The war of words between President Putin and Obama is getting tense. Two super powers are at war. Each sentence and word that is being uttered has to be sieved and closely studied. Contained therein is a fuse that could detonate WW3. It pays for the world to listen. Obama has been on the world stage for only a mere decade. His compatriot Putin, has a colorful tapestry of key political appointments throughout his career. Putin has a nine-year seniority advantage over the younger Obama. As early as 1975, Putin already had the first opportunity of getting into real politics in the secretive KGB, while Obama was still in high school in Honolulu. Between them is a chasm of age, experience and exposures to ideology and education. Putin’s ancestry is described as a mystery. He seemed to be a man with no past, inspired with the symbol of the new epoch, but deprived of historic roots. Obama has an equally enigmatic past, shrouded in controversies. Hitherto, his place of birth is still be a hot topic of debates and legal challenges. The unnatural death of Loretta Fuddy, the health director who approved the release of President Obama’s birth certificate, added fuel to proponents of Obama’s fraudulent birth certificate. Speculation that he is a CIA Manchurian Candidate is also rife. Both presidents do share a common past – mystery.
Beyond that one commonality, the two men are vastly different. Some political commentators compared Putin as playing chess while Obama plays bingo.
Putin is often portrayed as macho, while Obama strays into the effeminate spectrum of human physiology. Statesmanship-wise, if Putin is the master, some would berate Obama as no better than his pupil. The office of presidency confers them incredible financial and military power, which has little to do with their mental faculty and intelligence. Between them exists power that is capable of obliterating the whole earth, just as depicted in the movie Oblivion. Conversely, together, they could provide a political environment in the world that makes life a much more pleasurable existence. The proverbial “when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers” quotation is most apt to describe the political arena today.
Putin had been relatively nondescript in world affairs in spite of the turmoil and upheavals in Egypt, Libya and Iraq. It was not until USA and her allies threatened to invade Syria that Putin was stirred into action. In September 2013, as USA was poised to take military action against Syria, Putin warned that any military strikes without UN approval would be “an aggression”. UK’s parliament had just voted days earlier in August 2013 against joining US forces in attacking Syria. Putin sprang a coup against US with a proposal for Syria to disarm her chemical arsenal as goodwill and to stop US aggression. A flurry of diplomatic exchanges ensued between Russian foreign minister Sergey Larov and US’s John Kerry. By 28 September 2013 the five permanent members of the UN Security Council approved a resolution negotiated between the United States and Russia, laying the basis for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program. That averted a major military assault by US forces on Syria. US was coerced to back off. Score: Russia 1, USA: nil.
In the meantime, the war drums were still humming away in the background for Iran to abandon her nuclear program. Iran, a Russian ally was seen as dragging her feet in her nuclear negotiations with Washington. U.S. President Barack Obama was coming under growing pressure from what appears to be a concerted lobbying and media campaign urging him to act more aggressively to stop Iran’s nuclear program. With Putin’s mediation, the United States and five other world powers announced a landmark accord on 23 November 2014 that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement. Another feather went to Putin’s hat. Score: Russia 2, USA: nil.
With Putin’s intervention, the aggressive military programs of the USA were getting clobbered in the Middle East. The Iran-Israel impasse was halted, at least for a season. A new front needs to be started to keep her military man busy. USA is losing her clout and credibility. By the end of November 2013, a new candidate was spotted – Ukraine. What followed was another battleground for US engagement (see link). The battleground is now at the doorstep of Putin. No longer can Putin play mediator. The fight has been brought to his very home ground. USA and EU fired the first salvo not at Ukraine, but right into Putin’s turf. Sanctions. The gloves are off for Putin. Round 1. Score – still unknown. Your next move, Mr President.
If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.