A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Ever since America booted Russia out of the northwest territory of America, Russia has had a chip on its shoulder… at least, as far as America is concerned. We go through cycles with Russia in which Russia loves America for a while, and then Russia hates America for a while. The cycle seems to continue ad infinitum.
The one thing Russian governments seem to respect is American strength. Every time America elects a weak President, Russia arches her back, raises her hackles, and begins to growl threateningly. And that is exactly what Russia’s Putin is doing right now.
For those of you not as old as I am, take my word for it when I say – we have seen it all before. Russia is a “paper tiger.”
The Russian people are insecure at best. They crave a strong central government. They have never really known what it is like to be free of an all-powerful government and they fear that left to their own devices -- to be free, in other words, they will falter and fail. They don’t seem to grasp the idea that THAT risk is a part of freedom – the right to fail.
As a result, they are an easy lot to manipulate – and Mr. Putin is a past master at doing just that.
With Russian elections looming, Putin is warning that the Russian government needs more power. (Read Russian government as: “Putin.”)
Putin is planning a return to the Kremlin in the March elections and HE wants more power.
Recently Putin told the Duma: "We are still facing very many uncertainty factors and risks. And in case of a storm, a gale, a crisis, it is very important for the entire team to work in a cohesive manner, for the boat not to capsize." (SOURCE)
Oh, Putin will get the powers he wants. Who is going to stop the ex-KGB official?
If reference to the opposition party in Russia, Putin has said they should go along with the party in power and “not rock the boat.” He said with Russia experiencing much the same kind of economic downturn as the rest of the world, the opposition party should support the party in power so the “boat” doesn’t capsize. Just this week he said: "in these circumstances, the ruling party always expects the opposition to behave in a calm manner and not to rock the boat. But these are vain hopes.” (SOURCE)
Putin went on to say: "The opposition exists to make sure that the ruling party, the ruling authorities could hold on to the levers of power more strongly and prove to society the correctness of the country's development course." (SOURCE)
Putin sounds like a Chicago gangster exclaiming: “Hey! Sit down and shut up! Me and my boys got this covered!” And believe me – Al Capone’s gang couldn’t hold a candle to Putin’s alma mater … the KGB.
Putin has gone to great pains to demonstrate the differences between himself and our less than esteemed President Barack Obama. He is playing on the average Russian’s paranoia concerning the “American threat.” Putin struts across the Russian stage, shirtless, (At every opportunity. What’s that about, anyway?) taking great pains to display his masculinity – as if there was some question about that. Apparently, there is – or was. On a trip to Italy last year Putin is quoted as having said: “Mr. Medvedev and I are people of a traditional orientation.” (Source) Ooooo - Kkkkk.
Then, too, there is Mr. Medvedev threatening to target American missile shield sites installed in Eastern Europe -- or in adjacent waters. Oh, puh-lease! Those are d e f e n s i v e missiles emplacements. There are a couple of rogue nations in Russia’s backyard (North Korea and Iran). By this time next year, EITHER of them could lob a nuclear missile into Eastern Europe causing much death and destruction and touch off a worldwide nuclear conflagration.
The Russian government NEEDS America. Putin and Medvedev need a foil, off which to play, in order to increase their grasp on power over the Russian people. So, they threaten to fire on our defensive missile sites and, too, they dispatch Russian warships into Syrian waters as another threat to America -- should America, or America-led NATO, decide to intervene in the slaughter in Syria.
Peter the Great had to drag Russia, kicking and screaming, into modernity. But, honestly, I don’t think “ole Pete” would be happy to learn how his Russia has chosen to allow it’s fear, it’s insecurity, and it’s paranoia, to, again, segregate itself from the civilized world and slip back into the familiarity of it’s much loved primal darkness.
Russia is a disappointment to the world.
J. D. Longstreet