NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

May 3, 2014

With divided America, Putin sees opportunity

Big Freddy was studying the sports pages when I joined him for coffee and I asked who won.

“They haven’t run yet,” he said.

“I was referring to the Sox, not horses at some race track,” I said.

“The Derby’s not just some race track, it’s the nation’s showcase for horse trainers, jockeys, and horses,” Freddy said.

“Okay, but how did the Sox do?” I asked.

“Dropped two in a row but so what? They’ve got the whole season ahead, and they’re learning as they go.” Freddy said.

“Speaking of learning we’re apparently not in Washington,” I said. “I don’t know who is taking more political heat over this Ukraine business, the President or the Congress.”

“But not enough by a long shot or we wouldn’t be messing around the way we are with what Putin’s up to,” Freddy said.

“He’s giving us fits, that’s what he’s doing,” I said.

“He’s resurrecting Russian pride,” Freddy said. “It’s been in the pits since the Soviet Union folded, so he not only puts on a great Olympics, Russia comes away with the most first place medals.

“He’s riding high, and that sets the stage for doing what he did to take back the Crimea for sea access which Russia needs.”

“And he turns the whole peace process upside down in the Ukraine,” I said.

“The Ukraine’s a wannabee country, but it has a major role for Russia and that’s resulted in a bad case of the shakes for the European Union,” Freddy said.

“Well Putin certainly doesn’t have the shakes,” I said. “He’s president of Russia, the third most powerful nation in the world. We’re still number one by a hair with China’s a close and gaining second.”

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