Pugnacious Pernicious Putin

PutinSeriously, what sane person who has ever seen a teenage movie, can’t recognize this plot and character archetype: the tough guy who bullies others, lets fear reign and because of his deep seeded secret insecurities finds a way to blame some other guy he is secretly threatened by and plots to turn the school against said guy only to be exposed in the end by the girl he loves because she discovers that the scape-goat is really a hero after all, and proceeds to dumps the bully who ends up in a corner sucking his thumb.  To me, that is Putin…and to all those Americans who have fallen under the spell of the rhetoric that plays him up as a strong leader….go watch a John Hughes movie so you can see how this sad story ends…and yes, while I am being hyperbolic, there is some major truth to the reference

Leadership is not measured by testosterone and how high you hike up your pants.  It is not about taking what you want and making up the reasons afterwards to justify how you took it.  I’ve been to the Ukraine, twice.  Once while it was still the USSR, and once afterwards.  They were and are, proud to be Ukrainian, not Russians.  I spent time in Crimea, on the Black Sea, it’s a vacation spot…a place that was rich in tourists, money and access.  I could say more on that, but will reserve it for another time…because this is more about Putin reeling in resources that he thought he had in the bag with the relationship he had with the former president Yanukovych, and when the people rebelled, he had to make up another reason to get what we wanted all along.

Here’s the thing…we in the United States judge what goes on abroad from our own bias.  Those who lived under the control of the former Soviet Union would never want to go back there.  While it may sound like an outrageous statement from one who spent a total of less than two months there, I was surprisingly aware of how much the people loved the west and the idea of self-realization, from celebrating the religion they wanted to, to being able to speak freely without the threat of big brother  putting them in jail, which I was witness to.  Life under the former regime wasn’t good for anybody except those who held power…like Putin did, and I don’t believe it was a result of his exceptional abs or inherent leadership qualities, Justin Bieber beats him by a hair on that scale.

So, when I hear language that calls out the weakness of our leadership in America and cajoling them to act with as much foolishness as Putin, I remind you of what happened in those movies…things are not always what they appear to be, bullies never prosper, the truth always wins and the good guy gets the girl in the end.  One more thing…to infer that Obama’s “mom pants” are a sign that he is weak?  Well, I have to say…I’m a mom, and anyone who would attempt to take my family (which is what Ukraine is) without my permission?  I would seriously cut you.  Next time pick a better metaphor.

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