Whenever I talk about gun control, I make the same point: guns aren’t dangerous as such. They only become dangerous in the hands of either madmen or criminals or especially mad criminals.
Extrapolating ever so slightly, the same applies to nuclear weapons. In the hands of sane countries, such as Britain or France, they’re a factor of security. They’re only a factor of danger in the hands of criminal countries, especially those whose criminality is tinged with insanity.
That’s why any sane person ought to be wary of the noises coming out of Russia, all revolving around the radioactive ash into which the Botox Boy could turn the US at the drop of a hat, or rather of a few high-yield bombs.
Threats of wiping out the West with nuclear weapons aren’t new. As a child growing up in Moscow, I remember Khrushchev bragging that the Soviets possessed the kind of bombs that could each annihilate the US with a single blast.
However, everybody knew that was just braggadocio, possibly spouted under the influence of the national beverage. (Khrushchev’s favourite breakfast was an eight-ounce glass of vodka chased with a bowl of rich borsht and some rye bread.)
When Khrushchev began to sound not just boisterous but insane, his colleagues got worried. They didn’t want that red button pushed by a deranged fanatic having a fit.
It was time to act, and they didn’t even bother to kill Khrushchev in the fine Russian tradition. They simply packed him off to a modest dacha and left him to write his mendacious memoirs.
In other words, while unquestionably evil, the Soviet Union retained at least some sanity. Watching the latest news, nay symptoms, coming out of Russia, I’m not so sure.
Just look at Putin’s speech at the meeting of the Valdai Club, the closest equivalent his junta has to our Tory 1922 Committee.
The stage was set by the usual boasts about Russia’s ability to annihilate the whole world should the need arise. Nothing new there, nor in the Botox Boy’s lies about Russia’s strategic doctrine.
“Our concept,” he said, as his nose was lengthening, “is that of a counter-strike.” Nuclear weapons will be used “only when we’re certain that someone, a potential aggressor, is striking against Russia.”
Actually, even in Soviet times the Russians didn’t take the MAD doctrine seriously. They considered a nuclear war winnable, especially if started by their first strike. And Putin’s generals definitely include first use of nuclear weapons into their calculations.
So far I haven’t read anything about their specific plans to unleash a nuclear Armageddon, but there’s plenty of evidence about their reliance on tactical nuclear weapons for ‘de-escalation’.
This means that, if they start a conventional war in Europe, for example by attacking the Baltics, and it turns against them, they envision a nuclear strike on NATO bases or possibly some European population centres.
That would give NATO two options: either to pull back or to respond in kind, thereby risking a full-blown nuclear exchange – and Putin is certain they don’t have the stomach for the second option.
I’m not unduly bothered about the Botox Boy lying – what on earth else would one expect from a career KGB man cum gangster? But then Vlad began to overlay his lies with a note of apocalyptic insanity.
“Any aggressor should know that retribution is unavoidable, one way or another he’ll be destroyed. As victims of aggression, we’ll be martyrs who’ll go to heaven, while they’ll simply croak. Because they won’t even have time to repent.”
The Botox Boy didn’t specify how many virgins each Russian martyr will rate in heaven, but his visionary powers are most impressive. Prophet Jeremiah, eat your heart out. And there was more to come:
“In general, we fear nothing – a country with such a territory, such a defence system, such a population ready to stand up for its independence, its sovereignty. Not every place, not every country can boast such a population ready to lay down their lives for the motherland – and we can.”
I’m not a professional psychiatrist, but even the rankest amateur can diagnose paranoid delusions here. Vlad sees in his mind’s eye a potential aggressor that’ll go nameless (well, if you insist, the US), waiting for the best moment to let go of ICBMs.
One would think it’s the US, not Russia, that’s pouncing on its neighbours like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth. But wait a minute, the Botox Boy is now ready to merge paranoid delirium with more lies:
“We’re not reaching out anywhere, we have a huge territory, we want nothing from anybody.” For sure. But what about the annexation of Crimea, asks a particularly malevolent Russophobe.
But Vlad won’t be caught out: “Crimea is ours. Why ours? Not because we came and snatched something. People went to a referendum in Crimea and voted.”
This sounds as if the referendum preceded the Russian invasion, whereas in fact it was the other way around. When the mock referendum was set up, the turnout was low, with the native Tartar population refusing to take part in that travesty. Those people who voted did so under the watchful eyes of Soviet soldiers cocking their AKs.
So Putin was lying, but it wasn’t just a bog standard lie. A wayward husband who tells his irate wife he had a late business meeting is merely a liar. But one who says he was kidnapped by aliens with feelers on their green heads is also a madman.
I don’t know if Russian martyrs will get to cavort with all those virgins in heaven, but I do fear that, under the Botox Boy’s leadership, they may well turn the world into hell.