Friday, July 20, 2018

Trump vs. Obama on Russia

Somebody had to do it. Given the frenzy that has drowned out debate in the mainstream media and among the political elites, the task has fallen to Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage Magazine.

To do what, you ask? To place the Trump Russia policy in perspective. In what perspective? Why, to compare it with the Obama Russia policy. Why is no one interested in this comparison? For one, former members of the Obama administration are sending up clouds of obfuscation in order to disguise their own cowardice, and to help people to disregard the fact that they and their president sold out to Vladimir Putin.

That’s what it’s all about. So, we turn to Greenfield to set the record straight on the Obama-Putin relationship.

Obama wanted to improve relations with Russia. He began his tenure by selling out Poland and the Czech Republic, by cancelling the Bush administration order of anti-ballistic missile defense… because Vlad asked him to. 

And, of course, there was also the embarrassment suffered by the nation when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov a plastic toy, bearing the mistranslated message: Reset. If you were part of the Obama administration, like, for example, Philippe Reines, you want the world to ignore your ineptitude… so you stand outside the White House and make noise. Way to go, Philippe!

Greenfield opens with a meeting between Obama and Putin in 2009:

By different, Obama meant that he didn’t care about traditional alliances or national interest. Selling out American allies like Poland had gotten Barry a taste of Vladimir’s beluga. The cost of the caviar was missile defense for Eastern Europe. America wanted it there and the Russians didn’t.

The caviar followed Hillary Clinton’s comically disastrous reset button push. Both Hillary and Obama needed these photo ops. Putin didn’t need the photos. He wanted concessions. And he got them.

The betrayal and abandonment of Poland was only the first of Obama’s many concessions to Putin.

And then there was the Russian annexation of Crimea, which Putin could do because he knew that Obama would not stop him. And the question of arming Ukraine. Obama refused to do it. Trump did it.

In place of arms the Obama administration sent the Ukrainians food:

The media is outraged over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But when that happened, Ukraine asked for weapons and the only aid that Obama offered their country was MREs. It took months for Obama to come through with boots and tires. Meanwhile Trump has delivered actual weapons.

Why did Obama refuse to provide Ukraine with weapons? According to senior officials, to avoid antagonizing Moscow. Trump isn’t afraid of Russia. Obama however was shaking in his loafers.

While Trump approved anti-tank missiles for Ukraine, Obama slow-walked shipments of boots, putting them on trucks instead of planes so that they took months to arrive, so as not to upset the Russians. Meanwhile the Trump administration cut the red tape by dipping into its own European stockpiles.

In the time it took Obama to ship boots to Ukraine, Trump shipped Javelin missiles.

As for the missile defense of Eastern Europe, the Obama administration eventually sent missile batteries, but without missiles.

Obama shelved missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic. Trump cut a multi-billion deal for selling Patriot missiles to Poland. When Obama provided Patriot missiles to Poland, he neglected to mention that the batteries would not actually contain missiles. The ambassador to Poland, had noted, "The Poles have not been told that the battery will rotate without actual missiles... but it will also not be operational, and certainly interoperable... this will be a question of basic definitions for the Poles: is it a Patriot battery if it doesn't have live missiles?" Trump’s missile deal comes with actual missiles.

When Obama’s old foreign policy hands crowd the green rooms of CNN and MSNBC, when they pen editorials for Foreign Policy and the Washington Post, accusing Trump of betraying Eastern Europe to Russia, remember these are same people who sent fake missiles on Poland to go with the fake news.

And then, Obama told Medvedev on a hot mike that after the 2012 election he would be free to do Putin’s bidding? Does this make Obama Putin’s bitch? I leave it to you to decide:

But sacrificing Poland to Putin wasn’t a singular event. Three years later, Obama was caught on a hot mic assuring Medvedev, Putin’s political flunky, that he needed space on, “missile defense” until the Republicans were defeated.

“This is my last election," Obama wheedled. "After my election I have more flexibility.”

“I understand," Medvedev offered. "I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Obama was conspiring with Putin against the American people. He was assuring Putin’s man that he would have more flexibility to appease Russia after he had fooled America.

And then there were the repeated Russian violations of the INF treaty about intermediate range nuclear forces:

The media has been screaming that Trump was a traitor, when it was their man who sold out to Putin, while President Trump held the line on missile defense without caring about what Moscow thought.

And it wasn’t just missile defense in Eastern Europe.

Obama’s obsession with dismantling our national defenses led him to ignore Russian violations of the INF treaty. Not only did Obama ignore the violations which had been going for an entire term, but he and his political allies helped cover them up. The motive was a mix of appeasement and cover-up….

Obama officials lied about Russian treaty violations to Congress while pushing new treaties with Russia. Then they went on to pull the same trick over their fake WMD deals with Russia’s allies in Syria and Iran. Each time, violations were ignored and a fake agreement was trumpeted by Obama for political gain.

Greenfield continues:

The Obama administration hid the Russian violations, not only from Americans, but from NATO. When a former Obama official piously lectures Trump about the importance of NATO, he ought to be asked why his administration put Putin ahead of NATO. The media ought to be asked why it ignored the violations.

In the winter of last year, the media buzzed with stories about Russia deploying a new cruise missile in violation of the INF. And, as the New York Times put it, “challenging Trump”. But when Russia was violating the INF under Obama, the media accepted the Ben Rhodes spin about smart diplomacy. All the smart appeasement in the world though failed to get compliance or punish the Russian violations.

Instead Obama sold out America by unilaterally complying with a treaty that the Russians were violating.

And then there were Assad’s chemical weapons… and eventually the Iran nuclear deal:

The Russians rolled Obama on the INF and START treaties. Then they rolled him on Assad’s chemical weapons. And then they went for a triple score by rolling him on Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama sold out Mubarak in Egypt, handing the nation over to the Muslim Brotherhood… and wrecking relationships with the Gulf Arab states. When Iranian demonstrators rose up against the ayatollahs in 2009, Obama did and said nothing:

Obama did not care about missile defense. The diplomatic outreach of the newly selected leader traded resets with enemies for the betrayal of allies. In Egypt, Obama would abandon Mubarak to the Muslim Brotherhood. When democracy protests broke out in Iran, Obama urged waiting for the dust to settle. The resets were paid with the blood of Iranian protesters, with Christian churches in Egypt and with the Russian expansionism that would lead to the loss of Flight MH-117 and the annexation of Crimea.

Obama also praised Putin effusively:

The media has spent a day losing its mind because of what President Trump said or didn’t say. Yet Obama not only obsequiously praised Putin, “I am aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people in your previous role as prime minis-, uh, as president, but in your current role as prime minister,” not only failed to stand up for America when Putin lashed out at the United States, but betrayed us in deeds.

Obama thought of the world as moving in tune to his speeches. His old associates are angry that Trump hasn’t said the right words. But Trump knows that it’s not words that move the world, but actions.

Unlike Obama, Trump doesn’t just talk, he acts.

You can see that the foreign policy hands who were in charge of Russia policy during the Obama administration would want to change the topic and to shift the blame.


Anonymous said...

If I may add,

China murdered the entire CIA network in their country, annexed and militarized the South China Sea trade route, hacked the US government repeatedly, hacked US military defense contractors, backdoored chips sold to the US military, and attempted to hack THAAD. This is in addition to the vast troves of private sector high-tech intellectual property they have stolen or extorted from American businesses and the common practice of dumping Chinese steel and aluminum through the NAFTA loophole via Canada and Mexico, hammering US manufacturing capacity for these commodities.

The "loafers" Obama was shaking in had pointy toes and bells.

Sam L. said...

That was just Obama being Obama...which is why we now have Trump.