From Time Magazine’s Michael Crowley:
Richard Fernandez is worried that Putin might grab Egypt while Barack Obama bicycles and golfs on Martha’s Vinyard and his administration dithers over the decision to support secularism and the Egyptian Army or radical Islam, democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Decisions, decisions.
So Obama remains hunkered down in Martha’s Vineyard, emerging periodically from his vacation home, like a cuckoo from a clock, to make a statement no one appears to hear, playing for time. No one in the Beltway seems to know what line to take. Shall they restore democracy in Egypt by supporting the Muslims Bros, knowing they too will take their revenge on the generals and the Copts? Suspend aid to the Egyptian military and open the door to Russia, who might do a hat trick and scoop up Saudi Arabia into the bargain?
Choices. Choices. What happened to the good old days when one could vote “present”? The Beltway is reading the tea leaves for a sign. And all they’re getting is Jay Carney.
I’m not worried. Frankly, I think Putin would do a much better job.
What do you know? These days Pravda actually tells the truth, and moreover can gloatingly contrast Vlaimir Putin favorably as a leader to Barack Obama.
Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake. ...
After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.
Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them.
Read the whole thing.
The Putin Version: “Hottie [Krasotka] Wonders About the First Time”
Everybody today is talking about last night’s major campaign development: the Lena Dunham “Voting for Obama is Like Losing Your Virginity” ad.
You have to hand it to the Obama Campaign for continuing to come up with memes, Big Bird, Binders, Bayonets, Voting for the First Time, that succeed in gaining everybody’s attention, but which fail completely to help the president’s re-election cause.
There seems to be a reflexive process of self-destruction underway in which democrats are determined to convince the electorate that they are trivial-minded, verbally-fluent wiseasses living in their own fantasy world of cleverness and spin, completely out of touch with serious issues like the economy and the debt crisis.
Jim Geraghty forwarded (by email) a couple of the best conservative rejoinders to the Lena Dunham ad:
Dave Weigel: “The Lena Dunham endorsement video will sway those few people unconvinced by the New Yorker’s Obama endorsement.”
“If you’ll excuse me, I have to go bleach my eyes,” apologizes Rusty Weiss at the Mental Recession. “Word of advice libs — if voting for Obama is like having sex . . . you’re doing it wrong!”
And, as the icing on the cake, provides a citation identifying the Lena Dunham ad’s source of inspiration:
So what lunatic came up with this idea? Oh, Foreign Policy magazine is here to help out with that one:I see the Obama campaign has a new YouTube ad featuring Girls star (and fellow Oberlin alum!) Lena Dunham: “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy,” she says, referring to casting your first ballot for Obama. (What were you thinking?) It’s a clever conceit, but feels a bit familiar. Perhaps because the same joke was used in an ad for Vladimir Putin’s presidential campaign earlier this year: A suggestive ad rallying support for Putin’s presidential campaign shows a young woman seeking a fortune-teller’s advice. “Let’s find out, cutie, who is intended to you by destiny,” the mystic says. The girl replies, “You know. I wish it to be for love—It is my first time.”
More Russian weirdness:
As a thoughtful gesture of admiration and respect for his country’s leader, Sam Nickel set out to touch the breasts of 1000 Russian females. After which feat was accomplished, Nickel proceeded to shake hands with Vladimir Putin in order to pass along the mystical tactile energy produced thereby. Somehow I tend to think Putin got gypped.
Hat tip to Business Insider via Emmy Chang.
Look who’s to the right of Congress and the White House!
Gateway Pundit relishes the irony.
Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence is another possible mistake. True, the state’s increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent… In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”
The Russian prime minister was visiting the Ussuri reserve in Siberia, observing how researchers monitor the tigers in the wild, when a trapped beast escaped and charged towards a nearby camera crew.
Mr Putin apparently quickly shot the beast and sedated it with a tranquilizer gun.
“Vladimir Putin not only managed to see the giant predator up close but also saved our television crew too,” a presenter on Rossiya television said at the start of the main evening news.
Footage of the former KGB spy, who cultivated a macho image during his eight years as the Kremlin chief, showed him striding through the taiga in camouflage and desert boots before grappling with the tiger.
Mr Putin helped measure the Amur tiger’s incisors before placing a satellite transmitter around the neck of the beast, which can weigh up to 450 kg.(990 lbs.)
The story comes from Russian media. It might be a contrived propaganda piece. The Russians have a tradition of that sort of thing. But Vladimir Putin is a real student of the martial arts, who has written a serious book on Judo in which he holds an advanced rank. He’s not a complete fake personally, so it is not impossible that this story is legitimate.
According to Russian President Putin, the installation of defensive missiles in Europe is an aggressive measure somehow threatening Russia’s natural resources.
Russian diplomacy and her relations with neighboring states evidently naturally exist in a state of affairs in which Russia has the strategic arms equivalent of a loaded gun, cocked, and aimed at those neighboring states’ cities and civilian populations. Russia possesses a natural right in her relations with other states to all the advantages possessed by the armed mugger pointing a pistol at his unarmed interlocutor’s head.
If the United States was proposing to install a new system of offensive weapons in Poland, whose location could facilitate a rationally imaginable new Western invasion of the Russian motherland, clearly he would have cause to protest and declare a new arms race underway, but these violent protestations about defensive missiles, missiles clearly specifically intended as a defense against impending Middle Eastern threats resemble nothing so much as the burglar complaining bitterly about the householder buying a gun.
President Vladimir Putin declared the onset of a “new arms race” yesterday and vowed to expand Russia’s military strength to ward off predatory foreign powers.
In a televised address to the State Council in Moscow, Mr Putin delivered the belligerent rhetoric which has become his hallmark.
Appraising global events, the president said: “It is already clear that a new phase in the arms race is unfolding in the world.”
He added that “no steps towards compromise” had yet been made on America’s plan to station a missile defence shield in Europe.
“There has been no constructive response to our well-founded concerns,” said Mr Putin. Consequently, he has vowed to modernise Russia’s armed forces.
“We are being forced to take retaliatory steps. Russia has and always will have a response to these new challenges. In the near future, Russia will start production of new weapons systems that will not be inferior and in some cases excel those held by other countries.”
This was necessary to defend Russia from unnamed foreign powers who, he claimed, were bent on controlling the world’s natural resources.
“Foreign policy actions and diplomatic moves smell of oil and gas,” said Mr Putin.
Daniel Soar, in the London Review of Books, reveals that Vladimir Putin (along with some friends) published a book on Judo several years ago, which has more recently been translated into English as: Judo: History, Theory, Practice.
I suppose it is not surprising that a KGB officer would have trained in one or more the fighting arts. But Putin being a keen enough jūdōka actually to have written a book on the subject is definitely a surprise.
I find that his Wikipedia bio does discuss his involvement in martial arts.
One of Putin’s favorite sports is the martial art of judo. Putin began sambo (a Soviet martial art developed for the Red Army and NKVD) at the age of 14, before switching to judo, which he continues to study today. Putin won competitions in his hometown of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), including the senior championship of Leningrad. He is the President of the Yawara Dojo, the same St. Petersburg dojo he studied at as a youth. Putin co-authored a book on his favorite sport, published in Russian as Judo with Vladimir Putin and in English under the title Judo: History, Theory, Practice.
Though he is not the first world leader to practice judo, Putin is the first leader to move forward in the advanced levels. Currently, Putin is a black belt (6th dan) and is best known for his Harai Goshi, a sweeping hip throw. Vladimir Putin is Master of Sports (Soviet and Russian sport title) in Judo and Sambo. After a state visit to Japan, Putin was invited to the Kodokan Institute and showed the students and Japanese officials different judo techniques.
Putin is also an fan of mixed martial arts. He was in attendance at the BODOG Fight event in St.Petersburg.
Daniel Soar looks to Putin’s Judo to explain his technique for dealing with the United States.
The excellent thing about judo – in theory – is that you don’t have to be stronger than your opponent to beat him. The idea is that you use the momentum of his attack to keep him moving in the same direction, and then, with a little twist, you send him flying onto the mat. The bigger they are the harder they fall. This should be useful to Putin, since Russia is so heavily outgunned and outspent by the US military machine that it can’t win the arms race the old-fashioned way. Putin provides a striking metaphor to demonstrate the judo master’s technique. He calls it ‘give way in order to conquer’. Imagine you are a locked door. Your opponent wants to break you open with his shoulder. If he is ‘big and strong enough and rams through the door (that is, you) from a running start, he will achieve his aim’. But here’s the neat bit. If instead of ‘digging in your heels and resisting your opponent’s onslaught’, you unlock it at the last minute, then, ‘not meeting any resistance and unable to stop, your opponent bursts through the wide-open door, losing balance and falling.’ If you’re even more cunning, you can stop being a door and stick out a leg, causing him to trip as he sails through. ‘Minimum effort, maximum effect’, as Russia’s effortlessly effective president says.
The evident ingenuity of this technique made me wonder why Putin didn’t deploy it in the run-up to the G8 dojo. It was puzzling. On his way to Germany, Bush went on the offensive. He visited Poland and the Czech Republic to publicise his plan to install ‘exoatmospheric kill vehicles’ – little missiles designed to hit bigger missiles – on sites close to the Russian border. Putin’s counter-attack was very bold. He said that if America was going to play silly buggers with its Raytheon EKVs, then he would point his biggest ICBMs at Western European cities. ‘A new Cold War!’ the papers screamed. The leaders of the free world were righteously outraged, whereas Putin had merely closed the door. Any moment now he would flip the latch and stick out a leg.
But the analogy was troubling. When would the door open, and where was his leg? At first I wondered whether Putin was readying himself for the long game, hunkering down, raising the stakes to force the US to spend more and more money on more and more weapons until it bankrupted itself and went pop. Except, of course, that this would be playing into Bush’s hands, since American military spending is what the US economy depends on. The need for more weaponry would mean an even mightier America. So Putin wasn’t so clever after all: he’d forgotten all his old teaching and had taken up gunslinging in a fight he could only lose. Or so I thought.
On 7 June the full genius of Putin’s strategy was revealed. Earlier, Bush had said: ‘Vladimir – I call him Vladimir – you should not fear the missile defence system . . . Why don’t you co-operate with us on the missile defence?’ Ingeniously, Putin now called his bluff, and unbolted the new Iron Curtain. He quietly suggested that the US base its missile interception system on a Russian military installation in Azerbaijan, an unanswerable solution if – as the Americans claim – the EKVs really are intended to counter an Iranian nuclear threat. Bush’s people, wrong-footed, could only say that his proposal was ‘interesting’ and that the presidents would discuss it further in Kennebunkport, Maine at the beginning of July. But this is likely to be the end of the missile defence plan for Poland and the Czech Republic. Ippon!
Hat tip to Richard Fernandez at PJM.