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Peter Van Buren – The Russian ‘Thug’ Is a Dream Villain for the US

The American military and industrial complex needs a new enemy to justify its massive budget and Vladimir Putin is the right person at the right time, argues Peter Van Buren.

here is a near-certainty in American political speech, going back to the 1980s: When a senior US official labels you a thug, trouble follows. ‘Thug’ is the safest go-to word in the lexicon of American Exceptionalism.

So, it is with concern that folks are lining up at the mic to call Russian president Vladimir Putin just that. Current president Barack Obama called him a “thug,” as did failed Republican nomination candidate Marco Rubio, who added “gangster” for good measure. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokesperson found fault with Mr Putin and his whole nation, even adding an adjective: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug.” One rarely hears ‘ruffian’, ‘hooligan,’ ‘vandal’, ‘hoodlum’ or ‘villain’, but watch out for ‘thug’.

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