Putin, boogeyman

kremlin

Last year, a prominent Dutch Republican stepped down from his position as minister of foreign affairs, after he claimed that, during a foreign trip, he had overheard Putin say, in a Datsja no less, that Putin was intent on conquering Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Kazakhstan. Now this man, Halbe Zijlstra, had already developed somewhat of a reputation of being a professional liar – he had once claimed to be so close to the Madrid bomb attacks that ‘glass shards flew in his face’. But when it turned out that there was never any meeting in a datsja whatsoever, it became even too much for the Dutch Republicans, and Zijlstra was siphoned away.

Of course, this has not stopped the Dutch Republicans from using Russia as a boogeyman. Zijlstra was merely overenthusiastic, is all! Of course Putin is a threat! A major one, at that!

OK, how strong is this major threat?

Russia’s GNP 2018: 1.7 trillion $.

How does that compare to the countries it is supposedly threatening?

US GNP 2018: 20.4 trillion $

Huh. So the US is twelve times richer than Russia. Surely that makes the US a stronger threat towards Russia than vice versa? How about on the ol’ continent?

EU GNP 2018: 19 trillion $

Huh. It’s almost like the EU is the strong party, Russia the weak. Perhaps its individual countries are weak?

Germany GNP 2018: 4.2 trillion $
France GNP: 3 trillion $

So even the individual states of Europe are two, three times richer than Russia.

If Putin is really such a threat to the West, how come Russia is a glamorized gas station? Combined, the EU and America outproduce Russia by a factor of twenty-four. But supposedly, Putin is on the verge of invading Europe, hacking our internets and installing a sock-puppet government in the US.

Bullshit.

War costs money. Putin does not have money, nowhere near enough money to wage a sustained fifth-generation war effort against an enemy twenty-four times as rich as he is. Simple economics tells us Russia is no where near as threatening as the cuck right tells us, for the strong take what they will, the weak endure what they must. It is the permanent government of the West that is the strong, Russia the weak, which is why the permanent government of the West has conquered the whole of Ukraine, Russia merely the Krim.

This war of Western aggression in Eastern Europe, like all wars, has led to casualties. One of these casualties is the shooting of MH-17, a plane which flew over a war zone in which West-sponsored fighters were battling Russia-sponsored fighters, killing 193 Dutch citizens. In an entirely predictable turn of events, the Dutch cuck right has ceaselessly blamed Russia for these deaths for the past five years, conveniently forgetting its own involvement in supporting the Western aggression that has led to the war in the first place.

If Putin had allowed the Western government to seize the Krim, he would have been pushed out of the Black sea. Putin’s actions are not those of the aggressor, they are of the team on defense. Mind you, Putin looks like he could be a conqueror in another life, but that is simply not the role he is playing as leader of Russia, which fact is confirmed by a simple comparison of economies.

Then, the issue of hacking. Supposedly, everyday, thousands of hack-attacks are executed by the Kremlin. What are they hacking? We don’t know, you don’t know! We never know where hackers come from, they are everywhere and no where at the same time!

Now, I am no hacking expert, but I think most of this meme lends power from the fact that few really know how hacking works.

Hacking as in infiltration, espionage, or even hostile takeover from the outside is difficult. When your enemy control his own software and hardware and secures it, it is mighty difficult to break into. The reason Hillary’s emails were hacked was because she had taken absolutely terrible security measures. Trump, learning from this, insisted on solid security measures, and so hasn’t been hacked.

So, to break into a solid secured system of which you control neither the hardware or the software, you need insiders. That’s what Mueller was looking for, but what he could not find, no matter how hard he tried.

Pretty sure there’s plenty of cold hackers, but they can be repelled just fine. Anecdotally, I recall that the best method of success for hackers is always some form of social engineering: get someone on the inside, some secretary or something, to spill the passwords. To cold hack from a thousand miles away into a system that is well secured; it is just not cost-efficient. Hence, to say that the the Kremlin executes thousands of hack-attacks a day, it is a conspiracy theory.

Now, if you dò have access to software and hardware, well suddenly a lot becomes possible. Which is why Huawei is being kicked off of Google, for if we walk around with Chinese hardware, hell yeah we can be hacked by the Chinese, and naturally the Americans rather have us being hacked only by the Americans.

But no Russian hardware, no Russian software, so no Russian hack attacks. Which is why no one can ever give a concrete example of Russian hacking in the West, except for the very few occasions where Russian spies try to physically break into the hardware, which of course they don’t do because of nefarious collusion schemes, but because of a plain old double-agent assassination investigation. Spooks gonna spook.

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13 thoughts on “Putin, boogeyman

  1. Russia isn’t an economic behemoth by any means, and it has good reason to be afraid of the West, and it is an extremely convenient bogeyman, but it doesn’t mean there’s no there there. Russia has a long history of punching way above its economic weight militarily, especially in periods where military hardware development is relatively stagnant. Its people may be very poor, and not very willing to fight, but they can be made to fight and Russia knows how to do it. Even now, despite being 1/10 of the EU in GDP, it has a stronger conventional military — I haven’t heard much about others but Germans are reportedly pathetic, and furious that Trump has the temerity of calling them on it — because the EU spends its GDP on social democracy and hospitals and rich pensions and “refugees”, and Russia spends its GDP on Mercedes-Benz and BMWs and villas in Dubai for the nobles, and on the military. (Note that Russia is unable to produce good cars in non-trivial quantities. All available talent either emigrates or works on military stuff. I exaggerate — slightly.) Also, you fail to mention one small bit of hardware Russia has left over from the USSR, and that is nukes. Russia has a lot of nukes, they can make more — it’s not that complicated — and they have means of delivery too. No need for missiles either: for all we know, they already have nukes salted away in major European cities, smuggled by truck through the Polish/Ukrainian border. As for “hacking”, it is apparently 99% bogeyman, but Russia does have a strong tradition of running “active measures” on its opponents. It is always difficult to determine the real effect of its “active measures” — I for one believe that they at most slightly increase the gain of certain feedback loops that have preexisted and would likely have led to the same end result — but it does do it. Right now, it hands out money and influence to European far-right and far-left parties, and there are enough fools who take it. Haven’t they heard of blackmail? Since Russia cannot have an efficient state and keep its present elite or system of government, keeping opponents weak via internal disorganization makes perfect sense, and it doesn’t take much money to do it.

    By the way, your MH17 dig is silly. The BAP-trap far-right that takes Russian money and visits Crimea may repeat their party line — as the Russians say, who dines the girl dances her — but it’s pretty clear that it was Russians. They had already shot down several Ukrainian military planes before MH17, and were on record being eager to shoot more. On the other hand they didn’t have any aviation assets in LDNR — it would have exploded their not entirely false story of brave locals fighting with what they bought in military surplus stores, because you can’t buy a fighter plane in a military surplus store — and Ukrainian military knew that this was the case, there wasn’t anything for it to shoot down. I have an old related post on my blog.

    1. honored to discover I enjoy your readership.

      Well yes, of course Russia will grow as a threat as the West continues to weaken. But to blame someone else for the consequences of your policies, especially seeing how strong you started and how weak your enemy started, it is stupid.

      No doubt Russia runs interference. But while getting involved with various far-left and far-right parties in Europe makes sense, a thousand hack attacks a day from the Kremlin make no sense.

      If you say the Russians shot MH17, I am inclined to believe you. But again, it is a consequence of the war of Western aggression, of our involvement in Eastern Europe. It is like Hitler blaming the allies for the bombing of Dresden. Sure, it’s technically true, but who pushed the allies to bomb Dresden in the first place?

      1. But to blame someone else for the consequences of your policies, especially seeing how strong you started and how weak your enemy started, it is stupid.

        Oh yes, I agree most vehemently. This goes also for Islam, immigration, refugees, and even the Joos, all favorite bugbears for many. The enemy of the moment is not as important as our own inner weakness. If this is not mended, then we are already defeated, though no foreign conqueror stands within our walls.

        a thousand hack attacks a day from the Kremlin make no sense

        I dunno whether it does or not, but you’re missing a point: it’s an easy and low-effort way for some Russians to earn a government salary. They can report triumphantly “look how many thousands of fake Facebook pages we’re creating!” never mind that their combined effect is lost in rounding errors. Russians are just as susceptible to bureaucratic incentives as the next person. By the way, regarding non-existent Russian hardware: they used to make big noises about their Elbrus CPUs, which were kinda lame but apparently mostly original, but guess what, their current “Elbrus CPU” consists of a licensed MIPS core with some licensed peripherals put together on a single chip and baked for them in Taiwan by TMSC, because Russians can’t into chips.

        it is a consequence of the war of Western aggression, of our involvement in Eastern Europe. It is like Hitler blaming the allies for the bombing of Dresden. Sure, it’s technically true, but who pushed the allies to bomb Dresden in the first place?

        I will recuse myself from discussing Western involvement in Eastern Europe, but I don’t buy these transference-of-guilt arguments. Notice how they are often used by various low-lifes to excuse their own bad behavior, and by liberal enablers to excuse low-lifes’ bad behavior: it’s the poverty/drink/evil patriarchy that pushed them to do it! They’re victims! Nope. With some restrictions in case of physical duress, we’re responsible for our own acts. Acts and their consequences are the things by which our fellows judge us. Anything else, and all that you get is a cheap feeling of moral superiority by thinking how you would have done something nicer if it had been you. So as for the rest, leave it to heaven. I’m not qualified.

        PS: happy to be able to insert two quotes from some of my favoritest books into one comment!

  2. “Well yes, of course Russia will grow as a threat as the West continues to weaken.”

    If I look at what the leadership of the EU or Germany is doing and compare it to Russian rule (even Soviet rule over Eastern Germany), I’d rather use the word “hope” instead of “threat” in your sentence above.

      1. Of course. I assume that as soon as the West starts fixing its own mess, Russia will help. Like everyone, she will prefer a sane neighbor over a crazy neighbor.

        1. Oh no it won’t, even supposing it were able to help in the first place — have you inquired much about internal conditions of Russia? A West that’s fixing itself will be growing stronger, and Russia — at least as currently constituted and consistently with the historical record — will by far prefer a crazy and weak neighbor to a sane and strong one. It’s the logical choice for an incompetently run nation of intermediate strength.

          1. Weak and crazy with nuclear weapons is much more dangerous than strong and sane for any neighbor.

          2. Right. The question, however, was what kind of neighbor would Russia prefer to have, not what kind of neighbor would Western countries prefer Russia to be.

  3. I find it almost certainly fake, but there is also the possibility that they are afraid that the Russian government still has a degree of efficiency and ability to get things done that Western ones have lost. Israel has been punching well above their weight in wars and Mossad operations for various reasons, but one big one was that Arab governments and armies were comically incompetent. Maybe they are afraid of something like that.

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