Wednesday, August 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Putin and his soul are growing tiresome

By
From page A11 | March 07, 2014 |

It’s hard to believe how much time we have spent in recent weeks musing about Russian President Vladimir Putin. And we still don’t have a clue what his end game is.

The first (and only) time I met Putin, I tried to look into his eyes to see if I could ascertain anything about his soul. A la George W. Bush who said of Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

I saw nothing but two cold beady orbs. Let’s be honest here, the cynical Putin resembles the ultimate James Bond villain more than a modern major potentate.

Putin turned the Olympic Games into a soap opera about him. We fretted about the horrific corruption in Putin’s regime. Then we worried about terrorism springing from Russia’s war with Chechnya 300 miles from the games. We recoiled from the weirdly colored hotel water.

We feared Putin’s response to the losses of his beloved hockey team. We were upset that Russian police arrested two members of Pussy Riot, the not-particularly talented but intensely anti-Putin singers. We were appalled at the anti-gay restrictions of Putin’s government and giggled when he inadvertently hugged a lesbian medalist.

And then Ukraine erupted into violence, its pro-Russian puppet president fled and the world held its breath, waiting to see what Putin would do.

The former KGB colonel held war games, started making threatening noises and ordered troops to surround Ukraine’s small military outposts. Then he ordered Russian troops to show force in Crimea, part of Ukraine.

To Secretary of State John Kerry’s astonishment, Putin denied there are Russian troops on alert in Crimea. Putin said he has no intent to start a war but warned he just might have to use force to protect Russian interests. He signaled he might support Ukrainian elections. But he insisted he must protect Russia’s Black Sea Fleet off the coast of Crimea. He denounced Ukraine’s new government, calling it “the people who call themselves the government.” He lashed out at the United States, blaming the West for all the trouble.

Putin is an extremely tiresome person.

We are now scrambling to recall how imperialism started the World Wars I and II and what the Crimean War in the 1850s was all about and seeking European understanding on just what Putin’s motives are. (Europeans don’t know but suspect he wants to reassemble the Russian empire. They’re also worried about irritating him because his country provides a lot of their natural gas.) Some of the pundits are even suggesting this is a restart of the Cold War.

The United States and Europe are treaty-bound to protect Ukraine from invasion or Russian force. Meanwhile, Ukraine is totally out of money, so one idea to defuse the whole mess is to pour in billions of dollars. (Americans on food stamps may be on precarious territory; unstable but strategic foreign governments are on firmer ground when it comes to federal dollars.) And when in doubt, we usually go with economic sanctions and then we cancel international meetings.

Putin is centuries too late to go down in history as Vlad the Terrible or Vlad the Impaler. But clearly he wants a big chapter. Putin the Impenetrable doesn’t really work, but Vlad the Invader is a distinct possibility. Vlad the Diplomat seems unlikely. (Vlad the Stupid is a personal favorite.)

In our age of celebrity worship it always comes as a bit of a shock when somebody famous can wreak havoc on so many people with such insensitivity and such ferocity, getting thousands of minions to do his dirty work. Perhaps Putin didn’t think this through. Probably even he doesn’t know how it will end.

We are trying to assess which is more tedious — the cold temperatures and snow of this dreadful winter or figuring out the Russian bear. It’s a tossup.

Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send her email at amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.

Ann McFeatters

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • patrickMarch 07, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    I think it was the loss of the hockey game to the USA. after the games Putin went into the Crimea. Adolf Hitler had the same reaction after a loss. remember the 1937 Olympic games when a black us boxer defeated the best German boxer?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • HistorianMarch 07, 2014 - 7:17 pm

    Jesse Owens was a runner, not a boxer.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • HistorianMarch 07, 2014 - 7:23 pm

    And Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, in the 12th round, 1936.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895March 08, 2014 - 2:47 am

    But in the 1938 rematch, Louis KOed Schmeling in ONE round. The following year, Hitler invaded Poland to start WWII.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickMarch 08, 2014 - 2:24 pm

    RLW895, THANK YOU---Patrick, I just got the year wrong. born in in 39

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2, 9 Comments

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9, 6 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 6 Comments

 
Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 2 Comments

 
Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 10 Comments

Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

 
Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6