A Hundred days into the 3rd World War

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Did we notice that we were already 100 days into World War III? The Second one also started like this, almost unnoticed. One was speaking of a "Drôle de Guerre" (funny war) to describe the period between the French and British declaration of war to Germany on 3 September (1939) until the actual fighting, dated 10 May (1940). There was missing the destruction and desolation of a "serious" war so this term was employed instead (British people spoke of "phoney war" instead, and possibly one mistranslated the other. The Germans spoke of Sitzkrieg (sitting war) while the Polish, also part of the events, found it "dziwna wojna" or surprising. It is the same now as, for most of us, there is no obvious or direct consequences of destruction, death and calamities. At most the inflation. In fact, most people would probably say that we are not at war. So a funny if not surprising situation indeed, definitely phoney and, as time passes—it is already 100 days—aren't most of us sitting down? The basics do not really change in the great world-changing events, only details and specifics.

What to think 100 days into a situation that, if it does not get better, does not either appear to deteriorate quickly. Sitzkrieg. There is time. I actually try to not follow the events, which mainly come from the News, that is, are not true (to the point that, I spotted one, Putin is allegedly long-time dead and a double is acting in his place. What does this bring to the narrative? Does it make the new Putin worse than the one singing Blueberry Hill?) That is a mark of our time, and one forewarned in the Apocalypsis, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to sort out what is true from what is not. Even Science is becoming a marketing business of influence, lobbying, phoney (and funny) consensus and a sequence of statements each invalidating the previous one, in some endless loop. So on the geopolitical aspects, I have little to write down for my self who will read this for the 1000th days into the 3rd World War. It appears that chunks of annexation will be made from Western Ukraine to Russia and that Russia will then give up Ukraine to the Occident, meaning to Nato, also allowing Finland and Sweden to pile up armaments there, and we will be back in a cold war scenario of no exchanges between these two worlds, with only sparks and occasional frictions. That is the less disruptive scenario. The most disruptive one is a conflagration from the funny to painful or actual or not-funny war where the fighting will not only be along some line in a map of Ukraine but everywhere. Both seem likely, the first one also being able to endure the test of time. It actually all depends on the Nato stance.

My father once told me of this anecdote, which taught me about knowing how to balance what is right and what is safe. Once he left a piece of meat on the table and had gone next room to fetch something, at which point the cat nicked it. First surprised to see the meat gone, he quickly realized what happened and went after the culprit. Here I will not discuss the share of guilt in this drama since an animal, especially a cat, is a hunter and leaving meat unattended was doomed to excite his instinct. Still my father chased the cat with the broomstick to make it clear that in the house, the cat was not allowed to steal food. The cat appeared to have understood as he submitted as cats do, ears down, low profile, surrendering the catch, and going away with all the signs of having understood he had overstepped his boundaries. The beef-steak now lying down on the floor from the mouth of the animal was little retribution and my father had cornered the cat in a room. He closed the door, switched on the light in the room that has no escape, no opened window, no hole, nothing, and exclaimed "Cette fois, tu vas comprendre". Something interesting then happened. The cat that was until then escaping and meowing in a plaintive apology, then doubled volume, made a big round back with hairs all straight up, his ears stayed flat but aligned at a threatening angle and my father witnessed this scene that I can see with my own eyes although I wasn't there: the cat was now slowly, but decidedly, resolutely, walking towards him, growling, to attack. He had no escape so he would fight. Not only he would fight, he would also strike first. My father stepped away, opened the door, the cat hoofed away back in his submissive mode, the sinister growling having chirped back into a shriek of fear, relief and thanks, for both's sake.

The same goes with Russia. The Occident appears to think they have the upper-hand morale, they can judge what is good and what is not. Their "intervention" when they destroy Lybia or Irak becomes an "invasion" when Putin does a milder version of that. They speak of "sanctions" as if they had the morale authority to reprimand a childish country which misbehaves. Their narrative is all about democracy, what is right, and what is just. Still, still, even if one would grant them this completely unjustified, undeserved and undue privileges, still, they should also understand that cornering the cat who stole the steak to the point where he will have to plant his nails in your face, is not a good idea, even if they manage to kill the cat in the encounter. Russia is more a bear than a cat, incidentally, so putting it down will cost us more than a few scratches. The fight should clearly be avoided at all costs because whatever these are, they will be much higher than even the worst compromise could achieve. The geopolitical situation in Ukraine is, by several orders of magnitude, not worthy of a direct confrontation of Nato with Russia.

A hundred days into the war, we are still chasing the cat round the room. The cat is more clever than us. This one did not let go the piece of meat but is actually grabbing more stuff as we try to chase him out. The Ruble is getting stronger, the Russian economy is becoming more robust, in particular from the agriculture side, on the other hand, our dependence on their hydrocarbons and gas has few alternatives and our economy is weakening at ever-increasing speed. It will be of course easy to blame Russia for the economical collapse that is coming. Maybe the poor handling of the situation by the Occident is turning them into the cat: they will have no other recourse than to march straight onto the other cat, the bear-looking one, and to strike first. One just has to look at an actual cat fight in the street to get a feel of the outcome of this encounter, if that should be the one awaiting us.