At first when I heard that former Communist KGB thug and current untrustworthy president of Russia thug Vladimir Putin had written an op-ed for the New York Times, it sounded like the answer to a riddle. “If Paul Krugman writes for the op-ed page of the New York Times, and Maureen Dowd writes for the op-ed page of the New York Times, who else would be likely to write for the op-ed page of the New York Times?” But once I had a chance to study what Putin actually said about President Obama’s recent foreign policy initiative in Syria, I felt it was worth taking a close and serious look at what the Russian had to say.
The first paragraph establishes his subject with remarkable clarity:
Dosvedanya, Suckers! Who-dat just pwned the President of the oh-so-exceptional United States? That’s right, you Yankee Doodle Dandies! Me, that’s who! Hey, Uh-O-Obama, who’s your Daddy? Vladdy your Daddy! Boom! Ouch, that was the sound of the leader of the free world having himself Bee-yatch Slapped big time! It is Assad day for U.S. prestige. Get it? Assad. A – sad! Yowzah!
After thus setting the tone for future relations between Russia’s president and ours, Putin goes on to address more directly the context of our international standing in the age of Obama:
Yo, American Bee-yatches! Remember the movie Carrie? How, like, this whole burning house fell down on top of her head and everyone thought she was dead and buried and then suddenly — frang!!! — her hand comes rocketing out the grave and grabs you by the leg and you’re all, like, “Yaaaaa!” Okay. Now, remember the Cold War and how you were all, like, “We won the Cold War! USA! USA!” and we were all, like, “Boo-hoo, turns out Communism wasn’t such a great idea after all.” Well, guess what? Frang!!!! Now you’ve got the Marxist leader and we’re all, like, “I reach out of the grave and grab your leg, Charlie!” Should’ve stuck with the whole Reagan small government, big army thing, but no-o-o-o-o! Who’s sorry now? That’s the song I’m singing!
And finally, in a magnanimous gesture, the Russian president concludes with a paragraph of reconciliation:
Seriously, though, once he wipes the egg off his face, President Obama and I have a great deal in common. I don’t believe in American exceptionalism and neither does he. I want U.S. foreign policy hamstrung by the circus of petty tyrants that is the United Nations and so does he. I benefit from having a Russian-backed murderous strong man retain power in Syria while the humiliation of the American president reduces his influence in the region to zero and… oops! I guess I have one on you there! Rim-shot! So long, schmuckovites!
All in all, a thoughtful essay that, properly seen, helps us understand Obama’s foreign policy as it is seen by the rest of the world.