What Putin Wants, Putin Takes
Without saying a word, the President of Russia placed the ring in his pocket and then promptly walked out of the room. Horrified, the owner of the New England Patriots wanted desperately to get his ring back, but he also didn't wish to create an international incident. Long story short, the New England Patriot's front office determined there was nothing that could be done and eventually issued a press release that the ring had been "given" to Putin as a gift. Only gullible people believe the cover story since had Bob Kraft wished to bestow a gift upon Putin, he would have had another ring made, not given him his own. This true story reveals the personal character of Vladimir Putin.
Steven Covey says, "Public behavior is merely private character writ at large." As Russian troops effectively govern Crimea today and Russian tanks sit ready to invade Ukraine, it is worth noting that what Putin wants, Putin takes. However, this time, it's not a ring, it's a country or two. Putin is building an empire. At some point, somebody somewhere will need to stand up to the Russian bully.
Unfortunately, it takes a leader with principles and the moral fortitude and willpower to stand up to a dictatorial bully. The greatest generation of Americans had such leaders, but our generation has created a culture more interested in movie stars and their Oscar selfies than military strategy and international crises. The United States should be very deliberate before standing up to an international bully. It's a matter that must involve both Congress and the President, but history teaches us that until somebody with principles and courage stands up and says "no" when one ring is stolen, the bully winds up taking everybody's rings.
Crimea is the first national ring taken. Who's going to say "Stop!" to Putin and actually mean it?