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Explaining Russia to Obama and His Minions: Obviously He Hasn’t Got a Clue

Obama Ukraine

A Western leader cannot look at Russia the same way he would a Western country. It’s a huge mistake and Obama is making it!

The lack of any real foreign policy expertise around Obama is really shocking. The White House staff is mostly populated with Obama cronies, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, known for lying about the Benghazi attack, is just a hack. Things are little better at the State Department. What did Hillary Clinton know about foreign policy? At least Sen. John Kerry had many years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but he’s jetting around the world telling anyone who will listen that the biggest problem we face is global warming.

To paraphrase Sir Hew Strachan, historian and advisor to the British Military, Obama doesn’t have any idea what he is doing. His policies are totally reactionary and there appears to be no hint of any larger design or purpose. But worse than that is Obama’s naivete about realpolitik. He seems to think that leaders like Putin are like himself and can be won over by a chat or scared off by some tough talk. These assumptions are not only wrong, but dangerously so as they can lead  to the kinds of miscalculations that bring war as a consequence.

One of the best summations that I’ve read describing what is really going on in Russia comes from Julia Ioffe, a Russian born journalist who now writes for The New Republic. Her latest column “Putin’s War in Crimea Could Soon Spread to Eastern Ukraine And nobody—not the U.S., not NATO—can stop him,” if you want to understand what is really going on. I’ll just summarize with bullet points:

  • Why is Putin doing this? Because he can. That’s it, that’s all you need to know.
  • Western analysis of Russia. It is often predicated on wholly Western logic. Putin, sees the world according to his own logic, and the logic goes like this: it is better to be feared than loved, it is better to be overly strong than to risk appearing weak.
  • You know why being a pessimist is the best way to predict outcomes in Russia? Because Putin and those around him are, fundamentally, terminal pessimists.
  • The U.N. is just a convenient mechanism for keeping nay-sayers with large armies at bay.
  • Speaking of America…this was an opportunity for Russia not just to take back some land it’s long considered its rightful own, but to settle all scores and to tie up all loose ends. You know, while they’re at it.
  • Double standards. When it comes to Syria, to take a most recent example, the fight between Assad and the rebels is something only the Syrians can sort out. Ditto every other country in the world—unless it’s in Russia’s backyard…The internal issues of former Soviet republics, you see, are not truly internal issues of sovereign nations.
  • In other, blunter words, Russian ethnicity and citizenship trump national sovereignty. At the very least, they provide a convenient pretext for territorial expansion, as they did in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where Russia was also ostensibly protecting Russian citizens—also newly minted for the occasion.
  • Russia manufactured this crisis to create a pretext for a land-grab. There are now protests swinging Russian flags and hailing Russia’s glory not just in Crimea but all over the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine.
  • Russia’s next target is eastern Ukraine. Because pessimism conquers all, don’t bet that Putin is going to stop once he wrests Crimea from Kiev’s orbit. Eastern, Russian-speaking Ukraine—and all its heavy industry—is looking pretty good right now.
It’s a shame that neither Obama nor anyone around him seems to understand these basic points which are on evident display as we watch the dismemberment of Ukraine. But then, I guess everyone around Obama really does believe that global warming is a bigger threat to mankind!

About Mike's America

Mike's America has written 58 posts in this blog.

Mike has experience in politics and government at every level from the Court House to the White House where he worked for President Reagan.

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  • Mustang

    The entire class of leftists has no clue. Obama is a disgrace, and yet those on the left continue to suck his toes. Who knew Americans would come to this?

  • Billiam

    Larry, it’s not just Obama, I am sad to say. Bush, as well as every other president has the same blind spot with the Middle East. Obama’s main problem is his arrogance. I think he believes his own press, as well as the ass kissers he’s apparently been surrounded by his whole life. He’s a fine example of the child who grew up around adults more concerned with his self esteem than whether he was a grounded, intelligent person. As to Kerry, he’s a waste of skin. A self absorbed poof with delusions of grandeur. This administration is a fine example of what happens when you get a group of narcissists without the sense god gave a salamander together and give them power. They are their own best advisers because they know everything.

  • poptoy1949

    obama does not need clues. He is nothing but a Puppet of the Shadow Government that does include George Soros and many others.

  • hardteachings

    ms. ioffe’s essay was a good read and while i can’t argue with her assessments, they are too broad-based to suggest a counter offensive that any authoritative entity might have occasioned to preclude the current kerfuffle. so in my humble…

    mr. obama and his state department should have recognized mr. yanukovich as the legitimate decision-maker for the ukraine (he won the popular vote, by a landslide, in an un-contested ‘democratic’ election). if the ukrainian electorate had voter’s remorse they also had the option to replace him in the next election; that’s how democracy works; and isn’t this the ‘same’ democracy, voice of the people, et. al. that the neo-cons are always trying to promote?

    there is a recent history here that bears recognition as well; egypt 2012…

    mr. mubarak, who came to power through questionable means was offered a new place at the dinner table vis~a~vis the ‘arab spring’ gala in 2011. during this re-shuffle, egyptians elected
    mr. morsi in an un-disputed, ‘democratic’ (there’s that pesky word again) election.
    despite warnings from the cognoscenti that, as a member of the muslim brotherhood, mr. morsi might mandate burkas, we were assured he was a ‘moderate. as it turned out, not so much;
    and this administration allowed, without protest from senators graham or mc’ cain, his ouster.

    it is important to note that both of these folks who were properly installed as heads of state via
    constitutional compliance and a majority of the electoral vote were ‘allowed’ to be removed from power through the actions of a few, amplified by the media, and orchestrated by the powers that be.

    so based on that precedent; ‘all’ sovereign states are vulnerable to overthrow if there are sufficient molotov cocktails thrown, noted by the media, and left un-contested by the leaders of the free world.

    my concern with mr. strachan’s view is that it assumes (and professes) that mr. obama is the decision-maker. with regard to domestic matters he is subject to the progressive agenda and in foreign policy, ruled by the progenitors of ‘realpolitik’; he’s not naïve, but he is a pawn…b

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