Thursday, July 09, 2009


Vladimir Putin 1, Barack Obama 0

July 9, 2009 | From

Time will prove that Mr. Obama failed in his attempt this week to “push the reset button” with Russia.

Apparently the Russians didn’t get the memo. When Barack Obama visited Moscow this week, there was no fainting and fawning, no clamoring crowds, no wall-to-wall media coverage. The general reaction was low-key, cautious and skeptical.

“Crowds did not clamor for a glimpse of him,” reported the New York Times. “Headlines offered only glancing or flippant notice of his activities. Television programming was uninterrupted; devotees of the Russian Judge Judy had nothing to fear. Even many students and alumni of the Western-oriented business school where Mr. Obama gave the graduation address on Tuesday seemed merely respectful, but hardly enthralled.”

“Barack Obama run over by combine harvesters,” reported the popular Russian business daily Kommersant, in a tongue-in-cheek reference to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s preference to visit a combine harvester manufacturer in southern Russia on Monday rather than greet Mr. Obama when he arrived in Moscow.

Some media outlets were outright skeptical. Reporting on Monday’s joint announcement about the upcoming American-Russian treaty to reduce the number of nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles, Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets asked, “Can the leopard change his spots?” And it wasn’t referring to Putin. “America’s main strategic course remains unchanged,” it wrote, “irrespective of whoever occupies the president’s chair” (emphasis mine throughout).

How ironic.

The Russian populace and media are skeptical of the American president, whose primary foreign-policy objective thus far has been to apologize profusely for so-called American hegemony, and who has worked overtime to heal—or, in Russia’s case, to “hit the reset button” on—long-standing breaches with foreign powers, including some that consider America their archenemy.

Meanwhile, America’s mainstream media have very little skepticism or caution, or even interest, in reporting on Barack Obama’s efforts to appease Putin, a man whose sometimes brutal and self-aggrandizing policies have given him virtual free-reign over Russia, and whose primary foreign-policy objective is to undermine America and resurrect the Soviet empire.

The American media ought to be asking “can the leopard change his spots” in regard to Vladimir Putin. It should also be expressing greater concern over Washington’s courting of the Kremlin!

New York Post columnist Ralph Peters did so earlier this week. “The series of signing ceremonies in a grand Kremlin hall and the litany of agreements, accords and frameworks implied that the United States benefited from all the fuss. We didn’t,” wrote Peters Tuesday.

Fact is, while America “got nothing of real importance” from President Obama’s trip to Moscow, “the government of puppet-master Vladimir Putin … got virtually all it wanted,” Peters said. Consider the agreement to reduce nuclear stockpiles: Mr. Obama didn’t just agree to reduce America’s arsenal of nuclear warheads, he agreed to slash the number of nuclear delivery systems. The consequences of this decision are grave and far-reaching.

Many of America’s nuclear delivery systems are “dual use,” explained Peters, which means, in addition to being able to deliver a nuclear payload, these systems—such as B-2 bombers and nuclear submarines—are a critical and often-used part of America’s conventional military. Putin wants to gut America’s “conventional capabilities,” wrote Peters, restricting its ability to “stage globe-spanning military operations”—at a time when America is confronting danger around every corner.

This was not the only concession made by Obama. In a speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Tuesday, the president avoided firm rhetoric about the planned ballistic missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic (even admitting that his administration was “reviewing” the plans), and hinted that Washington might be willing to dilute its defense of Ukraine and Georgia, specifically their ambition to join nato. Mr. Obama’s remarks on these issues were probably not as favorable to Russia as the Kremlin had hoped. But they were less forceful and decisive than those of his predecessor, and an indication that the Obama administration has opted to travel the path of least resistance in the vehicle of appeasement and concession.

Although the Kremlin did make its fair share of concessions to America, each was tinged with self-interest. First, the Kremlin is more than happy to reduce its nuclear stockpile because most of its weapons are old and expensive to maintain. It also signed an agreement on Monday to allow the U.S. military to use Russian airspace to transport weapons and supplies to Afghanistan. The difference between this concession and Obama’s on the nuclear treaty is that the Kremlin’s trade-off didn’t hurt Russia’s national interest. It also grants the Kremlin the right to inspect U.S. shipments.

In the short term, this agreement will likely benefit America more than Russia. But it is quite a canny move by the Kremlin. As America steps up its campaign in Afghanistan, the transport route through Russia will grow in logistical and strategic importance, giving the Kremlin added political and strategic leverage over Washington. “Putin intends to lull us into dependency on a trans-Russia supply route,” wrote Peters, “giving him a free hand in Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere.”

Mr. Obama also signed a few trade deals with Russia, and got “generalizations … but no hard commitments” from the Kremlin on Iran and North Korea (ibid.).

In April, the Trumpet wrote, “[D]on’t be surprised if the Kremlin tramples on and exploits the United States’ naive willingness to, as Vice President Joe Biden put it in Munich, ‘push the reset button’ with Russia.”

This week, Barack Obama stood face to face with Vladimir Putin and tried to press that reset button. He failed. He might have gained one or two short-term concessions, but his performance was that of a weak, morally blind peacenik. Mr. Obama may have reduced Russia’s nuclear stockpile, but he in no way reduced Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to undermine the United States and restore the Russian empire!

Mr. Obama essentially provided the Kremlin an up-close-and-personal exposé of America’s lack of willpower. It will surely provide impetus for Russia to continue to pursue its goals for global hegemony.

In this sense, Barack Obama’s visit to Moscow likely fueled Vladimir Putin’s deadly ambitions, and accelerated the fulfillment of some earth-shaking Bible prophecies!

For some readers, America’s pathetic performance in Moscow will call to mind a prophecy in Leviticus 26:19. Here God warns the people of America (modern descendants of biblical Israel) that because of disobedience He will curse them by breaking the pride of their power. We are approaching the culmination of that curse. America is on the brink of being entirely sapped of its willpower. Events in Moscow this week confirm that this nation—its leadership, its media and its people—no longer possesses the mental, emotional and moral capacity (which was once rooted in some level of obedience to God’s law) to defend itself from attack.

Nationally, there is no greater curse than having a broken will at a time of global chaos, when the world brims with warring ideologies and ambitions—and nuclear weapons.

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