Friday, May 30, 2014

Putin: Life Imitates Art

Oscar Wilde, in his “The Decay of Lying,” wrote that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”
Few places on earth give expression to this principle, defying Aristotle, than Russia.
Stalin, Rasputin and Putin, to name just a few, not to mention the literary characters like Raskolnikov.
And there are cases where life imitates life, as in the many U.S. gun massacres.
But because life is imitating art, the script is already known. Russian President Vladimir Putin was able to fool many in the world for a time, partly because had had employed thousands of stooges and moles, and partly because of lingering resentment of the U.S. war in Iraq.
Now the president is naked. Many Russian agents who infiltrated the Ukraine have spoken to Western reporters from Vice to the New York Times.
Commentators who had been fooled by Putin now realize the country he is destroying most is Russia. Even Russian officials admit Western sanctions are tipping the country into recession.
But art, too, can imitate life.
In theaters now is “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.” It is a Tom Clancy special.
Since he was dead before Putin was unmasked, the Clancy-inspired film clearly was relying on history.
You can’t teach an old dictator new tricks.
Kenneth Branagh plays Russian oligarch Viktor Cherevin. He is tasked by the Kremlin with destroying the US economy because it is supporting efforts to destroy Moscow’s control of energy in Europe. The idea is another 911, blowing up Wall Street banks and driving investors from the dollar and U.S stocks.
It is not nearly as easily as has been repeatedly argued here on the pages of Allvoices. It would take a huge bomb that disabled the American economy to do it, and it would take Beijing with it. Only Moscow would survive.
Perhaps Putin saw the film. In any event, he is backing off and settling for merely disrupting the Ukraine. He is even offering deals to Kiev to let them catch up on their energy bills.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman puts it on a par with the Soviet Union turning its warships around when they approached the U.S. fleet during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Friedman says Russia, as well as the Ukraine, could become the failed state now because world economies are intertwined as never before.
“Let's add it up: Putin's seizure of Crimea has weakened the Russian economy, led to China getting a bargain gas deal, revived NATO, spurred Europe to start ending its addiction to Russian gas and begun a debate across Europe about increasing defense spending. Nice work, Vladimir. That's why I say the country Putin threatens most today is Russia,” wrote Friedman.
New York Times
Life Imitates Art

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