J.J Gross

Putin’s Brilliant – and Brilliantly Simple – Game Plan

It’s no big achievement to play Joe Biden for a fool. A far lesser brain than Vladimir Putin could outsmart and out-think the current occupant of the White House.

No, the genius of Vladimir Putin is in his uncanny brilliance in manipulating, blindsiding, and picking the pockets of the entire western world in broad daylight.

After all, what is the Ukraine brinkmanship all about? Does anyone in their right mind think Putin has some actual desire to march into a quagmire from which it would be nearly impossible for Russia to extricate itself? Does anyone think, even for a moment, that Putin would put at risk the Gasprom goldmine that has Deutschland pumping hard currency into Moscow? Does anyone ANYONE think that Joe Biden has the cojones and the mental acuity to face Putin down with a credible threat of force?

Moreover, does anyone wonder why Ukraine is acting so sanguine? One hears not a peep from the apparatchiks in Kyiv. They go about their business as if all is well in the eastern world. The apocalyptic hysteria, such as it is, has its epicenter primarily in Washington with some desultory aftershocks being felt in London and Paris.

So what gives? What is Putin’s game plan?

For openers, let me predict that very soon, the Russian army will pack its bags and head back to where it came from. And Putin, to quote the late, great Roseanne Roseannadanna (from the halcyon days of Saturday Night Live), will say “Never mind”.

Except that Putin, and his cronies, and the Russian government coffers and, quite possibly, his quiescent straight man in Ukraine, will have pocketed billions, if not trillions of mostly American dollars without a single shot having been fired.

Here’s how it is happening in real time.

Putin places a hundred thousand grossly underpaid Russian troops on the Ukraine border. A hapless Joe Biden and his staff of rank amateurs go into convulsions of indecisive hysteria. Their allies at the New York Times relentlessly trumpet the doomsday inevitability of a Russian takeover of Ukraine and VOILA! On cue, all the easily-rattled Wall Street moneymen and women dump trillions of shares in blue chip public companies, thereby tossing the markets into a tailspin, and bringing stock prices down as much as 50% for no good reason.

Meanwhile Putin and company, having plotted, planned and executed this entire scenario while gloating over chilled vodka and caviar at some Black Sea dacha, now scoop up billions if not trillions of US shares at ridiculously – and very temporarily – low prices, after which comes the aforementioned “never mind”.

The troops now go home. The stock market goes back to normal. And guess who has now made billions billions on Wall Street, not to mention acquiring huge chunks of Apple, Google, Nvidia you name it, yes indeed, Vladimir Putin and his boychicks.

Pure genius. Utterly elegant. Absolutely flawless. And America is left to lick its wounds and nurse what’s left of its bruised ego.

About the Author
J.J Gross is a veteran creative director and copywriter, who made aliyah in 2007 from New York. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a lifelong student of Bible and Talmud. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Slovakia.
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