I’ve been thinking of international thugs and killers lately. I have an intense dislike for tyrants and despots: Noriega, Gadhafi, Castro, Assad, Saddam Hussein, the usual suspects. (Isis is just too broad to get at; their leaders get rubbed out quicker than gnats on a late November day.) I’ve posted about Kim Young Fool of North Korea, my favorite grease fed fool with the stupid haircut. He looks like a spoiled five year old who ran unchaperoned through all you can eat buffets and escaped any discipline. I haven’t heard anything back from him yet. Then there are rogue imams who whip up their faithful to violent jihads, turning faith tenets into rivers of blood.
They share a certain crazed swagger, and due to this drunk duck walking, they will fall. All dictators eventually do. My problem is all the injustice, torture, maiming and murder that go on under their reigns of terror. It would be a bit more acceptable if these thugs simply admitted that they were evil and corrupt sociopathic megalomaniacs who prey on their populace without mercy or guilt. But no, these guys pretend to be patriots or spiritual leaders of some sort, messiahs who have been anointed by something other than the rule of law to rape, pillage, and raze societies, while protecting their exceptionally holy way of life and personal wealth. They take and take and take, shamelessly building temples to themselves and destroying the groups they rule, materially and then spiritually.
My buddy Vlad, though, he is a slippery eel of a dictator and international manipulator. He appears to be legitimate somewhere, somehow to someone who is likely to be afraid of him. Rising from the old KGB, he managed to create a “Russia First” mentality and launch a long term “Make Russia Great Again” campaign. Surrounding himself with mafia type oligarchs flush with ill gotten gains, he put on the Olympics in Soshi, then helped himself to Crimea for dessert. His unlabeled Russian troops invaded Ukraine, pretending to be local patriots. Sneakily effective. He don’t need no stinking laws.
Vlad did not gasp or cry foul when the world condemned his aggression. He just kept lying, running the plausible deniability game, i.e., keep lying until the lie is accepted as truth. Indeed. “Ze Ukrainian peoples just ask us for leetle bit of help, veech ve so kindly deleevered.” Meanwhile in Syria Vlad rubbed his bare chest up against the well dressed weasel Assad and created an alliance that would frustrate the United States supportive fight against Isis. Once again, while pretending to be for peace and order, Vlad undermined both by bombing any resistance to an evil puppet dictator. But that’s how Vlad is.
Back in elementary school he was the model student, the eye of the storm at all times. Once in Svetlana Valkeryie’s level 5 class, I witnessed Vlad stoically stare into Ms. Valkeryie’s eyes while his henchmen were ransacking the lunches of our comrades in the cloakroom. He recited Communist Party poems with surgical precision as boxes and bags were pilfered and pillaged mere meters away. He had that hypnotic stare, like a cobra that charms its snake handler. Meanwhile, he enriched himself in plain sight of authority. He has always held authority in contempt.
Vlad was always the quiet victor. His smile, and I’m not the only one who believed this, was like two rows of bullets pointing at each other. Never did you wish to provoke a smile from him because it would be followed by gunpowder, death, and cover up.
In Level 6 Vlad was elected president of the High Elementary Socialists’ Council of Comrades. The strange part of that story is that he did not run for Council. Two other boys were involved in a super-heated campaign, full of dirty tricks and character assassination. Leonid Sharansky was locked in mortal combat with Nikolai Petroika. They drew nasty facial hair on each other’s posters, even ripping them down in passionate prepubescent political rages. Then suddenly and mysteriously these boys were disappeared, never to be heard from again. In the aftermath and turmoil of the vacuum of leadership created by the missing boys, Mister Mikhail Kisalevsky asked Vlad if he would consider leading the school forward as it was also his Socialist duty to the ideals of Lenin and Marx. Vlad said nothing; he simply nodded ruthlessly and accepted the office truthlessly. It was first of many coronations to come.
In Level 7 the next year we witnessed the demonic powers of Vlad. Mr. Petrosharpov noted one fateful day that Vlad had a zeet on the point of his nose. He made some small joke at Vlad’s expense. No one else dared to snicker. The next day Mr. Petrosharpov’s lifeless body was found crumpled over the coffee machine in the teachers lounge with a tiny poison dart stuck in his neck. No one doubted where the dart came from, but likewise no one was foolish enough to speak of it. Mr. Petrosharpov’s death was ruled a suicide by the coroner, a relative of the Putins. Caffeine overdose. Vlad was first place in assassination class.
But now he is so big. We are so very proud of Vlad. No one needs a gun in his ear to say so. But a little barrel to one’s temple does not hurt. No? As he grew like James Bond, he collected intelligence on many other despots, their secret poop. Espionage and blackmail are very handy skill set. Like keeds in Elementary school, Vlad manipulated world stage players, one after the other. They were putty in Putin’s hands. ( This is very funny joke in Russian language that cannot be translated.) His secret was to find most arrogant nit vits to parasite on, like teek on big deer. Silently, he killed off one after the other with only a squint or a sneer.
So now at fiftieeth school reunion, ve are all so pumped up to see Vlad and his many secret body guards. I hope he vears a shirt this year. Last time vas so awkvard for men who did vear shirts. I felt like penguin at nude beach.