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Your Views: Vladimir Putin uses realpolitik to do what he desires

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March 23, 2014

Russia’s seizure of Crimea is a study of realpolitik power. It’s when a country sizes up a situation and other leaders affected and then sees what it can get away with.

Reviews of Barack Obama’s and Vladimir Putin’s backgrounds are in order.

Our leader’s resume includes being a community organizer. Obama vetoed missile defenses in Eastern Europe. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton gave the Russian foreign minister a red reset button as a symbol of a new relationship. President Obama drew red lines in Syria, and Putin ignored them. There was the open microphone slip in 2009 where Obama told President Medvedev, “After my election, I will have more flexibility.” Running a well-moneyed campaign, Obama was re-elected and now makes U.S. law with his “pen and phone.”

Putin was a colonel in the KGB. You do not become a colonel by being nice. He invaded Georgia and has not left. Russia’s military is in the process of being strengthened, while ours is cut. Many Russians admire a strong leader. As average Russians explained to me, during a 1987 visit to the Soviet Union, “We Russians are like clay. We need a strong leader to mold us.”

Does Obama’s administration grasp this, along with actions that have been taken that they consider Machiavellian? Will the “pen and phone” work with Putin?

By realpolitik, Putin is expanding and strengthening Russia. Who has won this latest round of realpolitik, and where will be our next crisis be?

JOHN SURINAK

Delavan



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