The last voice-over of Oliver Stone's film Platoon always struck me as the ultimate in self-absorption.
I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us.I think that the Vietnamese might demur.
It is an example of a pathological narcissism that can only see the world as a reflection of the actions of the United States, an America that is villainous and malign. This anti-imperialism is the most imperialist thinking of all, it places the USA at the centre of the world and the rest are merely its accomplices or victims. And it means that any creep or criminal who opposes them dons the mantle of heroism. And in Stone's mind now, the latest champion of the people is none other than Vladimir Putin. Putin won an award elsewhere too.
Vladimir Putin has been named the 2014 Person of the Year by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an award given annually to the person who does the most to enable and promote organized criminal activity.
Putin was recognized for his work in turning Russia into a major money-laundering center; for enabling organized crime in Crimea and in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine; for his unblemished record of failing to prosecute criminal activity; and for advancing a government policy of working with and using crime groups as a component of state policy.What a hero.