I'm Right Again dot com

A new commentary every Wednesday        December 28, 2016


Trepidation: Suffering alarm and anxiety — Roget's Thesaurus

    During the present but waning month of 2016, I read a flood of disconcerting words that flowed from the mouth of a former Russian Intelligence Officer whose meteoritic rise to power equaled if not exceeded that of Joseph Djugashvilli—better known as the Dictator of the USSR, AKA Joseph Stalin (1878-1953).

    In mid-December, Russian President Vladimir Putin spouted for four hours during one press conference before an audience of Russian and foreign journalists. He returned for an encore just before Christmas. Hardly anything he said was new. He claimed that Crimea was "plundered" by the Western powers at the end of WWII and a bridge under construction will better link the peninsula to "Mother Russia." He warned of other "fifth column" enemy elements in the present Russian Federation that are supported by the European Union. He claimed that ethnic Russians in the Ukraine are being abused.    

    He had some nice things to say about President-elect Trump. One curious statement however caused me unease: "Love, he said, "can quickly turn to hate." Did he mean to warn us that we had better not bait the Russian bear?

    We need to better understand this man. Born October 7th, 1952 in St. Petersburg, then called Leningrad. Putin is no dumb tin general. He gained the highest law degrees afforded by  Petersburg State University, graduating in 1975. He then began his career as a KGB Foreign Intelligence Officer, where he quickly rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, no small feat at that chaotic time. He is said to speak fluent German.

    Putin was drawn to politics. He moved to Moscow and quickly climbed the ladder afforded him at that time by President Boris Yeltsin. When that vitriolic personality resigned in December of 1999, Putin maneuvered himself into the post of acting President. The next step was to run for the presidency.

    In 2000, He won with a slim 53% plurality. During the following eight years, Russian purchasing power rose by 72-percent. Putin was given most of the credit for exploiting Russia's riches in petroleum. He became a star—beloved by the Russian masses. He made short shrift of opponents in the oligarchy. Many were lucky. They escaped with some of their plunder seized during Pestroika. Others were obviously executed—as object lessons.

    Due to term limits, imposed by the legislative body at the time, Putin had to settle for the post of Prime Minister, supposedly under his protégé and President, Dmitry Medvedev, but there was little doubt on the part of anyone, who was top dog. In 2012, Putin again took the title of President of the Russian Federation with 64% of the vote. He has become a strong man—a rich one who aspires to return Russia to its former glory years, with hegemony over eastern Europe and Russia's Arab neighbors as well. Prior to last month his sabre-rattling was confined to the Ukraine. In the past month he bragged that Russia had attained superiority in international rocketry—particularly in the ability to destroy our multi-warhead missiles.

    As regards Syria, he surely out-maneuvered our current President

-Phil Richardson, storyteller and observer of the human condition


E-Mail:  k7os@comcast.net

ARCHIVES: Prior commentaries, courtesy of James Bromley http://www.arizona-am.net/K7OS/