Saturday, August 16, 2008

More On Putin

Bill O'Reilly wrote the following in a recent editorial:

Realizing that the Bush administration cannot handle another armed conflict right now, Putin decided to show the world that he could punish America's friend, Georgia, without a meaningful response. He has succeeded in doing that.

Down the road, either John McCain or Barack Obama will have to deal with Vlad the Assailer. This dour, brutal man senses weakness in both America and Europe, weakness that will drive him to become bolder. The only thing a guy like Vlad understands is the stick.

But how to wield it is the question. As with Iran, diplomacy is not likely to deter Putin because Europe needs Russia's natural gas and oil and is not likely to challenge Russia by supporting sanctions. So it will come down to the United States vs. Russia, mano a mano.

Putin is one tough customer. It will be interesting to see whether the United States will elect a leader who can effectively neutralize him. If that does not happen, old Vlad, like Dracula, will commit scourge on the countryside.

- Bill O'Reilly

Back in October 2007 I wrote a post that talked about what I see as a growing threat to American security. It highlighted apparent ties between China, Venezuela, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. I thoroughly believe that the action that we see in Georgia right now is the beginning of the unfolding of the dreadful scenario that I laid out in that post.

Vladamir Putin has grown bolder and bolder since he took office. He has established Naziesque Russian youth organizations. He has now begun the process of imperial expansion to regain the countries of the former Soviet bloc.

Putin has taken a calculated risk with his invasion of Georgia. He believed that the US would not, indeed could not, retaliate or help because we could not risk an all-out war with Russia. I fear our response - or the weakness of that response will bear much bad fruit.

China likewise has a similar "Hitler Youth" type of program. It has also been doing much saber rattling in its region - especially towards Taiwan. I believe that the response of the US in the Georgian invasion will invite a similar invasion of Taiwan.

Here is the way I think that things will play themselves out. If the US does nothing then we will see additional 'Anschlusses.' If the US responds militarily to any of these attacks, I believe that we will see simultaneous attacks on territory by Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea.

I think that it would be possible for the US to make a limited stand against Russia right now. China is in the middle of the Olympics and doesn't want global favor turned away. That would make a response much safer, but I fear that we are quickly finding ourselves in a Catch-22.

Our window of opportunity is extremely small. The longer we wait to curb Putin, the less we will be able to do so. Great Britain had an opportunity to stop Hitler early on, but they missed their chance, and thousands upon thousands paid for that mistake with their lives.

The US had best develop some very strong allies quickly.

When I was a kid in the middle of the Cold War, our greatest fear was mutually-assured nuclear annihilation. In our current world, the stakes are just as high. We risk military defeat like we never have since the war of 1812. It's a dangerous world we live in. I pray to God that our next President has the grit to lead our country in such a perilous time.

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