“It was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire woke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves.”
— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers.
If it were regrettable that Vladimir Putin’s formidable diplomatic skills were wasted squashing rather than ensuring freedom inside Russia, it seems even more lamentable that his impressive prose likewise is not put to better use. Putin’s letter to us, the American people, is brilliant sophistry. The best rhetoric is always that which blends truth with half-truth and occasional fiction. In Putin’s case, he did all that—while offering the dessert of channeling Obama back to Obama.
Of course, as Putin reminds us, we fought together in WWII and should agree that such cooperation should be emulated. Russia suffered enormous losses for the Allied cause. Without such heroic sacrifices, the Anglo-American alliance may well have lost the war.
Yet Putin forgets to remind us that Russia’s war with Germany was prompted by betrayal. Russia was a de facto ally of Hitler. It kept sending him enormous amounts of material to help defeat France and Continue reading “Putin — Saruman Come Alive”→
The foreign minister of Spain recently compared the troubled EU to the Titanic, a metaphor not quite so trite given the new research into why the world’s biggest ocean liner collided with an iceberg. Continue reading “The EU Speeds for the Iceberg”→
The European Union and the United Nations, as well as globalization and advanced technology, were supposed to trump age-old cultural, geographical, and national differences and bring people together. Continue reading “History Never Quite Ends”→
There are a lot of new twists to the old story of massive demonstrations in Greece. This is the first time in my life (I first went to Greece in 1973) that I can remember Greek rioting and demonstrations that were not anti-American. Continue reading “Greek Tragedies”→