Perhaps you’ve noticed how President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the media (of course) are criticizing Donald Trump’s references to Russia and Vladimir Putin; his most recent a suggestion that “wouldn’t it be nice if Russia would help us defeat ISIS.” I thought it was time to refresh your memory on the failed U.S. – Russia relations during the Obama administration.
In March 2009, Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with the Obama administration’s grand plan to reset relations with Russia. Appeasement followed.
In September 2009, Obama bowed to Putin’s pressure and stopped President Bush’s missile defense program that would have placed 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an advanced radar system in the Czech Republic to defend against long-range missiles from Iran. Mitt Romney called it Obama’s “gift to Russia” during his 2012 campaign against Obama.
Who can forget the time at a March 2012 South Korea summit when Obama was caught on a “hot mic” (see photo) telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to relay to Putin, “This is my last election. After my election, I will have more flexibility. On all these issues, but particularly missile defense … this can be solved but it’s important for him (Putin) to give me space.”
During his campaign against Romney in 2012, Obama mocked Romney’s belief that Russia was our No. 1 enemy. Romney and the GOP accused Obama of caving to Russia by taking the missile defense system off the table.
“Without extracting meaningful concessions from Russia, Obama abandoned our missile defense system in Poland, and granted Russia new limits on our nuclear arsenal,” said Romney, “He capitulated to Russian’s demand that a UN resolution on the Iranian nuclear-weapons program exclude crippling sanctions.”
In March 2014, Putin ignored Obama’s warning Russia not to send troops into Ukraine, making “an already toxic relationship even worse,” according to Politico, “Capping off the worst year of Washington-Moscow relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.”
Putin continues to poke his finger in Obama’s eye, making the United States look weak around the globe. Neither Clinton, nor her successor at State, John Kerry, have been able to melt the icy U.S.-Russia atmosphere.
Now we learn that Russia is flying bombing missions in Syria from bases in Iran, increasing its foothold in the Middle East. While Russia notified the coalition in Iraq that it would have bombers in the air, it waited until just minutes before takeoff, catching the U.S. by surprise.
The Obama-Clinton team has given us eight years of capitulation that have been an embarrassment. What harm could come from a Trump-Putin sit down? Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with Putin this month to discuss issues of common interest.
(If you would like a free subscription to kramerontheright, simply scroll to the bottom of the column at right.)