Syria, Snark and Spin

On September 12, Vladimir V. Putin, helpfully described as the “president of Russia,” published “A Plea for Caution from Russia” as an op-ed in the holy of holy New York Times.

Since then “le tout Washington” (at least those who fancy themselves the leading opinionistas) has scurried about clutching its “jubjubs” and “bandersnatches” (Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark)  trying to make sense of Putin’s unprecedented snark attack.

The enraged opinionistas are not thinking about Carroll’s fictional animal, they are worried about  snide remarks or “snark.” Apparently none had any experience on a student newspaper or they would have known that snark – the more strident, the better – is the pinnacle of journalistic art in both high school and college.

And Vlad-the-topless nailed it.

Putin’s vicious assault on the spin and narrative industry is likely to be referred to the United Nations to see whether it constitutes a war crime. Surely, “politicide,” a crime against carefully crafted images, should join genocide before the tribunal at The Hague.

Quite a bit of what Putin says is true. In fact so much so, it changed the entire dynamic and, for the moment, gave the Russian president the uncontested high road. Can’t let that happen: pins are weapons of mass destruction when used against image bubbles.

Some have suggested that Russia’s foreign policy wizards out foxed our foreign policy wizards. Others have worried that Russia’s president administered a beat down to ours.

The reality is worse. The Russian spinners outmaneuvered their American counterparts.

Unfortunately, “le tout Washington” believes that spin is what really matters and that a snark attack is the real WMD.


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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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