The title is pretty much the entire blog today. Where’s Putin? Zelenskyy is front and center but Putin is nowhere to be found.
I think we should return to the days of dueling where the challenged, in this case Zelenskyy, gets the choice of weapons. I can see him choosing wit since it would pretty much leave his opponent unarmed. Imagine Putin at one podium and Zelenskyy at the other exchanging well-worded, precisely delivered barbs, the skilled swordsman slicing and dicing his thick tongued opponent. The entire world would watch as figurative blood would spill from the wounds inflicted by Zelenskyy’s razor sharp wit and matching tongue. Putin would, early on, be reduced to “and yo mama” while Zelenskyy would be carving chunks from the Russian’s massive ego. Yes, I’d buy a ticket to that match.
That said, I would like to see some sort of agreed upon convention wherein politicians, statesmen and diplomats are held accountable for their decisions and actions. Too often we keep sending people who are “Professionals” to represent us when they have a demonstrated history of failure. We are told we are too simple to understand the tres difficile arenas of world politics and diplomacy. We want common sense solutions and if we get anything at all it’s generally some long document which has so many loopholes in it you might confuse it with a bee hive. What kind of diplomacy is it when a group of countries can’t decide upon a definition for “aggression” (i.e. the International Court of Justice)? If we could hold the politicians and diplomats responsible for the jobs they do, or don’t do, then we might get somewhere. In a democracy we say the politicians are judged at the ballot box but we know, with the power blocs we currently have, that is no longer true. As for the professional statesmen, why is it the U.S. always seems to come out of a negotiation on the short end? We already know the answer to that question, it deals with our Western culture’s failure to play the long game and more particularly with our current mode of changing our government every two years.
Be that as it may, we still deserve better players when it comes to negotiating international compacts and I would suggest that people with proven track records of scoring for their clients be chosen as negotiators, instead of professional bureaucrats who know the niceties of forks and knives but lack the ability to drive those knives into the hearts (or backs if necessary) of their opponents.
Still, you need to be able to face your opponent. So, where is Putin?