June 2001. The eyes. The soul thing. By all accounts he’s likely running for President again in 2012.
Now, it’s true he didn’t lay down a cool cell phone, computer, music player or online store. But Putin did show some judo moves. Remember that fighter cockpit pose? And who can forget him hunting barechested flashing his own guns while holding a . . . gun? Besides Steven Seagal, who else can you envision down with rappers as a self-styed ‘jungle kid’? Along the way there was the side hobby. Little stuff. Like rolling back domestic pluralism, freedom, public safety. And abroad? One has to concede he outlasted untenable Neocon efforts to constrain Russian influence. His Munich speech blasting the Warlord ? Better than any Olbermann ‘Special [sic] Comment’. Putin knew when to walk through the open door of American strategic incompetence. And have you seen what Rummy’s lillypads go for on eBay lately?
His relevant presence 2009 is more stark when compared to his ‘peers’ at the G-8 in Genoa, July 2001. Most are mercifully forgotten. Berlusconi might wish the press and courts would forget him, too.
Canada – Prime Minister Jean Chrétien?
France – President Jacques Chirac?
Germany – Chancellor Gerhard Schröder?
Italy – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi?
Japan – Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi?
Russia – President Vladimir Putin . . .
United Kingdom – Prime Minister Tony Blair?
United States – President George W. Bush?
Geopolitically, we energetically make the case that China won the so-called ‘Global War on Terrorism’. But if not Vlad, who? Brian Kilmeade? Can Steve Doocy rock this? Pat must be smiling broadly before suddenly realizing that even according to his last screed he should be conflicted.
An RJI Companies agent in September in Brussels pitched the project to a major PR firm, saying that the aim of the second contract is to help portray Russia as a benign great power entitled to negotiate with the likes of the US, China and the EU on global security and energy issues.
He added that part of the PR effort would be to cast a positive light on the actions of the Soviet Union before and after World War II in order to justify the idea that modern Russia should also impose its influence on neighbouring countries for the good of the world.
A senior executive at the PR firm in question recalled one particular exchange with the RJI Companies envoy: “I asked him ‘Do you want us to say that Stalin was not such a bad guy?’ And he said ‘Well, I know it will be difficult.’ I said ‘So, you want history to be rewritten?’ And he said ‘Yes, in a way’.”
“Expect to see more articles in European newspapers saying that Stalin had his good points as well,” the PR executive said.
When contacted by EUobserver, RJI Companies denied that the second contract has anything to do with Stalin. Ria Novosti denied that a second contract exists at all. “Our business is not to enhance Russia’s image. It’s to report news,” the company’s spokesman, Valery Levchenko, said.
Do you have a another candidate?