Putin’s Catch 22: War, Oil, and Caviar
Freedom-loving people everywhere should applaud what our troops are doing, both overtly and covertly, to help the people of Ukraine resist the Russian invasion. In concert with our NATO Allies, and some wannabe NATO nations, the brave Ukrainians, aided by Canadian and U.S. "advisers," are giving Vladimir Putin a very bloody nose.
But one need not be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the people who pull President Biden’s* strings are walking a tightrope to keep the United States just on the brink a shooting war with Russia while, at the same time, working with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to resuscitate the nuclear deal with Iran.
If all goes well for the Biden* team come election time, President Biden* will be perceived as a "war-time" President. And do not be surprised when this year’s "October Surprise" is a meeting between President Biden* and President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. That will be "Wag the Dog" on steroids.
Meanwhile, the Biden* administration, in concert with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, is trying to breathe new life into the Iran nuclear deal. (Recall, the son-in-law of the U.S. lead negotiator, John Kerry, is a U.S. born Iranian with relatives still living under the Mullahs in Iran. And recall, the Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett was former President Obama’s mastermind behind the original version of the Trump-rejected nuclear deal with Iran.)
So, what’s in the deal for Russia? The deal calls for the release of billions of impounded dollars to Iran. Dollars Iran can give to Putin to finance Putin’s war against Ukraine. Moreover, the draft agreement provides 10 billion dollars for Russia to assist Iran in the production of nuclear materials. Plus, any nuclear materials produced in excess of the agreed limits go to Russia. That should make us all feel safer.
So, what’s in the deal for the United States? Go figure. For Israel? Eventual extinction sooner, rather than later.
Meanwhile, in addition to the terrible consequences of the death and destruction Vladimir Putin has inflicted on the peaceful people of Ukraine, there are negative second-order consequences for those nations that border the Caspian Sea: Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. You see, prior to Putin’s costly invasion of Ukraine, there were plans to improve the shipping canal between the oil-rich Caspian Sea and the Sea of Azov.
From the Sea of Azov, increased shipping from those five Caspian Sea nations could have transited the Kerch Strait into the Black Sea and from the Black Sea through the Bosphorus, through the Sea of Marmara, into the Aegean Sea and from there into the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar or via the Suez Canal into the Red Sea and into the Indian Ocean. Yes, all this maritime geography is complicated. But nothing in that part of the world is ever easy.
The Caspian Sea is actually the world’s largest inland lake. It borders some of the world’s most productive oil and gas fields and also produces black market $4,500-per-pound Beluga Caviar. Putin cannot afford to wage war against Ukraine and, at the same time, improve the Caspian Sea Canal. Take aim, shoot both feet.
Suggested viewing: "Wag the Dog," Warner Brothers, 1997. For maritime information see: gCaptain.com.
©2022. William Hamilton.