Monday, January 02, 2006

The Impaled

Vlad "The Impaler" Putin decided to quadruple the price that the pro-Western government of Ukraine was paying for Russian natural gas. The Ukrainians, naturally, squawked. So, to enforce his edict, The Impaler reduced the gas that Ukraine's 50 million inhabitants were receiving, right in the middle of winter. Vlad did this by reducing the flow of natural gas through Russia's huge pipeline to Ukraine by 120 million cubic meters per day.

Just one little problem. That pipeline doesn't exactly go to Ukraine. It goes through Ukraine. It goes through Ukraine; to Austria, Italy, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, all members of the European Union (EU), as well as Romania and Croatia. The Ukrainians, not wishing to freeze their asses off for the rest of the winter, simply took the gas they needed from the pipeline. This reduced the flow of natural gas to the aforementioned countries by some 40%. Their collective reaction?


The Impaler had to back down when the mighty EU stepped in to protect its member nations. Vlad "The Impaler" Putin will be known in the future as Vlad "The Self-Impaled". Perhaps he realizes now that only The United States possesses the economic and military power to tell the EU to go fly one. Vladdy does not.

This would be like Mexico declaring a moratorium on tortillas to The United States. Mexico would continue to ship tortillas to its immigrants in socialist Canada, using the US transportation system. How long before the folks in East Los Angeles began stopping the truckloads of tortillas and taking what they wanted? About 10 minutes, I'd estimate.

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