Taking the offensive

Mon centre cède, ma droite recule, situation excellente, j’attaque. (Ferdinand Foch)

From my personal point of view, 2017 was pretty good. From the point of view of the main topic of this blog – Russia-Western relations – it certainly was not. This time last year I commented that the good thing about being at rock bottom was that you can only go up. Russian-Western relations were so bad, I felt that they had to start improving.

Well, I was wrong about that. I completely failed to predict the way that Donald Trump’s opponents would latch onto the Russian interference/collusion narrative and turn it into a tool to undermine the Trump presidency by continually shouting ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’. The idea of improving relations with Russia has now become so politically toxic that I fear that things might actually get somewhat worse. The prospect of the US Congress imposing harsh sanctions against Russia in early 2018 is very real. I am hopeful that it won’t happen, but one cannot be sure of anything any more. Reason and evidence have been thrown out of the window as a result of an atmosphere of hysteria unlike any I can remember even in the early 1980s.

Given this, I won’t make any predictions for 2018. In the meantime, all of us who care about making the world a safer place should all do our own tiny little bit to calm people down and restore a bit of sanity. Our efforts are unlikely to make much of a difference, but we have an obligation to use what little strength we have to try. Eventually, a window of opportunity will open and, if you’ll excuse the plethora of mixed metaphors, it’s important that somebody prepares the ground in advance.

For that reason, in the spirit of Ferdinand Foch, this blog will continue on the offensive throughout 2018. The worse the situation the more vital it is that we press on forward. One blog is, of course, just a small drop in the ocean of the internet, but every little counts. Readership of Irrussianality increased by about 40% in 2017. Let’s hope for similar progress in the year to come.

I encourage all of you to do what you can to spread the word of reason.

Happy New Year!

11 thoughts on “Taking the offensive”

  1. “Russian-Western relations were so bad, I felt that they had to start improving.”

    Seeing as we are citing witticisms in their native languages, allow me:

    Kiedy znalazłem się na dnie, usłyszałem pukanie od spodu” (When I thought I had already reached the bottom, they knocked from there)
    – Stanisław Jerzy Lec.

    “by continually shouting ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’. “

    Not “Marcia, Marica, Marcia!” then? 😉

    “Given this, I won’t make any predictions for 2018.”

    I will! I believe in the Ukrainization of the world! The world will become Ukrainian або безлюдним. Або мова, або геть!

    P.S. Happy New Year! There is no money, but Hang on there, good health and best wishes! 😉


  2. С наступающим Новым годом!

    I’ll make one prediction:
    Due to the upcoming Russian presidential election, 2018 will see a 15%+ increase in toxic literature (including but not limited to Putin biographies).

    At least you’ll be there to combat them, Paul!


  3. Thank you, Paul! May the force be with you… God knows the world badly needs voices, such as yours – rational and unemotional. Спасибо Вам и с Новым Годом!


  4. The Russiagateworked because Trump is weak with zero convictions to control his own party – they wrote the sanctions bill and he had no leverage to kill it.
    Sanctions will happen and I just hope Russia is prepared.

    The time for wishful thinking and hope in America is over.

    The west have an anti Russian agenda and it is not going away

    The recent Boris Johnson visit was a waste of time and purely done to humiliate Russia – I can’t understand why the Russian side took the it seriously and brought cameras in etc only for Boris Johnson to launch into the obviously pre-planned script to denounce Russia
    – Russian meddling in elections
    – Russian abuse of human rights
    -Russian abuse of LGBT rights
    – Russia govt killed Nemtsov. Laying flowers etc

    It was rather pathetic and an own goal by Russia

    It seems as if they really don’t get what is going on and keep pursueing these pathetic policies of partnership with the West. The west know it and trample all over them. Change is needed or Russia will go under.


  5. Looking forwards to your book, Paul.

    My offer to write an advance review still stands, if you’re interested.

    I agree with your assessment on the prospects for 2017. My list of predictions here (worst case scenario specifically wrt Russia-West relations here).


  6. In my “campaign” to bring a little “russianlity” to Australia, please consider sending an article to John Menadue’s blog “Pearls and irritations”. Hope that you have a happy and successful year.


  7. While we’re on the subject of French generals, I’m feeling more like Ducrot at Sedan: “Nous sommes dans un pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.”


  8. Why doesn’t someone run a study on how much every country in the world spent on influencing the 2016 US elections, using the same criteria by which Russian influence was argued. If it had a little authority, some of the more objective media sites might run it.
    In fact, set up a monitoring agency to keep track of all outside influence in all elections. That would really cause stress to various propaganda movements.


  9. In fact, even if it was funded/sponsored by the Russians, that would attract more attention from the Western media, trying to use it as proof of Russian perfidy, but still broadcasting the ranking of outside influence. Not to mention helping to compare with US influence on others.


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