The west seems hopelessly lost in how our political leadership views expressions of power; in a word realpolitik. Aleppo is an example of how myopic western strategic vision remains. This town in Syria is being ruthlessly bombed by Russia. Why? Because Putin’s kleptocracy is damaged by U.S. Treasury policy of sanctions. For Moscow to shake free of this coercive policy it must rattle any member of the U.S. alliance system. It has chosen western Europe, especially Italy, France and Germany. Moscow believes that western sanctions against its coercive taking of Crimea and Ukraine must be revenged. It has chosen Aleppo. In so doing, we should anticipate how best to unravel Putin’s criminal oligarchy.
Here’s a newsflash from Reuters: Moscow’s attempts to cajole the European Union into easing economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014 don’t appear to be working. And the indiscriminate bombing campaign in Aleppo is to blame.
“It’s clear that the assault on Aleppo has changed the mindset of some,” one EU foreign minister tells Reuters. “It will be impossible to back an easing of sanctions on Ukraine in the current context.” A French diploma adds, “The prospect of the Russian sanctions over Ukraine being lifted are practically nil after Aleppo.” The new resolve among some of the EU’s larger members may halt what was a growing campaign led by countries like Italy and Hungary to ease the sanctions. While new sanctions appear unlikely, EU leaders will discuss Russia during a meeting in Brussels Oct. 20-21.
The key here is triangulation. Putin’s regime isn’t a reserve currency, he’s dependent on export of petroleum, given the fall in demand Putin has turned inward, slashed budgets, and called upon militant nationalism. The inflation and deprivation are real. So is the blood lust that the American’s are to blame. Putin’s mastery of propaganda is typical of Eurasian despots who cannot, will not compete in a market based political economy.
And so Aleppo is chosen as the graveyard of empires. Russia is backing Iran, China, and Syrian monsters to punish an international order he will not participate in, nor understands.