Vladimir Putin may be a villain, but his leadership is undeniable

Vladimir Putin may be a villain, but his leadership is undeniable

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Source Flickr Author Bohan Shen_沈伯韩

CHARLOTTEN.C., March 5, 2014 — Without intending it, the president may have finally awakened the American people to the true state of international affairs. The Russian president, that is.

The polar vortex of politics has arrived in Ukraine and smacked President Obama’s fantasy theoretical world head-on with a massive dose of reality. Vladimir Putin may be a villain, but he possesses a major attribute that is woefully missing in the United States and the West: leadership.

If other commentators have been as vocal about Obama’s horrendous foreign policy blunders and miscalculations as Col. Ralph Peters of Fox News, it has certainly been lost on the media. Speaking on Hannity on Tuesday evening, Peters lashed out with words of condemnation about the administration that may be as strong as any to date.

If Obama were Sherlock Holmes, then Putin would be his Moriarity, except for one thing. Obama is more like Inspector Jacques Clouseau than Conan Doyle’s consulting detective, which means there can be no legitimate comparison between the two heads of state. One is a leader and the other merely pretends to lead. It is not difficult to determine which is which, and Peters clarified the distinction with harsh words.

“The bottom line on this is that Russia has a real leader. You may not like him, but he’s brilliant, he’s ruthless and he has clear goals and he moves straight toward those goals. The West lacks a leader. Like it or not, the President of the United States is the de facto leader of the West, and our president is incapable and not willing to lead,” said an obviously frustrated Peters to Sean Hannity.

Many analysts claim that Putin has all of the cards stacked in his favor, yet there are specific holes in his strategy that could be countered by the West, if they had someone strong enough to battle the bully.

In one of his more damning comments, Peters hit the nail squarely on the head when he spoke of Putin’s determination to regain Russia’s status on the world stage compared to Obama’s apparent efforts to minimize the strength of the U.S.

Leaving no room for confusion about his feelings, Peters said, “The problem is that, as a president, Obama is far weaker than Carter, and he’s probably the worst president we’ve ever had. He is a man who is incapable of making a hard decision and, by the way one other key point, Vladimir Putin believes in Russia. He believes in Russia’s destiny, its mission. Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism. He does not believe in this country.”

Therein lies a potential flaw in Putin’s tactics; he may have inadvertently pushed the people of United States into a position we refuse to accept. Americans cannot abide weakness in any form. It is alien to our national character. We have never backed down from a challenge when we believe we are on the side of what is right. It is one of the founding principles of our country. Though it can sometimes be a significant flaw, more often than not, it is one our greatest strengths.

If Obama is too weak to recognize his own inadequacies against the ruthlessness of Putin, the American people are not, and that could be where the Russian president has overstepped his bounds.

Though not endorsing military intervention by the United States, Peters pointed out that “we are not weaker than we were in the Carter years. Our military today is the best in the world, the best in our history, although Obama wants to dismantle it. We’re also immensely wealthier than the Carter years.” Ironically, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently put forth an announcement about the administration’s intention to reduce the size of America’s armed forces.

Following Peters’ comments, communications consultant KT McFarland echoed his beliefs: “Putin has had a fifteen year plan. He’s followed it religiously and it’s been extremely successful. He’s used his natural gas to keep Europe hostage. He’s used the revenues from his oil to give him the windfall profits to carry out his other thing. I think he honestly didn’t figure he’d get lucky enough to have a weak president like Obama but he’s taken full advantage of it.”

Both Obama and Putin are stubborn and “ruthless.” The difference however, is that Obama prefers to govern by bypassing authority with stealth decisions that are deceptive or hidden from view. By contrast, Putin is blatantly public about his intentions.

Perhaps Putin will defect in 2016 and run for President of the United States. We could use a strong leader who refuses to back down. It would be a refreshing change after five years of indecision.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).  

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod



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