cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The Putin/Obama drama continues to play out with the latest wrinkle that of Crimea voting to establish that it wants to leave the Ukraine and re-unite with Russia.
The European Union is waffling as it tries to decide how to frame its position while it remembers that it gets a bunch of energy from Russia and likely would be hard-pressed to get along without that source of energy. Of course, the UN appears unable to do anything; something it has proved it is quite good at over the years.
Our Secretary of State is essentially a toothless old hound dog that is not likely to evoke any thoughts of moderation from Putin. For far too long, this Administration has suffered under the belief that the President can talk his way into and out of any situation he desires. That has seemingly worked for him throughout his adult life but has gotten worn and rusty since he assumed the highest office in the land. He is very close to being a dead-in-the-water lame duck quite early in his second term. Some will welcome that from a political perspective; others will take advantage of that from a tactical perspective.
No matter what one thinks of Putin, it is a mistake to under-estimate the man. He is tough as nails, will do anything he believes benefits him and mother-Russia, and proves it time and again. As he watches our leaders vacillate and talk tough, and sees no matching action to go along with the tough talk, he is quick to capitalize on the weakness. The Russian ship lying on its side in the harbor gives an indication that he simply doesn’t pay attention to the cries of “wolf” from the United States.
If Crimea votes in favor of Russian ties as it certainly seems quite likely, that will further muddy the waters for our Administration. The President and Secretary of State had better have several alternative positions in mind or face utter humiliation at the hands of a man they profess as a despot.
I am reminded of the old bromide that one never wants to take a knife to a gun fight. We didn’t even bother to take a knife; instead we took our tough words.
That doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect. Maybe more tough talk is in order. But what do we do after that has failed again?
And then there is that pesky Israel that simply refuses to roll over for the Palestinians that were just thwarted again in their attempt to get more and better rockets. That was certainly a display of peaceful intent.