Friday, January 11, 2008

Putin for president ... of the United States

"Politicians prevailed during the past generation by flattering American complacency. Precisely the opposite is needed. Putin has the requisite tough-mindedness, with only one important deficiency: he is a nasty piece of work. ... But Putin's personal nastiness is beside the point, Washington has willfully misunderstood Russia's most basic requirement (What they didn't say at Kennebunkport, July 3, 2007). No Russian leader could survive without doing more or less what Putin has done. ... The Americans, meanwhile, have met the enemy, and it is them. America has coasted on a quarter-century of prosperity since president Reagan won the Cold War and restarted the American economy. ... So compelling were American capital markets that by the late 1990s, almost all the free savings of the world sought an American home. ... Americans no longer had to face a strategic challenge; after the death of the Soviet Union, so Washington believed, America need only export its self-image. Of all the great illusions of the post-Cold War era, this has turned out to be the most pernicious. ... The Americans are poorer at the end of 2007 than they were a year ago, and at the end of 2008 they will be much poorer still. They will be beholden to the Gulf States, Singapore, China, Russia or whomever can recapitalize a banking system that already may be technically insolvent. They will import less and the Asian economies will suffer. ... The first occasion in which nothing happened was the tech-stock bubble of 1997-2000. Americans engaged in a collective delusion according to which infinite wealth would be created on the Internet through shopping and salacious entertainment. ... The banks and credit rating agencies declared that basket of very risky assets could be turned into a very safe asset, by selling off the part of the risk to speculators. This exercise turned out to fall somewhere between the delusional and the fraudulent. ... By endorsing the Islamists in Turkey as a force for democracy, Washington has earned the contempt of the Islamists, as well as the emnity of the secularists who feel betrayed. ... But the single most stupid and destructive act of American diplomacy in the past seven years has been the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, for it persuaded Putin never to trust the West under any circumstances, ever again. ... Working from a position of weakness, Russia's president is the closest the modern world comes to the insidious strategic genius of a Cardinal Richelieu. That is the sort of strategic thinking America needs. So my endorsement for the next president of the United States goes to Vladimir Putin", Spengler at, 7 January 2008.

I love Spengler, here he is a little late. I endorsed Putin for US president in 2004, when Bush ran for reelection. Still Spengler, welcome aboard. Spengler even compares Putin to Richelieu. Wow. Like Gomez Addams in the "Addams Family", 1964-66, who said, "Tish! I just love it when you speak French", I love it when Richelieu comes up. Where is the Cardinal now that we need him?

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