Friday, March 21, 2014

Obama & Putin - Don't Let Politics & Egos Trigger Economic Chaos


There is one thing our leaders seem to have forgotten in their war of words and brinkmanship, their clash of egos and their refusal to compromise and that is millions, maybe even billions of people will have to bear the brunt of the hardship for whatever they do.

Here in America we are still struggling to get over a terrorist attack on 9-11, two of the longest and most ill-conceived wars in our history and five years of Obama and his policy of intellectual constipation as a better alternative than truth.

Now that political partisanship as mastered by the president has effectively paralyzed our government and there is really very little more damage that can be done to the national reputation there is a danger of detachment by the two political leaders that spells danger to the millions they represent and the millions more they could harm.

We pretty much recognize that Putin is going to do whatever he thinks will contribute to the resurrection of a Russian Empire as that seems to be his destiny.  Whether such an Empire will embrace the brutal Communism of Lenin and Stalin remains to be seen.

Here in the colonies we seem to have forgotten a lot about the history of the world and I suppose when your own history is barely 500 years old, it would be hard to relate to people and places dating back 5,000 years or more.

Well consider this.  When the Soviet Union collapsed and we tried to impose our cherished system of Democracy on the people freed from the yoke of Communism did it ever occur to us we might be making a mistake?

Of course not.

Our Constitutional principles of individual freedom and equal opportunity should be enjoyed by everyone.  But can it be?  People fled to America to be free.  But what about the people who never left their homeland?  People like the Russians, Muslims, Asians and others.

I traveled to Russia during the conversion from Communism to chaos and it did not take me long to realize our freedoms and our opportunities were alien to a civilization that lived under the rule of Czars for over 1,000 years before the iron-fist control imposed by Communism.

None of the average Russians I reached out to had a clue what democracy meant and the thought of electing their leaders had never happened in thousands of years.  In fact, many of the people who grew up under Communism and were cared for from cradle to grave felt being cared for was far more important than how much wealth could be accumulated.

In other words, they didn't deny Americans to be who were are but seemed to be asking why can't you respect us for who we are.

We seem to forget it has taken us 500 years to master our own destiny.  The first half were spent under the same English, French or Spanish systems our ancestors fled and the last 238 years have been spent trying to figure out how to make democracy work.

Think about it, just 150 years ago we were ending the Civil War that threatened to destroy our fledgling experiment in democracy so we have really only been at it, the art of governing the people in peace, for 150 years.

When you think about the American wars, riots against wars, abuses by businesses, corruption by governments, lack of civil rights, etc., since the Civil War ended one wonders if we have even reached a state of maturity yet as far as our form of governing.

In truth, we don't really know what is best for ourselves, we are a work in progress, and we sure don't know what is best for the rest of the world.  If we do not recognize the history and respect the expectations of people in other countries then we should not impose our will and ways on them.

Of course every human being should enjoy individual freedom and have equal opportunity but that certainly does not happen overnight, not even over hundreds of years.  And that might not even be what the people want.

Obama and Putin are trying to impose on the Ukrainian and Crimean people what they see is best for those people.  I already wrote that Crimea was far more a part of Russia and the Ukraine more a part of Europe.

At the same time, Russia's most valuable asset, oil and gas, are dependent on a series of pipelines running across the Ukraine to the Black Sea and Europe.  They have a right to expect them to be protected just as we have protected our oil and gas interests in many countries in the Middle East.

No one's hands are clean and conscious is clear when it comes to wealth and power and those in power must be accommodated if anyone wants to share in their wealth.  Every time we try to change the balance of the world things get bad, economies are disrupted, people lose their jobs, savings and sanity and the rich, well they just keep getting richer.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and on and on are proof of the folly of wealth-driven foreign policy.  With the United States and Russia two of the most wealthy nations on Earth in terms of natural resources and economic wealth, maybe it is time to reconsider whether our foreign policy should be dictated by economic incentives or concerns for the needs of the people.

If so I expect a far different outcome than what we have today.                


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