Thursday, September 12, 2013

Putin in Prose (via Randi Rhodes)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has an op-ed in today’s New York Times. Be careful what you say in those, Vlad! Remember how “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” came back to bite Mitt Romney in the ass! The piece is titled “A Plea for Caution from Russia.” Given the track record of Russia over the centuries, that reads more like “A Trick from the Leader of Russia.” But then the question isn’t whether Vladimir Putin’s intentions are good or not—it’s whether his intentions can be synchronized with our own intentions. If Putin uses us to get what he wants... and that’s also what we want, then go ahead and let him get what he wants.

Here’s the crux of the biscuit: Putin writes “militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria?” What happens in Syria, definitely will not stay in Syria. We don’t want any more 9/11’s, and Putin doesn’t want any kind of whatever 9/11 translates to in the Russian calendar.

Speaking of mistakes, Vlad chose to close with a swipe at the idea of American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism is an idea that is patently ridiculous and is practically begging to be mocked. And that’s all the more reason not to go near it. A lot of Americans are obsessed with the idea. And the rest of us are just embarrassed by it... so don’t bring it up, OK? This is like closing a plea to the British by saying “Oh, and what’s with the tea obsession? Have a cup of coffee like everybody else, losers.” Obama wouldn’t end a letter to the Russian people by saying “By the way, every time you people write the letter R, it’s backwards. Get it right, dummies!” Yes, American exceptionalism is a dumb concept. Everybody thinks that they’re exceptional. So in that sense, nobody is exceptional.

The White House reacted to Putin’s op-ed by saying “That’s all irrelevant.” If leaders around the world could manage to say that more often, we would all get along better. There is no better attitude to enter into negotiations with than “That’s all irrelevant.” The ability to realize what is irrelevant is perhaps more important than the ability to grasp what is relevant. The White House said “He put this proposal forward and he’s now invested in it.” Obama knows what’s important. And that’s why he’s so exceptional.

Meanwhile, the Medical Examiner who testified in the George Zimmerman trial has been fired. Well that came at least a few months too late. Dr. Shiping Bao says that the prosecution intentionally lost the case. Yes, and your testimony seemed to be a big part of that. Bao says that his autopsy proves that it was impossible for Trayvon Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when he was shot. Well, if the autopsy proves that, your testimony sure never did. Now is a fine time to be saying this, Doctor! You should have said it when you were on the stand.

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