Once upon a time, Obama had a great idea. He would reset relations with Russia. The linchpin of his strategy was a plan to focus attention on the alleged reformer Medvedev, and to freeze out Putin, whom Obama publicly dissed as a dinosaur:
On the eve of a trip to Moscow, Barack Obama chided Vladimir Putin,Russia’s prime minister, today for keeping “one foot in the old ways of doing business”. By contrast, he said Putin’s handpicked successor as president understands that cold war behaviour is outdated.
In a White House interview with The Associated Press, the president said he will meet with both Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, on his trip, in hopes they can “move in concert in cooperating with us on some critical issues.”
. . . .
Asked why he intends to meet Putin, Obama said the former president “still has a lot of sway … and I think that it’s important that even as we move forward with President Medvedev that Putin understand that the old cold war approaches to US-Russian relations is outdated — that’s it’s time to move forward in a different direction”.
“I think Medvedev understands that. I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new, and to the extent that we can provide him and the Russian people a clear sense that the US is not seeking an antagonistic relationship but wants cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation, fighting terrorism, energy issues, that we’ll end up having a stronger partner overall in this process,” he said.
Barry and Dmitri became big buddies. They went out for burgers and everything.
Of course it was all a delusion. Medvedev was a Potemkin president. No doubt Vladimir and his siloviki pals were doubled over in laughter at Obama’s naiveté and gullibility.
The mask came off in September, when the charade came to an end and Vladimir resumed his rightful place. Then Vladimir launched into an election campaign during which he fulminated against the United States. Really, if you followed the campaign, you would have concluded that Vladimir believes that the United States is Russia’s Number One Geopolitical Foe.
And you would have concluded right.
But did the scales fall from Barry’s eyes? Did he decide that the Reset was based on a faulty premise? Did he recognize that since a man who by Obama’s own estimation has one foot (three, actually) in the Cold War past, who viscerally hates the US, was going to dominate Russian politics for the foreseeable future, that it was pointless to continue his attempted rapprochement?
Of course not! It’s almost as Barry never noticed. Barry told Burger Buddy Dmitri-now demoted to Vladimir’s errand boy-to tell Vladimir that after his “last election” he would have flexibility to make a deal that would be to Vladimir’s liking. Foot in the past? Huh? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Putin’s electoral rhetoric? What rhetoric? Obstructionism in Syria that even his own Secretary of State called “despicable”? Whatever.
We know Barry is a slow learner. Actually, he is a no learner. Exhibit 1: energy. Exhibit 2: this whole Russian fiasco. BHO is proceeding blithely as if nothing has changed. Well, nothing has really changed, because Putin was always in charge, but Barry apparently didn’t understand that. So if Obama was sincere in his earlier statements (I know, I know), he should believe that things have changed-and he should adjust course accordingly. But apparently not. He is proceeding with his grandiose Russian schemes that were predicated on exploiting an imagined split in the Russian power structure, even though it is now evident even to the dimmest of the dim that said split never existed. And he is willing to do so by actively concealing his intentions from the American people.
It is bad enough to pursue a policy that is based on a delusion that anyone remotely familiar with Russia should have known to be such. It is beyond bad to continue to pursue that policy once it has been proven to be based on a delusion. And to do so in such a deceptive way staggers the imagination.
But that’s our Barry.
The NYT is of course utterly clueless on the subject, but even the WaPo, normally in the Obama Tank, can’t swallow this. Neither should anybody else in possession of their sanity.