Posts Tagged ‘microphone’

March 2012

Obama’s Open Microphone

National Review Online

The remarks of President Obama to Dmitry Medvedev over an open microphone, in which he promised that in a second term, he will have flexibility on the issue of global missile defense, shows that when it comes to U.S.–Russian relations, Obama is a stunningly slow learner.

The relations between a U.S. president and a Russian leader often follow a depressing pattern. The American leader charms (or thinks he charms) his Russian counterpart. The Russian leader begins to engage in criminal behavior, which gets steadily worse. Finally, something big happens — the invasion of Afghanistan, the nuclear poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in London, the invasion of Georgia — and the realization dawns that the Russian is neither a Christian nor a friend and he has to be approached with realism.

Since taking office in 2008, Obama has had ample reason to reconsider the wisdom of relying on Russian goodwill, including Russia’s fixed elections and official involvement in the murder of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. But he persists in seeing the Putin regime as a “partner” and the real threat as coming from the political opposition in the U.S.

Obama hinted in his now-public conversation with Medvedev that he is ready to meet Russian concerns. In fact, he needs to be prevented from doing so because the steps the Russians are demanding will not lead to a real improvement in relations and are inimical to the security interests of the U.S.

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