Putin the Puny (2016Sep11)


Sunday, September 11, 2016                                                      3:16 PM

There is no strong leadership in Russia—Putin scrambles for respect and legitimacy in ways that only push those goals further from him. Invading other countries for conquest is not something people do any more—that’s what the UN is for. And rather than mindlessly respond in kind, the US and the UN are trying to have a dialogue with this thuggish government—because bombing the hell out of Russia has been on the table since JFK, but no president has wanted to be the one to start WWWIII. Besides which, bombing innocent Russians doesn’t get rid of the real problem—any more than the 9/11 attacks weakened America.

Unarmed Russian jets buzz our fleet, the Iranians’ motorboats hassle our missile cruisers—these are the acts of irresponsible children, not of strong leaders. The North Koreans starve while their dictator tests nuclear bombs and shoots off missiles (just like a real country—in the 50’s). Kim Jong Un seems blithely unaware of our potential to melt his entire country down to glass with a single button-push—but, again, the North Korean people don’t deserve to be attacked, only their child emperor does. Strong leadership? Please.

In an age of nuclear-fusion H-bombs and space stations, the question of military might is beside the point. Real strength, here in the present, where real people live, is a matter of control. When the US convinces a UN-based coalition to sanction these juvenile delinquents of the geopolitik, that’s power. And it couldn’t be done by an American President who acts without thought.

The flashy, trashy behavior that our enemies indulge in has no effect outside of a weekly news cycle—the steady, considered behavior of our country, and others, is what keeps the markets, trade, and commerce going around the globe. They offer their citizens nationalist rancor—we offer ours economic security (like food on the table). Granted, many of us still feel the sting of the economic crash—but that still beats the hell out of places where the common people take second place to the egos of their strong-man demagogues.

‘Strong Leadership’ can take many meanings—it can be the superficial judgment, as Trump and Pence use the phrase, or it can refer to the steadiness of nerve that Obama exhibits. I leave the choice to you, dear readers.

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