I’ve just reread Adam Zamoyski’s magnificent , which I read when it first appeared ten years ago. I can never get enough of it. The courage, the glory, the suffering, it’s all too much. Germans and Poles, Frenchmen and Russians, Italians, all covered themselves with glory…….
Mind you, Napo never won anything important again. Mother Russia had defeated him as it defeated Hitler 130 years later. Which brings me to the present. Unlike the clowns of the EU and the bungling Americans, Uncle Vlad did a Kutusov, went into Syria, avoided the risks of getting bogged down, and, having lost only one aircraft that was shot down by a NATO power supposedly on his side, departed the quagmire with maximum results.
Yet that fool of a foreign secretary, Hammond—never have I seen a man who looks more like a boring accountant—warns us not to cheer because it would be like praising a man who stopped beating his wife. Well, I don’t beat women in general or my wife in particular, so I wouldn’t know. What I do know is that Putin is authentic and authoritarian, the type who wins wars, a spontaneous and courageous leader who has shown up the West as a paper tiger. Let’s face it. When was the last time a world leader did something really bold? And he didn’t declare mission accomplished, either, a declaration that has proved fatal in the case of Iraq and Libya. This is the man the clowns in Brussels tried to bluff with Circe-like songs to Ukraine, so he took back Crimea as a bonus. His standing by Assad has shown up Uncle Sam yet again as an unreliable ally when the going gets tough.
No matter how hard the Americans and Europeans have tried to show Russia as a busted flush, the joke’s on them. And by leaving the playing field, Vlad has shot across the Assad bow, warning him to negotiate or else. Just compare Putin’s stance in Syria with that of Uncle Sam in Yemen. The latter is a humanitarian disaster that rivals that of Syria.