President Obama has vowed that there will be “consequences” for Russia because it pinched Crimea from Ukraine. The European Union barely tugged on its leash as it played the dutiful lapdog to the leader of the free world and agreed to whatever he said.
Now, the obvious question is what are the “consequences” to be.
Now, Oscar-style, here are the nominees.
- Wait until October 25, 2014 and celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade with a reprise of the earlier failed effort. There are two flaws to this strategy: first, it is very close to Election Day and poll testing has not been completed as to the impact of such a Wag-the-Dog strategy; and, second, our poet laureate is not thought to be up to the task of out-writing Alfred Lord Tennyson.
- “Drones to the right of them, drones to the left of them, drones in front of them…” Multiple assassinations of Russian leaders might be tempting and relatively easy to accomplish at limited cost and with little loss of life. Two problems make this a long shot, however. First, it looks bad especially to civil libertarians. Second, it changes the understanding among political leaders and spies that “we will not kill yours if you will not kill ours.” [Dirty little secret: assassination is too easy.]
- Pinch the offshore accounts of key oligarchs. Nothing says revenge quite like “$0.00” when Vladimir Putin checks his Swiss or London or Cyprus bank account. Then cut to the chase scene as he tries to out run the mob of angry Russians from whom he stole the money in the first place.
- Give Putin more. Since he was so eager to have a bankrupt chunk of a bankrupt country, why not give him all of them? Let him bail them out. We could begin with Detroit, the Rhode Island municipal pension fund, southern Italy, Portugal, FNMA, FreddieMac, several Chinese provinces and the solar energy sector. With such a strategy we could celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s accomplishment. As an added benefit, the Berlin wall fell on November 9, 1989. Hence the anniversary will occur after the midterm election and no poll testing will be needed.
And the winner is…