Tuesday, May 10, 2016
From Mike: "Virtual Militarism Grows Into Real Peril for Russia."
As the tanks and missiles depart from Moscow, the paroxysm of self-glorification also dissipates, leaving behind the inevitable hangover and the “Now what?” question. Last year, the answer was ultimately found in launching the military intervention in Syria. But this time around, the escape from this adventure—even if it goes smoothly, which would take a lot of luck—needs to be outshined by a new “victory.” The options, however, are growing progressively limited as money begins to run out—while remaining in high demand by Russia’s corrupt state-owned enterprises and embezzlement networks. Putin cannot be sure that the forthcoming parliamentary elections, tightly managed as they are, might not unleash an avalanche of heretofore hidden mass discontent, as they did in late 2011. He has only a few weeks to invent a new cause to rally the masses in support of more of the same, but his subordinates seem to be out of ideas.