President Barack Obama has a thing about Russian President Vladimir Putin. I don’t know if it’s a racial hatred, or that Putin just plain gets under Obama’s skin somehow.
In any event, Obama’s comments about Russia during the State of the Union address were petty, unwise, and just plain small. Add them to previous comments Obama has made about Russia such as “Putin has that schoolboy slouch,” or, “Russia is a third rate, regional power and doesn’t make anything.” These are not the comments of a statesman.
When you achieve a diplomatic goal, the last thing a mature leader wants to do is rub the results in the face of the opposition.
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Obama said this last night: “Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with frontline states, Mr. Putin’s aggression it was suggested was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters. That’s how America leads — not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.”
Russian leaders didn’t think so much of those comments. The Moscow Times quotes Russian Foreign Secretary Lavrov:
In Russia, the official reaction was swift. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lambasted Obama’s claims about Russia, saying they demonstrated that the United States sees itself as the “number one” country in the world.
[The speech] shows that the U.S. still wants to dominate, and not even be first among equals,” Lavrov said Wednesday at his annual press conference. “They have a more aggressive foreign policy philosophy.”
It does not seem wise–at a time when Russian troops are fully engaged in Ukraine, Russian President Putin is consistently making comments about nuclear weapons, and the United States needs Russia’s help in combating ISIS–for the president of the United States to be acting like a schoolboy on the playground. We need a leader who can solve this conflict with Russia to the benefit of both sides and move the world away from confrontation, not fan its flames. I don’t feel our Dear Leader is up to the task.
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