Friday, March 21, 2014
Who’s the enigma?
Churchill famously said of Russia "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
History has unwrapped the riddle.
Fast forward to today.
Putin and Obama.
Putin believes that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a catastrophe. And he’s in charge of Russia. He believes in Russian greatness and has been telling his people that their problems, economic and geopolitical are the fault of the United States. He invades and annexes Crimea and threatens Ukraine (and other other parts of Europe that were once part of the USSR.) Putin is an open book.
The second part of this face-off is Obama. He doesn’t believe in American greatness – certainly not in American exceptionalism. He has some fundamental problems with America since he wants to fundamentally transform it. His appointees are not American cheerleaders. His Secretary of State famously accused the American military of acting like Genghis Khan.
We know what Putin wants to do in the world: recreate the Soviet Union. The real question that foreign chancelleries are asking themselves today is what Obama wants America’s role in the world to be.
As an American, that's a very uncomfortable position and not one that should be asked by people living in a democratic Republic.