Imagine that you are a businessperson. Your job involves making deals. Your success metric involves doing as well on these deals as you can in terms of whatever is left of your nation’s currency. On a bad, cold, rainy Monday, you face the horns of the following dilemma. You can make either a deal with a powerful evil person or with a powerful idiot.
The choice would seem obvious. Deal with the idiot and yince yourself some goyim. One month later, when the idiot realizes that he was an idiot, you can be two or three time zones and several law enforcement jurisdictions away from the sucker. If all you do is sell people frozen widgets in bulk, this is about as complicated as it gets. If you are involved in something more complicated, this is not quite as easy a problem as it seems.
This gets us into the differences between evil people and crazy ones. We tend to actively hate and fear the evil people. This is reasonable. Anyone who voluntarily behaves like Sauron can only lower the property values in and around Osgiliath. Evil people, by definition, are bad. M’Kay?
Idiots are not so bad. They’ll blow a fuse when they plug that metal spork in a light socket. Then you have to clean them off the carpet. It is more of a mess then a disaster. To the extent that any of this is a problem, it is a personal problem. It is the idiot’s personal problem. Until the idiot does something really important or dangerous to others. Imagine the idiot handles a $5B portfolio of mortgage-backed securities.
We can expand this dilemma without loss of generality to relations between powerful countries. Once upon a time, a despotic man who seemed designed to fill the same ecological niche as a finely honed arachnid ruled a huge country. This ruler’s name was Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, and he made the entire world cower in fear. To an entire generation of Amerikans, he represented implacable and despotic evil for approximately twenty years.
Then a series of demented and dying old men who rudely snored at their inept and kleptocratic politburos succeeded this scheming, seemingly evil tyrant. There were differences between Brezhnev and his successors. Brezhnev actively worked towards your demise. Brezhnev’s successors worked hard to successfully stay awake and alert eight to ten hours per day. However, all of these Soviet Leaders had one scary thing in common. They had the ability to push one button and end an awful large chunk of humanity. Both the conscious tyrant and the the senescent ones had to be handled with professional care.
Fast-forward maybe a decade or two. You now have an evil man who speaks with a forked tongue to others. He promises The Ukraine the military protection of a mighty NATO alliance if they will just give up their stash of nukes. In a similar sort of deal, Libyan dictator Gaddafi could enjoy peace and stability if he would sign over his nuclear arsenal. Just a couple of elections later, here is how that deal worked out for him.
Gaddafi’s reward for cooperating with the American government was to be sodomized with a bayonet on the way to his mob execution. Rather than expressing regret or even responding with a modicum of discretion, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton crowed, “We came, we saw, he died.” Vice President Joe Biden echoed her sentiments, “Whether he’s alive or dead, he’s gone. The people of Libya have gotten rid of a dictator. NATO got it right.” In the wake of Gaddafi’s murder, Libya devolved into utter anarchy with slave markets where you could buy a human being for $40 and a civil war that lasted until 2020. The country became a seedbed of terrorists. Gaddafi’s regime had stood between Italy and Subsaharan Africa. With him out of the picture, Italy and the rest of the EU quickly became overrun with illegal immigrants. The message the Libya episode sent to governments around the world was clear: You can do everything the Americans ask but there is still an excellent chance that they will put a knife in your back.
That is the possible misfortune for anyone cursed with having to deal with an evil man. As H. Ross Perot famously said of Bill Clinton, “If his wife can’t trust him, then why should you?” Ukraine should not have trusted him, but then again, they had very little choice. Either NATO or Russia would have done very bad things to Ukraine if they had retained the nuclear arsenal. Bill Clinton was famously evil; Boris Yeltsin had pickled his brain with vodka-flavored brine. The choice was between malignants and morons.
Now, the poles have seemingly realigned. Twitter geniuses are refering to Russia’s current Caudillo por Vida as Putler. Calculating the summed IQs of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris probably would not require an abacus with more than two rows of beads. Therefore, anyone stuck with Russia and Amerika playing geopolitical tug-of-war over his or her country is still screwed. They are still screwed the same way they were screwed from 1946 – 1992.
How has dealing with Amerika’s evil men worked out for The Ukraine? Who knows? It depends on how many of them wanted Russian BMPs to do donuts on their front lawns. No Ukrainians are up for auction in the slave market quite yet. Their deal with the USA could have a relatively positive ROI in comparsion to the deal we offered Libya.
Amerika, like Russia, will reap what it has not sown for at least 25 years now. The lights may or may not stay on here. When we have our turn at decline, the rest of the world will be waiting. All of those people disappointed because we broke all of our promises and screwed them over the way Goldman-Sachs cornholios a small brokerage client will then tell us how they really feel. They will not merely express disappointment.