Living in the past

Modern despots use antiquated habits to cling to power

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Vladimir Putin and Hosni Mubarak are model leaders.


Of the 20th and 16th centuries, respectively.

Russia’s Putin seems intent on reconfiguring the Soviet Union which, as you’ll recall, collapsed of its own overbearing weight during the last century. He is still playing that old board game many of us enjoyed as kids called “Risk,” in which you roll the dice and see how much
world territory your army can gobble up.

He’s a dinosaur whose time has passed, but unfortunately for the Ukrainians and anyone else in his way, he’ll cling to power and move his pawns about and play his world domination game as long as folks let him.

He has the benefit of sitting on vast natural resources, which he recently leveraged in a lucrative deal with China – just in case Western Europe is serious about punishing his recent adventurism. It’s a bit like being born on third base and beaming with pride for one’s having hit a triple.

As for Mubarak, the deposed Egyptian ruler was recently convicted of embezzling millions from his people and converting it to his own use for private homes and palaces and such.

Not to mention the untold numbers of killings that may have occurred with his concurrence; indeed, he’s already serving a life sentence, albeit at 86 in a military hospital, for directing the deaths of hundreds who rose up to oust him in 2011.

If Vladimir Putin is a dinosaur, we’re not sure what that makes Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian ruler – not a leader, a ruler – was working from a Machiavellian playbook from centuries past.

We are now some 14 years into the 21st century, an age that most of us 20th-century natives have always looked to with optimism and hope, an age we fully expected to be something of a renaissance in the slow and tortured realm of human development. It still can be – but not until we have better leadership.

With a few fortunate exceptions, the state of world leadership today is boundlessly incompetent, alarmingly unaccountable, consistently abusive and overly controlling.

Think about this: There are nearly 200 countries in the world, yet there are seven or eight that are apparently worthy of being in the Cool Countries Club (also known as the G-7 or G-8).

We’ve got a lot of work to do on this planet. It’s time our governments got off our backs and followed our lead for a change.

The reality is sadly different, and so may be the future: According to Freedom House – an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world – the state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013. In its report titled “Freedom in the World 2014,” Freedom House says 54 countries showed overall declines in political rights and civil liberties, compared with only 40 that showed gains.

In addition, even in the U.S. – the leader of the free world – we’ve seen a sharp decline in freedom. In a recent report by the respected organization Reporters Without Borders, the United States fell 13 places to 46th in the world in press freedom.

As technology increasingly allows spying and other abuses of power, the temptations for unscrupulous leaders may only grow.

And who will stick up for us? The United Nations – which, notably, is populated by representatives of many of the very same rulers who are the problem?

This simply must be the century in which the people of Earth demand a new kind of leadership – one that seeks to serve, rather than to create serfs.

Who will lead us?

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myfather15
59557
Points
myfather15 06/08/14 - 05:49 am
5
2
We fell?

With great leaders like Obama and Holder, I just don't see how this is possible!!

deestafford
40159
Points
deestafford 06/08/14 - 07:14 am
6
1
While the pages of a calendar may turn that does not mean...

While the pages of a calendar may turn that does not mean there is a change in the basics of human nature.

There will always be those who want what others have be it property or be it countries. There maybe Reporters Without Borders but there are still and will always be rulers who believe boarders don't apply to them.

It is a mistake for leaders to stand up, as Obama and Kerry have done. and whine about Putin and others not living up to the idealism of the progressive thought of the 21st century.

You have to take on leaders such as Putin in the tactics of the century his mind is in. Otherwise, he will destroy you in numerous ways. One of which is now forming alliances with China, Brazil, and India to economically put the US as a second rate country.

Putin is living in the "real world" of geopolitics while Obama is running around trying to convince countries to sanction gay marriage, balkanizing America on topics such as "income inequity" and other fuzzy-wuzzy leftist ideas.

We are being steamed rolled by other countries while we become soft and get away from the rugged individualism, freedom loving principles upon which this country was made great. America is no longer the strong nation she was. Oh, we think and talk as if we are, but when you start doing the comparison of the areas in which we used to be number one--such as education, press freedom, freedom of speech (note how PC has stopped that), business climate, taxation, etc.--you will see we have fallen dramatically and will continue to fall.

When you have a president who on his first foreign tour apologizes for America, calls her arrogant, and says no country is better than any other; when you have a Secretary of Defense who says we can no longer assume America will be dominate on the land, in the air, and on the sea; you are a nation in decline whinning about a foreign leader such as Putin "not playing fair."

Twenty first century thought does not stop 20th century action.

deestafford
40159
Points
deestafford 06/08/14 - 07:25 am
6
0
Lately, I have been pondering the saying, " In every man's...

Lately, I have been pondering the saying, "In every man's heart burns the flame of freedom" and have come to the conclusion that may not be true.

Some people may not really want to be free because being free takes a lot of hard work and effort to get and to keep. Many people, some here in America, are not willing to do that.

Have you ever thought why there was never an ''us" before there was an "us"? By that I mean throughout thousands of years of history there was never a country like the United States until we were founded. And, there has never been another one since.

America is an abnormality. There is no other like us. That is part of what is meant by "American Exceptionalism".

I guess it puts us on the horns of a dilemma. We understand and know the wonders of freedom, but how do we translate that to others--some of whom may not really want it?

seenitB4
115696
Points
seenitB4 06/08/14 - 07:53 am
5
2
Cool Countries Club..heh

Let's not get too cool...we already have thousands dumped on our borders & no end in sight.

Funny, I just don't feel the giddy all is well feeling.

historylover
37195
Points
historylover 06/08/14 - 09:22 am
3
0
DeeStafford

I never expected this day to arrive,, but your comments are very well put and taken.

jimmymac
61773
Points
jimmymac 06/08/14 - 10:20 am
1
0
PUTIN
Unpublished

Putin believes in the old axiom that might makes right. He understands that Obama is weak and can be bullied because he has a need to be liked. Obama believes that if he's "flexible" Putin will be the same. The community organizer has just never dealt with a bully before and can't handle the thought that Putin doesn't like or respect him

OJP
8947
Points
OJP 06/08/14 - 12:01 pm
2
7
I agree. Let's start with leaders who actually

understand basic science.

No more science denial, please. And, yes, that is almost exclusively a Republican problem.

carcraft
32855
Points
carcraft 06/08/14 - 05:08 pm
3
0
Lol OJP, Obama says the

Lol OJP, Obama says the earth's temp is getting hotter and the temperature has increased faster in the last 10 years than expected. Now the head of the IPCC says satellite temperature readings show no increase in earths temperature for over 17 years. So do you think Obama understands science? Especially after his administration altered an engineering science report on deep water drilling after the gulf spill.

Bizkit
43348
Points
Bizkit 06/09/14 - 07:43 am
3
0
Anyone who thinks a "process"

Anyone who thinks a "process" like science is "settled" absolutely knows nothing of science. Orbital cycling explains all the rise and fall of temperature and the response of rising carbon dioxide for millions of years in 100,000 year cycles. It may explain the present rise in temperature and carbon dioxide-it is due during this cycle, but now because we also put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the assumption is that this is due to our activity. Which it may but given the data of orbital cycling it does offer another hypothesis to test to determine. You have to remember that as the ice caps melt they release carbon dioxide and when they reform they sequester carbon dioxide. The evidence using radioisotopes that the carbon is old from fossil fuels can also be explained by the release of old carbon from the increased volcanic activity during this period, or released from frozen ice caps. The process of science addresses these issues as is the published in peer-review papers. Orbital cycling has a lot more science substantiating this for millions of years and excellent ice core data and temps the last half a million years that demonstrates this cycle with no human intervention or influence.

jimmymac
61773
Points
jimmymac 06/09/14 - 06:22 pm
0
0
BIZKIT
Unpublished

It's no use trying to explain anything to the Obama Kool-Aid drinkers. If he says the sky is falling they'll all be under their desks in short order. After all the great one said it's a settles science so it must be so.

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