Well, at least we know he’s not a Cossack. “We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine,” our president commander has declared. Who says a Nobel Peace Prize is not a good investment? We’re surprised he didn’t travel to Fulton, Missouri, to announce the following. “What we are going to do is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message.” Getting nervous, are you Mr. Putin? Or has your translator not dared to translate? We all remember the fate of the one who caused Uncle Joe to get giddy.
How do we mobilize our diplomatic resources? By imposing sanctions, naturally. Singling out a few nonentities is a good beginning, but perhaps they should be stigmatized as one-percenters as well. Can we also add some muscle, some teeth, some indication that we’re hitting Putin’s putzes where it hurts? Let’s start with a few luxury items. Chewing gum, Tom Collins mix, Brute aftershave. We’ve heard there’s a shortage of uniform insignia and other identifiers in the Russian army. In a counter-sanction that would please the Norwegian Nobel Committee, we could dump Boy Scout uniforms and badges on the Russian Army. But hold back on Scoutmaster uniforms until Russia’s behavior improves. And if it doesn’t, drop them anyway, but announce beforehand that the Scoutmasters in question haven’t been vetted, if you catch our drift.
So far Putin has responded by playing tea partier and barring the likes of Johns Boehner and McCain from traveling to Mother Russia. We wonder which one of them is crying now. Maybe both. Just knowing you can’t visit Lenin’s Tomb anytime you want has to be the cruelest insult inflicted on civilized man. Senator McCain has tried to laugh the whole thing off, but only because that’s the kind of man he is. We salute you, John.
Can’t say the same for the editorial honchos at AP and the National Geographic, who quicker than the eager beavers in the Russian parliament have removed “Ukraine” from their datelines and maps of Crimea.
The thing is, we all have more pressing matters, starting with our president commander. Most men in his position would be studying maps and charts, scrutinizing army movements, monitoring relative military strength, and keeping a close eye on regional developments and power shifts. Defenders and admirers will insist that’s just what he’s been doing. Perhaps they’ve got a point.
We caught up with him Wednesday on Pentagon Channel ESPN (Extra-Sensory Perception Network) as he divined the outcome of the next three weeks of major confrontations. There will be blood, he let on, as unit after unit will fall in stiff combat against defenders more determined and better led than they, until only four are left standing and in the space of three final days only one of them will emerge as victor. It won’t get Crimea back, it won’t save Ukraine or NATO from further humiliation, but by gosh it will satisfy certain groups of college alumni, Nevada bookies, and the insufferable Dick Vitale (our Zhirinovsky). Above all, our president commander will feel secure in his basketball expertise. As he told us himself, he’s always the smartest man in the arena.
Not so fast. Because the woman who deprives him of a home-court advantage is presently on a slow boat to China, it’s up to us to restore a sense of reality. So while our predictable EOW was filling out his final bracket with such strategic redoubts as Arizona, Florida, Louisville, and Michigan State, a rival genius was writing in Sebastopol, Kharkov, Donetsk, and Dnepropetrovsk. Only problem there is those weren’t his final four, just his opening round. Think our guy knows Coach Putin’s the only one sending a clear message?