(I have been busy-busy in recent days and thus I have not responded fully to the many interesting - and amusing - comments to my earlier post on this subject. I hope this touches on many of the main points raised.)
I think my ironic title more or less sums up the entire Crimean imbroglio. 'Vlad the Impaler', with implacable determination, has done what he does so well, that is, impale any nation or bit of a nation that he considers to be in a traditional Russian sphere of influence. I, for one, don't blame him, after all that's what Big Nations do to Little Nations ever since nations existed. Happily for Vlad, the nearest Big Nation is not actually a nation at all, despite its ridiculous pretensions, and thus the European (dis)Union might - and I do stress 'might' - agree to throw their toys out of the pram but they will never agree which particulat toys! The furthest Big Nation has, for once, limited its approach to 'huffin' 'n' puffin' and instead of sending the American 87th Fleet (or whatever the number is) it has merely placed a destroyer on high alert. Unfortunately for everyone's eardrums, their Secretary of State, John Kerry, has sailed (metaphorically) around the world sounding off on his foghorn but, alas, being unable to gain the attention of his Commander-in-Chief who is otherwise occupied on the golf course his verbiage is worth nothing. Mind you, our Foreign Secretary, who sounds increasingly like an escapee from Coronation Street stands before the world's cameras and attempts an immitation of 'that woman' - big fail! Anyway, I trust that the Treasury have twisted arms in our 'Ministry for Foreigners' and told them that the City needs Russian loot - and I use the word 'loot' advisedly! - so whilst he can sound all very butch to prove our European credentials - who sniggered? - he must ensure that our very own Russian ga-zillionaires remain undisturbed in their West End houses.
What very few people have been talking about is the Other Big Nation, the one in the east. And here matters become very complex, almost certainly too complex for this ex-corporal's brain. If Vlad is setting a principle that Big Nations have the right, nay, the legal duty, to move in and take over a neighbour's territory because a large percentage of the population is Russian, then China will be looking even harder at Siberia where the Chinese population is growing apace. (One writer whose name escapes me raised this subject and pointed out that on top of the huge influx of Chinese men, very large numbers of Russian women are marrying them because unlike Russian men they don't get drunk regularly and beat them up!) Anyway, Vlad, old chap, given their propensity for making up seemingly wise if vacant sayings, it was probably a Chinese who first warned people to be careful what they wished for!
Returning to Europe, my (very amateurish) guess is that we have somehow stumbled onto more or less the right re-action to Russia's action. We hit them with our handbag but as there was nothing in it no harm was done. Now, of course, we have to consider the remainder of Ukraine. Again, I can see no British national interest involved but as Vlad's ethnic argument is very much weaker there then we should consider loading our handbag with something slightly more substantial if he makes a move. The area that would concern me much more are the Baltic states and should Vlad use the ethnic argument for a move against them then I would support Poland to, er, the very last Polish soldier!
However, what is urgently needed is for President 'Executive Order' Obama to give the go-ahead for the Canadian oil pipeline and for the terminals that would allow exports of fracked gas. He should hold back on the order to permit exports because that is a dagger pointing directly at Vlad's heart. Russia is a broken kleptocracy and the only thing keeping it going is its export of gas/oil. Force down the international price and Russia will go belly up and Vlad will be history. Suddenly, all those 'Russian' Crimeans will be pleading to be allowed into the EU!
Long term, I believe (and you all know what an expert I am!) that China is the main threat to the world, and Russia could be a main threat to them. Thus, as Vlad kicks off on one like a naughty boy in the playground, let us handle him with care and perhaps nurse him back to our way of thinking.