BNFs (Best Nemeses Forever)

Old News #11, Monday, July 20th 2015

I love this story. Read the article, “Putin’s Plot to Get Texas to Secede,” and let me know what you think.

In the 1980s, Russians were the go-to villains in tons of American movies and stories. If there was an international conflict, it was the Russians. If secrets were leaked, it was the Russians. They were perfect rivals.

Since the falling of the Berlin Wall and Russia’s so-called defeat, this perception has largely changed. Now our go-to villains are Arabs, Muslims, Koreans and so on. This is equally ignorant, but unfortunately, this is the way people think. That said, sometimes old rivalries are hard to squash. And I guess that’s the way Russia’s president Vladimir Putin feels about it.

Russia undeniably continues to be a superpower. Their sphere of influence may have shrunk since the 80s, or at least become less communist, but it is still there and strong. They still compete with the USA and other world powers in many ways and often disagree with them.

One recent disagreement was over the Ukraine. Russia invaded and annexed parts of the country, and the USA and Europe responded with sanctions. The Russians feel that this is hypocritical (to a degree, I agree) and have criticized the sanctions. In what seems like retaliation, Russia has supported separatist movements in Scotland, Venice, Catalonia and Texas. Apparently, this is how they aim to get back at the West for dismantling their own plans for expansion.

According to the article above, a Russian newspaper published a story about the Texas Nationalist Movement, a separatist group that calls the USA a dictatorship. The story was allegedly shared by the Russian government all over social media exclaiming “Free Texas.” For Russia, it seems like sweet revenge.

The funny part of this story is that Russia has a history of supporting separatists, but they also have a history of claiming the USA stole land from Mexico. And apparently, the Russians are trying to take a page out of World War I Germany’s playbook. According to the article, in WWI, the German Foreign minister offered Mexico the return of its lost territory in exchange for taking on the USA. Today, Russia seems to be taking a similar position.

One Russian official claimed that he would send weapons to Mexico if the US increased its supply of arms to Kyiv. President Putin himself said that “grabbing Texas from Mexico” was as unfair as suggesting Siberia should be independent.

Considering that Texan independence and Mexican “land reclamation” are two conflicting ideas, the Russians’ comments seem to be largely puffery and at best a long shot. Russian support of American separatists sounds tempting for the parties involved, but I highly doubt it would ever come to be.

Supporting something in word is very different from supporting something with weapons. I think that this posturing is more about publicity and politics than anything else. I don’t think that Putin or anybody really thinks that these tactics will work or even wants them to. But if you ask me, it sure would make for a great movie.

 

Thanks for reading.

Don’t forget to check out my short stories.