Vladimir Tells Mr. Flexible to Go Jump in a Lake
It seems like just yesterday that Barack Obama sent a message to Vladimir Putin, via outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev, that after the 2012 election he'd have "more flexibility." A year and a half after Obama sent that message, Putin found out what America is coming to realize: nothing Barack Obama says means anything. If Obama said he'd have "more flexibility," the Russians should have expected unwavering rigidity.
Putin's revelation started at the G8 summit in Ireland, where the two leaders "butted heads" over Syria. Russia is Assad's main weapons supplier; that's why Putin is not pleased with the Obama policy of agreeing to arm rebel forces in Syria with U.S. weapons or the plan to send another $300 million in aid for Syrian refugees.
When discussing Syria in two-hour talks, neither Putin nor Mr. Flexible would budge. But then again, Putin shouldn't have had to budge, because he wasn't the one who bragged about being flexible.
Then after Mr. Flexibility and Mr. Ex-KGB both put in a bid for the fitness suite at the resort hosting the G8 summit, neither wanted to give up rights to the space, nor did they want to work out together. Obama not wanting to work out with muscleman tough guy Vladimir Putin is understandable. Although Obama claims to be flexible, macho Putin could lift him over his head, spin him around, and snap him like a dry twig. So Obama was smart to avoid rousing the Russian president's testosterone in close quarters.
The dissension was over use of the gym; Obama's lapdogs had requested it first, so the Russians backed down. After boasting about flexibility, one would think that Barry would have graciously relinquished his spot in the gymnasium and, for diplomacy's sake, allowed the Russian president to use the facility. Sulky child that he is, Barack Obama did not give up his spot, and chose to stay indoors in an air-conditioned fitness room, working out with a personal trainer.
Meanwhile, Putin swam in a cold Northern Ireland lake near the Co Fermanagh's Lough Erne hotel. Although the water in Fermanagh is icy, let us not forget that while Obama dribbles around the hardwood pretending to be a baller in his mom jeans, Vladimir Putin swims in Siberian rivers.
As Putin chopped through the frigid lake, one can only imagine his thoughts on Mr. Flexible. Here it is, a few weeks later, and the world may be finding out what was on the Russian president's mind.
After digging in over Syria and commandeering the G8 gym, President Obama is demanding that Putin hand over NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who arrived in Moscow after Hong Kong refused to honor a U.S. extradition request and allowed him to board a plane to Russia.
With the same measure of flexibility Mr. Obama has exhibited on Syria, and more importantly the G8 gym space, a defiant Russia refused to hand over Snowden.
The U.S., via Secretary of State John "Swiftboat" Kerry, is threatening retaliation if the Kremlin does not cooperate, saying, "They are on notice with respect to our desires." Whoa! Now that's scary.
In other words, just like Putin made his desires known to Obama in Northern Ireland, Obama has now made his desires known to Putin in Russia. Fully aware that Mr. Flexible is not flexible at all, Mr. Putin is responding by giving back to Obama what Obama dishes out and has all but told him to "go jump in a lake."
Jeannie hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com.