Vladimir Putin is humiliating the United States of America and undermining our national security interests in the Middle East and elsewhere. Like everyone else on the world stage, Putin has Obama sized up perfectly, and he’s in a good position to do something about it. Putin doesn’t have a strong hand, but it’s strong enough to exploit the weakness that Obama projects. Obama’s spokesmen are left to perform public relations work on behalf of Putin and Russia, just as they have done on behalf of Iran’s Supreme Leader and the Iranian regime.
Ralph Peters is not amused. He puts it this way in the New York Post this morning:
Now we have reached the point where a Russian general can barge into a US military office in the Middle East and order us to stop flying our aircraft over Syria. Oh, we’re still flying, for now — but you can bet that our flights are restricted and careful to the point of paralysis.
You bet President Obama’s afraid of Putin. Physically, tangibly, change-the-diaper afraid.
And as I wrote in these pages on Monday, the odds are good that Putin will order the shootdown of a US drone or even a manned aircraft, anyway. Why? Because he can.
And he enjoys it.
But Putin sees a necessity in humiliating the United States. That’s business. And yet, despite Putin’s obviousness, the White House team and its acolytes publicly scratch their heads and other body parts, saying, “We’re not certain what the Russians intend.”
So let’s help them. Here are Putin’s clear strategic goals…
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Never before has a US presidential administration combined such naked cowardice, intellectual arrogance and willful blindness. We don’t have a president — we have a scared child covering his eyes at a horror movie.
And Putin knows it.
Please read the whole thing here.
The current scene reminds me of Muhammad Ali’s “fight” with Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1978. I foolishly paid to watch the thing on closed circuit television at the old Minneapolis Auditorium. Inoki survived by “fighting” Ali on his back and kicking him as long as Ali was within kicking distance, which wasn’t long. I remember the Japanese audience shouting (as translated on closed circuit), “Stand up and fight like a man, Inoki.” (I’m writing from memory. Wikipedia has the rest of the story here. The Guardian has a 4,000-word account here.)
At the UN this week, Obama instructed us that we have to overcome such backward thinking, or that history has rendered it obsolete, or some combination of the two. Obama is a sorry man and sorrier president who is leaving us in a deep, deep hole, from which (as Peters writes) his successor will have a hard time digging us out. Perhaps that is Obama’s point, but the look on his face in the brief handshake with Putin at the UN on Monday makes me think even Obama understands that Putin is humiliating him.