Imperial Infantilism, by Patrick Lawrence

Diplomacy is a fine alternative to war. From Patrick Lawrence at

Diplomacy is an essential skill in the century swiftly taking shape around us, but we find that hurling playground insults at the leader of another nation has become normal in post-9/11 Washington.

Presidential limousine carrying Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2021. (White House, Adam Schultz)

It’s getting downright difficult to keep track of all the epithets American statesmen, stateswomen, political leaders and legislators use to tell us just who Vladimir Putin is — and with what bottomless contempt we should regard the Russian president.

I long for the days when he was simply “Hitler.” Such as when Hillary Clinton compared him with der Führer after Moscow re-annexed Crimea in response to the coup the U.S. had just engineered in Kiev. That was back in 2014. There were few complications then: All we needed to do was hate him.

Now the names we have for Putin roll around among like pinballs.  “Hitler” has fallen somewhat out of fashion, the hyperbole having proven too silly, or maybe because NATO is now arming a Nazi-infested regime.

He’s all sorts of other things too, keeping us well on the side of repugnance and hostility, and safely away from a serious, adult understanding of the man, the nation and what the man and the nation are doing — in Ukraine and elsewhere.

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