The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

September 16, 2013

Don't root for Putin too soon

Did the Obama administration just get lucky with Vladimir Putin? Or did it cleverly offer him a chance to play his favorite role: the Most Interesting Man in the World?

President Barack Obama was caught in a deep political and diplomatic bind. His vow to strike militarily in response to the gassing of hundreds of Syrians by President Bashar al-Assad was running into stiff bipartisan resistance from Congress, our trans-Atlantic allies and American opinion polls.

But the president suddenly looked like the luckiest guy in the world a day before he was scheduled to plead his case in a televised address. Russia’s President Putin, responding to an off-hand remark by Secretary of State John Kerry, stepped up like a last-minute hero and suddenly Assad’s government was agreeing to give up to international supervision the chemical weapons that, until then, Assad had denied possessing.

A lucky break? No doubt. But what’s striking to me is how prophetically this Putin scenario was predicted months ago by a well-known television executive who used to be a Republican political consultant to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

“Putin is angry,” the TV exec said. “He thinks the United States doesn’t take him seriously or treat Russia as a major player. OK, fine, that’s how he feels. If I were president, I’d get in a room with him and say, ‘Look at the slaughter going on in Syria. You can stop it. Do it, and I’ll see to it that you can get all the credit. I’ll tell the world it was you who saved the innocent children of Syria from slaughter.

“ ‘You’ll be an international hero,’ “ the TV exec continued. “ ‘You’ll go down in history.’ Hell, Putin would go to bed thinking, ‘That’s not a bad offer.’ “

Text Only
Opinion
  • Walter Williams mug Wage discrimination everywhere 'President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Community College provides good, affordable education The people of the Clinton area can be very proud of their outstanding educational services starting with pre-school through the 12th grade. In addition we have Clinton Community College, which provides two more years of education with preparation for

    April 24, 2014

  • Will Illinois school aid formula get a makeover? People in Illinois hear a lot about schools not getting enough funding from the state, but not much about an effort afoot in Springfield to develop a fairer way to distribute the money. Whether Senate Bill 16, the School Funding Reform Act, can achie

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook