HOW PRESIDENT OBAMA SEES HIMSELF:
HOW VLADIMIR PUTIN (AND THE WORLD) SEE HIM:
With Russian troops overrunning Ukraine, it may be instructive to recall:
In 1994, Russia, the US and Britain were among the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum. In essence, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for western–particularly American–guarantees of security.
For the West, it’s [the Russian incursion into Ukraine] a very difficult position,’ said Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of national security at the US Naval War College. ‘Obama effectively set down the US red lines,’ he said. Putin has gone right through them.
During a March 2012 meeting with then Russian President Dimitri Medvedev, President Obama swore that if reelected, he would be more “flexible:”
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
Vladimir obviously got the message. It is difficult to understand this as anything other than Mr. Obama’s promise to sell out American interests in favor of Mr. Putin’s interests. Is Mr. Obama trustworthy in his dealing with Russia? With any nation?
Mr. Obama imagines himself to be a killer president:
According to the new book ‘Double Down,’ in which journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann chronicle the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama told his aides that he’s ‘really good at killing people’ while discussing drone strikes.
Peter Hamby of The Washington Post noted the moment in his review of the book.
The reported claim by the commander-in-chief is as indisputable as it is grim.
When you’re willing to take credit for killing Osama Bin Laden–and giving away national security secrets in the process–I suppose taking credit for drone strikes is a small matter.
With Russian troops swarming over the Ukrainian border, Mr. Obama couldn’t be bothered:
President Obama had no public events on his schedule today, yet skipped a meeting of his national security team at the White House today as they huddled over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Seen leaving the meeting at the White House were Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, and CIA Director John Brennan.
Vice President Joe Biden reportedly joined the meeting via videoconference, while Obama was briefed later by National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
Obama special adviser John Podesta was seen at the West Wing in mid-afternoon, but he was apparently leading family members on a tour, according to the White House pool report.
There was no word from the White House on whether Obama would issue any statement.
State Department on Secretary of State John Kerry today contacted acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov, meaning that Obama has still not had any president-to-president contact with Ukraine since 2012.
The White House later released an official photo of what it represented as a 90 minute phone call between Presidents Obama and Putin, apparently done sometime after the missed national security meeting.
I suspect the conversation went something like this:
Mr. Obama: “Vladimir, I thought you promised you weren’t going to embarrass me like this!”
Mr. Putin: “I thought you said you were going to be more flexible.”
In 280 BC Pyrrhys of Epirus, one of the greatest generals of antiquity, fought the Romans and defeated them, but at terrible cost in men and materials. He is reported to have said: “One more such victory and we are lost.” From that day, a victory won at too great a cost has been known as a Pyrric victory. The continued application of Mr. Obama’s “smart diplomacy,” is unlikely to produce even than pitiful result in Ukraine and elsewhere.