Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have a couple things in common. Both are domestic authoritarians and believe themselves to be dictators of their respective countries. Beyond that, they are pretty much polar opposites.
Putin, the ex-KGB agent, fancies himself a tough guy, a man’s man, spending a great amount of time shirtless and probably in front of a mirror. And being an ex-agent, he is more than likely a tough guy.
Obama, as has been demonstrated on many occasions, is a wimp who merely plays at being tough, but only to the extent he can remain unchallenged, which is the mark of a bully.
Domestically Obama appears tough because he has the force of the federal government to do his bidding and spineless cowards known as Republicans as his only opposition. He is free to push them around the schoolyard. But internationally, it’s a different story. At the first sign of trouble he folds. He’s not equipped for the international stage where his army of government lawyers can’t pressure and threaten his enemies into capitulation. Other world leaders have no fear of that, which is why he chooses to lead from behind.
Take for example the latest juxtaposition between Obama and Putin with their handling of ISIS and Syria in general. Putin, to be sure, is a dirt bag despot, but he does understand war and the use of his military. We certainly should not agree with his ambitions and alliances, but he appears to be getting the job done, as he sees it. He evidently has full comprehension that the job of his military — any military — is to kill people and break things. And he has set out to do just that.
The website, RT.com (Russia Today) reports that, “Russian airstrikes have torched more than 1,000 tankers taking stolen crude oil to Islamic State refineries. This blow against the jihadists comes as the Russian Air Force has hit 472 terrorist targets in two days in Syria, making 141 sorties.” Major General Igor Konashenkov, of the Russian Defense Ministry added that, “A major oil depot was destroyed 15 kilometers southwest of the city of Raqqa.”
We all know that Putin is not hitting ISIS for the benefit of the West. He is doing it as retribution for the downing of the Russian Airliner and for his ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad. Motives aside, which are never good when Putin is involved, he appears serious about getting the job done for his fellow despot.
Reports are also that his bombing campaigns have killed hundreds of Syrian civilians. Since September estimates are as many as 526, including 137 children. Doubtful he cares at all about that.
Again, motives aside, war is hell. It’s not pretty, it’s not sterile, and it cannot be surgical. Even with the best of intentions, innocents will die. If one desires to prevail in war, one must resign oneself to this inescapable fact.
Obama, as Putin’s polar opposite, has not done so, and judging by his behavior as “Commander In Chief” he never will. Case in point is the latest shameful report that U.S. pilots are flying all but worthless sorties because they can’t get clearance to hit any targets.
Barack Obama has informed the Pentagon of his “zero civilian casualty” policy. The One explained to his commanders that “I do not want any civilian casualties.” Their response was, “But there’s always some civilian casualties. We have the best capability in the world to protect from civilians casualties.” To that Obama reiterated: “No, you don’t understand. I want no civilian casualties. Zero.”
Because of this absurd policy, U.S. pilots are returning from bombing missions with 75% of their payload intact! Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism expert at the U.S. Treasury Department said: “It appears that the U.S. is simply allowing France to strike many of the targets that would usually be reserved for the U.S. and some of its coalition allies. In other words, this appears to be a redistribution of daily targets in the ongoing campaign, and not a significant change.”
They are all about “redistribution” — even in war. Obama is “allowing” the French to bomb our targets to avoid any blame for civilian casualties. What a spineless schmuck!
So our Commander-in-Chief is allowing our brave pilots to take off and fly into harm’s way, and hopefully return intact — all for nothing. What must military morale be like?
As it stands now, there’s no way we can ever win this war, so despite his intentions, we had better hope that tough guy Putin can sustain his offensive against ISIS, at least containing them until Obama’s exit. Heck, we’ll be lucky to have any allies left by the time Obama leaves office.