Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung authored an important column for the Washington Post yesterday in which they tried to explain Hillary Clinton’s supposed feud with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Warrick andDeYoung, when Clinton left the State Department in 2013, she advised President Obama to snub Putin, avoid working with him and turn down any invitations by Putin for a presidential summit.
Clinton also counseled Obama that “strength and resolve were the only language Putin would understand.”
Clinton’s advice reflected her frustration that the so-called U.S.–Russia reset she attempted in 2009 went nowhere. Instead, U.S.–Russian relations deteriorated drastically while Clinton was Secretary of State and Russia engaged in destabilizing and belligerent behavior in Ukraine and Syria.
Clinton’s recommendation that President Obama snub Putin goes to the heart of her foreign-policy incompetence. While the United States obviously does not condone Russia’s foreign adventurism and support for the genocidal Assad regime, Russia is nevertheless a major power with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, thus Washington must maintain an ongoing dialogue with Moscow, especially at the head of state level. Despite the bashing Donald Trump has endured from the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media for supposedly admiring Putin, Trump seems to understand this since he has called for America to find a way to work cooperatively with Russia.
Trump gave his best response to Clinton’s criticism of him over Russia and Putin at the last presidential debate on October 9 when he said that “Putin has outsmarted her at every step of the way. From everything I see he has no respect for this person [Clinton].”
Clinton’s call to snub Putin ignores the reality that our country frequently must deal with many regimes accused of violating international law and having abysmal human rights records.
For example, China’s active oppression of Tibet and Xinjiang is far worse than anything Putin has done in Ukraine. China also has significantly increased international tensions by its naval maneuvers to seize control of the entire South China Sea. If Clinton believes the United States must shun Russia because of its human rights record and aggressive behavior, why did she not also call for China to be shunned?
And of course there is Cuba and Iran. The Obama administration decided to ignore both countries’ abysmal human rights records because it wanted to strike historic agreements – normalization of relations with Cuba and the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – with both states. The world sees these agreements for what they really are: American hypocrisy and appeasement.
Making this worse was Clinton’s advice that “strength and resolve were the only language Putin would understand.” I agree, but it is laughable that such a weak Secretary of State representing one of the weakest presidents in history would say this. Putin never sensed resolve or strength from the Obama administration or Clinton.
Instead of strength and resolve, the Obama administration’s Russia policy has consisted of fecklessness and confusion. President Obama and Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry constantly issued ultimatums and endorsed sanctions in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and support for the Assad regime. These actions undermined America’s credibility since Russia ignored them and Washington failed to back them up.
At the same time the Obama administration was condemning Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, it was simultaneously trying to engage it as a partner to negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran and has tried to work with Russia on the Syrian crisis. This obviously undermined the Obama administration’s efforts to isolate Russia over Ukraine. But even worse, Russia exploited both situations to expand its influence with these countries and throughout the Middle East at America’s expense.
There was a good example of the Obama administration’s toothless Russia policy in September 2016 when Secretary of State Kerry told Moscow after it ignored a two-week old U.S.–Russia Syria cease-fire plan by stepping up airstrikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo that the United States would cease Syria talks with Russia if it continued to violate the cease-fire. In a joint statement, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham perfectly captured the absurdity of this threat.
Hillary sent classified email to Chelsea of all people!
Putin probably walked all over her.
He is an ex-spy, you know.
Leave your phone in one of his cars and he clones it just out of habit.
Wow, I guess you morons didn’t read the Newsweek bombshell today.
Gutlessness is not a foreign policy, yet both Hillary and Obama practice it.
One clinton in the whitehouse is enough we need to go from Slick Willy to Attila the Hen
The Allies during WWII successfully broke the code of the Nazis using an enigma machine confiscated from a U-boat without the Nazis knowledge. They thought the sub was sunk, scuttled and did not pose a security threat. The people at Bletchley Park broke the code and were able to decipher the Kriegsmarine orders to the wolfpack subs. This enabled the Allies to maintain open convey lanes across the North Atlantic enabling the largest movement of equipment and personnel to support the D Day invasion.
mrs clinton has surrendered unknown classified information that may or may not endanger this Country and its Allies. She is guilty of treason….
Hillary Clinton just like with most all liberals favors open borders and unregulated imagration of future demacratic voters
Is there no end to the stupidity , carelessness and criminal acts that HRC has performed?
@Randy: @July 4th American: It’s all about her for Hillary. All about HER convenience, her desires, her needs, her ambitions. Rules, laws, common sense, security and safety all are subservient to what Hillary wants.
Imaging THAT as President. Trump is absolutely correct in his remark last night at a rally; this is our LAST CHANCE. Beyond this point, if Hillary is elected, free elections and opposition of thought is a thing of the past.