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25 September 2015

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Odin's Raven

Macedonia's economy was much smaller than Persia's. They did have a much better army and a much better leader though. Putin doesn't actually want to conquer America however.

charly

But it is simply the truth that Russia is a regional power. It is the strongest or second strongest power in North American, European and Asian regions and it is not as if those regions are the important ones

different clue

Walrus,

Probably Earnest is wired up like many ordinary people . . . wired up to safely carry 110 volts of ho hum drum ordinary thoughts and feelings. I wonder what shape his brain/mind/spirit will be in after he is done carrying Obama's 220 volts of pure pathotoxic narcissist rage.

Ulenspiegel

It is an art to convert economic strength into political gains, an art that Russia has not mastered the last years. The fate of Gazprom could tell you a lot and the fact that Russia is investing in more pipeline capacity to central Europe, too.

The basic weakness of Russia is that Russia can only build up economic pressure by cutting deep into her onwn flesh, the Russian government know this, Russia's opponents, too.

With a shrinking GDP (best case 5%) and quite limited access to western know-how and technology, which are essential to improve Russia's economic strength, I do not expect a cold winter, quite contrary, the most likely scenario for me is BAU.

The question is not whether Russia is economically weak or not, but how the west should react to the facts, here as German I would prefer cooperation with Russia and a comtainment of USA politics in Europe.

DH

Walrus, armchair psychology is fun, but I've never agreed with your assessment of Obama as a pathological narcissist. I'd be interested in reading a post by you on the subject to see what the various takes on it would be.

DH

LeaNder and Chuck, thank you both for those thought-provoking sources.

walrus

DH, it's been done:

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/05/walrus-on-narcissistic-leaders-.html

DH

Thank you. I think JohnH's reply to your post comes closest to my thoughts...

"Unfortunately I think that narcissism has always been the flip side of leadership. Most of us don't need the fawning adulation of our peers. And most of us have enough self-awareness to preclude us from exuding the self-confidence necessary for selection as a leader.

Narcissism and the accompanying tendency to put self-interest above public interest is why the founding fathers instituted a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, leaders find ways to circumvent or disable checks on their authority over time."

...but I don't see Obama as a pathological narcissist. He was raised by loving grandparents and a "good enough" mother. He is simply a human.

I have appreciated that he wanted to get out of Afghanistan but bowed to the inevitable, and he tried hard to work around his Syria red line statement. I tend to think he thanked his lucky stars that Putin got him out of that one, and that Putin seems in the process of helping in Syria. Or maybe he reads SST.

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