Demonizing Putin

It is easy to sum up our diplomatic strategy in Ukraine in one sentence. “Vladimir Putin is a bully”. Our government has used these exact words. Demonizing someone is only effective as a strategy if there is some higher power to which to appeal. As the world is today, there is no power higher than the nation state. This begs the question, “To whom is the Obama Administration appealing, and to what code of laws are they referring when they characterize Putin’s actions as illegal?” It doesn’t seem that they know. It seems to be some mythical “international community” that the President believes will follow his every whim because he is Obama.

Our State Department and our President have made this a poor substitute for an actual diplomatic strategy.

Our government and ex Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made a comparison to Hitler in what looks like a desperate attempt to find a historical parallel but is really more pandering to this “international community” that they believe they lead. I offer a much more obvious and appropriate episode of history. One need not go further back than to the nineteen-sixties.

In November of 1982 Yuri Andropov, a sort of hero to Vladimir Putin, becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party. Yuri Andropov made the decision to invade Afghanistan but this is not the most striking similarity but it is Andropov’s most well known legacy.

In 1968 Alexander Dubcek was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia bringing with him a program of liberalising reform. It resembled the new direction of the government of Ukraine. Yuri Andropov, the new head of the KGB, started an aggressive program of disinformation consisting of rumors of a NATO backed coup. This is again, just like in Ukraine. Andropov instituted what the Soviet government called “active measures” which is essentially manipulating a situation through kidnappings, assassinations, etc. Just like in Ukraine.

The reform movement known as the “Prague Spring” was crushed by Andropov’s KGB and the end result was a Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Just like in Ukraine.



House GOP Leadership Responds On Syria

Today, Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Press Office released the following statement:

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today issued the following joint statement.

“Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress.  We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised.  In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th.  This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”1


I am glad to see that the house leadership, for the moment, is not ceding their constitutional authority to the Executive branch. It is an important point to make, which this journal has made before2, that under Article One of the U.S. Constitution the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress.
An equally important point to make on this matter is, should the issue arise, the U.S. Congress does not have the authority, nor should it have, to cede any of its duties to either of the other co-equal branches of government.
I would also remind members of Congress that the American people are not behind this proposed war. Beyond the obvious points made about death and destruction, the United States is in no immediate danger. The country does not benefit in any way from attacking Syria, whether it be with missiles, airstrikes, or “boots on the ground”. We have municipal bankruptcies34
crumbling infrastructure and millions of jobless.
Missiles cost millions of dollars and we have already met our debt ceiling. According to NBC news from $607,000 to $1.4 million or more, depending on how you account for research, development, testing and support — and inflation.5
Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them NO to war in Syria or involvement in the conflict.
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