NEW YORK, September 13, 2013 — Vladimir Putin has spoken truth to America’s fading power using The New York Times as his medium.
Make no mistake, it is “throw-down” time here on the world stage. Our government and even our sense of national identity lie gasping for air, sprawled backwards, legs akimbo on the mat as a shirtless, gleaming Putin prances before the global audience.
We can admit that President Putin expressed his concerns plainly and forcefully Wednesday night, even as elites in America are not amused by his effrontery.
Yes, it is certainly a bit odd for Putin to cloak himself as a pious advocate for “democracy” and “rule of international law.” That said, he makes an excellent set of points in his op-ed piece:
“It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest?”
Suddenly, thinking Americans know what it feels like to live in an epic-defining “tear down this wall” moment. A foreign leader is forcing our own government to level with us concerning America’s clandestine, interventionist foreign policy. Numerous adventures on President Obama’s watch undeniably are not vetted, far more extensive, and orders of magnitude more risky than ever before.
Now, under the delayed and deserved glare of publicity, the red in President Obama’s line across Syria has suddenly faded to light pink. Vladimir Putin deftly reduced American enthusiasm for regime change to the level of a children’s tale—like Harold with his purple crayon, our President’s case regarding Syria:
“..didn’t seem to be getting anywhere on the long straight path. So he left the path for a short cut across the field….The short cut led right to where Harold thought the forest ought to be. He didn’t want to get lost in the woods. So he made a very small forest, with just one tree in it.”
With a few deft keystrokes and the send button, Vladimir Putin then revealed just how little merit courses through Barack Obama’s very small tree of an argument. If America can bully Assad out of power, outside principles and processes of international law, what, pray tell, can Russia do when it wishes to act unilaterally or perhaps in a couplet of a coalition, catered by France?
President Putin may even view President Obama in his various pronouncements as a living version of Tolstoy’s Prince Ippolit Kuragin, described here at the start of War and Peace:
“The self assurance with which he spoke was so complete, no one could tell whether his remark was very witty or very stupid.”
It is one thing for America to send drones after terrorists in the wilderness, yet another to risk igniting World War III in the Middle East while tearing apart the framework of international law.
Since January 2009, the American public has lived in a “fact-free” universe when it comes to geo-political reality. With only limited exceptions, America’s press corps, until now addled by spine-relaxing soporifics, has slithered around issues that would paralyze any other recent President.
Thanks to Putin, we could ultimately get to the heart of a matter the mainstream media has buried until now—the degree to which radical jihadist elements may have penetrated the Obama Administration and the true extent of American support for these elements in such nations as Egypt, Libya, and Syria.
Thanks to Snowden, operatives here who thought their private communications using personal and alias emails could remain secure are likely quivering in their shoes.
The truth is due to come out concerning exactly who in each political party has been profiting privately from doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other munificent enablers of jihad. Among other things, we could even learn how much it cost to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a secular organization.
President Putin is correct to be deeply concerned regarding the potential that action in Syria, following unexplained disasters in Libya and in Egypt could spin well past effective control. Among other reasons, his country is scant months away from hosting the Winter Olympics this coming February 2014 in Sochi.
As we compose ourselves to consider Putin’s geo-political arguments and our own government’s responses, we would do well to note an economic warning Putin issued in Davos, Switzerland on January 28, 2009:
“The concentration of surplus assets in the hands of the state is a negative aspect of anti-crisis measures in virtually every nation.
In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.
Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.
And one more point: anti-crisis measures should not escalate into financial populism and a refusal to implement responsible macroeconomic policies. The unjustified swelling of the budgetary deficit and the accumulation of public debts are just as destructive as adventurous stock-jobbing.”
He has his many faults, yet Vladimir Putin does offer perspectives on vital issues that Americans will ignore at our great peril.
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