Even the official broadcasters of The Narrative are beginning to recognize that Russian victory in Ukraine is inevitable, however unpalatable it might be.
At one point in the novel “Sign of the Four,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s inimitable detective Sherlock Holmes explains and demonstrates to Dr. Watson his method of observation and deduction. Confronted with an apparently inexplicable circumstance, Dr. Watson is utterly perplexed. He simply cannot understand how the event in question came to pass, given the facts as he understands them and the laws of nature. Slightly irritated at his plodding companion’s bafflement, Holmes once again shares with him the methodological key to solving all such mysteries: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
And the truth is, once we have eliminated all the impossible scenarios, the least improbable outcome of the war in Ukraine is a Russian victory.
Note that I did not say such an outcome would be desirable. Russia’s inevitable victory is anything but. Nor did I say it would be total. The outcome of this war is going to fall far short of the Kremlin’s initial hopes and expectations. Nor, finally, did I say it would be without significant cost. Any conceivable Russian victory now will entail such a loss of blood and treasure that it will have to be judged Pyrrhic at best.
But it will be a victory nonetheless — and we in the West had better come to grips with that hard truth.
The fact that Russia will defeat Ukraine militarily is hardly news. That was always inevitable, with or without Clown World sanctions and weapons shipments, as I and many others have pointed out from the onset. But what is informative here is the fact that the Narrative has now shifted to accommodate this reality, which suggests that Phase One of the larger conflict between the Sino-Russian Alliance and Clown World is coming to a close.
My interpretation – and it is only that, an educated guess – is that the Clown World powers are desperately trying to convince Russia and China to return to the economic fold, and they are dangling the possibility of their acceptance of Russia’s gains as bait in order to prevent the systemic failure of their neo-liberal rules-based order that will take place when Russia and China actively reject the system.
Brussels is seeking to strike the right balance between hurting Russia’s economy as much as possible and minimizing the secondary effects on European economies.
Remember, all of the damage that has been done to the ex-West so far is self-inflicted. Neither Russia nor China are seeking to inflict economic harm, although they are both in excellent positions to do so at any time. So, will they take the bait, focus on internal development, and allow Clown World to survive until the inevitable next crisis? I would tend to doubt it, but we will have to simply wait and see.