In a September, 2013 op-ed piece in the New York Times, Vladimir Putin commented, "It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States."
As an aside, op-ed pieces are generally opinions expressed by outsiders not on the editorial staff of the publication in which they are published and appear opposite the editorial page. "Op-ed" is not short for "opinion-editorial".
In general, the language and tone of Mr. Putin's piece was meant to make himself look like the world's peacemaker, while portraying America as an imperialistic aggressor and President Obama as an ineffectual leader.
While it's no secret that Putin considers the breakup of the Soviet Union one of the 20th Century's great tragedies, his incursion into the Crimean Peninsula is a pretty strong contradiction of his entreaty to America to respect the sovereignty of foreign countries.
Considering the level of Russian support in Crimea, it would have been surprising, though for him to do anything else.
Certainly similarities can be drawn to Hitler's incursions into country after country under the pretense of protecting German nationals. It remains to be seen what will be Putin's end game.
It was almost amusing to watch President Putin deny any involvement in Crimea, even as his troops tightened their grip on Ukrainian outposts and Russian troop deployment swelled. Missing insignias notwithstanding, from where else would anyone think those troops appeared?
Here in the land of the obnoxious, GOP leaders pummeled the efficacy of President Obama's leadership, always a good idea in the midst of an international crisis. The very same voices who decried Obama as a tyrant after this year's State of the Union now cited his inability to act as the underlying factor in the Russian invasion of Crimea.
Also the very same voices that called for the invasion of Iraq and double down on that misguided hawkishness at every opportunity.
These are the patriots who shut down the government, then blasted the administration for not being able to keep the World War II Memorial open. They're such supporters of our military that they just voted down an attempt to expand veteran's benefits because of wasteful practices at the Veterans Administration.
Yes, some of those are the very same voices that, in 2008 voted to continue funding the Iraq war, even though they suggested no way to pay for it and there was at least $15 Billion-BILLION, WITH A "B"-missing and unaccounted for.
A lot can be said about Vladimir Putin. With his penchant for cavorting about his country topless, a lot be seen of Vladimir Putin, as well. He's an ex-KGB officer and a despotic ruler who's managed to maintain control of the country he seems to love.
It should be noted that his country seems to love him back.
It may be a stretch to try to imagine President Putin as an American politician. Not such a stretch to see him in a high level position at Goldman Sachs, maybe even Jamie Dimon's replacement at J.P. Morgan.
Clearly he doesn't have enough empathy for the working man to run as a Democrat. He's imperious, arrogant, opportunistic and completely hypocritical. Perhaps there's a place for him in the all-inclusive tent of the GOP.
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