Ever since Vladimir Putin decided to restore the former Soviet Union, I have admired his restraint. I’m serious. I mean thus far all he’s done is venture a little way into Georgia and, as of this moment, into a small section of Ukraine. Surely, judging by the response from Obama and the various garden gnomes heading up the nations affiliated with NATO, I see no good reason why he hasn’t taken back Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the eastern section of Germany or all of Europe, for that matter.

Obama’s defenders like to say that it wouldn’t matter who was in the Oval Office because Putin would do whatever he likes because he’s Putin. I beg to differ. It was Obama who refused to supply Poland and the Czech Republic with promised missile defense systems because he didn’t wish to irk Russia’s dictator. It was also Obama who let Putin get away with consorting with the mullahs in Iran and Assad in Syria. And that was after decreasing our nuclear arsenal at Putin’s request. Every school kid knows all too well that if you give in to a bully even once, he’ll just keep taking your lunch money.

When Mitt Romney, during the 2012 presidential debates, identified Russia as our major geo-political foe, Obama, the N.Y. Times and Chris Matthews all ridiculed him, pretending he was Rip Van Winkle and had been asleep for 50 years. But he knew what any sentient human being who has paid attention to Russia through the years knew; namely that Russia is less a piece of geography than an evil and vicious state of mind. It’s Hannibal Lector, but without Anthony Hopkins’ soothing tones.

Hillary Clinton, who is every bit as stupid as Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer but comes across as forceful because of all that extra testosterone, made a big deal about presenting her Russian equivalent with a restart button, pretending that the Russian grizzly had turned into a pussy cat. The fact is that Russia has changed its name but has changed nothing else over the years, and it hasn’t mattered if the guy calling the shots was a czar, Joe Stalin or an unrepentant Cossack named Putin.

I suggest that in place of those silly Nobel Peace Prizes, they should be handing out Nevilles in honor of Neville Chamberlain. They would come in the form of a little furled umbrella and would be bestowed on the world’s leader who showed the greatest amount of cowardice when it came to facing down a bully. And because the bullies are dispersed in such far-flung places as Russia, Syria, Iran, Uganda, Venezuela and North Korea, just about every national leader would have a fair shot at taking home a Neville.

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The thing about Russia is that it is, with the possible exception of North Korea, the most paranoiac nation on earth. Although it has well over 200 million people and a land mass that dwarfs just about every other country on earth, it is always carrying on as if invasion is just around the corner and that it requires more and more buffers to safeguard its sovereignty. The fact is that in 200 years, it’s been invaded only twice – by Napoleon and Hitler, and neither got very far. It’s also a fact that it’s Russia that has made it a practice to invade and dominate its neighbors.

One of the many things Obama says that annoys me no end is when he makes reference to the international community and pretends, one, that it actually exists and, two, that it possesses moral authority. Until he got the house key to the White House, one could argue that whatever morality existed in the world was mainly possessed by the United States. But he has seen to it that when he said that America was no more exceptional than any other nation, he fully intended to prove it by transforming it in his own repulsive image.

When one looks at the world, it’s obvious that most nations could disappear tomorrow and the world would be the better for it. If you disagree, check out the membership roll of the United Nations. By comparison, even the freaks in the Occupy Wall Street movement, personal hygiene aside, don’t look all that bad.

Of course I could be wrong, but I’m betting that the editors at Time magazine have already begun putting together the year-end edition naming President Vladimir Putin “Person of the Year.”

But, all is not lost. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think the odds look awfully good that our own president will be bringing home the Neville!

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