“The number of threats is not decreasing. They are only transforming and changing the guise. As during the Third Reich era, these new threats show the same contempt for human life and claims to world exclusiveness and diktat.”Day-amm. He talkin bout you mama, son! Strong words, Mr. Putin. And what do you have to say, America? Surely not claims to world exclusiveness and diktat. Let's bend an ear to Daniel Fried, the assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs:
He added that what was needed was sustained engagement, mixed with firmness, to try to help influence Russia during its “unfinished transformation.”Okay. Maybe a little exclusiveness and dictat. But certainly not contempt for human life.
Mr. Fried also made clear that the West need not be fully impressed by Mr. Putin’s ambitious posturing. Russia remains in many ways underdeveloped and disconnected from Western values, he said, and should still be held to account.
“We do not want a weak Russia, but a strong Russia must be strong in 21st-century, not 19th-century, terms,” he said.
“A strong center is part of this healthy mix,” he added. “But a strong center in a state of weak institutions, is not.”
Mr. Fried also called on Europe to stand against Russia’s desire to continue to have influence over countries the Soviet Union once occupied, a reminder that even as Russia complains about what it calls interference in its own domestic affairs it openly supports separatists in Georgia and Moldova, and has tried to bully Ukraine and the Baltic states.
“We should not pay a price for cooperation, nor indulge Russia when it behaves as if a residual sphere of influence over its neighbors is its due,” he said.
On Tuesday, barely 24 hours after American officials apologized publicly to President Karzai for a previous incident in which 19 civilians were shot by marines in eastern Afghanistan, reports surfaced of at least 21 civilians killed in an airstrike in Helmand Province, though residents reached by phone said the toll could be as high as 80.President Putin and his chorus-line Tsarettes are hardly models of Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men, and it's a little embarrassing that a 4'9" serial assassinator who runs Russia the way a small-dicked man drives his Hummer is the global figure most accurately calling America on our bullshit. All that jazz about Russia meddling in its former satellites is a roundabout way of saying that this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and yet here is the thing about that misunderstood idiom: the kettle is black. The moral ground for critique by a commensurate offender is questionable, but the accuracy of the assessment is not.
While NATO is now in overall command of the military operations in the country, many of the most serious episodes of civilian deaths have involved United States counterterrorism and Special Operations forces that operate separately from the NATO command.
Still, it isn't really the Third Reich on which the US is currently modeled, but the very USSR from whose titanic corpse Putin is reanimating a respectable giant. Doddering, unweildy, and self-deluded. Publicly grandiose, but rusty within. Bedevilled by dusty revolutionaries. Confounded by Islam.