Sunday, 9 March 2014

A leaked email from Hilary Clinton to Vladimir Putin

WTF Vlad!
A leaked email from Hilary Clinton to Vladimir Putin

Vlad WTF!!

I thought we'd been through all this!? Remember the road map?? We let you into the clubs, G8, Security Council, and you gradually westernize, opening up your markets and improving the quality of life of your citizens...sounding familiar yet? It was always going to take a while but it was happening…and now you've gone and invaded another sovereign country and lied about it. That's a backwards step Vlad.

Oh I know why you did it, you thought you needed to change the game after the Europeans let Yanukovich fall. You thought this was a painless and elegant chess move to get them back to the negotiating table on your terms, and the fact it felt like something Comrade Stalin might do made it fun at the same time. You applied Soviet thinking to a 21st century problem, and for the moment you're feeling pretty good about it, but it’s not going to work out well for you.

Oh sure, in the short term it'll feel like a victory, but there will be a long term cost. The targeted economic sanctions will irritate your friends, but you were correct in your gamble that the West a) won't intervene militarily and b) won't impose wider economic sanctions, addicted as they are to your gas. If I can put this in terms of a pool game, you've just potted the ball you were leaving next to the hole to block others – you've gained some points that were always in the bag, and you've suffered in the big picture. The long term cost will be that you have taken a step away from a sustainable Russian future, and you're now headed in a direction where your options will become more and more limited and your influence will fade. On this course, Russia becomes like twentieth century Poland or nineteenth century Spain, a former great power which is tossed around by its neighbours.

You see the strategic model which created the Soviet Union and before that the Russian Empire is not one that is open to you, for the simple reason that you don't have enough people. The Tsars and the Soviets used to take over a new region and then send in Russian settlers, and this "russification" of the frontier territories kept the empire growing very effectively. It was a hard empire to administer because of its size, sure, but it ultimately stood toe to toe with every great threat it faced until 1989. While defending, Tsar Nicholas II lost twelve million Russians to the German advance in WW1, while Stalin lost over twenty million in WW2, but there were always more people...

In contrast, your Russia has a serious population problem. In a developed world of falling fertility rates you have one of the lowest. Added to this your population is one of the oldest, and with the lowest life expectancy of any European state they're all dying off! Every day that passes there are fewer Russians in the world, and demographics is not a train that changes direction quickly. Oh and did I mention that Russia is absolutely massive? Siberia alone is one tenth of the world's land mass.

So you're struggling to fill Russia, let alone the old Russian Empire, because you haven't got the numbers. You've also got a problem on your border with China, which is populated like the Arizona desert on your side and like Rhode Island on the Chinese side. The Chinese are generally not an expansive people, but you're in serious danger of suffering an uncomfortable snipping at your undercarriage unless you change things. Vladivostok is five times closer to Beijing than it is to Moscow!

Now Vlad, a war is about to begin, and before you get excited I'm talking about a war of soft power - it'll be a competition for immigrants. All of Europe faces a similar problem to you but to a lesser extent, and they'll soon be competing to attract immigrants from all over the developing world, particularly Africa. In 2050, a quarter of the global population will be in Africa, and Russia is one of the most black-unfriendly countries in the world! You should be trying to change these attitudes. Your topless photo shoots and virile Russia displays may feel good to you, but they present an old-fashioned and ethnically homogenous image to the world, and that makes it harder to attract immigrants who don't match it. Also if you could stop spontaneously closing retail banks and pocketing innocent people's savings, that would help too. Russians don't save money any more because they don't trust the future, thats not an attractive culture for people looking for a place to start a family.

And Vlad, would you just generally STOP doing this scary act you like to do, I mean what is it with Russia? I've got a personal theory its because the Mongols gave your country such a rough childhood so that you now only feel comfortable when you're imposing yourselves on others, textbook abused child syndrome…

Anyway we can discuss that over vodka martinis some time. The point is that your global awkwardness creates a personal problem for me. That problem being that Barack is useless at dealing with it. That makes him look weak and then all Democrats look weak, and then those crazies in the Republican Party start looking strong. I've got an election to fight in 2016, and trust me Vlad, you'd find me a much easier president to deal with than those other guys.

So what do I see you doing next? You won't like the answer. I'd like to see you westernize, create reliable institutions, institute a true democratic process and improve the living standards of your people. Ultimately I see you joining Europe, where you will be one of its most powerful players. At the moment you're living in the past and following an outdated strategy that doesn't work in today's game. I know you're an
ex-KGB man and old habits die hard, but if you or your successors do not compromise your beliefs, you'll be left behind and ultimately consumed by others on terms that you will not find favorable. More Sochi less Stalin!

So there it is.

Pass my regards to Dmitry, and do keep in touch!

All the best,

PS Have you still got that reset button I brought over in '08? Barrack wants Kerry to take it round to all the places he's visited so far :-D

PPS Here's a photo of a dog that looks like you. HaHAH!

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