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Who Are You, Mr. Putin?

Scott’s Blog – 8/12/08

Who Are You, Mr. Putin?

Now that the dust has started to settle in the crisis situation in Georgia, questions are starting to be asked about this brutal incursion.

Questions like –

What possible good can the U.N do in a crisis when it is perpetrated by the savage actions of one its permanent Security Council members?

In order for the U.N to impose meaningful military actions or even economic sanctions, a unanimous vote must be passed by the Security Council.

In case you are keeping score at home, Russia would have to vote for such actions against herself.

The chances of this happening?

You do the math.

What does this action mean for the immediate future?

Those nations who are trying to develop democracy or engage in friendly relations with the West are having a classic Maalox Moment.

Democratically elected president Mikheil Saakashvilli was nearly blown up by a Russian bombing run over a non militarized neighborhood yesterday.

Don’t think for a moment that other pro western leaders like Victor Yushchenko in the Ukraine haven’t gotten the message;

“You could be next. And don’t count on NATO to help you.”

Flush with petro dollars generated from the recent oil price surge, the Russian Bear appears to be back in the business of imposing its will on its neighbors.

But the most serious question this exercise in adventurism raises is this – Who is the world dealing with in the person of Vladimir Putin?

George W. Bush famously stated that he looked Putin in the eyes and saw a man he could deal with.

John McCain stated that he looked Putin in the eyes and saw the letters KGB.

Interestingly today, the Wall Street Journal weighed in with another take.

Vladimir Bonaparte

The farther Russia’s tanks roll into Georgia, the more the world is beginning to see the reality of Vladimir Putin’s Napoleonic ambitions. Having consolidated his authoritarian transition as Prime Minister with a figurehead President, Mr. Putin is now pushing to reassert Russian dominance in Eurasia. Ukraine is in his sights, and even the Baltic states could be threatened if he’s allowed to get away with it. The West needs to draw a line at Georgia.

No matter who fired the first shot last week in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, Moscow is using the separatist issue as an excuse to demolish Georgia’s military and, if possible, depose its democratically elected government. Russian forces moved ever deeper into Georgia proper Monday. They launched a second front in the west from another breakaway province, Abkhazia, and took the central city of Gori, which lies 40 miles from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. These moves slice the country in half and isolate its ports, most of which Russia has bombed or blockaded. Moscow dismissed a cease-fire drawn up by European nations and signed by Georgia.

Russian bombers have also hit residential and industrial areas, making a mockery of Moscow’s charge that Georgia is the party indiscriminately killing civilians. Russian claims of Georgian ethnic cleansing now look like well-rehearsed propaganda lines to justify a well-prepared invasion. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks, ships and warplanes were waiting for Mr. Putin’s command.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia isn’t the former Soviet Union, bent on ideological confrontation around the world. But it is a Bonapartist power intent on dominating its neighbors and restoring its clout on the world stage. Unless Russians see that there are costs for their Napoleon’s expansionism, Georgia isn’t likely to be his last stop.

As we have pointed out, the only viable channels for Putin’s expansionist ambitions lie to the south. His Faustian alliance with Iran that has bought him peace with radical Islamists like the Chechens leave him with the limited options of imposing his will on non Muslim states like Georgia.

Or perhaps, on nations that the Muslim world would find worthy of attack.

Like Israel.

Ezekiel 38 tells us of a future leader from the uttermost North who will find himself dragged by the jaws into a Last Days invasion of Israel.

It is certainly too soon to say that Putin will be this man. 

But there is no doubt that his policies are moving not only his nation, but the entire region into remarkable harmony with Ezekiel’s prophecy.

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:35-37)


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