Mr. Putin’s education of Mr. Obama

Posted on March 11, 2014 by


The Obama Administration is aghast at Mr. Putin’s brazen entry into the Ukraine.  As Secretary of State John Kerry says, this isn’t the way a world power behaves in the 21st Century.  Doesn’t Mr. Putin recognize the realities of the world we live in?

Yet the problem is not with Mr. Putin not recognizing the century we live in, but rather the Obama Administration’s unwillingness to recognize the nature of the world we live in.  We could all wish for the world to be a better place, that with a “reset” Russia might respond more positively to become a world partner, yet we should not be under any misconceptions–people act in their own perceived self-interest.  In the case of Russia and the Ukraine, as the WSJ said yesterday,

For President Putin, a Ukrainian piece prize beats a Nobel.

What we need is an administration that has leaders with wisdom, that act with prudence–we cannot be optimists or pessimists, we must be realists, not idealists.  Biblical wisdom literature (as well as other ancient wisdom literature) presupposed that the truths contained could be borne out by careful observation of reality.  Many atheists, for example, would agree with the wisdom in Proverbs.  In the Proverbs, we are encouraged to seek for wisdom and knowledge as if it were fine silver; there is this idea that wisdom can be discovered by observation and reflection.  While wisdom is found in the bible (especially in the wisdom literature such as Proverbs), it can also be found by general revelation if we will carefully consider and understand the world we live in.  Prudence can be thought of as “seeing the world as it is and acting accordingly.”  This requires us to take off rose-colored glasses, and understand the true nature of the fallen world and man’s sinful condition.  Jesus exemplified this; he encouraged his disciples to not be naive, rather they were to be innocent as doves while as wise as serpents.  He himself knew what was in the hearts of man, so that he did not entrust himself to them.

So the problem with the Obama Administration’s foreign policy goes deeper than a miscalculation on Russia.  It shows the need for a biblical worldview in how they conduct their affairs, whether in foreign or domestic policy.  This is critically important, especially if Russia is be curtailed–are the Baltic States next if Putin is appeased?  After all, they have large populations of Russian people as well.  Are the Chinese not observing us and salivating over the islands in the South China Sea in their dispute with Japan?  There is an order of cause and effect in human affairs as well as hard sciences.  Even Sarah Palin could see it from Alaska:

Jimmy Carter had a similar naive expectation in dealing with the Soviets; he thought if you just had dialogue everything would work out.  But then the Soviets rolled tanks into Afghanistan.  Fortunately for America, Jimmy Carter learned and actually started the renaissance of our military by increasing its budget even before President Reagan took office.  Will Mr. Obama take his lessons as well?