FROM “IN DEFENSE OF RURAL AMERICA”
by Ron Ewart, President, NARLO, ©2017
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NOTE: We have taken a lot of “blowback” (criticism) for this article when it was first published last week. We answer those criticisms in our next column.
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, or dictator if you will, is the ultimate alpha male, loaded with testosterone, insane as a bull elephant in musk and crazy like a fox. He is the mirror image of most despots in the persona of a Hitler, a Lenin, a Stalin, or even Mao of China. He’s obsessed with himself and obsessed with power, as are all despots.
Born in St. Petersburg in 1952, the youngest of three children, he began his early career as a foreign intelligence officer in the KGB in 1975. In his sixteen years with the KGB, Russia’s spy agency, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined then-President Boris Yeltsin’s administration. Rising quickly through the ranks, he became acting president when Yeltsin resigned. During his first presidency, Putin’s popularity rose with the rise in oil prices as the Russian economy grew for eight straight years. But that was not to last.
Putin’s rise to power would appear to be a carbon copy of most despots and dictators. Raw, or irrational, ambition drives them to high positions of power. As evidence of this ambition, at age 12, Putin began to practice sambo and judo because he wanted to emulate the intelligence officers portrayed in Soviet movies.
He studied German in high school and speaks German fluently. This served him well when he was assigned to East Germany in 1985 as an intelligence officer, under cover as a translator.
But it is what despots and dictators do after they become powerful that defines their character and eventually their legacy. Putin openly lamented the breakup of the Soviet Union, and from his actions it appears he has designs on restoring Soviet power as a dominant force in all of Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. Russia’s invasion into the Georgia provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are a peek behind the Putin curtain of his vision of Soviet dominance. The annexation of Ukrainian Crimea and invasions into Eastern Ukraine in 2014 added to Russian boundaries in Putin’s desire to restore the power, influence and grandeur of the Soviet Union. Putin has his eyes set on the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well, which were once part of the USSR.
Sensing weakness in American President Barack Obama (Obama being the very definition of an omega male as opposed to an alpha male), Putin joined forces with Iran and Syria’s President Bashar al Assad to wipe out the militants and insurgents backed by the United States. After Obama did nothing to respond to his so-called red line in the sand when Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, Putin brokered a deal that embarrassed America and rubbed Obama’s nose in it. Putin’s Russia was one of the countries supporting the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which benefited both Russia and Iran, but not America.
Every step of the way, Putin has used American weakness, as projected by Obama, to further his own territorial and power ambitions. Putin has exploited Obama’s refusal to protect American interests abroad. It began early in Obama’s presidency when he halted the missile defense shield in Poland.
Putin has played Obama like a neophyte in a poker game. When Putin went into Crimea, Obama should have sent a Carrier task force into the Black Sea to militarily counter Putin’s annexation plans, but he didn’t. Crimea became Russian territory by force of arms in violation of international law. When Putin sent his troops into Eastern Ukraine, Obama should have immediately sent heavy arms and aircraft to Ukraine. He didn’t. Putin’s troops are still in Eastern Ukraine waiting for summer to push deeper into Ukrainian territory.
Putin is also making advances in Turkey, a member of NATO and a key ally of the United States in its battle with ISIS. Russian intelligence is already operating in Turkey. How long will it be before Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, tells America to get out of Turkey in favor of a Russian alliance?
Putin is no dummy, but he is a bully, a thug, a narcissist, a killer, a murderer, an assassin, a brute and a despot and he is way more dangerous to world peace, stability and security than the manufactured crisis of man-caused global warming, or even ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or the Islamic Caliphate. He has no compunction against silencing his critics.
There is no love lost between China and the United States. Our alliances are purely based on trade and economic interests. In fact, most of Asia despises the U.S., with the exception of Japan and South Korea. If America challenged Russia militarily, a Russian-Chinese military alliance is a distinct possibility. A military conflict between these three superpowers could result in a biblical Armageddon.
But what are the consequences of not confronting the bully Putin? The consequences will be Russia becoming the primary world power, with America capitulating to every Russian wish, request, or demand because we fear a military confrontation.
Putin is grabbing up resources wherever he can. He has claimed vast regions of the Arctic for oil. Putin cares not one whit about climate change. Although Russia is economically weak, Putin knows that to become a superpower, he must become an economic power. But Putin has a hard road to follow to improve the Russian economy, TO-WIT:
“Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first decade of transition from a centrally-planned economy to market economy was disastrous for Russia: nominal gross domestic product (GDP) fell from USD 516 billion in 1990 to USD 196 billion in 1999, which represented a plunge of over 60%. In an attempt to address the economic turmoil and follow the recommendations from the IMF, the Soviet government began to privatize many Russian industries during the 1990s. Important exceptions were, however the energy and defense sectors. The Russian economy experienced two major shocks in 2014, narrowly avoiding recession with moderate growth of 0.6%. The first shock was the sharp decline in oil prices during the third and fourth quarter of 2014, exposing Russia’s extreme dependence on global commodity cycles”.
“Tentative signs that Russia could soon exit its recession continued in the final quarter of 2016 after the economy contracted at the slowest pace in the third quarter since the slump began nearly two years ago, according to preliminary GDP data. Following sluggishness in domestic demand in the first three quarters, business survey data and industrial production in October signaled a strengthening of economic activity towards the end of the year. Lack of policy support is nevertheless still constraining Russia’s path towards recovery. The Central Bank has decided to keep interest rates on hold, at least until the first quarter of 2017, and the government’s 2017 draft budget set ambitious consolidation targets for the next three years. The government expects to drastically reduce the fiscal deficit by 1% of GDP each year on the back of spending cuts and increased revenues. The latter will be achieved through higher taxes on the extraction of minerals and oil, dividend payouts from state-owned companies and higher excise taxes.”
Mitt Romney was right when he said in the presidential debate of 2012 that Russia poses an existential threat to American security and sovereignty. If Putin is successful in converting Russia to a true superpower, it could very well be the real and disastrous legacy of Obama’s eight-year failed presidency…unless Trump re-asserts American power, economically, diplomatically and militarily around the world. Hopefully, Trump will be able to outsmart Putin or negotiate him into an inescapable corner. Having said that, we have serious concerns about Trump’s unwillingness to label Putin a thug, a bully and a despot.
Short of assassinating Putin (yes, we know, America doesn’t assassinate the leaders of its enemies any more) and with all due respect to the fairer sex, we could send in a covert operative to inject Putin with a large dose of estrogen, or hire a Russian cook to put estrogen in his food every day. Something must be done to counter the vast amounts of testosterone surging through his alpha male veins, or America will be stuck with this bully until he dies from natural or man-made causes or catapults the planet into World War III in just another quest by one more megalomaniac to dominate the world. Climate change and ISIS are pinpricks compared to Putin. He has the power to set the planet on fire if America lets him. For some reason man seems destined to repeat history time after time, even with potentially irreversible threats, in open view, staring him in the face. Our leaders always let a megalomaniac go too far before they stop him.
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NOTE: The foregoing article represents the opinion of the author and is not necessarily shared by the owners, employees, representatives, or agents of the publisher.
Ron Ewart, a nationally known author and speaker on freedom and property rights issues and author of this weekly column, “In Defense of Rural America.” Ron is the president of the National Association of Rural Landowners (NARLO) (www.narlo.org), a non-profit corporation headquartered in Washington State, acting as an advocate and consultant for urban and rural landowners. Affiliated NARLO websites are “SAVE THE USA” (http://www.stusa.us/) and “Getting Even With Government” (http://www.gewgov.com/). Ron can be reached for comment HERE.