Putin will lose the standoff with the West anyway

Dialogue with the Alter Ego on the crisis over Crimea

Question by Alter Ego of Noah denkt™ (AE): There is a lot of talk now in Western media about the relevance of the sanctions that the West has imposed against Russia over that country’s invasion of Ukraine. In particular, it is being questioned whether it makes sense to exclude Russia from the G8-forum when what is needed most right now is the beginning of a constructive dialogue and not the cutting of ties with Russia. What does Noah denkt™ make of the debate over the quality of Western sanctions?

Answer by Noah denkt™ (Nd):  Well, clearly it is not so easy to talk constructively with someone who takes outlandish positions. Take, for instance, Mr. Putin’s assertion that the revolution in Ukraine is illegal because that country’s constitution doesn’t allow for the parliament to depose a sitting President who has been democratically elected. Isn’t it the natural implication of such a view that all revolutions, including the Bolshevik one in Russia, are to be rejected since they are against the reigning constitution? And wouldn’t that also question the legality of the now defunct Soviet System whose demise has been so vividly deplored by Mr. Putin himself? No, no a dialogue makes sense only if all parties concerned feel a certain obligation towards reason and rationality. If you are, however, dealing with a straight-faced liar ( – watch Mr. Putin’s allegation that these aren’t Russian troops which have encircled Ukrainian bases in Crimea – ) then you can’t possibly expect that such talks would lead to a meaningful result.

AE: In other words, Noah denkt™ supports the Western sanctions against Russia?

Nd: Clearly something had to be done to demonstrate that the violation of international law which Russia has committed in Crimea can not pass with impunity.

AE: Nevertheless, these sanctions won’t make Mr. Putin flinch, will they?

Nd: Perhaps, they will, perhaps, they won’t. The important thing here is that Mr. Putin will ultimately lose this standoff with the West anyway. It is just going to take more time that would have been needed if the West had reacted more forcefully in this matter right from the start.

AE: Why does Noah denkt™ believe that it is a foregone conclusion that Mr. Putin will ultimately lose out in the battle over Ukraine?

Nd. Because it is clear to us that young Russians will ultimately prefer to live a Starbucks-lifestyle of self-determined cool and chic and not have their aspirations quelled by a strongman leadership of yesteryear. You just have to watch the incredible ability of young women in any major Western city to project an image of cool and confidence to understand that such an allure of freedom cannot be stymied by any old man, be he wise or not.

AE: Supposedly, the young women in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg project a pretty cool image of self-reliance as well?

Nd: Obviously. And you can be sure that they want more not less of that.

AE: Mr. Putin isn’t forcing them to renege on their aspiration to be trendy and cool?

Nd: Well, Mr. Putin is creating an environment of arbitrary use of power that doesn’t exactly encourage people to believe that you can live your individuality without being harassed for it.

AE: That sounds pretty optimistic. Is your market sentiment consequently getting bullish again?

Nd: Obviously, you are aware that our views on the economy tend to have an early bird side to it. With that in mind our answer to your question is: “Yes”.

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