Henry Wallace

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