Opinion | Vladimir Putin- the Most Influential Man in the World – by David Brooks – NYT

Who is the most influential human being on the planet? My vote goes to Vladimir Putin.

Putin has established himself as one pole in the great global debate of the era, the debate between authoritarianism and democracy. He has a coherent strategy to promote his authoritarian side of that debate. He’s able to humiliate and disrupt his democratic rivals at will and get away with it. He’s become a cultural hero to populist conservatives everywhere — in France, Italy, the Philippines and the Oval Office.

via Opinion | Vladimir Putin, the Most Influential Man in the World – The New York Times

Yes. Thank you David Brooks. Here is one of many goood, a few crazy comments,

Times Pick

I am Venezuelan by birth. For years, I watched Russian influence, distributed via the Cubans, entered my country.

Hugo Chavez took office in 1998 and Putin in 1999. At first, Chavez was just a populist buffoon but pretty quickly, he became the darling of Fidel Castro and everything changed.

At some point in the early 00s, the sorts of things happening here now started spreading to Venezuela. The parallels are astounding. They began by stacking the courts full of cronies. They rewrote the constitutions electing Chavez as essentially president for life (prior we had term limits of 6 yrs). They destabilized the media–and they sent an ungodly amount of Russian arms into the country. I remember wanting to throw up reading that 10,000 Uzis were en route to Caracas.

Why was Fidel so influential in Venezuela? Why am I so convinced of the Russian hand? Optics, patterns, evidence and results.

I have a theory–one I think shared by many of my countrymen.

Putin saw Venezuela as strategically important. From it’s position as our 2nd biggest oil supplier then to it’s physical location, it was a country worth courting. In Fidel, he found the perfect middle man. In Chavez, the perfect traitor. The county was then, and is now, run by sell outs who have benefitted financially from all sorts of corrupt trades and deals including drugs.

Why is this relevant?

Because there is a playbook. Putin plays chess. We play checkers.

…..and we are getting beaten.

About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. Find more about it at TheTaySonRebellion.com, also known as, DavidLindsayJr.com. David Lindsay is currently writing about Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction., as well as singing and performing a "folk concert" on Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction. He can be reached at daljr37(at)gmail.com.
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