Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Pot and the Kettle

Image result for photo of putin kissing hillary clinton
Putin, pictured with Clinton at the APEC summit in Russia in 2012

"Putin's international revisionism and his hopes of restoring Russia to a nearly co-equal status with the U.S. rest on and feed upon the West's fear of decline and failure. As long as the West doubts itself or, worse still, believes itself to be the author of the world's woes and its own suffering, confronting Putin's efforts to redraft the global order is a hopeless undertaking. The U.S. in particular and its allies as well must recommit themselves to bearing the burden of global leadership, recognizing that failure and responsibility for mistakes is a core part of that burden. Only then can they contest with Putin for the leadership role."
Fred Kagan, American Enterprise Institute: Understanding Russia today: Russia's many revisions

"When the so-called civilized world uses all its military power against a small country [Libya], destroying what's been built by generations, I don't know if that's good."
"Just remember what was going on about Yugoslavia, it all started from there."
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin
Russian president Vladimir Putin is reportedly delighted that Clinton lost
Getty Images

Georgia and Ukraine, after all, are in Greater Russia's backyard, so to speak. Neighbours so close they snuggled together in the empire that the Soviet Union constructed in its firm engagement with eastern Europe. Whereas, by contrast, how was the United States in any way contiguous in its borders with Libya and Yugoslavia? Moscow has certain obvious entitlements which Washington does not have, in Mr. Putin's reasoning.

And it seems, by all indications, that President Barack H. Obama has agreed with his Russian counterpart. Under the Obama administration the United States took a recessive role in world affairs. Mr. Obama began his administration by living up to his Nobel Peace prize, apologizing to the Islamic world for America's past bullying, equating American intrusions in Arab/Muslim affairs of conflicting tribal and sectarian disagreements as disagreeably imperialist.

Everything seemed to proceed downhill from there, as President Obama instructed and entertained the world with his soaring quality of sustained eloquence speaking movingly of justice and fairness and the equality of people, and the responsibility of those in advanced nations of the world to aid others less fortunate to find their quality of life and security. But they had to find it on their own, so that the protesters of the Arab Spring eruptions had the U.S. cheering, but from a distance.

President Obama's solution to George W. Bush's misguided entrance to Iraq, destabilizing the usual Arab dysfunction by unleashing the sectarian violence Saddam Hussein's lethal brutality kept to a minimum was to placidly but with high-flown rhetoric, witness Saddam's Syrian counterpart brutalize his majority Sunni population with chemical weapons, barrel bombs and strategic starvation-inducing sieges after he proved that a half-million dead Syrians didn't disturb his sleep patterns one whit.

Sanctions on Russia, on the other hand, readily accomplished in between cooperating with Moscow over Vladimir Putin's brilliant stratagems to allow red lines to dissolve into the sand in favour of withdrawing chemical weapons from active duty. Moscow's mischief in the psychology of cyber espionage interference claimed by the Democrats to have led the Republican candidate expressing his friendly attitudes toward Mr. Putin to victory, completely demoralized Mrs. Clinton and obviously upset Mr. Obama.
Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin
Getty Images -- Tensions have been rising between America and Russia

"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people [during the 2011 parliamentary election when Putin's party achieved its majority], and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election [by committing an] attack against our country [hacking into the Democratic National Committee as a] personal beef [against me]", snarled Hillary Clinton who had stated during the Russian elections that they were "neither free nor fair", pointing out the large demonstrations against Putin in Moscow.

Given the freak roadshow and free-for-all that the recently passed American presidential election had become with two candidates both of whose aromas rivalled that of a fish market that hadn't been washed down in months, that contention is risible to an extreme degree. An occasion when America met its match in Russia; or should that be reversed?

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