Obama Grovels to Russia

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by youngindian, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    July 12, 2009



    The press, true to form, is hailing Obama's trip to Russia as statesmanlike. Reality, as usual, is different.

    When Obama took a pass on missile defense and agreed with Russia's Medvedev to reduce our nuclear arsenal by one-third, he accomplished worse than nothing. He sold out our Eastern European allies, dumping a desperately needed missile defense plan for Poland. As he did so, he revised history, claiming we did not win the cold war. Obama said, "We don't have to diminish other people in order to recognize our role in that history." Yes, he said that. And it gets worse.

    When queried in his press conference with Medvedev by Ben Feller of the Associated Press as to whether he trusted his Russian counterpart and whether he believed he's truly in charge, Obama said: "I trust President Medvedev." On the matter of whether Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin is really calling the shots, Obama was even more simpering: "My understanding is that President Medvedev is the president. Prime Minister Putin is the prime minister. And they allocate power in accordance with Russia's form of government, in the same way that we allocate power in the United States."

    Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if Bush had displayed such stupidity and naivete? They would have ripped Bush to shreds. "Trust Medvedev" -- what foolishness. Groveling to Putin, eight years after Bush "looked into Putin's eyes."

    Who can forget how the media derided and mocked George W. Bush when, after a 2001 visit, he said of Vladimir Putin, "I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country."

    They pounded him relentlessly. Six years later the New York Times was still running headlines like "Mr. Bush Gets Another Look Into Putin's Eyes."

    So it is amusing to watch the media groveling to Obama as Obama grovels before an evil despot. For eight years after Bush got a sense of Putin's soul, we know what he is. Putin is a KGB thug who has assassinated numerous journalists. Does Obama admire Putin's war in Grozny? There really is no word for this kind of stupidity. It's more than stupidity, it's just evil. The only nuclear reduction the Russians will undertake is selling more of their weapons to America's enemies.

    Obama refused France when Sarkozy offered to host a Middle East peace conference later this year. Russia offered, and Obama said yes. Yet Russia backs Iran. Russia helped create the Israel/"Fakestinian" conflict (remember, the "Palestinian" nationality was created out of whole cloth in the 1960s) -- and they will host a "peace" conference? I ask you.

    Putin praised Yaser Arafat. Back in 2003, Romanian intelligence chief Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc, clarified Arafat's Russian connections. As Romania's former spy chief, Pacepa has read Arafat's KGB file. He describes Arafat as "an Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB foreign intelligence." He says that Arafat was a KGB agent. According to Pacepa, Arafat "is a career terrorist, trained, armed and bankrolled by the Soviet Union and its satellites for decades." Pacepa described Moscow's plan to make Arafat the national leader of the Palestinians. And this was what Arafat has became, as he went on to conduct the greatest terror offensive of them all -- against Israel.

    Arafat was trained at the Balashikha special-ops school in Russia. Pacepa also relates how "the KGB destroyed the official records of Arafat's birth in Cairo, replacing them with fictitious documents saying that he had been born in Jerusalem and was therefore a Palestinian by birth."

    Putin was/is KGB to the bone.

    And Obama said to Putin, "I am aware of not only the extraordinary work you have done on behalf of the Russian people in your previous role as prime minister -- as president -- but in your current role as prime minister."

    Yes, invading Georgia was an extraordinary moment.

    Obama appears weak. He is groveling to Russia. It is a sad performance from a President of the United States, who inside of a month aligned with Chavez-backed Zelaya in Honduras, turned a blind eye to the brutal crackdown of a historic revolution for freedom in Iran, called for ethnic cleansing for Jews in parts of Israel, and distributed 300 million of a promised 900 million dollars to the jihad in Gaza.

    American Thinker: Obama Grovels to Russia
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    What a biased, idiotic article. Sounds like it has come straight from a conservative mouthpiece of the extreme right wing republicans.
     
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Opinion | The Cold War continues

    THE COLD WAR CONTINUES
    - Obama’s barely coded offer to Medvedev and Putin


    Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

    [​IMG]

    The recent summit meeting in Moscow did not dispel the suspicion that Russia, too, has lost an empire without finding a role, as Dean Acheson said of Britain. But Barack Obama’s barely coded offer to Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin of a nuclear-shield-for-Iran deal did confirm the non-aligned movement’s rationale, which the West persistently denied, that the Cold War was more about power, influence and territory than about ideology.

    The contest has lost its edge but has not been put to rest. Among other results of that continuing tussle was the drift in India-Russia relations during the last few years when India sought to “reset” (using Obama’s term for his plans for Moscow) relations with the United States of America. Now, America’s example shows that it is just as important for India not to neglect Russia. Whether it is possible to do so without jeopardizing the close Indo-American ties that Manmohan Singh and George W. Bush built up will depend largely on the Obama administration, which has not so far treated India as a foreign policy priority.

    Medvedev’s grandiose vision — “Such powerful states as Russia and America have special responsibility for everything that is happening on this planet” — revealed Russia’s self-perception. Clearly this is not quite how the US views its partnership with yesterday’s superpower. Obama avoided Richard Nixon’s folie de grandeur in hailing the formal end of the Cold War as the beginning of the age of Pax Americana and Bush’s blunder in treating those who did not wholeheartedly support his aggressiveness as enemies. But Russian analysts found his eulogies of democracy and criticism of corruption “mentoring” and “talking down”. At times, especially when telling Russian students they would “get to decide” the future, Obama also sounded as if he was threatening regime change in Moscow too.

    His hosts had the last laugh when he warned that a great power “does not show strength by dominating or demonizing other countries”. Or that empires cannot “treat sovereign states as pieces on a chess board”. Obama spoke of Georgia and the Ukraine, but Russians could have asked, “What, then, did the US do in Iraq? What is it doing in Afghanistan?” The condemnation of military power sounded especially unconvincing since US forces provide the anchor of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is being extended and strengthened while the Warsaw Pact has been wound up.

    Russia’s defence budget is only 11 per cent of America’s. Over 70 per cent of Russia’s 10,000 warheads are not operational. Western observers calculate that Russia will not be able to maintain more than 500 nuclear weapons by 2020. Of America’s 5,200 nuclear weapons, 2,700 are fully operational. The American economy is 14 times bigger than Russia’s and Russia’s population of 142 million is slated to fall to 107 million in the next 40 years.

    In the circumstances, the agreement to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty may have been a concession to Moscow. If both sides cut down 2,200 warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675, Russia will be able to get rid of an ageing arsenal without loss of either face or serious strategic advantage. Start-I would have lapsed in December in any case and a review was overdue. A politically more important gain from the visit was the agreement on 4,500 US military flights carrying men and weapons free of charge across Russian territory to Afghanistan, where Obama is making a fresh effort to defeat the Taliban and shore up Hamid Karzai’s regime in preparation for the August 20 presidential election.

    It can be argued that this is wasted effort. No matter what Pakistan’s rulers promise, their cooperation can never be wholehearted when the enemy is not only another Islamic entity, but one that they themselves created. The corrupt Karzai government is manifestly ineffective. The Afghan tribes always back the winning side or whoever pays them most. Helmand province, where the US effort is focussed, lucratively produces most of the heroin that makes Afghanistan responsible for 90 per cent of the world’s output. Above all, history is against the so-called International Security Assistance Force, the fig leaf for the US forces. Lady Elizabeth Butler’s painting of Dr Brydon’s arrival at Jalalabad depicts the sole survivor in January 1842 of an army of 4,500 British troops and 12,000 camp followers. They suffered the fate that was to defeat the Soviet invaders more than a century later.

    Be that as it may, the overflight agreement without any of the hysteria that foiled Chandra Shekhar’s similar permission in 1991 indicates an appreciation in Moscow of common political aims. An ISAF victory in Afghanistan is important to the Russians because of Muslim separatism in the southern parts of their own country. They do not want a revival of the Chechen war or a repetition of the current revolt in Xinjiang against Han Chinese rule. Fear of Islamic fundamentalism makes for strange bedfellows.

    That may not mean Russia subscribes to all US aims. The centrepiece of Obama’s diplomacy was to enlist Medvedev and Putin, the reputably more powerful prime minister whom he criticized only the week before as someone with “one foot in the old ways of doing business”, in persuading Iran to give up its nuclear ambition. The implicit message was that if they supported him against Iran, the US might consider abandoning the missile defence shield it proposes to instal in Poland and the Czech Republic. Obama argued that the shield is aimed at “preventing a potential attack from Iran”.

    Russia, which is building Iran’s first nuclear power station, is sceptical about this explanation and opposes punitive measures against Iran. Medvedev was the first world leader to meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the agonized protests against his landslide victory in the June 12 election. Moscow is convinced that far from being a deterrent against Iran, the US missile defence shield is “a direct threat” to Russia’s “integrity and existence”. US determination in pushing Nato to include former Soviet republics only substantiates Russian fears of encirclement.

    Historically, Russia regards the region it calls the “near abroad” as its backyard, protected by an invisible Monroe Doctrine. American recognition of Kosovo’s secession from Serbia and attempts to draw Georgia and the Ukraine into Nato are seen as modern equivalents of the provocation of Soviet missiles in Cuba. By that token, Russia’s invasion of Serbia last August could be compared to John F. Kennedy’s response to the Cuban missiles.

    The stalemate places Manmohan Singh in a quandary. India cannot ignore the traditional strategic partnership with Russia, for though Russia is no longer the sole supplier of India’s defence needs, Russia’s aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines are still valuable assets. India must also forge a firm and coherent response to Chinese aggrandizement. Nor is there any reason why India should gratuitously alienate an Iran whose oil and gas, common border with Afghanistan, strategic potential in respect of Pakistan, and independent foreign policy make it a desirable ally. If Iran must be ostracized for its notional bomb, Pakistan should be punished far more severely for its actual arsenal.

    Hillary Clinton’s belated travel plans encourage the hope that it is not impossible to reconcile these compulsions and salvage something of the trust between Manmohan Singh and Bush despite divergent positions on climate change and the World Trade Organization. India needs the US as much as ever, both for nuclear cooperation and regional security. The US, too, must know that it is absurd to imagine that a stable, democratic South Asia can rest on the pivots of two feudal theocracies without the active participation of the region’s only democracy, which also happens to be the largest in the world.

    Meanwhile, notwithstanding some positive results, Obama’s fencing with Medvedev and Putin confirmed that the Cold War continues in the Balkans.
    [email protected]
     
  5. Calanen

    Calanen Regular Member

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    Why don't you say what you disagree with and why, using facts and evidence to respond.

    Perjoratives about the 'right way' to think do not advance us any.
     
  6. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    Obama's Failed Mission to Moscow

    July 13, 2009.



    In his visit to Moscow late last week, President Obama tried to satisfy all sides, and accomplished nothing other than sounding good in the moment and feeling good about himself. Americans have seen this sort of personality type before.

    In his immortal "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Martin Luther King explained that he felt people he referred to as "white moderates" were a bigger threat to black civil rights than the membership of the KKK. Violent racists are clearly identifiable, and they are an external threat that the valiant King was sure he could confront and defeat. But, echoing Barry Goldwater's famous admonition that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," King felt that those supposedly within his own movement who urged too much caution and invoked their membership rights as leverage were capable of derailing the entire civil rights effort.

    I'm convinced that, as far as American policy towards Russia is concerned, President Barack Obama is the foreign policy analogue of one of MLK's "white moderates." His performance during his recent two-day summit in Moscow was an infuriating tease, in which Obama repeatedly flashed glimpses of the Promised Land only to ultimately disappear behind a stodgy, anti-American burka. I'd rather have the president openly side with the Kremlin, as George W. Bush once did after "looking into Putin's eyes" and finding him trustworthy, so that we can have the clarity of an open war over American policy, with the winner calling the shots. If Obama is going to pretend to support American values as if he might be new Ronald Reagan and then just continue the noxious status quo set by Bush, he will make it almost impossible for any serious challenge to the rise of neo-Soviet dictatorship in Russia to occur.

    Before going to Russia, Obama sternly criticized proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin's retrograde personality. But after meeting with Putin, Obama praised him in terms eerily similar to those Bush used so foolishly. For the first time in a decade, an American president met with opposition leaders like former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov. Yet, each member of the large group Obama met with was given only five minutes to speak, and Obama said nothing afterwards supporting their activities. Obama met with Patriarch Kirill, Russia's version of the pope, and said nothing about the fact that Kirill is a former KGB agent who is helping Putin lay claim to heavenly support for his dictatorship and viciously cracking down on dissent within the Orthodox Church.

    Obama took the first steps towards a new nuclear arms reduction agreement, yet he left many loose ends that let analysts like Charles Krauthammer worry whether the agreement might not be a serious sellout of American national security. He did not even try to get a commitment from the Kremlin regarding the integrity of Georgia's borders following the August 2008 invasion, nor did he try to get the Kremlin to stop supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and most especially Iran, and he said nothing while in Moscow about the Kremlin's outrageous behavior in this regard, or about its efforts to support the lunatic ruler of Venezuela. He said nothing about Russia's repeated buzzing of U.S. military bases with nuclear bombers.

    And while Obama gave an interview to the firebrand opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, he said little in that interview that could be considered remotely controversial. There was no "Mr. Putin, tear down that wall around Mikhail Khodorkovsky" from Obama, who refused to even discuss the judicial charade that has put his most serious political rival in a Siberian prison for years.

    There's no doubt that Obama's efforts to reach out to the Russian opposition, something Bush never did, infuriated the Kremlin, and for that he should be commended. But Obama did not go far enough to give even a small practical boost to the opposition, meaning it will remain largely insignificant and anonymous. Yet he went far enough to seriously poison the Kremlin's attitude towards him, undercutting his own stated mission of "resetting" relations (Obama even made an ill-advised joke about how America got Russia to sell Alaska for a bargain price). So in the end, whether you expected Obama to make friends with the Kremlin or to stand up for American values in a serious way, you had to conclude Obama's effort ended in dismal failure. It was almost as if he'd never done anything like this before.

    Oops, that's right: He hadn't.

    Yet it's infuriatingly difficult to deal with this failure, because Obama the "white moderate" is saying a few of the right things. He's urging us to bide our time and wait, just like the white moderates did to Martin Luther King. That gives the malignant forces in the Kremlin exactly what they want: Time. Time to hope the price of oil returns to $150/barrel or more, time to sow dissent in the Middle East so as to help it do so, time to consolidate, develop new nuclear weapons technology, a new and improved form of universal conscription.

    The reactions of the opposition leaders who met with Obama tell the story. They were denied even the slightest hint of open support, forced to content themselves with bare symbolism when their lives are on the line every day they oppose the Kremlin. Yet none of them were able to openly criticize Obama's mealy-mouthed approach because he had done the bare minimum to make it appear he was on their side. They have no traction to demand better and no reason to hope they will ever get better. For those of us on pins and needles over Russia's fate, this situation is in many ways worse than what we got from Bush.

    Perhaps the most courageous of the opposition leaders is a young man named Oleg Kozlovsky. He spends far more time on the front lines of protest actions than any of the others, and he's spent far more time in prison as a result. At one point, the Kremlin even had him illegally drafted into the army! On his blog, Kozlovsky called for Obama to impose personal sanctions, such as travel bans, directly on the worst human rights offenders in the Kremlin. He begged for at least some kind of tangible policy outcome. Obama didn't even include Kozlovsky in the opposition powwow. One wonders if he even knows who Kozlovsky is.

    To say I'm disappointed with Obama's performance in Moscow is putting it mildly. I'm appalled, and furious most of all because of how his "white moderation" undermines my ability to get traction criticizing him. I fear for Russia's future more now than when Mr. Obama arrived in Moscow.

    American Thinker: Obama's Failed Mission to Moscow
     
  7. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why Europeans are turning against Obama

    July 15, 2009
    Steve McCann



    On the 6th of November last, I made a wager with some of my associates in London and Zurich that within a year they would be pining for the return of George W. Bush and his "cowboy presidency".

    As of today, my friends have collectively conceded and are forwarding payment.

    Why the sudden capitulation? Reality has begun to set in with a vengeance.

    For nearly 65 years Western Europe has lived under the military umbrella provided by the United States. That left these countries free to minimize spending for defense and maximize spending on social issues. European socialism became a new hybrid form of historic socialist thought. It combined a modified capitalist system to provide the funding and the government to oversee cradle to grave security. At that point in history, United States and European economic hegemony controlled world trade. Surely prosperity, despite some expected minor ups and downs, would be expected far into the future, thus financing all the spending on both sides of the Atlantic.

    But some unexpected things happened on the way to this never-ending golden age.

    First: A true world economy began to emerge, beginning with Japan then Korea, China, India and many other former third world countries. These nations were now beginning to develop their own middle class and raise the standard of living for their populations. Therefore, in order to compete and continue this growth, they began to aggressively attract business and capital to their shores. With a built-in advantage in labor and other manufacturing costs they succeeded at the expense of many European workers. More and more products were thus imported tipping the balance sheet in favor of these exporting countries, the net result being wealth sent overseas.

    Second: Energy became a political issue thanks to extreme environmentalism. Untold quantities of money were transferred to other, in some cases hostile, parts of the world so that those in the West could feel better about themselves.

    Third: With the cradle to grave security guaranteed by government and the lack of job creation, the level of permanent unemployment has remained in the double digit range and the birth rate has so declined that in most countries it is below replacement levels.

    Fourth: Nearly all Western European countries are now faced with inevitable bankruptcy due to the excessive entitlements.

    In the past ten years, some in Europe have begun to wake up and realize this path can no longer be sustained and changes had to be made on a gradual basis. However, as long as the United States was there, not only to defend Europe but also to be the dominate economic power in the world, time was certainly on their side.

    President Obama's policies have now begun to open the eyes of the most hardened socialist in Europe and the reality of world without the United States being the economic and military super power thus potentially ushering in the demise of Western Civilization has become a frequent topic of conversation.

    I must confess I never thought it would take less than 6 months into the Obama presidency before articles would appear in one of the most liberal and anti-Bush publications in Europe, Der Spiegel, castigating President Obama. One of the more telling paragraphs:

    Ex-President Bush was nothing if not zealous in his worldwide campaign against terror, transgressing human rights and breaking international law along the way. Now, Obama is displaying the same zeal in his own war against the financial crisis - and his weapon of choice is the money-printing machine. The rules the new American president is breaking are those which govern the economy. Nobody is being killed. But the strategy comes at a price - and that price might be America's position as a global power.

    In an earlier article also in Der Spiegel Oxford historian and socialist Timothy Garton Ash discussed President Obama:

    Speigel: While Europe slips to the right, the United States, under Barack Obama, is discovering the social market economy - and is slipping to the left.

    Garton Ash: Soon they'll be more European than we are.

    We have had through the years the advantage of watching and learning from the mistakes of our European partners, they are now telling us to stop and slow down on this headlong path to change our nation forever.

    American Thinker: Why Europeans are turning against Obama
     

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