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Pat Buchanan Asks: Is Putin the Irrational One?
Townhall ^ | 03/18/2014 | Pat Buchanan

Posted on 03/18/2014 8:53:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Vladimir Putin seems to have lost touch with reality, Angela Merkel reportedly told Barack Obama after speaking with the Russian president. He is "in another world."

"I agree with what Angela Merkel said ... that he is in another world," said Madeleine Albright, "It doesn't make any sense."

John Kerry made his contribution to the bonkers theory by implying that Putin was channeling Napoleon: "You don't just, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext."

Now that Putin has taken Crimea without firing a shot, and 95 percent of a Crimean electorate voted Sunday to reunite with Russia, do his decisions still appear irrational?

Was it not predictable that Russia, a great power that had just seen its neighbor yanked out of Russia's orbit by a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev, would move to protect a strategic position on the Black Sea she has held for two centuries?

Zbigniew Brzezinski suggests that Putin is out to recreate the czarist empire. Others say Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union and Soviet Empire.

But why would Russia, today being bled in secessionist wars by Muslim terrorists in the North Caucasus provinces of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, want to invade and reannex giant Kazakhstan, or any other Muslim republic of the old USSR, which would ensure jihadist intervention and endless war?

If we Americans want out of Afghanistan, why would Putin want to go back into Uzbekistan? Why would he want to annex Western Ukraine where hatred of Russia dates back to the forced famine of the Stalin era?

To invade and occupy all of Ukraine would mean endless costs in blood and money for Moscow, the enmity of Europe, and the hostility of the United States. For what end would Russia, its population shrinking by half a million every year, want to put Russian soldiers back in Warsaw?

But if Putin is not a Russian imperialist out to re-establish Russian rule over non-Russian peoples, who and what is he?

In the estimation of this writer, Vladimir Putin is a blood-and-soil, altar-and-throne ethnonationalist who sees himself as Protector of Russia and looks on Russians abroad the way Israelis look upon Jews abroad, as people whose security is his legitimate concern.

Consider the world Putin saw, from his vantage point, when he took power after the Boris Yeltsin decade.

He saw a Mother Russia that had been looted by oligarchs abetted by Western crony capitalists, including Americans. He saw millions of ethnic Russians left behind, stranded, from the Baltic states to Kazakhstan.

He saw a United States that had deceived Russia with its pledge not to move NATO into Eastern Europe if the Red Army would move out, and then exploited Russia's withdrawal to bring NATO onto her front porch.

Had the neocons gotten their way, not only the Warsaw Pact nations of Central and Eastern Europe, but five of 15 republics of the USSR, including Ukraine and Georgia, would have been brought into a NATO alliance created to contain and, if need be, fight Russia.

What benefits have we derived from having Estonia and Latvia as NATO allies that justify losing Russia as the friend and partner Ronald Reagan had made by the end of the Cold War?

We lost Russia, but got Rumania as an ally? Who is irrational here?

Cannot we Americans, who, with our Monroe Doctrine, declared the entire Western Hemisphere off limits to the European empires -- "Stay on your side of the Atlantic!" -- understand how a Russian nationalist like Putin might react to U.S. F-16s and ABMs in the eastern Baltic?

In 1999, we bombed Serbia for 78 days, ignoring the protests of a Russia that had gone to war for Serbia in 1914. We exploited a Security Council resolution authorizing us to go to the aid of endangered Libyans in Benghazi to launch a war and bring down the Libyan regime.

We have given military aid to Syrian rebels and called for the ouster of a Syrian regime that has been Russia's ally for decades.

At the end of the Cold War, writes ex-ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock, 80 percent of Russia's people had a favorable opinion of the USA. A decade later, 80 percent of Russians were anti-American.

That was before Putin, whose approval is now at 72 percent because he is perceived as having stood up to the Americans and answered our Kiev coup with his Crimean counter coup.

America and Russia are on a collision course today over a matter -- whose flag will fly over what parts of Ukraine -- no Cold War president, from Truman to Reagan, would have considered any of our business.

If the people of Eastern Ukraine wish to formalize their historic, cultural and ethnic ties to Russia, and the people of Western Ukraine wish to sever all ties to Moscow and join the European Union, why not settle this politically, diplomatically and democratically, at a ballot box?


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: brzezinski; butout; crimea; eupowergrab; globalists; imfdebt; mccain; nwovsputin; putin; russia; soros; ukraine
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1 posted on 03/18/2014 8:53:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

From Rocky to Napolean...Goodness...


2 posted on 03/18/2014 8:54:15 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind

Yep.


3 posted on 03/18/2014 8:55:34 AM PDT by Tea Party Terrorist (Why work for a living when you can vote for a living?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Putin is the only one acting with any rationality in
europe right now. He’s a Russian leader following Russian interests for Russian people. None of this multi-culti nonsense.


4 posted on 03/18/2014 8:59:04 AM PDT by DesScorp
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To: SeekAndFind

Crimea was traditionally part of Russia thus it contains I high percentage of ethnic Russians. It has a number of oil and gas lines running through it, and most importantly it contains Russia’s only warm water port and access to the Baltic. Given that nobody is going to stop him, why would Putin not annex Crimea? It is the most rational thing in the world.


5 posted on 03/18/2014 8:59:17 AM PDT by RightOnTheBorder
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To: SeekAndFind

I remember stealing another kid’s candy when I was little.

Was it irational? Yes, it was.

But at the end of the day I had all the other kid’s candy.


6 posted on 03/18/2014 9:02:11 AM PDT by MeganC (Support Matt Bevin to oust Mitch McConnell! https://mattbevin.com/)
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To: SeekAndFind

Pat is so frigging stuck in the 80s it isn’t funny. He passed being relevant decades ago. It’s really pathetic.


7 posted on 03/18/2014 9:02:52 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: MeganC

And that is the moral to this story...it escapes them all.


8 posted on 03/18/2014 9:03:28 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: Gaffer; wideawake

What is he wrong about with this article?


9 posted on 03/18/2014 9:03:44 AM PDT by Borges
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To: SeekAndFind

He doesn’t always make sense, but I must say, I find little to disagree with Pat here.


10 posted on 03/18/2014 9:04:09 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

I agree with Pat on this. Too many Conservatives on this forum and elsewhere are reading Putin wrongly. Putin is a nationalist who is doing what he could to protect Russia, against the hypocritical Europeans/Americans.


11 posted on 03/18/2014 9:04:14 AM PDT by 4rcane
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To: SeekAndFind

John Kerry made his contribution to the bonkers theory by implying that Putin was channeling Napoleon: “You don’t just, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.”

Well, he just did. What are *you* going to do about it, Ensign Band-aid?

Besides, have you seen the uniforms on the palace guard? (On Drudge now.) Very tsarist.


12 posted on 03/18/2014 9:05:05 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: DesScorp

You are exactly right. Putin is winning decisively, as a result. And will continue to win decisively, because half of the rest of the world is caught up in a fantasy world where sanctions and harshly worded letters of condemnation can trump facts on the ground. The other half of the world can’t see how the world has changed, and are so blinded by paranoia that they cannot see the obvious truth in what you say — he may be a very good tactician and therefore difficult to predict, but his underlying motives are simple and plain to see.


13 posted on 03/18/2014 9:07:08 AM PDT by jjsheridan5
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To: 4rcane

I agree with Pat on this. Too many Conservatives on this forum and elsewhere are reading Putin wrongly. Putin is a nationalist who is doing what he could to protect Russia, against the hypocritical Europeans/Americans.


You’re right.


14 posted on 03/18/2014 9:07:22 AM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: Borges

Did you hear Pat on Hannity yesterday? Basically saying that all Obama had to do was take the long view and wait Putin out and let the US outspend Russia? Horsesh!t. We can’t outspend anybody unless it’s for the leeches in this country, period.

Classical Russian history, decades old relations and actions, and imagined actions this country could take are and old man’s dreams. Putting Obama now in context with anything historical, or recently historical about Russia is ludicrous. Further, to ask if Putin is irrational in the face of it given our impotent and incompetent leadership is ludicrous in my opinion.


15 posted on 03/18/2014 9:09:23 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: DesScorp
“He’s a Russian leader following Russian interests for Russian people”

Bingo.

Completely rational.

And we have nothing. But to be fair, even at our strongest militarily there would have been little we could do about this without risking WW3 and Crimea is not worth WW3

My guess is that 10 years from now Russia is going to look a lot like the USSR, with only Poland and Czechoslovakia being in play

16 posted on 03/18/2014 9:10:05 AM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, deport all illegal aliens, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m not a Pat B fan, but I can’t find fault with his analysis in this piece.


17 posted on 03/18/2014 9:11:05 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s ((If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Like him or not, Pat Buchanan’s analysis are usually ( not always, but usually), well argued.


18 posted on 03/18/2014 9:12:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (question is this)
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To: 4rcane

Sound to me like Putin is just adopting 21st century US foreign policy to me, not Napoleon. Oh no, its okay for US to do it, but not Russia


19 posted on 03/18/2014 9:12:34 AM PDT by 4rcane
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To: Gaffer

I think you haven’t a clue.


20 posted on 03/18/2014 9:13:45 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: MeganC
I remember stealing another kid’s candy when I was little.

Was it irational? Yes, it was.

But at the end of the day I had all the other kid’s candy.

The anarchic concept of unlimited freedom leads to destruction and chaos.

21 posted on 03/18/2014 9:14:07 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: SeekAndFind

More anti-American drivel from Puchanan. Why don’t you move to Russia and become a speech writer for Putin, Pat?


22 posted on 03/18/2014 9:15:49 AM PDT by Red White and Blue patriot (USA all the way. Love it or Leave it. Better dead than Red. Putin = Hitler 2014)
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To: dragnet2

It’s okay to disagree. To agree with PB’s thinking takes a special kind of disassociation from reality.


23 posted on 03/18/2014 9:17:00 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: Red White and Blue patriot
More anti-American drivel from Puchanan.

While Buchanan is often wrong, on this one he is quite right. Refusing to stick your head in the sand is not "anti-American", any more than mindless paranoia is "pro-American".
24 posted on 03/18/2014 9:20:52 AM PDT by jjsheridan5
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To: 4rcane

The US is a force of good and protector of freedom in the world. Russia is an evil country led by an evil man who is trying to recreate the evil empire we spent decades defeating. There is no comparison. Go live in Russia and see how much you like it.


25 posted on 03/18/2014 9:22:54 AM PDT by Red White and Blue patriot (USA all the way. Love it or Leave it. Better dead than Red. Putin = Hitler 2014)
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To: SeekAndFind

Putin is making perfect sense. He’s acting in the same manner and interests as seen throughout world history. To the benefit his country and expand its power. Heck, it’s almost refreshing to just see such basic, old-fashioned rationality... especially in comparison to America, which has descended to such sheer madness.

Putin’s troops take Crimea. Our troops put on drag-queen shows.


26 posted on 03/18/2014 9:24:28 AM PDT by greene66
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To: SeekAndFind

Putin is the one who has chosen a clear direction and is moving in that direction. It doesn’t matter if I agree with it or not.

Obama is downright erratic and paranoid with a tendency to punish the American people when he doesn’t get his way.


27 posted on 03/18/2014 9:27:26 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Too bad Obama doesn’t feel about America the way Putin feels about Russia.


28 posted on 03/18/2014 9:35:22 AM PDT by Qiviut (It's hard to be a donk if you're sane & it's hard to be a pubbie if you have any integrity.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I am unaware of a pledge to keep NATO out of Eastern Europe. Quite the contrary.

Pat lost me when he analogized Russia to his nemesis, Israel.


29 posted on 03/18/2014 9:36:26 AM PDT by Williams (No Obama)
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To: Qiviut

“Too bad Obama doesn’t feel about America the way Putin feels about Russia.”

Is there anyone in the US government who does?

And please don’t give me Cruz or Paul.


30 posted on 03/18/2014 9:38:23 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

Is there anyone in the US government who does? And please don’t give me Cruz or Paul.

*******************************************

I won’t .... I’ll just say “good question”.


31 posted on 03/18/2014 9:40:20 AM PDT by Qiviut (It's hard to be a donk if you're sane & it's hard to be a pubbie if you have any integrity.)
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To: Qiviut

I think that’s why I keep finding myself empathizing with Putin in this. I grew up in fear of Kruschev, who said he would bury us. Putin is the only Russian leader since that I’ve feared...


32 posted on 03/18/2014 9:41:37 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: 4rcane

Make the bone of contention Mexico and the agent provocateur Russia and see how quickly they would understand it.


33 posted on 03/18/2014 9:42:27 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (My citizenship is not here.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Pat’s 100% right.


34 posted on 03/18/2014 9:42:51 AM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: SeekAndFind

If the true question is who is more irrational, Putin or Buchanan, then the answer has to be “I don’t know”.


35 posted on 03/18/2014 9:44:49 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: greene66
Putin’s troops take Crimea. Our troops put on drag-queen shows.

There ya go.

36 posted on 03/18/2014 9:45:20 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: DoodleDawg

Why do you think Putin is irrational....I think he’s been very rational, and opportunist about this.


37 posted on 03/18/2014 9:45:41 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Jeff Chandler; greene66

RE: Putin’s troops take Crimea. Our troops put on drag-queen shows.

There ya go.

_________________________________

The Leningrad Cowboys & Red Army singing Sweet Home Alabama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGFnkDCmsnE


38 posted on 03/18/2014 9:47:49 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (question is this)
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To: SeekAndFind

Is Putin irrational? No.
Is Obama irrational? Duh.
Is Merkel irrational? No. She’s just a loud mouth.


39 posted on 03/18/2014 9:50:29 AM PDT by McGruff (They say the first casualty of war is truth)
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To: bigbob

Putin carries a big stick ... and will use it, no doubt. I can only imagine the disdain he must have for Obama and that IS frightening to me. I genuinely fear for this country with Obama floundering around and mucking everything up around the world.

BTW, I also grew up during the Khrushchev years, in particular the Cuban Missile Crisis ..... remember drills in elementary school, mom storing food cans/water in a makeshift shelter in the basement ..... and being afraid.


40 posted on 03/18/2014 9:50:29 AM PDT by Qiviut (It's hard to be a donk if you're sane & it's hard to be a pubbie if you have any integrity.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I completely agree with Pat on this one. Here's the real money quote:

He saw a Mother Russia that had been looted by oligarchs abetted by Western crony capitalists, including Americans. He saw millions of ethnic Russians left behind, stranded, from the Baltic states to Kazakhstan. He saw a United States that had deceived Russia with its pledge not to move NATO into Eastern Europe if the Red Army would move out, and then exploited Russia's withdrawal to bring NATO onto her front porch.

41 posted on 03/18/2014 9:50:37 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: pgkdan

Some parallels there with Germany and The Versailles Treaty, and we all know what that inevitably led to.


42 posted on 03/18/2014 9:51:45 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Red White and Blue patriot

“US is a force for good and protector of freedom in the world,” but Obama is not that. Putin is not an evil man. Russia today is more capitalistic than America


43 posted on 03/18/2014 9:52:58 AM PDT by 4rcane
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To: 4rcane
Putin is a nationalist who is doing what he could to protect Russia, against the hypocritical Europeans/Americans.

Be very afraid of Russian nationalism, especially if you're Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish or any type of Slav. Pat wrote an article a while back saying that the Germans had to invade Poland, because the Poles had attacked a radio station. I used to like him, but he is way too much of isolationist for me.

44 posted on 03/18/2014 10:02:54 AM PDT by sharkhawk (Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.)
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To: sharkhawk

God forbid we ever mind our own business. Just look what playing world cop has got us.

Broke, beat, untrusted, with the national treasure looted after 40+ years of disastrous foreign policies, leaving us with government who now even spies on it’s on people...


45 posted on 03/18/2014 10:07:57 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: greene66

*bump* !

I agree 100% Putin is the only one in the world who is making sense.


46 posted on 03/18/2014 10:10:44 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Hopefully Putin's invasion of Crimea will be a wake-up call to a somnolent West. Here's an excerpt from an article in today's National Post:

The recent Strategic Outlook by the CDA Institute made three specific recommendations in this regard [Canada beefing up defence] — Canadian participation in a continental ballistic missile defence shield; creation of a maritime NORAD, integrating Canada’s navy and coast guard with that of the U.S.; and, a sufficient number of ships to patrol Canada’s three coastlines.

David Bercuson, director at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, talks about the “Finlandization” of Europe — the concept that smaller countries try not to challenge larger neighbours in foreign policy, while attempting to maintain national sovereignty. “We’re back to Finlandization, on a smaller scale. There’s no undoing it, even if the Russians pull out of Crimea,” he said. [a dated comment. Crimea's part of Russia now]

The prospect is already causing a radical re-think of policy in countries like Sweden, which is flirting with the idea of NATO membership, after nearly 200 years of “splendid isolation.” Jan Bjorklund, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, floated the idea, warning Russia could seize Gotland, a Swedish island province in the Baltic Sea, if it chose to attack Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The only concept Mr. Putin does appear to understand is Cold War orthodoxy, the balance of power.

On its own, Canada is as impotent as Finland. But in a re-energized, re-financed NATO, the united military potential dwarfs that of the Russians.

“Canada has to frame its defence policy in this reality,” said Dr. Bercuson.


Obviously a pipe-dream as long as Obama is in office, but the clock is counting down.
47 posted on 03/18/2014 10:35:52 AM PDT by caveat emptor (!)
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To: Red White and Blue patriot
The US is a force of good and protector of freedom in the world

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or just insane.

48 posted on 03/18/2014 11:05:37 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: Red White and Blue patriot

I’m with you, except for the Obama Administration’s love for abortion and homosexuality, and threatening nations with withdrawal of foreign aid unless they enslave their religious convictions to that aid. Wait...


49 posted on 03/18/2014 11:11:24 AM PDT by afsnco
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To: SeekAndFind; a fool in paradise

What happened to the End of History? Has it ended?


50 posted on 03/18/2014 11:11:56 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious! We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone!)
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