Tag Archives: vladimir putin


BLOG 371 November 13, 2017

President George Bush made that banal statement that he looked into the soul of Vladimir Putin and saw hope. This past week, President Trump trumped him, saying he believed former KGB Colonel Putin when he said he didn’t meddle in the election and that former heads of American intelligence like the CIA and FBI were political hacks. A day later someone reminded him to say he still stood with the American intelligence community that unanimously documented Putin and agents meddled in the USA election. Highly contradictory at best. Not a good scenario!

The Middle-East doesn’t need anymore contradictions. With the continual deterioration of ISIS, time is getting shorter for creating stability. The liberation of Raqqa, ISIS’s final stronghold, the militant’s position as a military threat is disappearing in that region. However, ISIS appears to be shifting its strategy rather than falling apart.

At the same time, the Kurds are pressing for autonomy and have already proven to be the most able fighters in the region against ISIS. An overwhelming approval by Kurdish voters called for independence. Confrontation is highly possible.

At this point, Iran and Russia have expanded their influence throughout the region. These two powers have supplied the power and arms that have kept Assad in control.  In the midst of these conflicts, Iraq’s Shiite government has done virtually nothing to integrate the Sunnis. The festering problem of mistreatment of the Sunnis provided a fertile recruiting opportunity for ISIS. These factors amount to more dissatisfaction and another conflict waiting to erupt.

The New York Times recently said that the United States appears to have no clear plan to manage this instability or capitalize on military victory in defeating ISIS. The Times appears to be correct.

The recent Muslim militant attacks in Africa give the world a clue about what is coming next. ISIS fighters disappear and then surface again in villages where they continue terrorism and military attacks. The entire region of the Middle-East and Africa remain venerable to such infiltration.

This is not the time for anyone in the American government to suggest that Vladimir Putin is an “old buddy” with hurt feelings because the Congress placed heavy sanctions on Russia for hacking, buying false advertising, and supporting terrorism. Would Putin lie?

He has never stopped lying!

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I’m often ask about why writers become authors (or wantabe authors). Usually the question comes from someone who wants to see their name on a book cover. There are more wantabes than trees in the forest. I tell them to read a book a week… or if that’s too much … a book a month from the genre that interests them. I give them the names of profession magazines on writing they should read.  They don’t.

Decades ago, Jane White, a fine writer, told me about the necessity of reading. Like an amateur, I discounted her instruction. A decade later, I realize what a mistake I had made and got serous. Not only does reading other writers keep one current, reading nourishes the imagination. Sorry. You have to turn the TV off more often. Besides the rich benefits of exciting your mind, the imagination remains one of the finest tools you have insight and personal development. Reading puts a match to your thoughts and a blaze ignites in your mind. If you don’t want to read, don’t wast your time writing.

I’ve found amateurs don’t usually respond to anything I tell them as they’re not really interested in being a pro … just a person with their name on a book.  Of course, that’s more than a little irritating becuase their interest and concern is not in the same ball park with genuine authors. But the question of a writer’s motivation remains highly interesting.

In The Assassins, my personal interest centered around Vladimir Putin. I find him to be a truly scary guy. A former KGB agent, Putin knows the dark side of the political world as well as any assassin out there. Would he send three assassins to the USA on a mission like I describe in the book. Yeah. I think he would. And so the story begins.

To put my answer in a more didactic form, writers usually are motivated by some interest that has captivated their imagination. Sometimes , it is exploring motivation or it could be working through a personal problem or issue by allowing self-created characters to take one with them on their journeys. After all, your characters can do things that you’ve never done and allow you to experience adventures you’ve never had.

Books on writing always tell you write about what you have experienced, not issues you’ve never explored. Well, yes and no. Certainly that’s good advice, but you can research countries you’ve never visited and write on dragons you’ve never met. Think through what age and variety of audience you want to reach and take them on a trip with you to Shangi-la. Lost Horizons can become new horizons.

To become a true or better author, read widely. Go back in time to some book like A.J. Cron in’s Keys to The Kingdom of even Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Sure they’re old, but the style, the content, the description are extraordinary. I like Daniel Silva for contemporary action packed fiction. His books helped me develop ideas used in The Assassins.

Probably, we could identify a thousand legitimate reasons for writing (that’s a figure of speech) I’ve only touched the surface and more will follow next week. Just remember that it takes a strong constitution to sit quietly alone in a solitary room day after day. Well … maybe … it’s not so hard. You put your fingers on the computer keys and wait until large drops of blood form on your brow.

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