Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Obama’s Putin Policy: Flinch and Retreat

Washington and Moscow have a lot to talk about, but President Obama canceled the scheduled one-on-one meeting with President Vladimir Putin next month, as the two had planned. - PATRICK SMITH/The Fiscal Times

The Syrian crisis, a multitude of questions concerning Iran, nuclear arms reductions, missile defense, and, of course, Edward Snowden’s Russian visa add up to a daunting agenda. With so much on the table, it is obvious that the private meeting scheduled to coincide with the Group of 20 session Putin will host in early September could not take place.

The president and his administration have just made a big (yes, another) foreign policy blunder. Even if it were all about imagery and the manipulation of public perceptions—as so much is these days—stepping out of the ring so close to the bell’s clang is not an effective move. Obama should have put on one of those tight-lipped looks of determination our leaders favor and said, “Mr. Putin, I am coming. And we are going to talk.”

...Flinching and retreating of the sort we have just watched, and then making up excuses for it, will cost us dearly. The task is to advance, even though the ground is unfamiliar, and some tough customers inhabit it.

Exploiting Obama's Foreign Policy Retreat: Why did Vladimir Putin thumb his nose at the U.S. in the Snowden affair? Because he could. - Wall St. Journal

Putin to Obama–You’re a Weenie - Larry Johnson/No Quarter

Despite threats, pleadings, tough talk and posturing worthy of a Madonna “Voguing” video, Barack Obama got served today by Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. Putin gave fugitive NSA leaker, Eddie Snowden, walking papers. And Snowden, without wasting a minute, strolled out of his refuge in no man’s land at the Moscow International Airport and into something approaching normal life in Russia.

What a pathetic show by the Obama Administration. They were inept and bombastic. Early on Obama and his team of mental midgets squandered their political capital by making public demands that any Russian expert would know were non-starters. Weakness, impotence are now the catch phrases that best describe the reality of the Obama Administration and its policies....