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Joe Gandelman: Putin gives the world half a peace sign

Cagle Cartoon Syndicate Published: March 6, 2014 4:00 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held up his hand, clenched his fist and given "half a peace sign" to the Ukraine, Europe and especially to President Barack Obama. And so the debate has begun:

Is the invasion of Crimea a shocking turning point for modern Russia? Is it proof Obama has turned the U.S. into a paper tiger? Is it a crucial moment for the world in the 21st century? The beginning of Russian domination of the old Soviet Union and perhaps intimidation of Europe?

Some points to consider as this breaking story continues to quickly unfold:

The Iraq War Left Much Collateral Damage: The Iraq war launched by President George W. Bush was launched under what is now proven to be false pretenses. American weren't greeted by garlands and flowers but seemingly caught in quicksand which required an extrication costly in time, treasure and lives. Many Americans became angry at Canada when it was unwilling to join the "coalition of the willing." Many in the United Kingdom seethed over their country's involvement -- anger recently fueled by revelations that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair knew Iraq had few weapons of mass destruction when he argued Washington's case to his nation.

The Iraq war debacle made other countries think even harder about military intervention, and the United States' reputation took a hit. Writes The Week's Marc Ambinder: "One undeniable truth: Iraq weakened the U.S. more than anything done since. Maybe Obama over learned its lessons ... But nothing empowered Vladimir Putin more than America's squandering of moral standing in the early part of this century."

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Putin Has Never Shed His KGB Roots or Persona: Forbes' blogger David Adesnik writes that Putin "will talk sweetness and light and always insist he is the defender of shared values...Putin lies just as brazenly to his own people and about his neighbors. But Americans and Europeans may need to learn this lesson."

Indeed, it's easy in the context of a new century to think that some things have changed for the better, but an authoritarian's instinct will long endure. And Putin seems to be laying the groundwork for more, not fewer, military interventions.

Putin and Obama Really Dislike Each Other: Putin published an unprecedented op-ed in The New York Times that was patronizing to Obama. Obama has taken a few snark swipes at Putin. JFK and Nikita Khrushchev were best buds by comparison.

Putin Gives the World Half a Peace Sign: GOPers are now going after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who held a famous "reset" button for U.S. Russian relations, because Putin hit a time machine button taking the world back to the Cold War.

The late Rep. Sen. Arthur Vandenberg's axiom that politics "ends at the water's edge" has now been replaced with "let's see if we can create a tsunami to rally our base, get this guy's poll numbers down and our side's up."

But here's one certainty: Putin is the same Putin he was years ago -- and he cannot and never will be confused with Mikhail Gorbachev.

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TaggR Mar 6, 2014 3:19 PM

Nice summary stanback. 

I'll chip in on tickets for these idiots!

stanback Mar 6, 2014 2:48 PM

What does he really think? He thinks that President Obama is a Muslim that has taken the office to allow an overthrow by the extremist Muslims. He thinks that the United States is responsible for the Trade Towers coming down in NYC and they planted explosives in the towers to ensure total collapse. He thinks President Obama is coming to take all of his guns. He thinks that all of the "leaked recordings" he digs up on the internet haven't played on US news because the government is suppressing them rather than they have proven to be created by Edward Snowden wannabe's like himself. He thinks that using phrases like "is it true?', "I doubt it", "Looks like" doesn't show that he is not committed to his gibberish. He thinks that opening up with "if you want to get closer to the truth, go on the internet" adds credibility to his "stories" rather than takes it away. He thinks that 99% of this counrtry are sheep and he is the chosen one who holds all truths. Mr. Putin is looking for a few good men to come over help out. Hop a plane!

little_r_republican Mar 6, 2014 12:07 PM

wow...watch....what do youe really think?

watchingthewatchers Mar 6, 2014 8:54 AM

Check out RT(Russia Today) channel on cable or internet to get what is closer to the truth, none of which is reported by our worthless media whores.   They(RT) have a definite pro-Russia and anti-western slant, but compared to our worthless, corrupt, anti-American media, the Russian network sounds like they are run by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.  As an example, one BS story they push is that fracking is bad.  This is because oil/gas is their cash cow, and with our glut, we will be able to undercut them even after liquifying the nat gas and shipping to Europe.  The Saudis are also reportedly subsidizing the eco-nazi useful idiots protesting the fracking which has been going on in the US since the 1950's or before.  Fracking has been happening longer than the protesting fools have been alive.  The only thing new is that they are able to drill horizontally once they get to depth.

On Ukraine: Did you hear the leaked telephone call between the EU Foreign Minister and the Estonian Foreign Minister who visited Kiev and spoke with all sides? Were you even aware that such a phone call existed?   Of course not, because there has been ZERO real news on ANY of our network propagandists like Cagle, et al, and certainly no mention of this.  This phone call is a leaked recording of the Estonia Foreign Minister stating that he was told the snipers were from the protestor side and were shooting both protestors AND police. Is this true?  Well, the interim government is resisting an investigation into identifying the snipers, so what does that tell you?  Possibly the bullet trajectories would be shown to have come from where the police were not and would apparently show that the police did not fire?  Video should be able to prove this.  There were enough cameras present.  Is this Russian propaganda?  I doubt it.  If it were, it should be easy for our media whores like Cagle/CNN/Fox/CBS/NBC/ABC/AP to show up Putin and make him look foolish.  Nothing of the sort is happening. 

The Estonia FM also spoke with several members of parliament who stated that they were intimidated into voting to pass measures against the legally elected Yanuckovich and to vote to install this interim regime.  There is actually footage on RT of Ukrainian thugs interrupting local government meetings and intimidating those present.  Looks like the same tactics practiced by leftist radicals in the US.

Did you also know that three oligarchs were appointed as regional heads by this interim government of 99%er thugs. The poorest of these 3 individuals is a banker worth $400 million.  That's convenient to have a money launderer in the group.  The other two are billionaires.   So much for "the people" being represented by the "new government". Haven't heard any of this on CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS or ABC?   None of it reported by the Washington Post, AP, Reuters, etc... or depicted in the typically vile and poor quality Cagle cartoon?  SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

This is nothing more than a power grab and money grab by corrupt, greedy billionaires and banksters. This will blow up in the face of the demonic occupant of the White House, or is the worthless scumbag out golfing again?