ERBIL, IRAQI KURDISTAN – Taking advantage of every opportunity to increase his landholdings and access to oil, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived here today as the vanguard of his reconstituted Soviet army camped out at the Syrian-Iraqi border, according to unreliable reports filed by a solitary reporter.


Putin appeared barechested on his favorite horse, exactly as depicted by New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt in the August 11 & 18 issue of The New Yorker. Blitt’s cartoon complements David Remnick’s Letter from Moscow, “Watching the Eclipse,” which is about how Putin has presided over the fading of the idea of democracy in Russia. 


It’s not a coincidence that Erbil, where a special US military unit is based, is where Putin alighted, because President Barack Obama has already sent Air Force attack planes to strafe the hyper jihadist Islamic State fighters who occupy much of northern Iraq in the area of Erbil.


Putin, who is short, defiantly told Secretary of State John Kerry, who is not short and who has 300 times as much hair as Putin, “You should leave Iraq right now, and I am condescending to permit you to float down the Euphrates in a Swift Boat.” 


Putin dismissed the presence of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, who are doing their best to protect Kerry, with a languid, dismissive thrust of his right hand.


In Washington, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, painfully recalling Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency 40 years ago today, said that Nixon was unjustly forced out of office by radical Democrats such as Jimmy Carter, who defeated Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor, for the presidency in 1976.


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