In almost every generation a leader emerges among the nations, quasi-nations, and pseudo-nations of the world. In our time that leader is Russia’s Vladimir Putin. As an American, this is both hard for me to admit and something that I cannot find to be a positive thing for my nation. That, however, doesn’t make it any less true and refusing to accept that truth would be even worse for America.
Vladimir Putin – The World’s Leader
The one thing that truly sets President Vladimir Putin apart from the rest of world’s, and especially America’s, politicians is that he is a leader of men and they, especially Obama, are merely politicians. Putin commands respect and gets it, they do neither.
Putin decides what he wants to do and he does it in half a day, right? He decided he had to go to their parliament. He went to their parliament. He got permission in 15 minutes … but he makes a decision and he executes it quickly. Then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader. President Obama, he’s got to think about it. He’s got to go over it again. He’s got to talk to more people about it.
— Rudy Giuliani
Mr. Giuliani is, quite sadly, completely correct. Of all the people on the world’s stage Putin is the man who is most the leader and who is most worthy of respect in that role. The key words in this are “Leader” and “Respect.” Those do not respectively equate to “Friend” or “Approval.”
Putin is neither friend nor ally to America and is, at a bare minimum, an adversary of Europe. There is little of his foreign policy that is not contrary to the West’s perceived best interests and even less of his domestic policies that the majority of the West’s peoples find acceptable.
Therein lies the problem. The greatest and most worthy of respect leader of this time is one that is not on our side. Nor do we have, singularly or collectively, such leaders as can effectively balk him with anything resembling ease. As the victors write the history books, this could well end up with us “on the wrong side of history.”