The New Cuban Missile Crisis That Isn’t | The Vineyard of the Saker

The Cuban Missile Crisis is a malicious misnomer. Cuba never had any nuclear missiles; it temporarily played host to some Soviet ones. The crisis started when Americans put their intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Turkey that posed a new threat the Soviet Union, which responded by placing similar missiles in Cuba, evening the score. The Americans flew into a rage but eventually calmed down and withdrew their missiles from Turkey. The Soviets withdrew their missiles from Cuba and the crisis was over. And so it should be called the American Missile Crisis.

In particular, this has nothing to do with anything Putin or with anything nuclear. Instead, this is all part of a desperate attempt to compensate for narrative failure, and a failed attempt at that. The problem for the collective West is simply this: 80% of the world’s population has refused to join it in condemning, sanctioning or otherwise punishing Russia, with some very large countries (China, India) either supportive or neutral on the subject.

Most of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, is carefully watching Russia systematically destroy what was by far the largest and most capable NATO-equipped, NATO-commanded army in the world (the Ukrainian army, that is), understanding full well that what is unfolding is Washington’s Waterloo. Some countries (Saudi Arabia, for instance) are so sure of the result that they are already refusing to obey Washington’s dictates. This is a problem, because all the Washingtonians know how to do is impose their will on the world. Treating others as equals or looking for opportunities to negotiate a win-win is simply not part of their core competence—or any of their competence, for that matter. Once defanged, all they know how to do is bark and drool.

The Ukraine is victorious in that according to the IMF its GDP is down 35% in 2022; according to its national bank inflation has topped 30% and isn’t slowing down; according to the World Bank next year 55% of Ukrainians will be below the poverty line, subsisting on less than $2.15 per day; according to the Ukraine’s economics minister, unemployment has reached 30%; according to its prime minister, it will be unable to pay pensions and salaries without immediate foreign aid; according to the UN, 20% of the population has left the country and another 33% are internally displaced; according to its energy ministry, it has already lost 40% of its electricity generating capacity. The Ukrainian army is drafting any male up to the age of 60, having run out of reservists, and the casualties it is suffering at the front are nothing short of horrific.

Meanwhile, Russia is vanquished because according to Reuters the Russian ruble is the strongest currency in the world; according to the Guardian Putin is more powerful and popular than ever; according to its agriculture ministry this year’s grain harvest is over 150 million tonnes, 50 million of which are for export, making Russia the world’s largest grain exporter; according to The Economist, Russia is emerging from recession just as the West is entering recession; and according to Goldman Sachs the index of economic activity in Russia is now higher than in the West. Russia just got done calling up 300 thousand, or 1%, of its trained and experienced reservists, who are now being drilled in the latest NATO-fighting techniques before being sent to the Ukrainian front.

The Russian nuclear sub Belgorod recently sailed off into the blue, causing a bit of a panic within NATO. It carries a number of the new Poseidon nuclear-powered drone torpedos, which are all about the number 100. Each of them carries a charge of 100 megatons. Poseidons have almost infinite range, move at around 100 km/h at a depth of 1000m (three times deeper than any nuclear sub) and when detonated near an underwater coastal ridge can raise a 100-meter tsunami. Just five of them are sufficient to demolish both coasts of the US and all of Northern Europe. These would be underwater nuclear tests conducted in international waters—antisocial, yes, but not exactly direct nuclear strikes on anyone’s territory, so hardly a casus belli. And the ensuing tsunami? Uh-oh! Oopsie-daisy, sorry about that! Nobody is going to write “in case of tsunami destroy Russia” into the US nuclear doctrine. Best of all, Poseidons can lie in wait for years, surfacing periodically to receive new orders. But if Russia is destroyed they will rise up and destroy the rest of the world world, because “What use is the world if there is no Russia in it?” (V. Putin)

The New Cuban Missile Crisis That Isn’t | The Vineyard of the Saker