Thursday, 29 December 2016

Is Russia in Charge Right Now?

So, Vladimir Putin has announced a Syrian Ceasefire.  Was the United States anywhere near that negotiation table?  No.  The UK? Not even remotely so.  France? (What, who?)  No, Russia and Turkey have apparently ground down their enemies and worked together to negotiate a ceasefire in Syria while the West stares impotently on.

Am I the only one who feels like he’s witnessing a changing of the guard?  Is Russia in charge right now?  In a potential close relationship between the United States and Russia, would this be a marriage of equals or the capitulation of a superpower to a re-emerging one?

I have the distinct fear that President-elect Trump’s lack of experience will play into the superior scheming hands of the Russian strongman.  I don’t know Mr. Putin; I can’t claim to understand his deeper motivations or intentions for Europe, the Middle East or the world.  I just know that he appears to be built in the mold of dictators past; strong, awe-inspiring to an extent, unassailable and well-loved by a solid cross-section of his people.  On the surface there appears to be much to admire, but not far beneath there seems to lurk the threat of something more sinister.  Real, or imagined?  Who knows?

I remember an article about 20 years ago in Time Magazine which started something like this: “America rules the world, and that’s good.  Who would you rather have in charge? China…?”  Well, Donald Trump ran a campaign to “make America great again.”  With Europe glancing nervously at its long-time ally, uncertain of what the future brings and where its true ideological allegiance will lie,  with a resurgent – no – dominant Russia strutting the world stage and reshaping the global conflict landscape, with a strong China slowly buying out Africa and courting new friends and allies in South America, Donald Trump has his work cut out for him. 

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