Monthly Archives: March 2014

Today in History….March 31

1492 – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued the Alhambra edict expelling Jews who were unwilling to convert to Christianity.

1776 – Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John that women were “determined to foment a rebellion” if the new Declaration of Independence failed to guarantee their rights.

1779 – Russia and Turkey signed a treaty concerning military action in Crimea.

1831 – Quebec and Montreal were incorporated as cities.

1854 – The U.S. government signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The act opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakotade to American trade.

1862 – Skirmishing between Rebels and Union forces took place at Island 10 on the Mississippi River.

1870 – In Perth Amboy, NJ, Thomas Munday Peterson became the first black to vote in the U.S.

1880 – Wabash, IN, became the first town to be completely illuminated with electric light.

1889 – In Paris, the Eiffel Tower officially opened.

1900 – The W.E. Roach Company was the first automobile company to put an advertisement in a national magazine. The magazine was the “Saturday Evening Post”.

1900 – In France, the National Assembly passed a law reducing the workday for women and children to 11 hours.

1901 – In Russia, the Czar lashed out at Socialist-Revolutionaries with the arrests of 72 people and the seizing of two printing presses.

1902 – In Tennessee, 22 coal miners were killed by an explosion.

1904 – In India, hundreds of Tibetans were slaughtered by the British.

1905 – Kaiser Wilhelm arrived in Tangier proclaiming to support for an independent state of Morocco.

1906 – The Conference on Moroccan Reforms in Algerciras ended after two months with France and Germany in agreement.

1906 – The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States was founded to set rules in amateur sports. The organization became the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.

1908 – 250,000 coal miners in Indianapolis, IN, went on strike to await a wage adjustment.

1909 – Serbia accepted Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1917 – The U.S. purchased and took possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.

1918 – For the first time in the U.S., Daylight Saving Time went into effect.

1921 – Great Britain declared a state of emergency because of the thousands of coal miners on strike.

1923 – In New York City, the first U.S. dance marathon was held. Alma Cummings set a new world record of 27 hours.

1932 – The Ford Motor Co. debuted its V-8 engine.

1933 – The U.S. Congress authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps to relieve rampant unemployment.

1933 – The “Soperton News” in Georgia became the first newspaper to publish using a pine pulp paper.

1939 – Britain and France agreed to support Poland if Germany threatened invasion.

1940 – La Guardia airport in New York officially opened to the public.

1941 – Germany began a counter offensive in North Africa.

1945 – “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway.

1946 – Monarchists won the elections in Greece.

1947 – John L. Lewis called a strike in sympathy for the miners killed in an explosion in Centralia, IL, on March 25, 1947.

1948 – The Soviets in Germany began controlling the Western trains headed toward Berlin.

1949 – Winston Churchill declared that the A-bomb was the only thing that kept the U.S.S.R. from taking over Europe.

1949 – Newfoundland entered the Canadian confederation as its 10th province.

1958 – The U.S. Navy formed the atomic submarine division.

1959 – The Dalai Lama (Lhama Dhondrub, Tenzin Gyatso) began exile by crossing the border into India where he was granted political asylum. Gyatso was the 14th Daila Lama.

1960 – The South African government declared a state of emergency after demonstrations lead to the death of more than 50 Africans.

1966 – An estimated 200,000 anti-war demonstrators march in New York City. (New York)

1966 – The Soviet Union launched Luna 10, which became the first spacecraft to enter a lunar orbit.

1967 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Consular Treaty, the first bi-lateral pact with the Soviet Union since the Bolshevik Revolution.

1970 – The U.S. forces in Vietnam down a MIG-21, it was the first since September 1968.

1976 – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from a respirator. Quinlan remained comatose until 1985 when she died.

1980 – U.S. President Carter deregulated the banking industry.

1981 – In Bangkok, Thailand, four of five Indonesian terrorists were killed after hijacking an airplane on March 28.

1985 – ABC-TV aired the 200th episode of “The Love Boat.”

1986 – 167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in Los Angeles.

1987 – HBO (Home Box Office) earned its first Oscar for “Down and Out in America”.

1989 – Canada and France signed a fishing rights pact.

1991 – Albania offered a multi-party election for the first time in 50 years. Incumbent President Ramiz Alia won.

1991 – Iraqi forces recaptured the northern city of Kirkuk from Kurdish guerillas.

1993 – Brandon Lee was killed accidentally while filming a movie.

1994 – “Nature” magazine announced that a complete skull of Australppithecus afarensis had been found in Ethiopia. The finding is of humankind’s earliest ancestor.

1998 – U.N. Security Council imposed arms embargo on Yugoslavia.

1998 – Buddy Hackett received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – For the first time in U.S. history the federal government’s detailed financial statement was released. This occurred under the Clinton administration.

1999 – Three U.S. soldiers were captured by Yugoslav soldiers three miles from the Yugoslav border in Macedonia.

1999 – Fabio was hit in the face by a bird during a promotional ride of a new roller coaster at the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, VA. Fabio received a one-inch cut across his nose.

2000 – In Uganda, officials set the number of deaths linked to a doomsday religious cult, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, at more than 900. In Kanungu, a March 17 fire at the cult’s church killed more than 530 and authorities subsequently found mass graves at various sites linked to the cult.

2004 – Air America Radio launched five stations around the U.S.

2004 – Google Inc. announced that it would be introducing a free e-mail service called Gmail.

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Today in History….March 30

1533 – Henry VIII divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

1814 – The allied European nations against Napoleon marched into Paris.

1822 – Florida became a U.S. territory.

1842 – Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation while his patient was anesthetized by ether.

1855 – About 5,000 “Border Ruffians” from western Missouri invaded the territory of Kansas and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. It was the first election in Kansas.

1858 – Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil.

1867 – The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.

1870 – The 15th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1870 – Texas was readmitted to the Union.

1903 – Revolutionary activity in the Dominican Republic brought U.S. troops to Santo Domingo to protect American interests.

1905 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was chosen to mediate in the Russo-Japanese peace talks.

1909 – The Queensboro bridge in New York opened linking Manhattan and Queens. It was the first double decker bridge.

1909 – In Oklahoma, Seminole Indians revolted against meager pay for government jobs.

1916 – Pancho Villa killed 172 at the Guerrero garrison in Mexico.

1936 – Britain announced a naval construction program of 38 warships.

1940 – The Japanese set up a puppet government called Manchuko in Nanking, China.

1941 – The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya.

1944 – The U.S. fleet attacked Palau, near the Philippines.

1945 – The U.S.S.R. invaded Austria during World War II.

1946 – The Allies seized 1,000 Nazis attempting to revive the Nazi party in Frankfurt.

1947 – Lord Mountbatten arrived in India as the new Viceroy.

1950 – The invention of the phototransistor was announced.

1950 – U.S. President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.

1957 – Tunisia and Morocco signed a friendship treaty in Rabat.

1958 – The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave its initial performance.

1964 – “Jeopardy” debuted on NBC-TV.

1964 – John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.

1970 – “Applause” opened on Broadway.

1970 – “Another World – Somerset” debuted on NBC-TV.

1972 – The British government assumed direct rule over Northern Ireland.

1972 – The Eastertide Offensive began when North Vietnamese troops crossed into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the northern portion of South Vietnam.

1975 – As the North Vietnamese forces moved toward Saigon South Vietnamese soldiers mob rescue jets in desperation.

1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded in Washington, DC, by John W. Hinckley Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady were also wounded.

1982 – The space shuttle Columbia completed its third and its longest test flight after 8 days in space.

1984 – The U.S. ended its participation in the multinational peace force in Lebanon.

1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” was bought for $39.85 million.

1993 – In Sarajevo, two Serb militiamen were sentenced to death for war crimes committed in Bosnia.

1993 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown hit his first home run.

1994 – Serbs and Croats signed a cease-fire to end their war in Croatia while Bosnian Muslims and Serbs continued to fight each other.

1998 – Rolls-Royce was purchased by BMW in a $570 million deal.

2002 – An unmanned U.S. spy plane crashed at sea in the Southern Philippines.

2002 – Suspected Islamic militants set off several grenades at a temple in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Four civilians, four policemen and two attackers were killed and 20 people were injured.


When Hell Was in Session

h/t Scott Johnson @ PowerLine

admiral denton

Admiral Jeremiah Denton died yesterday at the age of 89. Admiral Denton served seven-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Denton’s is a story that should be known by all Americans. In captivity Admiral Denton gave something beyond the last full measure of devotion. His is a story of almost unbelievable endurance, courage and patriotism. Here is a short course courtesy of the Denton Foundation that I saved a while back:

In June 1965, he began a combat tour in Vietnam as prospective Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron Seventy-Five. On July 18, 1965, Denton was leading a group of twenty-eight aircraft from the USS lNDEPENDENCE in an attack on enemy installations near Thanh Hoa, when he was shot down and captured by local North Vietnamese troops.

He spent the next seven years and seven months as a prisoner of war, suffering severe mistreatment and becoming the first U.S. military captive to be subjected to four years of solitary confinement.

A Commander when he was shot down, Denton was recommended for and promoted to the rank of Captain while a prisoner. He was confined at several prison camps in and around Hanoi, frequently acting as the senior American military officer of all American POW’s.

Denton’s name first came to the attention of the American public in 1966, during a television interview arranged by the North Vietnamese in Hanoi. Prior to the interview, torture and threats of more torture were applied to intimidate him to “respond properly and politely.” His captors thought he was softened up sufficiently to give the North Vietnamese their propaganda line at the interview attended by important Communist officials from several countries and by Wilfred Birchett, an internationally known Communist author.

During the interview, after the Japanese interviewer’s recitation of alleged U.S. “war atrocities,” Denton was asked about his support of U.S. policy concerning the war. He replied: “I don’t know what is happening now in Vietnam, because the only news sources I have are North Vietnamese, but whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it, I support it, and I will support it as long as I live.” The audience was aghast at his unexpected answer and the room went dead silent.

Without comment, the Vietnamese then renewed the rest of the interview which consisted of a free-flowing debate between Birchett and Denton.

Throughout the interview, while responding to questions and feigning sensitivity to harsh lighting, Denton blinked his eyes in Morse Code, repeatedly spelling out a covert message: T-O-R-T-U-R-E. The interview, which the Japanese journalist clandestinely took from Hanoi to Tokyo and sold to ABC was broadcast on American television on May 17, 1966[. It] was the first confirmation that American POWs in Vietnam were being tortured.

Denton did not learn until his release that the interview had been shown in the U.S. And the Vietnamese had waited a week or so to punish him for his “misbehavior” at the interview. It was the worst torture session Denton endured during his time there; the guards assigned to two hour shifts watching the all-night torture each shed tears they could not hide.

Denton was released on February 12, 1973, when he again received international attention as the spokesman for the first group of POWs returning from Hanoi to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Denton was advised that as the senior POW onboard, he might be expected to say something on behalf of the group upon arrival. As he stepped from the plane, Denton turned to the microphones and said: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”

The video below captures this incredible story, also recounted in Denton’s memoir When Hell Was In Session.

Admiral Denton was elected to the Senate from Alabama in the Reagan landslide of 1980. He served one term in office. In his first State of the Union Address in January 1982, President Reagan recognized Denton:

We don’t have to turn to our history books for heroes. They’re all around us. One who sits among you here tonight epitomized that heroism at the end of the longest imprisonment ever inflicted on men of our armed forces. Who will ever forget that night when we waited for television to bring us the scene of that first plane landing at Clark Field in the Philippines bringing our P.O.W.’s home. The plane door opened and Jeremiah Denton came slowly down the ramp. He caught sight of our flag, saluted it, said, “God bless America,” and then thanked us for bringing him home.

Putting the emphasis on Denton thanking “us,” President Reagan was making the point that it is we who owed him a debt of gratitude. Were it not for the example of men such as Admiral Denton, we might never know the meaning or contours — the outer limits — of the virtue of courage.

The New York Sun has posted a stirring tribute. The Sun describes the brief video clip of Admiral Denton blinking out T-O-R-T-U-R-E as “one of the most astonishing film clips in American history.”

The New York Times obituary is here, the Washington Post obituary is here. RIP.


Today in History….March 29

1461 – Edward IV secured his claim to the English thrown by defeating Henry VI’s Lancastrians at the battle of Towdon.

1638 – First permanent European settlement in Delaware was established.

1847 – U.S. troops under General Winfield Scott took possession of the Mexican stronghold at Vera Cruz.

1848 – Niagara Falls stopped flowing for one day due to an ice jam.

1867 – The British Parliament passed the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.

1882 – The Knights of Columbus organization was granted a charter by the State of Connecticut.

1901 – The first federal elections were held in Australia.

1903 – A regular news service began between New York and London on Marconi’s wireless.

1906 – In the U.S., 500,000 coal miners walked off the job seeking higher wages.

1913 – The Reichstag announced a raise in taxes in order to finance the new military budget.

1916 – The Italians call off the fifth attack on Isonzo.

1932 – Jack Benny made his radio debut.

1936 – Italy firebombed the Ethiopian city of Harar.

1941 – The British sank five Italian warships off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean.

1943 – In the U.S. rationing of meat, butter and cheese began during World War II.

1946 – Fiorella LaGuardia became the director general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Organization.

1946 – Gold Coast became the first British colony to hold an African parliamentary majority.

1951 – The Chinese reject MacArthur’s offer for a truce in Korea.

1951 – In the United States, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed in June 19, 1953.

1961 – The 23rd amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment allowed residents of Washington, DC, to vote for president.

1962 – Cuba opened the trial of the Bay of Pigs invaders.

1962 – Jack Paar made his final appearance on the “Tonight” show.

1966 – Leonid Brezhnev became the First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. He denounced the American policy in Vietnam and called it one of aggression.

1967 – France launched its first nuclear submarine.

1971 – Lt. William Calley Jr., of the U.S. Army, was found guilty of the premeditated murder of at least 22 Vietnamese civilians. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial was the result of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam on March 16, 1968.

1971 – A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. The death sentences were later commuted to live in prison.

1973 – “Hommy,” the Puerto Rican version of the rock opera “Tommy,” opened in New York City.

1973 – The last U.S. troops left South Vietnam.

1974 – Mariner 10, the U.S. space probe became the first spacecraft to reach the planet Mercury. It had been launched on November 3, 1973.

1974 – Eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. All the guardsmen were later acquitted.

1975 – Egyptian president Anwar Sadat declared that he would reopen the Suez Canal on June 5, 1975.

1979 – The Committee on Assassinations Report issued by U.S. House of Representatives stated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy.

1982 – The soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” changed from CBS to NBC.

1986 – A court in Rome acquitted six men in a plot to kill the Pope.

1987 – Hulk Hogan took 11 minutes, 43 seconds to pin Andre the Giant in front of 93,136 at Wrestlemania III fans at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI.

1992 – Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton said “I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again” in reference to when he had experimented with marijuana.

1993 – The South Korean government agreed to pay financial support to women who had been forced to have sex with Japanese troops during World War II.

1993 – Clint Eastwood won his first Oscars. He won them for best film and best director for the film “Unforgiven.”

1995 – The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a constitutional amendment that would have limited terms to 12 years in the U.S. House and Senate.

1998 – Tennessee won the woman’s college basketball championship over Louisiana. Tennessee had set a NCAA record with regular season record or 39-0.

1999 – At least 87 people died in an earthquake in India’s Himalayan foothills.

1999 – The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time.

2004 – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia became members of NATO.


Jamie Glazov, Raymond Ibrahim, Robert Spencer, and Caroline Glick on the Mideast Test

You’d expect brilliance by this panel, and that’s what you get here.

This video is a special edition of The Glazov Gang, filmed live at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California, last Saturday. The wide-ranging discussion touched on the Muslim persecution of Christians,  the Obama Administration’s willful ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

(If having trouble with the video, go to this link…http://www.raymondibrahim.com/muslim-persecution-of-christians/video-raymond-ibrahim-robert-spencer-and-caroline-glick-on-the-mideast-test/ )


Today in History….March 28

1774 – Britain passed the Coercive Act against Massachusetts.

1797 – Nathaniel Briggs patented a washing machine.

1834 – The U.S. Senate voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.

1854 – The Crimean War began with Britain and France declaring war on Russia.

1864 – A group of Copperheads attack Federal soldiers in Charleston, IL. Five were killed and twenty were wounded.

1865 – Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned “painting on stones, rocks and trees.”

1885 – The Salvation Army was officially organized in the U.S.

1898 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a U.S. citizen. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

1903 – Anatole France’s “Crainquebille” premiered in Paris.

1905 – The U.S. took full control over Dominican revenues.

1908 – Automobile owners lobbied the U.S. Congress, supporting a bill that called for vehicle licensing and federal registration.

1910 – The first seaplane took off from water at Martinques, France. The pilot was Henri Fabre.

1911 – In New York, suffragists performed the political play “Pageant of Protest.”

1917 – During World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded.

1921 – U.S. President Warren Harding named William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

1922 – Bradley A. Fiske patented a microfilm reading device.

1930 – Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara respectively.

1933 – In Germany, the Nazis ordered a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.

1938 – In Italy, psychiatrists demonstrated the use of electric-shock therapy for treatment of certain mental illnesses.

1939 – The Spanish Civil War ended as Madrid fell to Francisco Franco.

1941 – The Italian fleet was defeated by the British at the Battle of Matapan.

1942 – British naval forces raided the Nazi occupied French port of St. Nazaire.

1945 – Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against England.

1947 – The American Helicopter Society revealed a flying device that could be strapped to a person’s body.

1962 – The U.S. Air Force announced research into the use of lasers to intercept missiles and satellites.

1963 – Sonny Werblin announced that the New York Titans of the American Football League was changing its name to the New York Jets. (NFL)

1967 – Raymond Burr starred in a TV movie titled “Ironside.” The movie was later turned into a television series.

1968 – The U.S. lost its first F-111 aircraft in Vietnam when it vanished while on a combat mission. North Vietnam claimed that they had shot it down.

1974 – A streaker ran onto the set of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.”

1979 – A major accident occurred at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. A nuclear power reactor overheated and suffered a partial meltdown.

1981 – In Bangkok, Thailand, Indonesian terrorists hijacked an airplane. Four of the five terrorists were killed on March 31.

1986 – The U.S. Senate passed $100 million aid package for the Nicaraguan contras.

1986 – More than 6,000 radio stations of all format varieties played “We are the World” simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST.

1990 – Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

1990 – In Britain, a joint Anglo-U.S. “sting” operation ended with the seizure of 40 capacitors, which can be used in the trigger mechanism of a nuclear weapon.

1991 – The U.S. embassy in Moscow was severely damaged by fire.

1994 – Violence between Zulus and African National Congress supporters took the lives of 18 in Johannesburg.

1999 – Paraguay’s President Raúl Cubas Grau resigned after protests inspired by the assassination of Vice-President Luis María Argaña on March 23. The nation’s Congress had accused Cubas and his political associate, Gen. Lino César Oviedo, for Cubas’ murder. Senate President Luis González Macchi took office as Paraguay’s new chief executive.

2002 – The exhibit “The Italians: Three Centuries of Italian Art” opened at the National Gallery of Australia.

2010 – China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. signed a deal to buy Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo car unit.


Obama and Putin: Two Totalitarians, One Game

“It’s not just that Obama is weak and inept, but he’s using a rulebook that Moscow is entirely familiar with because its men helped write it. The KGB vets running the show understand Obama intimately because they understood his mentors. The tactics that Obama and his people imagine are clever and innovative are minor examples of the tactics that the USSR was using abroad before he was even born.”

A magnificent article,  Daniel Greenfield pens another gem.

putin-obama

 

War is what Obama does best. The War on Women. War on Poverty. Class War. Race War.

Walk up to a union member snoozing on a bus, a Latino man crossing the street, a gay cowboy poet earning minimum wage, and community organize him along with a few hundred thousand others into the latest battle in the social justice war that never ends.

“Fight for card check, for birth control, for gay marriage and illegal alien amnesty.”

Every time a battle is won and an election ends, a new source of social conflict is dug up and deployed for war.

As a domestic radical, divisiveness is his natural weapon. Obama plays on fragmented identities, assembling coalitions to wage war against some phantom white heteronormative patriarchy consisting of a middle class barely able to pay its bills.

It’s governing by terrorism. The bombs are ideological. The objective is a constant state of war.

The war that never ends has been good to Obama. Its various clashes have given him two terms and very little media scrutiny. They have given him a post-American army of identity groups with few mutual interests except radical politics and government dependency.

While Obama profits from stirring up conflicts at home, making it easy for him to light some fuses and walk away, he loses from conflicts abroad.

A Reaganesque president could have turned the Syrian Civil War or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into an approval rating bonanza. Foreign conflicts pay off politically for presidents even when they aren’t involved. But that’s not true of Obama who is congenitally incapable of showing strength and reacts to a foreign crisis by playing for time while struggling to resolve the ideological betrayal of using American power abroad.

Internationally, it’s the KGB agent, not the community organizer, who profits from conflict. Putin plays Obama’s role in the world community, dividing and conquering, doing to America internationally what Obama does to it domestically.

Obama uses a phantom patriarchy, a phantom white privilege, a phantom 1 percent, to mobilize a coalition for his own agenda. Putin uses the United States as a phantom enemy to organize a coalition of “oppressed” tyrants from Belarus to Venezuela to North Korea.

Administration officials scratch their heads wondering why Putin’s won’t cooperate with them. It’s the same reason they don’t cooperate with Republicans. Their coalition of black nationalists, gay rights activists, abortion-loving professors of feminism and fist-pumping La Raza nationalists, Muslim Brotherhood front men with trimmed beards and aging Stalinists urging single payer shares little in common internally except a furious resentment and a consuming sense of unfairness.

It needs an enemy to give it meaning. Without a common enemy it will tear itself apart and die.

The same is true of the anti-American coalition that Putin has cobbled together out of Marxist dictators in Latin America, Shiite fanatics in Iran, a North Korean prep school grad who starves his people to build nukes and radical American leftists convinced that every war is a CIA conspiracy. Like allying the NAACP, AFL-CIO and GLAAD; it’s an odd conclave, but as long as everyone focuses on a common foe, they can all be herded in the right direction.

Obama is an adequate national community organizer, but Putin is a global community organizer.

It’s not just that Obama is weak and inept, but he’s using a rulebook that Moscow is entirely familiar with because its men helped write it. The KGB vets running the show understand Obama intimately because they understood his mentors. The tactics that Obama and his people imagine are clever and innovative are minor examples of the tactics that the USSR was using abroad before he was even born.

Obama isn’t isolating Putin. Putin is isolating Obama. He’s doing it in the same way that Obama did it to Republicans.

Anti-Americanism has nothing to with America. Anti-Americanism creates a phantom enemy.

Osama bin Laden flew planes into the World Trade Center to increase the importance of Al Qaeda. Khrushchev’s bellicose posturing was intended to ensure that the USSR would be taken seriously as a world power by framing its presence on the world stage alone with America. For Putin, conflict with America wasn’t a reason not to invade Crimea, but an incentive to do it.

Putin is weakened, his popularity is shaky, the energy economy that he built up may collapse and the domestic opposition shows no fear of him despite all the beatings, arrests and suspicious suicides. Crimea polarizes his domestic debate on favorable terms, between nationalists and ‘traitors’, while increasing his stature as a world leader.

This should be familiar territory for Obama who has reacted to bad economic news by finding targets to attack. The War on Women had a lot in common with the invasion of Crimea. Both were sham wars stirred up by corrupt political figures to distract everyone from their own misdeeds.

Obama needs a Republican enemy to keep his people in line. Putin needs an American enemy to keep his people in line. If Obama understood this, he would also understand that Putin is as likely to work with him to defuse the conflict, as Obama would with John Boehner.

Putin and Obama are both deeply corrupt men whose former popularity has waned and are badly in need of distractions. The soft distractions of photo ops with celebrities, impromptu musical performances and hunting expeditions, won’t work. So they turn to the hard distractions of war.

The threat that both men face is the same. Their people are suffering and that suffering has been caused in no small part by the culture of corruption surrounding them. Obama and Putin’s friends have robbed both countries blind and the American and Russian peoples are waking up to their crimes.

That’s why Putin isn’t going to play nice. Unlike Obama, his domestic political opposition isn’t in a position where it can be blamed for anything involving his regime. He can’t declare that his domestic political opposition is waging a War on Women.

Instead he has to seek his wars abroad.

Obama would like Putin to go away so that he can focus on demonizing the domestic political opposition. Putin would like his domestic political opposition to go away so that he can focus on demonizing America. It’s the same old game by two reds with law degrees on different political battlegrounds.

Obama thinks globally and acts locally. Putin thinks locally and acts globally.

Putin is determined to score points from the post-American transition. Reducing American power and influence worldwide was a move that the foreign policy left believed would defuse tensions. Instead it has turned into a gold rush for every petty tyrant and terrorist eager to count coup by humiliating the United States.

Obama wanted a peaceful post-American transition. Instead he’s getting worldwide chaos and war.

Putin seeks out a conflict with the United States for the same reason that Obama seeks one out with Republicans; he wants an easy target to beat up on to distract from the economy and political corruption. United Russia, like the Democratic Party, is a party of crooks and thieves, which survives by fighting phantom enemies for phantom causes while robbing everyone blind.

For Obama and Putin, it’s not really about Crimea or birth control; it’s about power.