Reuters is supposed to be a news service but it just switched over to a full-fledged Obama propaganda machine. In an article titled, “Special Report: How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse”, they grabbed snapshots from history and put them into current events in a twisted effort to excuse the bunglings of Barack Obama on foreign policy. The article blamed Bush for our problems with Putin!
It’s his fault because for years, Bush did not show Putin respect or give him the attention he deserved as a major world power.
Amazingly, the article claims that Russia is gone as an ideological enemy, but they remain a major power that “demands the same level of foreign policy attention as China and other large nations – a relationship that should not just be a means to other ends, but an end in itself.”
In other words, Obama is right, Russia is not a problem ideologically, but, thanks to Bush, we took our eye off the ball. They said that Putin is a “nationalist” with “authoritarian tendencies”, as if that could adequately describe a man who invades foreign countries, imprisons journalists, and bans all semblance of freedom in his country.
Putin is of course very much an ideological enemy. While he doesn’t call his ideology communism, it is communism.
Putin doesn’t trust the U.S. the article claims, because Russians see the U.S. as having taken advantage of Russian weakness in the 1990’s.
That must be Reagan’s fault.
The article claims that officials from Presidents Bush and Obama overestimated the “potential areas of cooperation with Putin” and the downward spiral began with Bush.
Poor Barack. It’s not his fault.
Bush is the one that grew NATO and it made Putin wary because Bush was surrounding him with enemies. The writers think this is a bad thing.
The fact is that the Baltics were in danger and by becoming part of NATO, it helped to keep Putin from invading because if one member nation is attacked, they must all support that nation. The article fails to recognize that growing NATO was a show of strength that helped keep the Baltics safe.
Reuters sees it as the cause of the foundering relationship.
All I can say is “Yikes!”
Bush should have formed a post-Soviet, European structure that replaced NATO and included Russia according to the authors.
The U.S. should have made Putin feel important?
Bush’s other flaw was seeing democracy spreading across the Baltics and Eastern Europe whereas Putin saw it as a pro-American regime change. The war in Iraq caused the final rift in U.S. – Iraq relations, according to the article. Why? Because Putin said it did.
Putin, the article states, saw the Georgian Rose Revolution and the Ukrainian Orange Revolution as a sinister plot and a slap in his face.
In fact, it weakened Putin which should be our goal. He’s a brutal dictator.
Actually, what Putin saw and what actually happened before Barack Obama was a weakening and diminution of Russia thanks to George Bush, but that would hurt the narrative that Republicans don’t do any better than Democrats in foreign relations.
Finally, they claim Bush made Russia feel unimportant compared to other foreign countries. Their relationship supposedly came to an end in 2008, which conveniently was the year Bush left office. They refer to the Georgia invasion months before Bush left office as a sign that he never had a relationship with Putin.
In came Barack who saw that Bush, except for the Nuclear Arms Treaty, did not involve Russia in foreign policy objectives and Obama believed involving Putin and showing him respect was the way to form a good relationship with Putin [not involving an enemy is what one does when one sees an enemy it wants to neutralize].
Obama began the reset. The articles’ authors think it went well at first. They think the START treaty was an accomplishment.
Before his election, Obama said he wanted a world without nuclear weapons and at one point, bragged that he wanted to destroy 80% of our nuclear warheads. This treaty was for Obama, not Russia, and it made him look weak, especially when he so readily gave up the missile defense of Eastern Europe for nothing in return.
The 2012 Putin crackdown wasn’t Obama’s fault, it was the Bush precedents that made it impossible for any American president to trade Russian cooperation on Iran, the authors claim.
The reality is that Russia would never abandon their symbiotic relationship with Iran. Together with Syria, they form an impenetrable and evil axis that has existed for decades.
When Snowden betrayed the U.S., Obama did something so rare and so daring, they believe – he canceled a U.S. summit.
Wow! Big deal.
Putin was uncooperative because the U.S. backed a European-leaning Ukraine and that was a sensitive area for Putin.
The fact is that it was not a sensitive area. Ukraine is a country Putin wants to annex. This absurd article said this: “When you begin to poke them in the most sensitive area, unnecessarily, about their security, you are going to get a reaction that makes them a lot less cooperative.”
Our new strategy must not totally blame Russia for the current crisis, the authors claim, even though it is completely Russia’s fault. “Demonizing Putin” will reflect our failed policy of the past [the Bush past] and it would reflect the “continued failure of American officials to recognize Russia’s power, interest and importance.”
Obama has made Putin important. He has made a dangerous thug who is in league with terrorists in Iran and Syria important.
To support Obama’s contention that Putin’s actions are really bad for Putin, the authors unbelievably say, “I would much rather be playing our hand than his over the longer term,” the official said. “Because he has a number of, I think, pretty serious strategic disadvantages – a one-dimensional economy, a political system and a political elite that’s pretty rotten through corruption.”
Putin is rebuilding the Soviet Union whose loss he has repeatedly bemoaned. He’s not losing a thing, particularly because there is NO resistance.
It’s not that Obama is weak, under-reactive, and feckless, it’s that we have been – thanks to Bush – careless and over-reactive.
It’s impossible to know if the authors actually believe any of this, but it is almost incomprehensible in its naïveté and twisted logic.
His world view, like the authors of this article, is incongruous with reality.
Starting with the reset, it’s been a disaster:
Then there was this fecklessness:
Sarah Palin noticed what Obama didn’t in 2008:
The Cold War is calling and asking for their foreign policy back:
Interview via Greta Van Susteran