Skip to comments.On Syria, Putin is a modern Machiavelli – and that's a good thing
Posted on 09/13/2013 10:43:57 AM PDT by Jim Robinson
This week, Vladimir Putin outflanked Barack Obama on his home turf. The Russian president's scathing op-ed in the New York Times did more than simply leave the American president looking "rudderless and outplayed at every turn", as Max Hastings wrote in the Daily Mail. What shot the piece to the top of the international conversation was its merciless inversion of a long-standing American truism: that the good guys can do no wrong.
Instead, here is our American hero the compassionate, liberal former professor of constitutional law who once opposed the war in Iraq now on the verge of bombing a sovereign country without UN approval while the wily old villain plays the part of peacemaker.
Reading Putin's article was like having "someone whom you personally loathe call out all your personal flaws and be annoyingly accurate about it" confessed a frustrated Fox News reader in a comment on a story about Putin's statement. "I can't stand the guy. But nearly everything in it I agreed with".
The Russian leader's bold plan to place Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles under international control might not resolve the Syrian impasse or even prevent a US strike against Assad. But his provocative op-ed has already succeeded in forcing Americans to reconsider one of the key tenets of their country's post-cold war identity: a values-based foreign policy.
America's long tradition of morally guided politics was inherited from John Stuart Mill and finds its latest expression with Obama's foreign policy adviser Samantha Power, an influential scholar of humanitarian intervention. In a recent speech, she warned that inaction over Syria would remain on our conscience.
Yet Putin's article calmly laid out what many people recent polls show fewer than half currently in favour of action have begun finally to accept: that morality-led military...
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Putin is a mirror. Sometimes we need a look at ourselves from another point of view.
Well, something more than surface “morality” needs to be considered. Some people can’t thrive under an enlightened idea like a democracy or democratic republic because they don’t have the light in their society to make it go. So to chasten them because they aren’t in such a privileged condition is cruel and futile and counterproductive. Islamic societies have done pretty well historically when they have taken a liberal view of Islamic theology. They pretty much minded their business and weren’t perpetually at civil war. To expect that out of those who squeeze all they can out of every rageful line... is oxymoron. For universalists, a call for better Islamic theologians would be in order. For caveman Christians like me, I say find missionaries with the moxie and will to share the gospel. And until a more civilized world view takes hold, don’t try to do the politically unsustainable. It is putting the cart before the horse.
The first three posted paragraphs earn a Just Damn! in their own right. Now to read the entire article ...
As an aside, it’s not that we admire Putin but rather that we loathe Obama. Further, there is a palpable leadership vacuum in American politics; the thirst for a real leader is sky high. Anyone showing leadership and who is on the right side of issues gains an instant celebrity, not necessarily a following.
It is difficult to imagine the office of potus sinking any lower than this, being on the receiving end of moral lectures from a former kgb thugs and Russian leader, which is nevertheless, thoroughly justified.
Putin is a testosterone charged prima donna, and he is in the game to win. Obama is an estrogen charged prima donna, and he is into the game to discover his feelings about it as it relates to him.
That we now receive sermons from Putin not just about morality, but even about U.S. self-interest, and that such advice is only two-thirds fantasy is testament to our own recent ineptitude and confusion and, yes, to this administrations bad habit of engaging in its own fantasies and obfuscations.
Victor Davis Hanson.
If (big IF) low-information citizens
can maybe, possibly (one-in-a-million-
shot) see that L0ser is an ____________,
then possibly, maybe we can avoid this
kind “leadership” in the future.
Not hopeful about this because we are
in a brave new world. In the ‘80s, we
didn’t have relativism as our worldview
through decades of “progressive” education.