Putin the Power Player
Former KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin told the audience at the Raleigh Spy Conference (which I founded) in 2003 that Putin is a dangerous man and not to be trusted. Obama is a dorm room socialist who prefers platitudes over coherent foreign policy. Now the two have clashed in the New York Times in an op-ed piece by Putin designed to bypass official channels and orchestrate public policy in the US.
Putin is able to achieve this unprecedented diplomatic coup because he, like everyone else, can see Obama is incompetent and irresolute. The US appears to be infantile and ineffective under his presidency. And worse, who do we shove up to present the opposition view? John McCain, hardly the sharpest knife in the foreign policy drawer.
Now we are in a power play with our old adversary who was part of a regime that committed atrocities on a level never before experienced in human history. And he is telling Americans, in our allegedly national newspaper that we are not "exceptional." This, after we were the main player in standing up to the global catastrophe threatened by the USSR for 70 years until an American president finally stood them down. Now an American president has humiliated us in front of our defeated former adversary.
Putin's sudden love for the United Nations is hilarious, pontificating about its ability to solve problems when the USSR vetoed any action that dared defend democracy over tyranny, used Soviet-controlled American spies working in the US government to ensure Russia received three votes in the General Assembly and utilized the UN to infiltrate even more spies into the US.
And for Putin to wax sentimental about our shared victory over Germany in WW2 omits how the USSR manipulated its role as our ally to position itself to occupy half of Europe, steal atomic secrets and organize a massive destabilization operation that undermined free elections in dozens of countries to impose their special brand of tyranny disguised in platitudes of liberty.
So we have a sinister former KGB officer - who rules the allegedly liberated new Russia as a dictator - exploiting the weaknesses of a community organizer US president whose grip on realpolitik is tenuous at best. Sounds like the preposterous conditions that set off World War 1.