There is much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth today in Washington DC over Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine but this confrontation was lost years ago. Vladimir Putin has outwitted Barack Obama all along the way. The truth is, Obama is easy prey for Putin. Narcissists are prone to succumbing to the proper signals.
Hubris is the fuel that runs the Obama mind. It’s always been that way and we have documented that here often. Putin recognized it, having learned something from Obama’s predecessor. Putin and Obama met in July of 2009 and it was in that meeting that Obama was hooked with Putin saving the reeling in for later.
MOSCOW — President Barack Obama met for the first time Tuesday with the man most consider to be Russia’s top power broker, Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin — and came out of the meeting expressing a higher opinion of Putin than when he went in.
Obama managed a few strained smiles during a four-minute photo opportunity at the outset of the meeting, though he seemed wary of creating too cheery an image in the company of the former KGB officer.
“I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people … as president, but in your current role as prime minister,” Obama said during a breakfast meeting at Putin’s country home on the outskirts of Moscow. “We think there’s an excellent opportunity to put U.S.-Russian relations on a much stronger footing.”
Yet by the meeting’s end, Obama had revised his assessment of Putin and is now “very convinced the prime minister is a man of today and he’s got his eyes firmly on the future,” a senior U.S. official told reporters after the meeting concluded.
Putin knew exactly what to say to appeal to the Obama ego:
For his part, Putin spoke of Obama’s visit as an opportunity to remove a pall that had settled over exchanges between the two countries in recent years.
“The history of relations between Russia and the United States has very many different occasions and events of different, shall we say, color,” Putin said, as the two men sat in chairs in front of an ornate fireplace. “There were periods when our relations flourished quite a bit and there were also periods of, shall we say, grayish mood between our two countries and of stagnation. With you we link all our hopes for the furtherance of relations between our two countries.”
After that meeting, Barack Obama changed his Russia policy to one of projecting weakness. Soon after Obama decided to surrender the planned Eastern European missile shield:
With Iran, North Korea, and even Venezuela now pursuing nuclear programs in open defiance of international law, Obama has officially decided to dismantle our last line of defense against such dangerous rogue regimes. He insists that crippling our defensive capabilities in Europe and replacing them with Aegis cruisers capable of intercepting short-range missiles will somehow make us stronger.
But as we rush in to beat our chest and “confront” the immediate threat of Iran’s short-range missiles while doing nothing about their development of longer range missiles, we merely pretend to be addressing the problem, while actually surrendering completely. What’s really going on here is politics. We are using Bush’s missile defense shield as a bargaining chip against Russia and cashing it in for temporary, short-term concessions. Needless to say, this is incredibly unwise.
George Bush had secured construction of the missile shield in an agreement with NATO.
The Obama regime claimed that dropping the missile shield came about because of some new intel but Wikileaks proved otherwise:
The leaked documents indicate that Obama’s first eight months as president boiled over with Russian threats not to cooperate with the U.S. on any issue whatsoever (be it Iran, North Korea, space exploration, START negotiations, or anything else) barring cancelation of U.S. missile defense plans. During meetings with American officials, the Russians would repeatedly interrupt American diplomats who tried to discuss anything but missile defense.
The Kremlin’s message was this: you must capitulate on missile defense (and strategic arms), or else we won’t even discuss (let alone cooperate on) other issues. Eager to appease Russia, the Obama Administration naïvely surrendered missile defense plans on September 17, 2009.
Administration officials, including Obama and Bob Gates, are now falsely claiming that their surrender had nothing to do with Russia and was instead dictated by claimed new intel. Supposedly, Iran’s priority is now the development of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles rather than IRBMs and ICBMs (against which the Bush missile shield was designed to be effective).
But the leaked documents, reproduced by the NYT, show that the Iranians still prioritize the development and acquisition of long-range ballistic missiles.
During the 2012 Presidential campaign Obama was still doing his best to please Putin. He promised Putin even more “flexibility” if Putin gave him more “space.”
Obama, during talks in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the November ballot, and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.
“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.
“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.
Mitt Romney called Obama’s words “alarming and troubling.”
Shortly after Obama promising to bend over to Putin, Putin sent the message that Obama wasn’t accommodating enough:
WASHINGTON – Just days after reclaiming the Russian presidency, Vladimir Putin has canceled his planned visit to the United States, where he’d been scheduled to attend a major economic summit and meet with President Obama.
The White House confirmed in a statement late Wednesday that Putin told Obama on a phone call he’d be sending Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his place. Putin claimed he was too busy finalizing cabinet appointments to make the May 18-19 G-8 Summit at Camp David. Yet the Obama administration had moved the gathering to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland from the planned venue in Chicago partly to accommodate Putin.
Whether or not the schedule change marked an intentional snub, the let-down comes less than a week after the nation’s military chief of staff warned that Russia would consider preemptive strikes, if a dispute with the United States over a Europe-based missile defense system worsens.
And Obama caved again.
In a presidential debate Obama castigated Mitt Romney for his opinion that Russia remained a geopolitical foe:
OBAMA: Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.
After promising to do nothing about the Ukraine, Obama declared it “happy hour.”
Characteristically, the Obama regime could not resist taking a cheap shot at George Bush:
“We in this administration have not made it a practice to look into Vladimir Putin’s soul.”
What this proves, aside from how pathetic is the Obama regime, is just how fundamentally wrong Obama and the media are about Bush.
Much was made of Bush’s statement but all of it missed the point. Bush was doing to Putin what Putin later did to Obama. Play to his ego. And Obama swallowed it whole- hook, line and sinker.
The difference between Bush and Putin was that Bush never kissed Putin’s ass. He never knuckled under to Putin. Bush pulled out of the ABM treaty and secured the missile shield for Europe. They called him a cowboy.
Obama has done Putin’s bidding since. He wants Putin to like him. He wants everyone to like him.
Consequently, Obama fumbled the Iranian spring, screwed up Libya, dithered on Syria, is losing Iraq and Afghanistan and now projects nothing but weakness as he compromises the US military.
Obama lost the Ukraine years ago.