Skip to comments.Obama’s ‘Reset’ Legacy: A Return of the USSR
Posted on 09/29/2011 8:05:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
In April 2006, two years into the second term of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, I formed a Russia blog called La Russophobe for one purpose: to warn the world that Putin, a proud KGB spy, would not surrender power as the Russian constitution required him to do in 2008 after two terms as president. Instead, we at LR warned, Putin would hold power forever — just like Brezhnev and Stalin, his heroes.
When Putin announced he would become prime minister in 2008, the writing was on the wall. LR begged the world continuously thereafter to see that Putin was rapidly turning Russia into what Jeffrey Taylor presciently called Zaire, with permafrost in 2001, shortly after Putin took power.
The Russophiles disagreed. They told us Russia could never go back to the dark days of unlimited central power, that Putin was only mentoring his replacement Dmitry Medvedev, that he would fade into the background and allow Russia to become a democratic, civilized country, if only we would let down our guard and give him a chance.
Last Saturday, at the convention of the sham political party called United Russia that Putin formed by personal fiat and then caused to totally dominate the Russian parliament, Putin announced he would cast out Russias one-term president Medvedev, who was never, just as we always said, anything more than Putins puppet, and return to the presidency having changed the constitution to allow six-year terms.
Putin openly admitted he had made this decision years ago, yet he told nobody about it, not even the Kremlin press secretary. When the Russian currency markets heard the news, the value of the ruble promptly plunged to its lowest level in two years, and the countrys highly respected finance minster resigned. Capital flight from Russia in the first half of 2011 has already nearly matched what occurred in the whole of 2010. One senior western banker told the Financial Times: The country is going down the toilet.
Putin had just announced a massive new military spending program one analysts predicted could bankrupt Russia the same way a similar program destroyed the USSR. He has consistently and continuously ratcheted up his crackdown on democracy and his aggressive moves towards Russias neighbors.
But none of it mattered to Washington. In a shocking display of cowardice worthy of Neville Chamberlain, Barack Obama almost immediately announced hed carry on business as usual with Russia. Given the choice between: admitting his policy has failed and trying to correct it, preserving American values and moral leadership; or maintaining the fraud that Russia is a reliable partner regardless of the cost, Obama has immediately chosen the latter course. His Russia policy has led the United States to absolute disaster and debacle.
Dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky issued a stinging denunciation of Americas abandonment of moral leadership from behind the bars of his Siberian jail cell. But Obama ignored it, just as he has ignored all the other cries of Russias liberals, those willing to fight for American values inside Russia. He has been willing, even happy, to sell them down the river in order to put forth the pretense of a reset policy with Russia that was based on a relationship with Medvedev, now clearly shown to be a helpless stooge.
Putin retakes power even as sensational evidence has just been released of his extensive personal corruption while working in the local government ranks in the city of St. Petersburg. It was revealed long ago that just a short time after being plucked from his obscure post and deposited in the Kremlin, Putin received a Ph.D. degree from a local university based on a shamelessly plagiarized thesis. The world was warned from the beginning that Putin was a dishonest, dangerous man, but it paid no need.
Putin is now free to rule Russia as the nominal president for a grand total of twenty years. In actuality, because of the sham presidency of Medvedev, he will have held absolute power for a stunning twenty-four years by the time 2024 rolls around, at which point Putin will be 72 years old. Brezhnev had power for only 18 years. Stalin made it to 31, at age 75, so Putin can still call himself a moderate. But rest assured: 31 is in Putins sights. It only requires him to live to the age of 79.
Tsar Nikolai II, whose dictatorial rule ended in revolution, held power in Russia for only 23 years. By 2024 Putin will have ruled longer than Russias last king.
There is one thing, and one thing only, that will stop Putin from ruling Russia in 2025: death.
As long as Putin lives, he will rule Russia. He will bring back more and more of the attributes of his beloved USSR. More and more Russians will want to leave, and more and more obstacles will be placed in their path. More and more pressure will be placed on the internet, fewer and fewer career options will exist for young Russians who do not hew to the Putin ideology, which departs from the USSR in embracing religion.
The worst thing about all this from the Russian perspective is what it says about Russias talent pool. Apparently, there is only one man capable of running the country properly, and that man is Putin — who wont live forever. This means there can be only one state when he passes: panic and collapse.
Unfortunately, it seems that neither the president of the United States nor his Russia advisor Michael McFaul reads our blog. If they had done so, they would not have helped Putin complete this malignant seizure of power by cooperating with his effort to hold Medvedev up as a legitimate president rather than a puppet. In doing so, Putin wanted to blunt and confuse any opposition efforts to block his return to power. Obama and McFaul were very important contributors to the Soviet restoration in Putins Russia.
It could have been different. America could have had real leadership, like that of Ronald Reagan. It could have stood up to Putin as soon as he orchestrated the sham proceeding of taking up the position of prime minister in 2008. It could have galvanized world opinion to demand that Putin not return to the presidency. It could have supported Russian democrats like Boris Nemtsov and Mikhail Kasyanov and Vladimir Ryzhkov as they bravely stood up to Putin. It could have demanded that at least one of them be allowed on the ballot in 2012.
Instead, Obama munched cheeseburgers with Medvedev and named McFaul as his ambassador to Russia, clearly signaling to Putin that the U.S. would not stand in his way. He listened to those who, on Putins behalf, asked us to drop our guard on Russia, to give Putin a chance to make a transition. We could have been working hard to warn the people of Russia about the danger of Putin returning to power, warning them about the dire consequences they would face. Instead, we did nothing. Now, we face a neo-Soviet state ruled for life by a proud KGB spy who has spent his entire life learning how to hate and destroy us, and more importantly someone who is totally unqualified to make Russia competitive in the global marketplace.
There is one last chance: before Putins name actually goes on the ballot, before he is actually reinstalled as president of Russia, the world can act. Russians can rise up and demand, just as they did when a Soviet putsch tried to unseat Mikhail Gorbachev, that their country not go backwards. The leaders of the Western democracies can announce that they will isolate and ostracize Putins Russia if it formally becomes a neo-Soviet state, and will do all they can to support his democratic opposition.
If this happens, Putin can be stopped just as the putsch was stopped. If it doesnt, then Russia will, heedless of Santayanas warning, slide back into the neo-Soviet mire that leads only to failure and national collapse. But meanwhile, just as the USSR always did, Russia will bedevil America, giving aid and comfort to its worst enemies, roiling the Middle East, pushing up the price of oil, and undermining American interests wherever it can.
This is the legacy of Barack Obama, this is the fate of Russia.
I thought it was hilarious at the time that the reset button wasn’t even in the cyrillic, but in the transliterated english.
Made me wonder why I knew russian better than the diplomats and I just learned a little to chat up russian women..
“or maintaining the fraud that Russia is a reliable partner regardless of the cost, Obama has immediately chosen the latter course”
Sure. But also they all accept China, one of the most totalitarian countries on the planet, as a valid nation.
Is there anything this incompetent boob has touched that has not turned into crap, anything??
Rush and others have been right and I have been reluctant to agree...this guy is on a mission to destroy the US. There is a clause in the US Constitution that covers this 100%: ONLY NATURAL BORN CITIZENS.
We are now bound to this bum for another 15+ months, ample time for him to do more damage. Sound the Klaxons and get the planes off the runways pronto.
Why placidly accept it?
God , nothing is impossible for thee. we thank thee for thy grace, blessings, mercy, and for life itself, and we ask forgiveness for our trespasses. We come praying for the evil intentions meant for Russia by Putin be bound, and removed. Show thy mighty hand before the peoples of Russia and the World so that they may see thy power and thy goodness, in Jesus name Amen.,
BO always said he wanted to jundo th Reagan revolution.
Why? We and they allowed the Russian mafia to control much of the "free enterprise" system. Many of the average Russians are hoping for the "good old days" when they were taken care of...
“Why placidly accept it?”
Totalitarian regimes prevent people from organizing. If you can’t organize, you can’t do anything.
Even in Europe they have a law something like if you have more than 10 people at a public meeting you have to have a cop present.
Those people have always been ruled, and they expect it.
Don’t allow the self-fulfilling prophesies to take hold here.
out of all the many, many mistakes George W made, thinking he could trust this guy was perhaps the worst
On the other hand, there's the 7.62 solution.
We were told about the starving Russians and the empty shelves in the grocery stores, (which were not like ours) prior to the fall of the USSR. Alcoholism was/is rampant and the orphanages are overflowing, ... lots of things seemed very bad. I have not been there.
It is their government ... not ours.
Mikhail Gorbachev got out.
Only comment about the 7.62 solution ...I just hope they, nowadays, that they think beyond that one event. In real life sometimes getting rid of the rabid dog leads to the man eating leopard with an attitude. Unforeseen consequences and all. Reading about rising uber-nationalism in Russia makes me realize that, for all the faults Putin has, there are others who are far worse. Putin’s Russia is probably the third greatest risk today (I would rank China as number one, and Radical Islam number two); but if one of those ultra-nationalists take over that Russia will move from 3 to 2 (China still takes first place, even though Cold Warriors almost seem to have a need for Russia to be first ...sorry, Russia is number 3 China number 1, easily).
Part of the communist model is to make sure that no one can communicate freely, eliminate those who try, and to eliminate anyone that shows a speck of leadership ability that isn’t a trusted communist.
"Having tasted democracy, after experiencing severe Russian rule, it seems the people would indeed rise up and resist. To live in flats where water is only available in the middle of the night for 2 or 3 hours , heat likewise, food shortages and being totally controlled seems repressive to man."
Thank you, so much for the response. I have not been to Russia, and I do not know personally anyone Russian born and raised in the USSR. We had reports from missionaries as to the 2 or so hours having water availability in the middle of the night. The rest most has come from news media during the last 40 years or so. I thought Dr. Zhivago; both the movie and the book was a good portrayal of the time of the end of the Czars and the revolution.
My son and his wife went to Russia and adopted a baby 10 years ago. The orphanage was rather dire and over crowded; otherwise they found it to be a good trip. Their daughter is smart, smart and beautiful. I understand she has dual citizenship ... both Russian and American. I have no intent to disparage Russian or its people. But the government is oppressive and there is little or no freedom. what happened during Stalin’s time ... the Ukraine people starving by the millions while their grain was all loaded on trains and taken away while they literally starved to death.
Today many have no idea of history. My apology if I miscast the facts. My knowledge is book learned and other sources. I have not traveled the world.
Russia is number 1 because of its vast nuclear arsenal, something the Chinese or Islamists do not have (China less than 200 nukes, Islam 10-15 nukes tops)
I put Russia as the number 3 threat after China (1) and Radical Islam (2) because it is not about number of weapons but rather the propensity to use them. China is 1 because it is an economic threat as well as (potentially) a geo political threat. Islam is number 2 (or even joint number 1) because all it requires is ONE WMD (it does not need thousands - just one and the ability to deliver it). Russia comes third because it is now economically stronger than it used to be and is headed by a cold calculating chap who may very well be a monster. Think of it another way -there are many FReepers who own many guns and thousands of bullets, and have extremely proficient abilities with a firearm and are true patriots. Then there is some common thug armed with an old revolver and two bullets. Who among the two would you feel safest around? One has many guns and superlative tactical training, while the other has only one gun and 2 bullets. Simple - the one most likely to kill you (not most able to kill you, but rather most LIKELY to kill you). That puts China and radical Islam for joint first place, then Russia follows. The day radical Islam gets one weapon (and IMPORTANTLY the ability to deliver it) they will strike. The very day! The Soviet Union at it’s peak had thousands of ICBMs and the ability to strike and strike hard, but didn’t. Islam believes in Jihad and matyrdom.
In that case, I see China and Russia to be an equal #2, with Islam being #1. As far as propensity to act, Islam would be #1, but that depends on the group or strain of Islam with the weapons.
However, as far as amount of damage and graveness of threat should the country act, Russia #1, China #2, North Korea #3, Iran #4, and so on.
That I can agree with. Your first paragraph is 100% correct. For your second I would like to make one adjustment - put Pakistan on that list, and probably number 1. Because if a WMD (particularly radiological or nuclear) ever goes off in the Continental US (or Western Europe for that matter), God forbid of course, you can be certain that somehow/somewhere there will be a Pakistani link. Guaranteed!