As you probably know, Vladmir Putin was a colonel in the KGB, the dreaded secret police organization of the Soviet Union: Meaning he specialized in everything from murder to international deception. Putin now majors in self-promotion sending out pictures of himself riding a horse shirtless, supposedly killing tigers, and practicing judo. Recently, he stole a Super Bowl ring from Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft (although this issue is now under contention) He has clearly been the friend of Iran and Syria along with supplying the weapons to Assad to suppress his own people. Never underestimate Putin’s capacity to push himself to the front of the line. He has even hired an American PR firm to get his message in the newspapers.
Putin showed up in the headlines of The New York Times lecturing President Obama and warning the American people about attacking Syria. You think this tyrant doesn’t know how to use propaganda?
The problem is that the Obama administration has been flapping around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. Jumping back and forth between threats and retreats, nobody is sure what they stand for or intend to do in Syria. For several years, they have had no clear cut stance on dealing with a tyrant like Assad and now are fishing for a way out of the bind Obama created with his own red line speech.
Enter Putin. While claiming to be a partner in diplomacy, he has overplayed his hand and betrayed his true purpose to gain global superiority. Never could he have reached for such a status if Obama had not dug himself into a hole. And nobody loves watching an adversary fall in the hole like Putin does.
America watched the Soviet Union sink and then attempted to be a friend to Russia as it struggled to regain integrity. Putin arose out of the chaos of Russia politics struggling to find footing. Putin remembers this time well and has been looking for a come back. By supplying arms to Assad, he has been able to payroll the arms industry in Russia. Because we have been afraid to act decisively, he has continued to gain authority in world politics even if Russia ranks only around l8th in world economy.
Putin appears to be aiding Obama’s digging himself out of the pit. But when you need the help of a former KGB officer to stabilize your position, you really are in trouble. Actually, Putin’s purpose is getting Syrian chemical weapons out of his own backyard. Only time will tell how far Putin is willing to go to enforce his grab for the top. My hunch I that there is no limit to how far he will attempt to reach.
This episode needs to remind us who Putin is and what he is about. There’s no happy ending to his story.