This article is exceptionally insightful in that it exposes Vladimir Putin for who he really is:

Why do many Western analysts contend that Vladimir Putin is outsmarting everybody like a skillful chess master? Can it be a massive illusion fed by Kremlin propaganda and blindly supported by analysts and policy makers? I agree with Paul Gregory that Putin deserves a failing scorecard and would add that he is erratically moving his country towards disaster. A bully is usually far from intelligent; he can be dangerous and evil, he can possess powerful resources, but that does not make him the forward-looking strategist many in the West pretend he is.

Putin’s economic model prevents him from being the international superpower he’s pretending to be. It isn’t that Russia is a superpower. It’s that it’s acting like it’s a superpower. Thinking that Putin is a chess master because he’s having his way with President Obama is like thinking you’re a tough buy because you can beat up a 5th-grader.

Putin is delusional because he thinks that the former Soviet empire was a great federation of nations. The truth is that it operated as a great federation because liberals like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter treated it like a great federation.

Only President Reagan understood its fatal flaw. Only President Reagan exploited that fatal flaw. President Reagan out-strategized and outmaneuvered the giant Russian bear. He expanded the use of Radio Free Europe to talk with the citizens. He checked them militarily whenever they thought about fulfilling their expansionist ideology. Most importantly, President Reagan spoke to the dissidents’ hearts by telling them about the virtues of liberty.

Let’s understand something. Vladimir Putin is a thug. He isn’t as despicable as Stalin but he’s still a thug. Calling him a thug doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous to smaller opponents. It just means that he’ll suffer the same fate as Gorbachev if he’s confronted by another Reagan.

The only way to deal with Moscow is to act firmly and decisively, imposing sectorial sanctions and providing serious military help to Ukraine, sharply increasing the economic and political pressure. The faster the West acts, the more lives will be saved and more destruction will be prevented.

President Reagan understood the necesssity of economic and benign military confrontation. Technically, President Reagan didn’t fire a shot to defeat the Soviet empire. That doesn’t mean he didn’t sell military weaponry to the Soviet’s neighbors. He let them know that he’d checkmate them wherever their expansionist goals took them.

There’s no denying that Putin is a major player on the international stage. There’s no denying that his expansionist goals are real. That doesn’t mean he’s the unstoppable superman that President Obama is helping through his inactions.

President Obama’s policies just make a thug look like a superpower. That doesn’t mean President Putin’s Russia is worthy of superpower status. That’s just what happens when he’s matched against a lightweight US president.

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