March 27, 2014
I want to expand upon my suggestion in this week's Taki's Magazine that there's a potential negotiated solution for the Crimea crisis.
Both sides of the issue are essentially symbolic:
-- Russia wants Crimea as a symbol that Russia can't be pushed around as shamefully as it was in the 1990s.
-- The world in general doesn't like the symbolism of one country changing another country's borders by military might.
The good news is that since Crimea was seized without much violence, then there's a decent chance that a lot of this trouble can be worked out with money rather than blood. (By the way, if you compare the lack of bloodshed over Crimea -- so far at least, knock on wood -- versus the staggering amount of killing by Chechens and Russians whenever Chechen raiders would seize Russian hostages in the 1990s and 2000s, it would seem like talk of Slavic fraternity isn't wholly delusionary.)
My beach house divorce analogy is a useful template for thinking: the ex-husband (Russia) has gotten back on his feet financially, so he's particularly shocked that his ex-wife (Ukraine) has announced she's going to marry somebody else (EU). He breaks into their former beach house (Crimea) that she got, perhaps unfairly, in the divorce settlement, and has barricaded himself inside.
One response would be for the ex-wife to call in the SWAT team (NATO) and go all Janet Reno at Waco on the ex-husband in the beach house.
Another option would be for the ex-wife to let the ex-husband have an opportunity to extricate himself from the legal jam he's gotten himself into by letting him try to buy the beach house, although at a hefty price, to retroactively regularize what just happened through a negotiated contract.
After all, he seems to want the beach house more than she does. And they do have residual interests in common, such as their children, so it's in her interest to see him put this behind him and go back to work rather than for him to hole up from the law in the beach house, bleeding cash rather than paying their children's tuition bills. And, his male ego might mean he's in the mood to agree to pay her a big price to show he's a man of means again.
An interesting question is: What would be the ex-wife's new fiance's view of this potential transaction?
On the one hand, she has a lot of credit card debt that he's not looking forward to paying off when they marry. So, if she can bring in a lot of cash by selling this stupid beach house to her stupid ex, that's less cash he'll have come up with to bail her out.
On the other hand, the fiance might try to sabotage any deal between the exes out of a belief that continuing bad blood between them over the unresolved beach house crisis will keep them from ever getting back together again, which is what he really worries about, that, deep down, he's Ralph Bellamy while in their eyes they're Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
By Steve Sailer on 3/27/2014