Divine right of kings

By Rufus Foshee | Jul 18, 2009

During his student days, in 1983, President Obama wrote "Breaking the War Mentality.” He denounced "... the twisted logic of which we are a part today," referring to the global arsenals holding tens of thousands of deadly warheads.

In Prague last spring Obama insisted "... I am not naive ... this goal will not be reached quickly - perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence."

Now only 44, with about 31 years left of his life expectancy, and 26 years since Obama’s essay, how many years might it take, and how many presidents, to do something about eliminating nuclear arsenals?

President Obama continued his window dressing in Moscow on July 6, signing an agreement with Russian President Medvedev that was meaningless before the ink dried.

Charles Krauthammer put it perfectly on July 10, writing, “The signing ceremony in Moscow was a grand affair. For ... Obama, foreign policy neophyte and 'reset' man, the arms reduction agreement had a Kissingerian air. A fine feather in his cap ... our president likes his plumage.”

There is no proof to support the PR put out by Obama's handlers leading the public to believe there are warm relations between Russia and the United States.

The Cold War conflicts, so well known, are contrary to the supposed impression of U.S./Russian relations.

Russia's aim to reemerge as a superpower was stunted by every move the United States made under Bush 43. Neither is it a secret that the United States has a diminished seat in the Global Power Circle, putting the United States in no mood to in any way encourage Russia.

According to Ron Synovitz, Radio Free Europe on July 6, Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Baklev has not set a date for kicking the American military out of Manus. Don't forget that the Kremlin lavished a $2 billion loan on the impoverished government of Kyrgyzstan to encourage the kick out.

After Obama arrived in Russia on July 6, much was written about his personal relationship with Russian President Medvedev. When President Putin arrived in Crawford, Texas, in November 2001, Bush 43 drove him to the ranch in his pickup truck loaded with Putin’s riding gear, to find there was no horse to ride. On this occasion Bush said that he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. Then Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was more realistic in his response said, "Mr. President, I looked into President Putin's eyes and I saw the KGB."

Whatever Putin saw in Bush's eyes, evidently it was not his soul. Relations grew worse and worse in part because of Condoleezza Rice, who most will remember had been daddy’s special adviser on Russian affairs. She had forgotten that the Cold War had ended, and the wall was down.

Those who credit a man named Reagan with personally bringing down the Berlin Wall have been sorely inaccurate.

The former U.S. president, Bush 41, remembered it as "watching the world wake up from history." It seems Bush had it backward, the world was waking to history making.

Was Obama's kissing up with Russia in early July a genuine effort to be trusted over the long haul? Was it an effort to gain Russia's cooperation in bringing Iran's nuclear development to a halt?

Only recently Russia reminded Secretary of State Clinton and Obama that their plans were well under way but that they were not likely to meet the requirements of the United States. This was at the same time that Iran cautioned that it was more interested in deeds, not words. In both cases it amounted to the same thing -- no hot air, please.

President Obama tripped over his tongue as to whether former Russian President Vladimir Putin is prime minister or president. The real issue here is that all parties, Obama, President Dmitri Medvedev, and Putin, were circling the tepees trying to avoid any discussion of that missile wall the United States is so hot to slap up in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile the horse trading went on. The United States will now fly over Russian air space to get to Afghanistan.

But what was all this dancing in Moscow on July 6 and 7? What does the United States want from Russia? What is Russia willing to give? Not less pressing is what does Russia want that the United States is certainly not going to give?

Obama could not resist making his case that Russia should join the United States in curbing emerging nuclear powers like Iran ...

A real sign of Obama's immaturity came when he said in his talk at the New Economic School in Moscow that "by no means is America perfect." I think it safe to say that none other than Americans have suggested perfect. It is such half baked apologies that have disappointed many of Obama’s friends and fueled even more of his enemies.

It is dishonest to pretend that all is well in U.S./Russian relations. Only a few days ago, Obama said, "Mr. Putin still has one foot in the old ways of doing business." Now to lavishly praise him, saying to 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 minister -- as president, but in your current role as prime minister." This is the highest level of diplomatic expediency.

Obama cannot be blinded to the concept that others are rising, especially China, Russia and India. However powerful in whatever limited ways the United States may continue to be, it will in no way diminish the rapid growth of "the others." It is about money, and the United States does not have enough of it to compete.

The blackest cloud that hovers over international waters is that "the others," none of them, are likely to take sides with the United States against any of the others. Any move by any of the others toward a closer relationship with the United States is going to make them nervous. India's growing relationship with the United States is a prime example. China especially does not like it and will certainly do anything it can to counter it.

Both China and India have serious problems that deflect these concerns. China’s internal problem is facing the separatist movement in Tibet, Xing-Jan and Taiwan. India has a territorial dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. If these conflicts continue without resolutions, the economic and cultural growth of China and India will suffer and the United States will be affected deeply.

Soon there will be multiple layered reasons for additional paranoia. More than Obama window dressing will be required to deal with it.
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