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HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
Has the World Had Enough of Washington?

Will Putin Realize That Russia Holds The Cards?

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

More evidence, about which I hope to write at length, is piling up that Europe has acquiesced to Washington’s drive to war with Russia, a war that is likely to be the final war for humanity.  By Russia’s low key and unthreatening response to Washington’s aggression, thereby giving the West the mistaken signal that Russia is weak and fearful, the Russian government has encouraged Washington’s drive to war.

It appears that the Russians’ greatest weakness is that capitalism has raised enough Russians to a comfortable living standard that the war that Washington is bringing to them is scary, and they want to avoid it in order to continue living like decadent Western Europeans.

The same thing happened to the once fierce Vandals in North Africa in the 6th century when the Vandals were exterminated by a small force from the Eastern Roman Empire.The Vandals had lost the valor that had given them a rich chunk of the Roman Empire.

Russia needs to save the world from war, but the avoidance of war requires Russia to make the costs clear to Europeans.

Faced with economic sanctions, essentially illegal and warlike actions, applied to various Russian individuals and businesses by Washington and Washington’s EU puppets and by Switzerland, a country taught to be more fearful of Washington than of Moscow, Russian President Putin has asked the Russian government to come up with countermeasures to be implemented in response to the gratuitous sanctions imposed against Russia.

But, Putin says, Russia must hold back: “Obviously we need to do it cautiously in order to support domestic manufacturers, but not hurt consumers.”

In other words, Putin wants to impose sanctions that are not really sanctions, but something that looks like tit for tat.

The amazing thing about Russia finding herself on the defensive about sanctions is that Russia, not Washington or the impotent EU, holds all the cards.  Putin can bring down the economies of Europe and throw all of Europe into political and economic chaos simply by turning off the energy supply.

Putin would not have to turn off the energy supply for very long before Europe tells Washington good-bye and comes to terms with Russia. The longer Putin waits, the longer Europe has to prepare against Russia’s best weapon that can be used to peacefully resolve the conflict that Washington has orchestrated.

Washington’s aggressive moves against Russia will not stop until Putin realizes that he, not Washington, holds the cards, and plays them.

The world has had enough of Washington, its constant lies, its constant wars, and its bullying.  Putin would do well to spend a few hours with Belisarius, Justinian the Great’s great general.

“When I treat with my enemies,” Belisarius said, “I am more accustomed to give than to receive counsel; but I hold in one hand inevitable ruin, in the other peace and freedom.”

That is precisely the position that Vladimir Putin is in with regard to Europe.  In one hand he holds the ruin of Europe.  In the other peace and freedom in the relations between Russia and Europe.

He needs to call up the dumbshit European “leaders” and tell them.

If Putin does not put his foot down hard and make clear to the Europeans what the stakes are, Washington will succeed in its determination to drive the world to war, and  “exceptional and indispensable” Americans will die along with all the rest.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.