Click here to close now.



Welcome!

News Feed Item

Pit Bull Politics: A Comment on the Crimean Crisis

DUSSELDORF, Germany, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is not the ruthless aggressor the West makes him out to be, argues Gabor Steingart, the publisher of Germany's leading financial newspaper Handelsblatt.

The West is engaged in what Americans in their more clear-headed moments would call "pit bull politics" - a policy of shoot-from-the-hip attacks driven by instinct, not reason. Pit bull politics is politics with teeth bared but no brains in sight. 

In Crimea, the political situation looks like this at the moment: NATO forces are being moved closer to the border with Russia, economic sanctions are being drafted and a firestorm of abuse is raining down on the Kremlin. Some compare Putin with Stalin. Hillary Clinton compares him to Hitler, but for those who choose, Count Dracula and Emperor Nero are still available.

But in matter of fact, Putin is one of the most peace-loving leaders around. Without significant resistance, about half of the population of the former Soviet sphere of influence were allowed to depart and head for the West, including the Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Georgians, Kazakhs, Moldovans and now Ukrainians. Fourteen pro-Western states have emerged from the former territory of the USSR. Three of those have adopted the euro. Ten former Warsaw Pact states have even become members of NATO.

"Realpolitik" begins with a recognition of mutual realities. And the most important reality in our time is this: The Soviet empire is collapsing and if there is anyone who can turn this dangerously destructive process into stability, it is Putin. 

Crimea, the home of pit bull politics, belongs to Russia as Vermont does to the United States. Most of the population is Russian. It is the base of the Russian Black Sea fleet. In its 240 years of statehood, the Crimea belonged to Russia for 171 years and it was only due to a vodka-induced whim of the former Communist Party boss, Nikita Khrushchev, that it was incorporated into the Ukraine, which was itself predominantly Russian at the time, on February 19, 1954. 

If Putin gives up Crimea, he gives up a chunk of his own self-image.

His aggression is politically, militarily and historically necessary to his continued status as a major world leader. Today he is in a similar situation to the young John F. Kennedy in October 1962, when Moscow had begun stationing nuclear missiles in Cuba - in the United States' own backyard. Kennedy quite rightly did not care at all about Cuban national sovereignty and with a spectacular marine blockade, which he referred to as a Cuban "quarantine," he forced the Soviets to turn back.

No world power will let a rival set up camp on its borders. Anyone who does not acknowledge this basic principle might make a good church leader but not a practitioner of realpolitik.

Punishing Putin for his obviously Machiavellian act with economic sanctions is neither auspicious nor smart. Each snarl is responded to with a snarl. Each bite results in a bite back. Pit bull politics is all about mutually assured stupidity, and war.

Our economic ties with Russia could help us in these tense times. European and American companies, which not only trade with Russia but operate factories, department stores and airports there, are not divisions of NATO in camouflage. Their mission is to increase prosperity with mutual benefits. Russia heats our living rooms. We supply it with farm combine harvesters. Russia delivers gold, grain and potash fertilizer. We send our food and medicine there. 

The currency upon which this relationship is based is trust. The supplier relationship is a relationship too. Reliability of supply is a promise of reciprocity that cannot be switched on or off at a general's pleasure. 

Whoever wishes to punish Russia out of an ill-considered desire for self-preservation is punishing himself. The West will denigrate its own democratic principles if it punishes Russia because next Saturday's Crimean referendum is not to its liking.

Any  practitioner of realpolitik knows Putin cannot lose Crimea. If he let this happen, he would be a president on his way out. Succeeding Putin would likely be anarchy dressed in a military uniform, not a functioning democracy. America, Europe -- all of those with faces red with fury at Putin -- would be well advised to first restrain ourselves rather than to try to restrain him. We should put our inner put bulls back on the leash.

Contact:
Kerstin Jaumann, Press Officer

Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt

Kasernenstraße 67, 40213 Dusseldorf, Germany

Phone: +49-211-887-1015 // Email Address: [email protected]


SOURCE Handelsblatt

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...