Over at City Journal, Dr. Dalrymple looks into the eyes of Comrade Putin in an attempt to assess his mental state and its possible effect on his order for the Russian military to invade the Ukraine.
It is hazardous, however, to ascribe actions that we do not like to madness. This is for two reasons: first, the diagnosis may be wrong—the apparently mad may in fact be sane—and second, madness can have its own rationality. Indeed, the mad of strong character can often take others along with them: they can persuade others that their paranoid view of the world is correct. This is especially so when they possess levers of power over people of lesser character than themselves.