Russian President Vladimir Putin is on quite the roll this week: he's issuing sort-of ultimatums to Ukraine, calling out the United States, and suspiciously eyeing Crimea. He's gotten a little full of himself, it would seem. So on The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart attempted to put Putin in his place.
First, the whole Russia sending military troops into Ukraine thing: According to Stewart, if that's not "blatant, naked aggression," then it is "at the very least, disturbingly shirtless aggression." You know, this kind of aggression:
Stewart explains that, despite what Putin may have thought, the Olympic games (particularly the opening ceremony) were not a browsing opportunity. They weren't a chance for Putin to pick out which smaller, vulnerable countries he'd like to take over. They were supposed to have a "spirit of cooperation." Maybe Putin missed the memo.
Or maybe he just has a big head. "Is this because you got more golds than everyone else?" Stewart asked. Winning the Olympic medal count doesn't entitle you to hostile military operations, Putin, unless there was an international charter or something that everyone seemed to miss. "Did you learn nothing from the innocent tears of your own crying bear?"
Of course, Russia denies that their troops are in Crimea at all. You see, "they speak Russian, and they look Russian, and they're eating Russian dressing on their salads ... but could be anybody," Stewart said.
And then there's the hypocrisy of the whole situation. The U.S. isn't exactly innocent of the behavior they're condemning now. So when Secretary of State John Kerry said, "You just don't invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests," he was missing a key word, according to Stewart: "anymore." But Putin himself, in that infamous op-ed in The New York Times last fall, called out the U.S. for frequent intervening in "internal conflicts in foreign countries," which is exactly what he's doing now. "I think Vladimir Putin's going to feel pretty stupid, when he watches this show tonight and sees he's been caught in a classic Daily Show gotcha moment," Stewart said.
In the end, Stewart summed up the situation rather succinctly: "The point is, Russia fucked up."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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