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When combined with the item I posted the other day on another thread, which linked to his extensive remarks at a conference in Russia, one begins to see a very different picture of Vladimir Putin than one sees if only obtained from ANY of the US media. He is certainly consistent when it comes to claiming that “national interests” are his primary concern. Do I trust him?!? Sorry, but I remember three little initials: KGB. And I remember how long (and how) he’s been President. Still, I do have to wonder if he’d be entirely that interested in world domination if he had the chance. I don’t know if his stated “facts” are all accurate, but he certainly did make the point about which country is projecting its nuclear capability nearer to the other one. He hasn’t (to our knowledge at least) put any nukes in Venezuela, or attempted that trick again in Cuba. Yet we’re all over the board, circling him with nuclear capability.

Two reasonable possibilities emerge off the top of my head. Either it’s a very classic communist fake out (a distinct possibility that should not be discounted), whereby he uses this logical “poor picked on Russia” approach so as to be able to take back a good bit of Europe when there is insufficient weaponry there to stop him; or it’s a fairly honest assessment of how HE sees it, presented back to us, and he really is primarily interested in Russia’s own national interest. I’m not willing to bet our security on either one, but certainly there needs to be dialog. And frankly, after more than ½ century, I personally think it’s well past time for Europe to either decide to stand up for their own collective interests, or get taken over. I’m tired of spilling American blood for what?

I do have to take back what I said elsewhere in support of Fiorina’s statement that she wouldn’t talk to him at all – very short sighted knee-jerk reaction on my part. Frankly, at least for now, Putin’s approach to Syria MAY make more sense than ours by far! As bad as Assad is, we’d have an even greater nightmare than we had with Libya and Egypt if Assad fell right now with no one to replace him. The real estate surrounding Syria is far more important than that surrounding Libya. Russia seems to be the only one that understands that.

And it MAY be (since I don’t automatically buy anybody’s “news” reports) that he really doesn’t care whether it’s the anti-Assad forces, OR the anti-ISIS forces that we support, that he attacks in Syria. He may genuinely want stability in Syria because he knows the alternative could be far worse, so he stabilizes Assad by stabilizing the nation. He’s got his own Islamic terrorist problem in the form of Chechens, particularly, so he’s clearly got an interest there, going back at least into the 1990s. And it’s not like we don’t have our own history of backing brutal dictators – as long as they were OUR brutal dictators (giving chemicals to Saddam when he was “our” brutal dictator fighting our enemy Iranian brutal dictator, for example).

Regardless of his motives or how anyone looks at him politically, he’s certainly a massive contrast to our own CinC. I find myself wondering these days exactly what was going on when Obama whispered to Medvedev to tell Vladimir he’d have more flexibility once the 2012 election was over and he’d been re-elected. Is this all really just an orchestrated show jointly put on for the world by Obama and Putin? Or did Putin laugh his guts out at Obama trying to make like a big boy as if he had something to offer Putin in the big leagues?

My bottom line is: I don’t know. But of the two national leaders, there’s no doubt in my mind who the stronger one is. And he doesn’t reside on this side of the pond. Great video, Tolik.