Putin is an Irrational Man

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Crazy PutinThe situation in the Ukraine is the perfect demonstration of one of my guiding principles, “You can’t speak rationally to a person who is irrational.” In this case, throwback Vladimir Putin is the irrational one. He was a leader in the Cold War Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) era that believed, “you won’t kill me if you know I will kill you in return.” The acronym MAD was ironic…and not in a good way. If that isn’t irrational, what is?

There is much bloviating to suggest that if Obama had done this or that or something else this would never have happened. There is plenty of counter-bloviating that if George the Lesser hadn’t started two useless wars we’d have the moral high ground to force Putin out. Some people blame Europe for terminal jellyfish spine. Others think the CIA was asleep at the switch. Some think Ukraine is at fault for overthrowing a democratically elected leader. Others prefer The Big Dick Cheney approach, “Nuke the bastards and let the Big Guy Upstairs sort it out.”

Putin Conquering a Bunch of Squabbling  Jackwads is Easy

While one could argue that now, in the midst of the crisis, is not the time to air the dirty laundry it is equally true that these arguments carry at least some weight. Could Obama have been more decisive with Syria? Sure. Could Bush have kept whatever over-exuberant frat boy impulse he had in check to avoid the Iraq War? Yup. Could Congress and the American people manage to bury the hatchet — carefully missing each other’s heads for once — and present a united front? Of course, mon ami. Putin doesn’t have to work the divide and conquer angle. We’re already divided, conquering a bunch of squabbling jackwads is the easy part. Feckless? Sure, everyone included. But, none of that really matters. Putin is Crazy Ivan driving the soot-spouting bus.

Putin The Big GuyThere are other things to blame too. Ukraine, like many countries has been a demonstration in changing political landscape for centuries. WWII didn’t help. The allies offered the Ruskies a bone and they stole the whole carcass like a ‘Smores-crazed Russian bear. Stalin scattered ethnic groups around partly for the very reasons Putin cites now — Mother Russia must save the little Russians scattered from Crimea to Kamchatka because everyone hates the Russians, sovereign nation takeovers notwithstanding.

There is plenty of “what if” blamery to go around. Some of it may have affected Putin a little, just like the Battle of Britain delayed Hitler doing his worst…for awhile. But, it didn’t stop Hitler completely and it will not stop Putin now. Irrational people are like that. Peace in our time is a non-starter with them.

Vlad will build a dacha in Sebastopol regardless of referendums, sanctions, or threats of war, simply because he doesn’t care and likes to see the Black Sea from his porch. If he were a rational man he would have never invaded the Crimea to begin with. He combines that unique Russia flavor of xenophobia mixed with poor critical thinking skills and a lush disregard for the results even when it occurs to him. He’s very Bushian that way, “Shoot yourself in the foot now, say ‘OW’ later.”

In Vladaworld, Russia is perpetually put upon and since he is Russia’s leader, that is a personal vendetta against him. While he may look tough as nails in public, privately he has the tendency to whine like a little devotshka. You can look into his eyes and see that in his dark soul.

Nothing positive has happened, and will not happen, because Putin’s actions have nothing to do with us. They have everything to do to him.

Putin: ‘Oops sorry. My bad,’ Ukraine

Obama is offering up several prudent actions. He is stepping them up gradually because this is how diplomacy works. It is not like arguing with your neighbor over that rake he “liberated” and won’t return. Obama is tip-toeing around war because, big mushroom clouds contribute greatly to global glow in the dark change. He’s trying to get the allies on board, which he has to a large degree. However, none of these actions will cause Putin to say, “Oops sorry. My bad,” pack his portmanteau and shuffle on off Moscow. They will only be punitive, but for a population that sometimes longs for bread lines, with a leader who prefers ruling a shamble over a Second World country, cutting off foreign investment means exactly shit.

So Putin will stay. The Allies will pull their oil companies back and complain screaming and kicking the whole way. Gazprom will cut off the natural gas taps until it gets cold enough in Bonn and Paris to convince them that making crème brûlée in a cold kitchen ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. We’ll freeze their oligarchs’ money and they will steal enough off the streets of Moscow to barely notice a dip while our oligarchs will form PACs to get tax legislation to write off the loss to the tune of $5 to the dollar. Some nut cases like Cheney and McCain will still just say bomb them back to the stone age because, well, they are just Putins who speak English.

You see, St. Ronnie of Reagan didn’t tear the wall down, he only closed it for renovation like a greasy spoon that opens 25 years later under new management. His new clientele is the same as his old clientele, a recalcitrant asscake who just can’t leave the world alone because his widdle feewings are hurt.

In other words, Putin is an irrational man with all the time in the world and a nuclear arsenal at his finger tips.

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