Waiting on Putin, The Dream Candidate

It’s interesting that accusations that Putin is trying to swing the election to Trump peaked, for now, in the midst of the Democratic Convention, and distracted nicely from what was revealed in the hacked emails. Hmmm.

Putin was then ushered off stage, to be replaced by the Wrath of Khan and their son, who died in Iraq 12 years ago. I wonder now when Putin will be brought back. He will of course be brought back, being far too good a bad guy to waste in this most obscene of elections.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was no global enemy for America to face down. No big nasty to spur weapons procurement, or to justify a huge standing military with hundreds of bases around the world, or to pick fights with to allow a president down in the polls to morph into a war leader.

A lot of people had a lot of power and money in play that demanded some real bad guys. An attempt was made in the 1980s to make narco-lords the new major threat, but they were too few in number to sustain the meme, and too many American loved their dope. Following 9/11, the bad guys were “the terrorists.” The Bush gangsters anointed Saddam a WMD threat and christened Iran and North Korea as part of an Axis of Evil.

The Iraq War was ultimately very unpopular, and is never-ending. Meh. Bin Laden never launched a second attack on the U.S., and the Taliban had no poster child leader like him to snarl at for 15 years. Iran and North Korea just make a lot of noise. The United States made an effort to label others – Gaddafi, Assad, Islamic State – global enemies worthy of perpetual war, but the Middle East in general has turned into a quagmire we all want to really wake up sober from.

Washington really needs an Arch Enemy, a guy who looks like a Bond villain with nuclear weapons he’ll brandish but never use.


Americans are already well-prepared by the old Cold War to see Russia as an evil empire, and Putin does look the part. A new Cold War will require America to buy more military hardware, plus discover new places like the Baltic states to garrison. It might even straighten out a NATO confused about its role regarding global terrorism.

Forget Trump and Clinton; Putin is the political-military-industrial complex dream candidate.

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Reprinted from the his blog with permission.

2 thoughts on “Waiting on Putin, The Dream Candidate”

  1. If I were Russian I would be more than a little tempted to vote for Putin, he’s done right by his people and has been the best leader they’ve seen since the last Vladimir. All of this, of coarse makes Putin the perfect boogeyman. Just like Che Guevara and Hugo Chavez, there is nothing more terrifying to the elite than an anti-imperialist with a fan club. So would I vote for Putin, probably not. I’m too old for the statist tough guys I adored in my youth but I still thank god that they’re still around to make the plutocrats sweat. Bravo, Putin, this nostalgic anarchist solutes you.

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  2. Putin has no plans to conquer the world. When Russia had presedent choices so mixed Eu and America in the election. It called Putin a dictator and invested billion in retail at the option of destroying Putin’s election campaign. Now Hillery Clinton get a taste of their medicine, and now it will Hillery Clinton angry and want to drag the US into a conflict with Russia. Hillery Clinton is dangerous for America and the world.

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