Tuesday, September 17, 2013

6 Reasons Why I Grudgingly Admire Vladimir Putin

Putin the Apparatchik

I have written previous blog posts about Vladimir Putin’s lack of compassion with his government's cruel treatment of the Pussy Riot Girls, who are in their second year in a remote Russian gulag. This is Vladimir the KGB thug.  

But then I read Putin's opinion piece in the New York Times. It revealed a side to the man that is rarely seen. He is erudite, charming and cheeky. Other reasons I admire this new Putin:

#1. Russian president Vladimir Putin is a martial artist in judo. He used this in a body slam to the Americans with his piece in the TimesHe illustrated a clever way for a world leader to deliver a message. 

#2. Putin does not play golf, a game of the American bourgeois. He is by nature short, smaller than the legend he has artfully built. He hunts and fishes. He is a student of English. He wears his heart on his sleeve when he is around beautiful women. Sometimes, he’s just being a guy.

#3. Putin’s remark about American exceptionalism was as calculated and practiced as any judo move. He articulated what many world leaders feel but won’t say in public. (I agree with Putin's assessment because I came from a generation of men who know exceptionalism by its real name: imperialism.)

#4. As a life long apparatchik, Putin does not miss much. If not judo, his every move is a calculated chess move. He would not play this game if he didn't think he could win. So far, he’s made a splash. I hope he keeps writing opinions about America. Our freedom of speech might rub off on him.

#5. Putin has attracted the admiration of American ultra-right Republican toadies. It will be interesting to see how Putin plays the capitalists stupid then spits them out.

#6. As a Russian, Putin thoroughly understands irony and paradox. It's refreshing to see complexity in a world leader who is not so easily flummoxed. He is all about composure. He exudes his power. At international summits he emerges as the only adult in the room.

 Putin understands his time in the limelight is limited. He is enjoying his celebrity on the world stage. Maybe, just maybe he might be able to meet fellow Russian, Irina Shayk.

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