He’s a Godless Commie, but it wouldn’t surprise to learn that Vladimir Putin falls to his knees each morning to give thanks. After all, he would have been cursed to lead Russia when Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Margaret Thatcher ran Great Britain.
Instead, his lucky stars gave him as opponents the Frat Boys of the West, Barack Obama and David Cameron. For a would-be czar, opponents don’t get any softer than the selfie twins.
Putin proved again Tuesday that he is the straw stirring the drink. A day after world stock markets tanked because he invaded Ukraine, the Russian dictator broke his silence to explain himself.
Wearing a slight smirk and air of complete confidence, he brushed off concerns about a shooting war, insisting that was “a last resort.” He claimed, ridiculously, there were no Russian troops in Crimea, but did it with such a fine imitation of a reasonable man that investors scrambled to buy back the stocks they dumped Monday.
Indeed, Putin looked so smug that you had the sense he was toying with Obama, Cameron and assorted quislings of Europe. Like a cat with a trapped mouse, he is so certain of the endgame that there is no reason to hurry.
One example involved Russia’s deal to supply discounted natural gas to Ukraine. He said the deal was off and Ukraine owed Russia $1.5 billion. That happened to be 50 percent more than the $1 billion in loan guarantees America offered to Ukraine hours later.
The sequence showed that Obama, Cameron & Co. are still pulling their boots on while Putin consolidates his power. The likelihood of serious sanctions is low because the West’s leaders know what Putin knows: They are scared and he is ruthless.
Of course, Obama did drop the H-Bomb, declaring that Putin is “on the wrong side of history.”
Such highfalutin nonsense must have made the president proud and provoked cheers in the faculty lounge. Putin probably laughed.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.