Recent events bring back memories of a guy I used to know. He is long gone now, but when I knew him, he was vibrantly, balefully, malevolently alive. He was one of those people often described as the ultimate survivor, and he had street smarts like nobody else. At the time, Jimmy Carter was running against Ronald Reagan, and my acquaintance much preferred Reagan.
I asked him why.
“No good comes from having a priest for a president,” he said.
I had to admit, he had a point.
I thought of him years later when George Bush the Younger had a beef with Saddam Hussein and wanted to take him out, which I totally understand. But instead of putting a hit on the guy, George the Younger rode off into battle like Dudley DoRight. Hussein did eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, but in the process somewhere between 150,000 and 400,000 Iraqis died violently. Maybe it’s me, but it seemed kind of excessive. And how long do you suppose the survivors and their descendants are going to hate Americans?
I am no Republican, but if Nixon had been president at the time, Saddam would have wound up in an unmarked grave somewhere and whichever one of his generals proved most amenable to common sense and mutual cooperation would have wound up in charge. And the loss of almost all of those other Iraqi lives would have been avoided.
So here we are.
With the exception of the Communist Chinese and a few trolls like Tucker Carlson, the entire world has a problem with Vladimir Putin, with cause. Maybe I spent too much time in Brooklyn, but I don’t understand why we don’t just bury the guy. At this point, even his friends would be happy to see him gone.