Paul Craig Roberts: Is Putin's Strategy Finally Beginning To Work?

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

I have explained Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Christian practice of turning the other cheek to Western provocations as a strategy to convey to Europe that Russia is reasonable but Washington is not and that Russia is not a threat to European interests and sovereignty but Washington is. By accommodating Israel and withdrawing from the multi-nation Iran nuclear-nonproliferation agreement, US President Donald Trump might have brought success to Putin’s strategy.

Washington’s three main European vassal states, Britain, France, and Germany have objected to Trump’s unilateral action. Trump is of the opinion that the multi-nation agreement depends only on Washington. If Washington renounces the agreement, that is the end of the agreement. It doesn’t matter what the other parties to the agreement want. Consequently, Trump intends to reimpose the previous sanctions against doing business with Iran and to impose additional new sanctions. If Britain, France, and Germany continue with the business contracts that have been made with Iran, Washington will sanction its vassal states as well and prohibit activities of British, French, and German companies in the US. Clearly, Washington thinks that Europe’s profits in the US exceed what can be made in Iran and will fall in line with Washington’s decision, as the vassal states have done in the past.

And they might. But this time there is a backlash. Whether it will go beyond strong words to a break with Washington remains to be seen. Trump’s neoconservative pro-Israel National Security Advisor John Bolton has ordered European companies to cancel their business deals in Iran. Trump’s ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has ordered German companies to immediately wind down their business operations in Iran. The bullying of Europe and blatant US disregard of European interests and sovereignty has made Europe’s long vassalage suddenly all too apparent and uncomfortable.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, previously a loyal Washington puppet, said that Europe can no longer trust Washington and must “take its destiny into its own hands.” 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Washington’s leadership had failed and it was time for the EU to take over the leadership role and to “replace the United States.” Various French, German, and British government ministers have echoed these sentiments.

The cover story of the German news magazine Der Spiegel, “Goodbye Europe,” has Trump giving Europe the middle finger.  The magazine declares that it is “Time for Europe to Join the Resistance.”

Although European politicians have been well paid for their vassalage, they might now be finding it an unworthy and uncomfortable burden.

Whereas I respect the virtue of Putin’s refusal to reply to provocation with provocation, I have expressed concern that Putin’s easy acceptance of provocations will encourage more provocations that will increase in intensity until war or Russian surrender become the only options, whereas if the Russian government took a more aggressive position against the provocations, it would bring the danger and cost of the provocations home to the Europeans whose compliance with Washington enables the provocations. Now it seems that perhaps Trump himself has taught that lesson to the Europeans.

Russia has spent several years helping the Syrian Army clear Syria of the terrorists that Washington sent to overthrow the Syrian government. However, despite the Russian/Syrian alliance, Israel continues illegal military attacks on Syria. These attacks could be stopped if Russia would provide Syria with the S-300 air defense system.

Israel and the US do not want Russia to sell the S-300 air defense system to Syria, because Israel wants to continue to attack Syria and the US wants Syria to continue to be attacked. Otherwise, Washington would call Israel off.

Several years ago before Washington sent its Islamist proxy troops to attack Syria, Russia agreed to sell Syria an advanced air defense system, but gave in to Washington and Israel and did not deliver the system. Now again in the wake of Netanyahu’s visit to Russia we hear from Putin’s aide Vladimir Kozhim that Russia is continuing to withhold modern air defenses from Syria.

Perhaps Putin believes he has to do this in order not to give Washington an issue that could be used to pull Europe back in line with Washington’s policy of aggression. Nevertheless, for those who do not see it this way, it makes Russia again look weak and unwilling to defend an ally.

If Putin believes that he will have any influence on Netanyahu in terms of selling peace agreements with Syria and Iran, the Russian government has no understanding of Israel’s intent or Washington’s 17 years of war in the Middle East.

I hope Putin’s strategy works. If it doesn’t, he will have to change his stance toward provocations or they will lead to war.



J S Bach synarch Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

I sum up Russia's current foreign policy in one word... "mature".  They do not have military bases spread out all over the world threatening the sovereignty of defenseless nations.  Their few military actions have been solely at the request of their weaker allies to protect against external belligerents. Even their "Russia Today" channel is one of the few national-sponsored media who present reasoned and balanced reporting on all international issues and events.

In contrast, the "immature" nations of America, the UK, France, and all of the other lickspittles of the Israeli state lash out in a corybantic display when and wherever their masters command.  Though not perfect, Vlad is a true statesman of a bygone era.

In reply to by synarch

Give Me Some Truth SoilMyselfRotten Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:02 Permalink

If both of these events were definitively shown/reported to be hoaxes, the ramifications could be tremendous. And awful for the Deep State and their MSM defenders. Which is why we know that no definitive statement about what really happened will ever be produced and disseminated.

... Just One example of the implications: Would not bombing a sovereign nation you are not at war with -  based on contrived “evidence” -  be an impeachable offense?

In reply to by SoilMyselfRotten

Jack Oliver revolla Wed, 05/16/2018 - 03:19 Permalink

Putin is being very careful not to jeopardise the World Cup ! 

Russia will re- enter the world stage during this period - it’s Russia’s chance to re-emerge. 

NOTHING is going to prevent that. My country ( Australia) is gearing up for 24/7 coverage of it ! 

Sports lovers are not privy to Zio/US ‘covert’ political agendas !! 

So they just see it as another World Cup - they are blinded by the sport !! 

Russia has planned this very carefully and over a long period ! 

It could well be the ‘coup de grace’ for the west !! 

In reply to by revolla

Scipio Africanuz Jack Oliver Wed, 05/16/2018 - 09:31 Permalink

Yes, it's the changing of the guard. After the world cup, pay very good attention to the rhetoric, and hard action from the kremlin, it'll water eyes! For some, tears of joy, and for others, tears of sorrow.

Between now and then, Europe must get her act together.

What will it be Europe? EURASIA or NATO?

Please choose carefully!

On other matters, beware, and avoid the GUNS of AUGUST!...

In reply to by Jack Oliver

silver140 Slippery Slope Wed, 05/16/2018 - 01:05 Permalink

The Skripals have been disappeared, physically. Journalists have also disappeared them, using self-censorship in response to the government issued D-notice. The MSM have been told, literally, that they would be endangering national security if they, whether truthfully or not, keep following the story. In the UK a D-notice has been issued to all the presstitutes, and PCR says.

"A D-notice (Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice) is used by the British state to veto the publication of potentially damaging news stories."

In reply to by Slippery Slope

Jung Slippery Slope Wed, 05/16/2018 - 02:38 Permalink

Probably there was no poisoning at all, just a show so nobody can ever find out what actually happened. Skripal and Steele were mates and like the polonium case (Litv.), it was "highly likely" an issue within their own internal criminal group. Nothing to do with Russia's government and they can't say that after the silly accusations.

In reply to by Slippery Slope

khnum J S Bach Wed, 05/16/2018 - 00:08 Permalink

I tend to agree but unfortunately Sun Tzu doesn't have much to say about dealing with the criminally insane he has lost some ground recently such as with the US bases now in Syria and in other areas you see he is dealing with people that just dont give a fuck with Alice in Wonderland logic which now has Iran responsible for 9-11 and as Nikki Haley stated for yesterdays Gaza massacre

In reply to by J S Bach

Oldwood khnum Wed, 05/16/2018 - 01:44 Permalink

Less a massacre and more a mass suicide. The first day you MIGHT give them credit for ignorance, but the days after, even after Hama's got their desired media coverage???

Most definitely mass suicide.

You would have to be an idiot to do it, or believe it was perpetrated by ANYONE but Hamas. But you keep on believing. People dying for their principles, right? Are you? Why not? I'm sure you can get there if you try.

I really can't wait until the progressives can induce their idiots in America to start attacking gun owners with knives. With each attack and resultant knife owners death, the demand for gun confiscation will grow.

Do we think the massive growth in gun violence in cities where gun laws are strictest and law enforcement is most sensitive to cultural needs is coincidental?

The incentivization of violence begats more violence, all for public consumption.

It should come as no surprise that the Israel conflict has gone on now for over fifty years and is no closer to resolve, given that the US has been funding both sides for nearly as long. To think of the billions invested in BOTH sides, to still have THIS!

In reply to by khnum

khnum Oldwood Wed, 05/16/2018 - 02:19 Permalink

Israel has the scream,microwave active denial technology,water cannons,tear gas and many other non-lethal options at her disposal but it chose to use live ammunition on unarmed people ,yes you can justify that to yourself because they look different,because they believe differently,because some unassailable reference interpreted wrongly says so, that they are subhuman or inferior its what every war,every world drama relies on- racism- mass suicide my arse. 

In reply to by Oldwood

raskefing khnum Wed, 05/16/2018 - 02:45 Permalink

Thank you! what Americans do not realize is that whatever they do to others it will come back home as not "blow-back"but as what their own government will do to them one day!

Have they not seen that after every major US "war" they lose more rights and freedoms?

Whatever they allow/support their government in doing to others WILL inevitably come home to roost.


Look at the police state they live in now, the vast majority of Americans fear their Police.

We respect our police forces in the West not fear them.

By the way massacres of innocents are already happening in the US, it will only get worse 

In reply to by khnum

khnum raskefing Wed, 05/16/2018 - 02:59 Permalink

Ray Mc Govern is a highly decorated ex CIA analyst that worked for 6 Presidents his reward for attending the hearing on the nominated CIA torturer was to be belted and arrested.He is a 78 year old man who was locked up and is black and blue from his mistreatment.

He was lucky though other true patriots and whistleblowers like La Voy Finicum they shoot dead,gangstalk or totally ruin the lives of,the smiley face is already coming off and the fangs are showing.

In reply to by raskefing

Ace006 raskefing Wed, 05/16/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

We don't fear the police but municipal authorities and prosecutors will persecute you in a heartbeat, after which expect to be sued by the homosexual lobby, attacked by AntiFa or BLM scum at your front door, or vilified as anti-Semitic (Semitophobic?) or Islamophobic in the MSM.

Do you respect the British police?  If you do you are deluded.

Bobby licks boots of Muslima:

Tommy Robinson almost hit with boiling water in U.K. prison with knowledge of wardens:…

And no link need be provided for info on the cowardice of the police re the Rotherham sex grooming scandal(s), right?

And here's the famed Brussels police testicle hold:…

And you say you trust your police?

In reply to by raskefing

Ted19731950 khnum Wed, 05/16/2018 - 09:21 Permalink

Come on, khnum, with tens of thousands of these people massed on the border and with many,many more likely to come out after Ramadan, Israel knows it has to strike hard, or it could indeed be overwhelmed at least temporarily and partially.  They have to be strong.  And yes it IS mass suicide that we are witnessing.

In reply to by khnum