March 5, 2012
Putin's Victory, With an Obama AssistBy Kim Zigfeld
For their own crass political gain, our ambassador in Moscow, and our president, have just helped the KGB to consolidate power in Russia. They've turned a blind eye to the Russian efforts to help the maniacal ruler of Syria to butcher his fellow citizens, and they've used the same type of dishonesty to cover their tracks that was perfected in the USSR. They've assisted a viciously anti-American dictator to seize total power. In doing so, they've made Hillary Clinton look like Ronald Reagan. It's a black day in American history.
On February 11, 2012, I tweeted at Michael McFaul, America's man in Moscow. I chastised him for spending his time tweeting at (indeed, I thought, flirting with) Tina Kandelaki (one of Russia's many answers to Paris Hilton), and issuing lots of other utterly frivolous tweets, instead of focusing on Russia's efforts to help Syria massacre thousands of civilians and its efforts to smear American adoptive parents as homicidal maniacs, telling the world they are not good enough to care for Russian orphans.
A few minutes later, he answered me. He stated: "The Obama administration, including me here, has been crystal clear in our condemnation of Russia's position on Syria."
It was a brazen, shameless lie.
What McFaul actually said about Syria on Twitter, three days before, was this: "Productive meetings this week with Russian govt officials, even as we disagree on Syria. Sharp contrast with public anti-US statements." Then, he gushed: "In touring #Dreamliner, hope Obama learned about @Boeing JV w/ VSMPO-AVISMA. Great story of US-Russia collaboration."
Did he really say collaboration? Yes, he did.
So, far from "condemning" Russia in Syria, McFaul had simply said there was disagreement with Russia's policy, and he said it in the context of praising Russia for "productive meetings" and emphasizing common ground. Anyone with a lick of diplomatic experience knows exactly what this meant: Go ahead and do what you want, Mr. Putin. We won't stop you.
And after that, the bloodletting in Syria got much, much worse, and McFaul started talking collaboration.
McFaul didn't even try to post a link to any source where he'd issued such a "condemnation." And he didn't even try to respond to me when I tweeted: "Noticeably absent from your tweet is a link to any published quotation in which you personally do so, or Obama." His non-response and lack of documentation had all the earmarks of Soviet propaganda. Apparently, he thought folks would just take him at his word, would be too lazy to look at the record and see what he'd actually said.
And what's most important is that McFaul has barely more than 18,000 Twitter followers. Even if he had condemned Russia on Twitter, hardly anybody would know it. Least of all the people of Russia, more than half of whom have no Internet access at all. What the U.S. Ambassador needs to do in a situation like this is speak out, at length and in detail, in the mainstream media, including the Russia media. McFaul was as silent as a McMouse in that regard.
What's more, to date McFaul still hasn't said one single word on Twitter in defense of American adoptive parents. Instead, he proudly posts photos on his Twitter account of himself smiling and drinking champagne with Medvedev, a puppet ruler who Hillary Clinton has called "despicable" for helping the Syrian government to murder women and children. McFaul cares much more, in other words, about sucking up to Russians than for the words of his own boss.
There is, of course, a very good reason for McFaul to remain silent or lie about such things: Speaking out would, he rightly believes, do his boss Barack Obama devastating political harm. It would focus the world's attention on the fact that Obama's vaunted "reset" with Russia had failed totally, and Russia was flouting American (and world) opinion to stand beside the Syrian butchers against the nation's people.
Russia is threatening us with nuclear reprisal. It is denying access to Russian children to Americans who want to adopt. It is relentlessly obliterating American values throughout the country, even going so far as to put a dead man who dared speak out against official corruption on trial. It is massively boosting military expenditure and challenging American interests in every possible venue, all across the globe. It is giving heavy support to the most virulent of America's enemies, including Syria and Iran. It is divesting in the American economy. And it attacks America, her values and her people, including McFaul personally, more viciously every single day.
Russia is, quite simply, our enemy. Way back in 2009 Garry Kasparov warned us about this on the pages of the Wall Street Journal. He explained how Russia wants to cause tumult in the Middle East because doing so causes the price of oil to soar and this lines the Kremlin's pockets. We see that policy playing itself out now in Iran and Syria. The Obama administration is simply idiotic for thinking that Russia would give up this cash flow under any circumstances.
In the weeks before Russia's March 4 presidential elections, the Putin regime expelled a leading Kremlin-critical French reporter from the country, pulled a popular Kremlin-critical TV show from the air and called the producers of a second show before the prosecutor and sacked the board of directors at the leading Kremlin-critical radio station . It placed the nation's leading independent newspaper on the brink of bankruptcy. It has denied a place on the ballot to the leading Kremlin-critical politician and has not permitted any pro-democracy candidate to challenge Putin for the presidency. It has even gone so far as to carry out a show trial to convict a Kremlin-critical attorney who is not even alive any longer, having been tortured to death in a Kremlin prison.
By far, the most accurate bit of reporting on Putin's Russia today that I saw during the recent presidential election cycle that ended in a dominating win for former KGB spy Vladimir Putin, one of the world's great America bashers, came from the always excellent Leon Aron of the AEI think tank. Aron interviewed opposition leader Yevgenia Chirikova at length on the virtual pages of the Foreign Policy website, and here's what she told told him: "It seems to me that our problem is not Putin but the people. For [we should be] more demanding with respect to our own lives, with respect to what we see out of our windows, and resist every time when government functionaries offend us." The people of Russia said nothing as their government murdered women and children in Syria, just as they said nothing when their government marched into Georgia. Afterwards, they returned Putin to power in a landslide.
But McFaul has to be blind to all that if he wants to keep his job, blind even to Russian efforts which compare him to a pedophile. His focus has to be doing everything he can to help his boss win reelection by supporting the narrative that Obama has changed Russia's view of the USA for the better through his "reset" policy. So neither he nor Obama have spoken out once, not a single time, to condemn any of these horrifying Russian actions.
And when confronted, just as they always did in the USSR, McFaul simply lies about it.
A recent policy statement from the Obama administration says this: "Our engagement with Russia remains important, and we will continue to build a closer relationship in areas of mutual interest and encourage it to be a contributor across a broad range of issues." Obama is aggressively pushing for more and more international trade benefits for Russia even as it foments terror throughout the Middle East and obliterates domestic democracy
That is Obama's policy towards Russia in a nutshell. Another word for it is "reset." Still another word is "appeasement." Whereas Ronald Reagan wanted to confront a nation that scorned American values and attacked America at every opportunity, Obama wants to befriend that nation and help it carry out its malignant policies aimed at our destruction.
So it can hardly be surprising to see Obama and McFaul stand mute while Vladimir Putin manipulates Russia's electoral process, crushes dissent, and anoints himself president for life as if Russia were Egypt or Syria or Iran or Venezuela, not coincidentally the nations Russia counts as its closest friends. This cartel of America-haters, a new Warsaw Pact, is bent on American destruction.
Nor can it be surprising to see Putin not only romp back into power in a first-round landslide, as he has just done, but to see him declare he'll be in power forever before the votes have even been counted. This is the final net result of the Obama "reset," which means no real opposition to Putin. The KGB reasserts itself in the formal corridors of power, its litany of murders on Putin's behalf (Polikovskaya, Estemirova, Starovoitova, and so many others) goes unpunished, and Putin turns Russia into a banana republic with oil and gas instead of fruit.
So let's be perfectly clear: Our president helped Putin win. He helped Putin keep of the mendacious pretext that Dmitri Medvedev was president for the past four years, when in fact Putin was pulling the strings. He helped Putin sweep his murderous rampage against democracy under the carpet, and he helped Putin gain traction supporting American enemies in the Middle East and across the globe. He did it all so he could tell the world he had made friends with Putin where George Bush had made an enemy, seeking to score points with his political base.
And let's be clear about one thing more: The ultimate culprits in this horrendous political disaster in Russia are that benighted nation's citizens, who have never given true democracy a fair chance and who have been far too ready to turn the clock backwards and hand power to a malignant cabal of KGB agents. Russia, more than anyone else, will pay the same heavy price for this reckless conduct as did the USSR.
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