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Obama’s Fantasy-Based Foreign Policy
The Weekly Standard ^ | The March 17, 2014 Issue | Stephen F. Hayes

Posted on 03/08/2014 1:25:00 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

On February 23, five days before Russia invaded Ukraine, National Security Adviser Susan Rice appeared on Meet the Press and shrugged off suggestions that Russia was preparing any kind of military intervention: “It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate.” A return to a “Cold War construct” isn’t necessary, Rice insisted, because such thinking “is long out of date” and “doesn’t reflect the realities of the 21st century.” Even if Vladimir Putin sees the world this way, Rice argued, it is “not in the United States’ interests” to do so.

It was a remarkably transparent case of pretending the world is what we wish it to be, rather than seeing it as it is.

On February 28, Russian troops poured into Ukraine. As they did, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart. Kerry briefed reporters after their talk, plainly unaware of the developments on the ground. Kerry said that Russia wants to help Ukraine with its economic problems. Lavrov had told him “that they are prepared to be engaged and be involved in helping to deal with the economic transition that needs to take place at this point.”

Hours later, television screens across the world displayed images of Russian soldiers infiltrating Crimea and Russian artillery rolling through Sevastopol. Obama administration officials told CNN’s Barbara Starr that the incursion was not “an invasion” but an “uncontested arrival” and that this distinction was “key” to understanding the new developments.

But euphemism can’t alter reality. So, President Obama delivered a statement: “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.” The White House wasn’t quite ready to lead the international community in a response to an intervention that was underway, but with the snarl of a puppy, the president announced we would “stand with” others if the uncontested arrival somehow turned into real military intervention. (Thirty minutes after his warning, no doubt meant to convey toughness and resolve, Obama appeared at a Democratic National Committee pep rally and declared the opening of “happy hour.”)

Four days later, with Russia in effective control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Vladimir Putin held a press conference—a rambling series of claims and statements that sometimes contradicted each other and often contradicted reality. Putin maintained, for instance, that there were no Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine, and that the Russian-speaking soldiers who often identified themselves as Russian soldiers were probably local defense groups who may well have bought their uniforms from military surplus stores.

Where others saw the agitprop of an emboldened authoritarian, the White House chose to see hope. Administration officials seized on one sentence of his blather and expressed optimism. “Regarding the deployment of troops, the use of armed forces so far, there is no need for it.  .  .  . Such a measure would certainly be the very last resort,” Putin said. Obama national security officials saw this claim—which came days after Russian troops had been deployed—as evidence that Putin was looking for an “off-ramp.” And soon we had a name for this new Obama approach to the crisis: “de-escalation.”

It’s not de-escalation, it’s delusion. And it’s dangerous. The public seems to understand this. In a Fox News poll released March 6, Obama’s foreign policy approval rating fell to a new low—at just 33 percent (56 percent disapprove).

For five years, the Obama administration has chosen to see the world as they wish it to be, not as it is. In this fantasy world, the attack in Fort Hood is “workplace violence.” The Christmas Day bomber is an “isolated extremist.” The attempted bombing in Times Square is a “one-off” attack. The attacks in Benghazi are a “spontaneous” reaction to a YouTube video. Al Qaeda is on the run. Bashar al-Assad is a “reformer.” The Iranian regime can be sweet-talked out of its nuclear weapons program. And Vladimir Putin is a new, post-Cold War Russian leader.

In the real world, it was a pen pal of the late jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki who opened fire on soldiers at Fort Hood. The Christmas bomber was dispatched from Yemen, where he was instructed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The Times Square bomber was trained and financed by the Pakistani Taliban. Benghazi was a deliberate attack launched by well-known terrorist groups. Al Qaeda is amassing territory and increasing its profile. Assad is a brutal dictator, responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 Syrians. The Iranian regime is firmly entrenched as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror and remains determined to lead a nuclear state. And in Russia we face a Cold War throwback willing to use force to expand Russian influence.

And Vladimir Putin, it turns out, is who we thought he was. Unfortunately, so is Barack Obama.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: benghazi; crimea; kerry; obama; putin; russia; susanrice; ukraine
Unfortunately. low-information voters don't normally read The Weekly Standard, Investors Business Daily or even their Daily Bugle. They get their "news," what little they get, from Jon Stewart, late night talk shows and their Facebook pals.
1 posted on 03/08/2014 1:25:00 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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Is there anything about this guy that doesn’t involve a fantasy (as far as his political influence is concerned?)


2 posted on 03/08/2014 1:30:04 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gene Eric

Very little. His Indonesian and probably still Kenyan citizenship appear quite real, as does his lack of qualification for the presidency Everything else we’ve been told about him us either a lie or he’s deliberately hidden from us ( the most basic way to lie us to simply hide or bury the truth). But the American public doesn’t want to deal with truth, preferring delusion instead so long as there’s free food stamps and obamaphones being passed out.


3 posted on 03/08/2014 1:40:02 AM PST by faithhopecharity (")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Obama delivered a statement: “The United States will stand with the international community ..."


4 posted on 03/08/2014 1:41:16 AM PST by Marguerite (When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm even better)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Add up the militaries of china, russia, the norks and the jihadis. The S is about to HTF. Our dear leader is a homosexual, muslim that hates America and White people.

We are so .......

5 posted on 03/08/2014 1:45:16 AM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I enjoy watching the Obama administratiion acting foolish and ineffective, but I still see no reason to get involved in this.


6 posted on 03/08/2014 1:46:24 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: Eagles6
Okay, but how are they going to transport a sufficient quantity of infantrymen to attack us? That was always my problem with the film Red Dawn.
7 posted on 03/08/2014 1:48:19 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
On February 23, five days before Russia invaded Ukraine

By treaty the Russians are allowed up to:

on Crimean territory.

Establishing 16,000 troops into the Crimea wasn't an invasion. Just like when the US moves guys into Guantanamo, they're not invading Cuba.

So let's be careful not to heat up the rhetoric unnecessarily.

The Ukrainians have excellent reasons to hate and fear Russia, and the world would be a better place if they could finally become a free people - not ruled by Russia, nor by EU-sponsored oligarchs with their own militias, nor by National Socialists.

One way to make that happen would be to arm them and encourage them to enshrine something like the 2nd Amendment.

Another way would be for the US to become a large-scale NG exporter. When that happens a lot of the pathologies of Russia(=GAZPROM) will be contained.

Washington could make this stuff happen and there'd be no danger of war. Unfortunately - as we all know - they're myopic and corrupt.

8 posted on 03/08/2014 1:51:11 AM PST by agere_contra (I once saw a movie where only the police and military had guns. It was called 'Schindler's List'.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“Regarding the deployment of troops, the use of armed forces so far, there is no need for it.  .  .  . Such a measure would certainly be the very last resort,” Putin said. Obama national security officials saw this claim—which came days after Russian troops had been deployed—as evidence that Putin was looking for an “off-ramp.” And soon we had a name for this new Obama approach to the crisis: “de-escalation.”


9 posted on 03/08/2014 1:54:08 AM PST by Marguerite (When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm even better)
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To: faithhopecharity

>> But the American public doesn’t want to deal with truth

What’s most bothersome is the willingness to throw all the liberty away. I’ll remain optimistic knowing that only a minority (them) voted for it while another minority (us) fought it against. Too bad the others don’t give a hoot.


10 posted on 03/08/2014 1:54:30 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How true. We now have ambassadors who can’t even find their postings on the map and John Q Citizen is so dumbed down The Crimean Peninsula may as we’ll be on Mars. But Obama is so cool. Can’t spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T though...


11 posted on 03/08/2014 1:55:37 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: agere_contra

Someone should go into the men’s locker room of the golf course clubhouse and explain the above to Mr. Obama. I’ll bet you a dollar it’ll be the first he’s heard of it.


12 posted on 03/08/2014 1:55:38 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

About 12 years ago Hayes wrote a book “proving” that Iraq was behind 9/11. It was, of course, a pack of neocon lies. But, his bosses got the war they wanted while real conservatives were slimed as “unpatriotic” and worse.

Now, this little girlyman is at it again.


13 posted on 03/08/2014 2:16:28 AM PST by Forgotten Amendments (On the wrong side of history.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey obammy,
Your legacy is in the toilet.
Worst president of our lifetime.


14 posted on 03/08/2014 2:28:11 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy lied and lied and lied)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve come to believe we are both insomniacs because I see your posts here in the middle of the night practically daily. Wishing you all the best.


15 posted on 03/08/2014 2:28:51 AM PST by Undecided 2012
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To: Gene Eric
Once the Obamian “RESET” policy was issued and other similar doctrines inaugurated, America began the historic tail spin. This President has sped up the demise of the West. We are in Global retreat and our allies are struggling to keep up with the pace of ineptitude and loss. This was all known in 2008 and now the fruits of Obama’s policies are coming home to roost. All that is left now is another Pearl Harbor on the diminished and humiliated military.
16 posted on 03/08/2014 2:37:20 AM PST by Netz
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To: 2ndDivisionVet


17 posted on 03/08/2014 2:43:38 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: agere_contra

I should add that the Russia-Ukraine Military Base Agreement (and its various extensions) isn’t the whole story.

Russian troops are clearly in control of the Crimea - they have established roadblocks, entrenchments etc. This level of military deployment is obviously not covered by the base agreement. Also we have the stories of Ukrainian troops being besieged in there barracks.

Russia can say that it is acting with the authority of Yanukovych - who is both a corrupt apparatchik of Russia AND the legally elected President of Ukraine.

It can also claim to be acting in accordance with the internationally-recognized right to self-determination - in this case by the people of Crimea.

How to unpick such a mare’s nest of legality?

The first thing to do is to clarify obvious facts - like the fact that the Russians have longstanding rights in the Crimea, established by treaty and by long historical provenance. It’s also clearly over-determined that the people of Crimea will formally secede to Russia.

This is de facto. It may also be de jure, or it may not. The fact is that Crimea is going to become part of Russia and its not morally obvious that it shouldn’t be.

The rest of Ukraine is another matter. East Ukraine is heating up: there could be/already is strife between EU puppets and Russian puppets, all with their own militias.

The right answer is to strengthen Ukraine - not as a EU or US client-state, but as a constitutional republic with an armed citizenry and able to buy NG for US prices rather than GAZPROM ones.


18 posted on 03/08/2014 2:46:02 AM PST by agere_contra (I once saw a movie where only the police and military had guns. It was called 'Schindler's List'.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Where others saw the agitprop of an emboldened authoritarian, the White House chose to see hope. Administration officials seized on one sentence of his blather and expressed optimism. “Regarding the deployment of troops, the use of armed forces so far, there is no need for it.  .  .  . Such a measure would certainly be the very last resort,” Putin said. Obama national security officials saw this claim—which came days after Russian troops had been deployed—as evidence that Putin was looking for an “off-ramp.” And soon we had a name for this new Obama approach to the crisis: “de-escalation.”

I could not believe the media reports of "relief" when Putin made his absurd claims, but there they were.

Moreover, for anyone looking for rationality in our Fed Bubble Stock Market, we need to realize these "investors" are not playing with a full deck:

Stock markets bounce back after Putin says he sees no need for force in Crimea and urged against economic sanctions

19 posted on 03/08/2014 2:49:28 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It wasn’t an invasion, but rather an “uncontested arrival”.

Sounds like the Southern US border...


20 posted on 03/08/2014 3:16:55 AM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2016; I pray we make it that long.)
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To: agere_contra

Very good post. I would add that the exit of Crimea from the Ukrainian sphere would alter the political landscape in Ukraine in a positive way.

Crimeans have always seen themselves as Russians, and vote accordingly. It should be easier for greater Ukraine to nominate and elect more Euro-centric candidates without Crimea.

Now, if we could just get the Russians to invade New York and California......


21 posted on 03/08/2014 3:50:15 AM PST by wayoverontheright
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To: agere_contra

Excellent post , thanks for the illumination.


22 posted on 03/08/2014 4:13:24 AM PST by FBD
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Good luck if you’ve never been lied to by a moslem. You are in for a world of hurt. American electorate is gullible like sheep - easy to lead - easy prey. Cynical liars know which lies work best, keep track and form public opinion along those lines. . Sleepwalking into the next global caliphate is a terrible way to die. The talking heads are all asleep or blind, paid off or too stupid to see the light.


23 posted on 03/08/2014 4:24:10 AM PST by x_plus_one (The harvest is great but the workers are few. Salman Rushdie is still in hiding.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Rummyfan; Forgotten Amendments
"Unfortunately, low information voters don't normally read The Weekly Standard."

Those who read the Weekly Standard are the low information voters. Those who are well informed reject the views of the NeoCons, Weekly Standard, John McCain, Linda Graham, Rumsfeld, etc.

24 posted on 03/08/2014 4:29:26 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When a nation decides that fantasy trumps reality, disaster follows.
This also goes for homosexual “marriage,” women in combat, etc.


25 posted on 03/08/2014 4:50:15 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

America has been living in a fantasy world for decades—We are being mislead by our successes—Hubris, arrogance, and downright propaganda. We are just one nation and we can’t bend others to our right thinking will. Putin will win this round—as he won in Georgia before. To the Russian Mind—Criema IS Russian—so its not like taking land from another country—its more like restoration. We better watch out—some Russians think that Alaska should be their “greater Russia” and that we hoodwinked them out of it. We don’t want to fight with these guys—not if we can help it.


26 posted on 03/08/2014 5:06:31 AM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Russia, China and the norks have nuclear ICBMs. The jihadis have been infiltrating over the border for years and are waiting for the word to start soft target attacks.

They don't have to occupy us.

27 posted on 03/08/2014 10:31:47 AM PST by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Obama HAS a foreign policy? Who knew? Certainly not Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, Hillary(!) Clinton, or John F’ing Kerry. America's foreign policy is a cluster flop.
28 posted on 03/08/2014 3:41:17 PM PST by MasterGunner01
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