An Examination of U.S.-Russian Relations Over Two Administrations

President Obama and President Putin
President Obama and President Putin

FACT: Let’s start by listing the number of times that President Obama met with the Russian President – either Dmitry Medvedev or Vladimir Putin…

  1. June 6th to 8th, 2009 he met in Moscow with President Dmitry Medvedev and (then) Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
  2. December 17th to 19th, 2009 he met in Copenhagen with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss completing a nuclear disarmament treaty to replace the 1994 START I Treaty.
  3. April 8th, 2010 he met in Prague with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to sign the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
  4. May 26th to 27th, 2011 he met again in Paris again with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
  5. March 25th to 27th, 2012 he met again in Seoul with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
  6. June 17th to 19th, 2012 he met in Cabo San Lucas and held bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  7. June 17th to 18th, 2013 he met in Belfast and held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  8. November 14th to 17th, 2015 he met in Turkey with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

… that’s eight meetings in the course of eight years in office.  President Trump has been in office about 18 months and has met with the President of Russia exactly one time.

Now, let’s take a quick look at just how frequently powerful nations intentionally interfere with the elections of other nations…

FACT: The Russians have interfered with a great many elections – perhaps 20 or more just since 2004.  According to a USA Today article published in September of 2017 the list includes Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine and of course the United States in 2016.

FACT: Shortly after the 2016 Presidential election in December of 2016 the L.A. Times published an article which claimed that the United States itself had interfered with a great many elections in just the last 60 or so years…

“The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.”

FACT: Let us not forget that President Obama himself is no stranger to interfering in elections in other nations.  In 2016 he directed his State Department to send $350,000 of U.S. taxpayer money – your money – through a ‘cutout’ organization known as OneVoice (a group that helped with his own election in 2008) in the form of “taxpayers grants”, which they in turn send to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leading up to their 2016 parliamentary elections.

OK, now let’s get chronological…

FACT: In August of 2008 – 90 days before President Obama was elected, and five months before he was sworn in as our 44th President – the Russians, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, ordered an invasion of the country of Georgia.  Russian troops remain in parts of Georgia to this day.  Neither President Bush nor President Obama took any decisive action, although President Bush did immediately impose sanctions… which President Obama later rescinded.

FACT:  March 6th, 2009, after President Obama’s first “apology tour”, he sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to meet with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  She presented him with a red plastic button like the Staples office supply store’s famous “Easy” button.  “I want to present you with a little gift which represents what President Obama, Vice President Biden and I have been saying, and that is, we want to reset our relationship…”.  Unfortunately, the button didn’t read “Reset” in Russian, but “Overcharge”.

FACT: In September of 2009, only 8 months after being inaugurated, President Obama decided to scrap President Bush’s plan to deploy a U.S. missile defense system in some former Soviet Union countries in Europe.  Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (who served from 2008 to 2012, between terms of Vladimir Putin) opposed the missile system although it was clearly designed to intercept long-range missiles being fired primarily by Iran, but also from North Korea, and was no threat to Russia.  In its place, President Obama approved a new missile defense plan that he said would be “smarter, stronger, and swifter.” It would focus first on the threat from shorter-range missiles, a capability that Iran was developing more actively.  That new system didn’t happen until May of 2016, only a few months before President Obama left office, and it was a mere shadow of the system that had been scrapped.

FACT: May of 2010, President Obama ordered that President Bush’s 2008 sanctions against Russia over their invasion of Georgia be revoked.

FACT: On March 26th, 2012, a hot microphone picked up President Obama telling Russian President Dmitri Medvedev he would have more flexibility to negotiate on issues like missile defense after the 2012 election.  “This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” President Obama said.  Medvedev replied, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

FACT: October 22nd, 2012, President Obama took his famous shot at candidate Mitt Romney during a pre-election debate during which he played down the threat of Russia; “When you were asked what the biggest geopolitical threat facing America was… you said Russia! Not al Qaeda! The 80’s called, and they want their foreign policy back!”

FACT: February of 2014, President Putin invaded and officially annexed the entire Crimean Peninsula, and holds that entire land mass to this day.  Again, the United States under President Obama’s leadership imposed sanctions but took no other action.

— President Obama watches impotently as Russian invades the Ukraine:

1. FACT: March, 2014 President Obama – still convinced that placating Russia is America’s best course of action, described Russia as nothing more than a “regional power” whose actions in Ukraine are an expression of “weakness rather than strength”, and restated the threat that the G7 western allies and Japan would inflict “much broader sanctions” if Vladimir Putin were to go beyond the annexation of Crimea and attempted to move his troops into eastern Ukraine.

2. FACT: March, 2014 President Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview states “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text. It is serious in terms of sort of the modern manner with which nations are going to resolve problems. There are all kinds of other options still available to Russia. There still are. President Obama wants to emphasize to the Russians that there are a right set of choices that can still be made to address any concerns they have about Crimea, about their citizens, but you don’t choose to invade a country in order to do that.”

3. FACT: March, 2014 President Obama states in a speech that “… in the 21 century, the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force”.

4. FACT: March 2014, even as these previous statements were being made, Russia made several military incursions into eastern Ukraine, and shortly thereafter managed to force a change of government in that nation.  A partial Russian occupation and agitation continues to this day.  The U.S. imposed sanctions, but refused to aid the Ukrainian interim government whose representatives traveled to America to plead for military aid, including arms, ammunition and intelligence support.  The Obama administration agreed only to sending military rations and blankets, wary of inflaming tensions with Russia.

FACT: In 2014 and 2015, as negotiations were underway between the Russian-owned firm Uranium One and the United States Hillary Clinton raked in $500,000 and was the final approval of the sale of 20% of America’s Uranium to Russia.

FACT: August of 2015, Russian troops begin to arrive in Syria to bolster their ally President Bashar al-Assad, who murdered his own people with chemical weapons.  These Russian troops would soon be bombing hospitals.  President Obama takes no action.

FACT: During the 2016 Presidential campaign Hillary Clinton paid for the now-debunked “Steele Dossier” which we now know was the basis of the fake “Russia Gate” case against President Trump.

FACT: In October of 2016 President Obama said at a press conference from the White House, he cautions then candidate Trump to “stop whining” and to prepare for his inevitable defeat at the hands of Hillary Clinton.  He tells the nation (and I have shortened his remarks here, but I encourage you to follow the link above and watch it for yourself)…

I have never seen, in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts; every expert, regardless of political party, regardless of ideology, conservative or liberal, who has ever examined these issues in a serious way, will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found.

If you start whining before the game’s even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job because there are a lot of times when things don’t go our way or my way.

There is no evidence that that has happened in the past [speaking here of election tampering by Russia] or that there are instances in which that will happen this time. [even though he knew as he spoke these works that Russian had been attempting just that] And so, I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.

And if he got the most votes, then it would be my expectation of Hillary Clinton to offer a gracious concession speech and pledge to work with him in order to make sure that the American people benefit from an effective government.”

This was at least two full months AFTER President Obama received a classified briefing from the CIA that (according to the Washington Post) “detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race and to help Trump win.”  Yet President Obama takes no action and goes before the American people to tell us that what he actually knew was happening could never happen!

FACT: During President Obama’s final, end-of-year press conference on December 16th, 2016 (), he explained why he has not been harder on President Putin…

“I know that there is been folks out there who suggested that somehow if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff that somehow that would potentially spook the Russians, but keep in mind that we already have enormous numbers of sanctions against the Russians. The relationship between us and Russia has deteriorated, sadly, significantly over the last several years. So, how we approach an appropriate response that increases costs for them for behavior like this in the future but does not create problems for us is something that’s worth taking the time to think through and figure out. That’s what we have done. So, at a point in time where we have taken certain actions that we can divulge publicly, we will do so.”

FACT: From January of 2017 to the present, for his part, President Trump has armed the Ukraine, beefed up U.S. troop presence in Europe with new deployments and war games, worked successfully to strengthen NATO to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars, and imposed new sanctions against Russia.  He has also dramatically strengthened U.S. energy independence and production, which has had a tremendous negative impact on the Russian economy.

OK, enough facts – now for my opinion…

It’s my opinion that President Obama consciously elected to conceal the truth about Russian meddling in the early stages of the run up to the 2016 election because – while he was fairly confident that Hillary Clinton would win – he was unwilling to ‘muddy the waters’ so to speak.  If the election results were closer than the polls were predicting, in the unlikely event that Clinton won by, say, 2% or 3%, rather than the double digit win that was predicted all they way to election night, if the specter of Russian interference was already out there, then candidate Trump might claim that those same few percentage points were the result of that Russian influence, and spoil Clinton’s victory.  When Clinton unexpectedly LOST, the DNC and the Liberal main stream media spin machine went into overdrive, claiming that it was in fact President-elect TRUMP who had benefited from Russian interference, and that perhaps he HIMSELF had actually colluded with the Russians directly!  Indeed, this was the very “insurance policy” that the now disgraced FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page spoke about during their exchange of tens of thousands of text messages.

Now, today, in July of 2018, during his meeting with Russian President Putin, President Trump is supposed to be openly hostile to the Russian leader?  And if he is NOT openly hostile, he’s a traitor?  Then by what epithet must we then refer to President Obama?  Skilled and tactful diplomat?

So, if we are now in some state of ‘pseudo war’ with Russia (by the way, treason is only an actual crime during time of declared war… read Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution), then what was the nature of our relationship over the past eight years of the Obama administration, and why is President Obama not also a traitor?  Why is it suddenly an impeachable offence in the minds of Liberals that President Trump even dare to TALK, tactfully and diplomatically, with the President of a country that has control over half of the nuclear weapons on the planet?

President Trump has shown repeatedly that he is capable of achieving success where President Obama experienced only failure; the economy, enforcing long-standing American laws like border control, and negotiations with North Korea are a few that come easily to mind.  Maybe he can have some measure of success with Putin and Russia, and reign them in a bit.  Or maybe he – like his predecessor – will fail.  But to simply not try is certainly not the right answer.  To immediately create a hostile relationship with Putin is not the answer.

The reaction of the American Left to the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki is entirely predictable.  It’s simply the natural progression of the policy to “resist by any and all means possible” embraced by the senior leadership of the DNC as soon as President Trump was officially elected.  The vehemence and violence of Liberal demonstrations has been steadily growing and now we have this latest round of insanity.  This only shows the steady progression of Trump Derangement Syndrome, and the shameless hypocrisy of the American Left.

I’ll not recount all the dozens of significant actions President Trump has taken against Russian interests since taking office – but they range from selling lethal arms to the Ukraine, to killing hundreds of Russian soldiers in Syria, to imposing wave after wave of new sanctions on Russian oligarchs.  These are but a few of the solid, meaningful actions President Trump has taken to stem Putin’s blatant aggression, and yet he’s supposed to be some sort of Russian stooge?  He’s in Putin’s pocket?  How blind must you be to current events to actually believe that?

My point is that President Obama spent eight years meeting frequently and regularly with Russian leaders, and attempted to placate them with concessions, displays of weakness, “turn-the-other-cheek” indifference, plastic toys and kind, understanding words.  It didn’t work.

The insane Left in this country are so intent that Trump fail that – in my opinion – they are actually hoping that President Trump would be foolish enough to poison his relationship with Putin and thereby suffer the same failure as President Obama… just as they now hope that our economy will fail, and that negotiations with North Korea will collapse.  I realize that’s a strong allegation, but I can’t come up with any other explanation.  If you have another plausible explanation, please comment below.

The Obama administration was staffed from the President on down with high-minded, elitist, “nothing-is-worth-war” Leftist ideologues who believed that patience and diplomacy would win out over ruthless dictators like Putin, al Assad, Xi and Kim.  They were wrong.  It’s time for a new approach.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email