Originally Posted by teamroper60
This is no joke. The highlighted part in the quote above is so close to correct it isn't even funny.. The stage for this was set over Syria. When Putin backed Obama down on that deal, he lowered Obama's worldwide clout and raised own his at the same time. So he knows Obama's threats are hollow. Let us not forget just who Putin is.. First off, he is the former Lt. Colonel in the KGB and a man who called the break up of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitcal disaster of the last century. Secondly, he has been Russia's defacto leader since 1999. When Putin became the leader of Russia, Obama was still five years away from becoming a US Senator. So Putin has a big advantage in experience dealing with politics on the world stage. Not to mention the kind of
"diplomacy" (and I use that word very loosely since what he basically does is make demands) Obama uses when trying to deal with a disfunctional American congress will not work when dealing with world leaders. Especially those who happen to have nukes.
I'd guess we strongly disagree on lots of political issues, but I agree with you that there's at least a good argument to be made that Obama's played Russia poorly. The only question I'd ask is, what should Obama do instead? Putin's willing to invade at least parts of a neighboring country under very flimsy pretext. On Syria, Obama made moves to carry through on his threats and to start aerial support (missiles, bombing) for the rebels, or at least as punishment for the regime for using chemical weapons, and he got massive push back from both left and right in congress. It looked like he was going to lose the vote in congress until Putin bailed him out and the vote was canceled. And there is a 0% chance we as Americans would stand for entering into a war with Russia over this, or even something close, like, say, moving troops from Germany to Kiev to commit us to war if Putin invades past Crimea.
So Obama can bluster or make threats all he wants, but the fact is that we as a polity won't let him follow through on threats to anywhere near the degree that Putin is willing and able to, so no matter how deft Obama was, in the end any threats he makes are going to be empty. What threats can he actually follow through on? If you invade, I'll make condemning speeches. If you invade, the US will unilaterally enact sanctions, but Europe won't join in because they get all their energy from you and don't want to tank their economy, so it will have almost zero effect on you. If you invade, we'll spend a few more million dollars supporting opposition parties in Russia whom you already very successfully suppress just enough to keep powerless. What else? I'm assuming of course that you don't actually support getting into a land war with Russia in the Ukraine. That seems like the only threat that would actually move Putin but he knows that we (not Obama, we) sure as hell aren't going to do that, so?
And I'll not go much into your comment on domestic stuff other than to say if you think the source of dysfunction in DC is Obama and the Democratic leadership making extreme demands and refusing ever to compromise or negotiate, you've lost touch with reality.