Unfortunately for the many world leaders Putin doesn’t seem to like much, that soul likely wants to see them dangling by their dangly bits.
According to the Times in London, Putin told French President Nicolas Sarkozy this past summer that he wanted to take Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and hang him “by the balls.” Here’s the exchange, as reported by the Times:
With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.
Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”
Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar “tu,” tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”
Now, with all due respect to our president, when I look at Putin, when I see the propaganda photos of the guy fishing, shirtless, I see someone straight out of Central Casting — for the part of a Bond villain. The man just looks cold, like a guy who has no qualms or internal conflict in making a Polonium-210 sandwich for a disrespectful colleague.
As I watched he and our president have a brief conversation during the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics, knowing that Russian tanks and infantry were advancing at that very moment, I knew that it was Putin and not Dmitri Medvedev who was behind the assault, behind the operation which dragged Saakashvili into South Ossetia. I wasn’t surprised, just like I wasn’t surprised when Russia flexed its muscles in the hours following last week’s election by putting missiles on the EU border, just like I wasn’t surprised a few days ago when news came out that Medvedev was going to pave the way for Putin to be reinstalled as Russian president.
When the Rev. Jesse Jackson was caught off camera, a few months back, whispering about Barack Obama and saying that he wanted to “cut his nuts out,” I made the point that normal people–doctors, for example–might say “remove his testicles” or even “cut his nuts off,” but it takes a special kind of thug, a special kind of aggressive gangster type, to say that they want to cut someone’s nuts out. That’s just how it struck me then with Jackson, and that’s how it strikes me now with Putin.
This man is a thug. A powerful, powerful thug whose vision of Russia is not as it is now, but rather as it was back in the days of the Red Army, of the KGB. And now, this man sees a weakness in his age-old rival, the United States of America. He’s a wide receiver who spots a safety favoring one leg, a boxer who notices an opponent covering his ribs on one side, and he wants to put himself in the best possible position to run up the sideline, to mangle his enemy with a hard right to the body.
America’s weakness as perceived by Her rivals, that tender hamstring or that sore rib cage, is none other than President-elect Barack Obama. Mr. Detente-at-all-costs. Mr. Idealist view of the world. Mr. Carteresque faith in those who want to kill us. That Obama.
At the very moment President Ronald Reagan was being sworn in, Iran was scrambling to release hostages. Now, as Barack Obama prepares to assume the presidency, the Bear is coming out of hibernation. Almost like the old television program — to the rest of the world, it’s “Welcome Back, Carter.”
That, my friends, should tell you much of what you need to know about the 44th President of the United States.