Barack Obama just demoted Russia from “global super-power” to “regional power.”
Yesterday’s verbal blunder at The Hague is just dumbfounding…
Fielding questions at the Nuclear Security Summit, Mr. Obama responded to reporters about Russia, Mitt Romney and America’s place as the pre-eminent world power:
[America is] “…the most powerful nation in the world” and one that other countries looked to in order to take the lead on global crises such as the conflict in Syria,” Obama proclaimed.
Such might have been the case, before he took office, but a series of foreign policy missteps and failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and Syria (for example) have eroded global and domestic faith in our national military strength.
When asked about Gov. Mitt Romney’s assertion that Russia was our primary geopolitical foe during the third debate in 2012, Mr. Obama deflected by insulting Russia and Pres. Putin – ostensibly to counter his embarrassment over the vindication of Gov. Romney’s assessment of the Russian threat.
One can only characterize Obama’s posturing as a weak attempt at diminishing Gov. Romney’s post-election popularity and viewpoints – not prescient, just well-founded analyses.
As Gov. Romney pointed out, evaluating Russia’s past behavior, i.e. Georgia and current relationships with Syria (Putin wiped away Obama’s fuzzy ‘red line’ and gave Syria a solution to appease criticism) and support of other global ‘bad actors’ help one to understand that Putin’s intentions are far from benign.
It was simply puerile for Obama to use this global platform to lick his narcissistic wounds.
“America’s got a whole lot of challenges.” Russia, Obama added, “is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength, but out of weakness…”
Weakness? Just a “regional power”?
Russia is ranked a close second only to the U.S. in both military and nuclear capabilities (www.globalfirepower.com). If Obama dismisses Russia as just a ‘regional power,’ what does that tell the world about the power of the U.S.?
He went on to brag that ‘We have considerable influence over our neighbors” … One wonders how Canada and Mexico feel about that statement?
We should be shocked by Obama’s lack of political and diplomatic maturity. It’s not merely a matter of partisan politics – it’s very relevant to our safety and reputation in the world (a reputation that has been weakened and tarnished in the past five years).
When Mitt Romney went abroad in 2012, the foreign press was quick to judge his comments as “gaffes,” implying as if the Harvard Law and Business School graduate, successful businessman, savior of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and former governor of Massachusetts was incapable of forming coherent thoughts.
While we know little about Mr. Obama’s college performance or his experience as a community organizer, candidate Obama received a much different reception during his 2008 European tour. Greeted by large, adoring crowds, “rock star” Obama accepted lavish and effusive praise by heads of state and local media. He then won the Nobel Peace Prize despite an utter void of actual achievements.
How time and the lack of a convenient teleprompter can alter one’s perception.
Clio is the Publisher of The Bold Pursuit