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Spengler

Putin Gets It and We Don’t

November 14th, 2013 - 5:35 pm

Middle East politics amounts to managing the decline of a failed culture. Nothing expresses Arab failure more vividly than Egypt, a banana republic without the bananas, now living on a $14 billion or so annual subsidy from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. With 70% of its population living in agricultural areas, it imports half its food, and would starve if not for the Saudi check. ‘

Egypt is beyond the point of no return economically, and American foreign policy is beyond the point of no return intellectually. Americans of both parties–Obama and Kerry on one side, and Sens. McCain and Graham along with the Weekly Standard on the other–believed that by waving the magic wand of democracy over this cataclysmically failed state, all would be well. I characterized this consensus as “Dumb and Dumber” earlier this year.

The outcome, of course, is that Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov turned up in Cairo this week to hear his Egyptian counterpart declare that America’s erstwhile Arab ally wants to restore Russian-Egyptian relations to their level during the Soviet era–when Egypt was an enemy. As the Jerusalem Post summed up the mess:

The more persistent the denials, the clearer it is that a marked shift is taking place in international ties that until recently bound the world’s single superpower with the most populous Arab state. The Russian ministerial visits were preceded by a visit by the chief of Russian intelligence and by Russian naval vessels.

More important, the visits by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu involve a major sale to Egypt of sophisticated Russian military hardware – clearly a counter move to the American halting of weapons supplies.

The Egyptians are essentially saying that they can shop elsewhere and not have to shell out cash. According to reliable reports, another exasperated American ally, Saudi Arabia, is footing the bill for this transaction to the tune of $4b. The Russians may receive additional compensation in the form of access for their navy to port facilities on the Mediterranean.

Like it or not, this smacks of a return – if not fully in substance then at least in appearance – to the days of the Cold War when Egypt enjoyed unstinting Soviet support, enabling Moscow and Cairo to thumb their noses at Washington.

Vladimir Putin gets it, and we don’t. He backs the Assad regime in Syria against Saudi-supported rebels. He is cracking down ruthlessly on Muslim terrorists in the Russian Caucasus, using Stalin-era forms of collective punishment. Nonetheless Riyadh is footing a $4 billion bill for Egypt to buy Russian arms.

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Top Rated Comments   
Confused by the Cool Hand Luke theory of Obama's foreign policy?

Not clear about the notion of leading from behind?

Left scratching your head how radical leftists climb so easily into bed with Islamic radicals?


See no method to the madness?

Malcolm X would. Don Warden would. The Nation of Islam would. James Cone would. Jeremiah Wright would. Bill Ayers would. The New Party would. Rashid Khalidi would. The Midwest Academy would. Robert Malley and his parents would.


Radical leftists do not recoil at the "opportunity" for Mother Russia to gain power and influence back in Egypt or around the world. They see no shame in abandoning Israel, the Balkans, Egypt, Syria or elsewhere...that chips away at our own.

America is getting weaker...EVERY move seems designed to accelerate this fact...and STILL we don our rosé tinted shades, ahh...it must be incompetence, yes, that's the ticket.

Our Constitution is being shredded, we are forced into taxation without representation...but our information stream conspires against us, to keep our wits dulled and our senses frozen.

Obama does nothing to help Israel in their peril, does nothing to stop Iran or Russia?

Our media says nothing about how we are being played?

Well, sometimes nothing...is a real cool hand.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ex KGB Colonel vs the dope smoking little punk from Punahou HS....place your bets,ladies and gentlemen
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish Obama were as 'pro America' as Putin is 'pro Russia'.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
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What does Putin Know? Who wants to follow a murderous professed christian in Russia and start having more babies? Is Obama playing the Sunnis against the Shiites? Why bow to the Saudi King and secretly lift sanctions and negotiate with Iran? The Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian born Valerie Jarrett are both making policy in the White House? Your cautionary atimes post years ago about putting a resentful outsider in charge of a country is starting to look like armegeddon for the Middle East.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
These are not health care changes but a revolution Obama is bringing forcing changes on popular culture by introducing more communist brickwork for the foundations to be poured on a big new beauracracy. His is the new America building an enlarged base of dependents. If he wants to continue momentum with this revolution with lies then that will be a difficulty for both Republicans and Democrats. Like the Jacobin revolution in Naples it failed because it became disconnected...its own beast. People no longer understood what the revolutionary elites were representing. Don't be fooled this administration is revolutionary and it is a revolution based on lies. One Democratic zombie said it all..."He had to lie about Obamacare or it would never have passed." Obama new this. His administration knew this and it is comforting to know that most Americans do not believe Obamas and the administrations lies told about the lies. A counter revolution is in the air and its up to the spineless members of Congress and Republican Governors not to sell their souls for the same price as the handout welfare dependent classes. The Govenor of Ohio has gone down this path with a message of sanctimony that just is not suited for the long game. I don't think he will be sleeping singing "It is well with my soul."

There should be a new definition applied to conservative:- Those who can see the long game and are not fooled by the short game and stoppage time. Yes this should be the proper defenition for a conservative. On this basis Putin is streets ahead of these so called progressives in preparing for the long game and he makes a pretty good conservative.

36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we only could swap the Russians straight across Obama for Putin.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wouldn't lump Merkle in with other "western" heads of government....however she was brought up in the Russian system.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Almost 50% of Amwericans share Putin's intelligence and don't agree with Obama either.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of U.S. get it more than others do!


CIA Looking at Your Financial Transactions: Collecting Records from the Likes of Western Union Under the Patriot Act By Kurt Nimmo Global Research, November 15, 2013

http://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-looking-at-your-financial-transactions-collecting-records-from-the-likes-of-western-union-under-the-patriot-act/5358261
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin came up through a system in which death was the reward for failure. He ended up on top of that system. It's called natural selection. Our Current Resident is a potted plant.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin must look at our current crop of Western leaders such as Cameron, Hollande, Merkle and, of course, Obama the way a wolf views a flock of slow-footed sheep. This is a very hard guy who clearly recognizes the moral flabbiness that now resides at the center of Western culture. He has no altruism, no illusions and no pity. He's probably a monster but a monster who clearly sees how the Western liberal elites have lost confidence in their own heritage. As Jean Francoise Revel said...."Clearly a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself." Putin sees this and WILL exploit it.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Very good! Americans should go back to reading Madison. Obama is a revolutionary who advocates state control and restrictions on free speech. Labor tried attacks on the Murdoch Press here in Australia with subversive legislation totalling to mission creep. Having said Obama also has a tendency to manifest symptoms like Paul Blart in the movie Mall Cop. When he starts to dose off he gets showered by sherbert from the left wing press to fire him up again. This makes his leadership all the more dangerous. These passive agressive personalities are dysfunctional and dangerous.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yup. Thanklfully for Russia, Putin wasn't ever subjected to the Hahvud Yayl brainwashing machine.
He can still tell S T from Shinola.
His loyalties are just as straitforward: Putin first, Russia next, everyone else last.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Shows where affirmative action gets you: still can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

I, as a former intelligence officer see the Mid East as a bad deal. If Putin wants to poot around there, that is fine, his resources are finite. Let us wait until we can provide a higher price rather than pandering.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
That would be a lot easier if we were to at least use our own resources. Obama and his EPA won't let us do that. And I keep hearing rumors that he is allowing the Chinese to do just that on our land. To heck with that
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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