The US miserable failure to come up with clear-cut assessment concerning the Malaysian Boeing, the aggressiveness and cynicism of American propaganda against Russia – it all makes President Obama deteriorate the relationship with Moscow to the point of no return. His actions have nothing to do with common sense. Ralph Peters is a foreign policy analyst for Fox News. Speaking to Megyn Kelly July 21 night he said President Obama is scared of Vladimir Putin, “There are really many things he could do, but he’s like a deer caught in the head lights. You know, even though he’s president of the United State , to me it would be a hellish thing to live which such timidity, to be such a frightened man, I really feel that on a visceral level on a profound level. President Obama is scared of Vladimir Putin”.
Locked in the Oval office like in a bunker, he rarely makes public appearances and prefers to communicate with other world leaders by phone. In his relationship with his Russian counterpart he does not do even that. He has not discussed the Malaysian airliner tragedy with Putin at all, not a single time. The wish for demonstrative muscle flexing has given place to fear of public failure… The indecisiveness of Obama has not gone unnoticed in America. By the end of 2013 the majority of Americans were convinced Obama was a failure as President. His ratings are at the lowest ebb now. His economic and health care policies are not popular as well as his handling of the Ukrainian issue. The Washington’s stance on Ukraine is negatively treated in other countries too.
A new survey by the Pew Research Center was conducted in 44 countries among 48,643 respondents from March 17 to June 5, 2014. His rating has remained rather low universally. Obama’s favorability is considerably down in Russia, reflecting recent tensions over the crisis in Ukraine. Only 15% of Russians currently express confidence in the American president, down from an already low 29% in 2013. Around 71% of Russian respondents express negative attitude towards the United States. U.S. favorability has also declined dramatically – just 23% of Russians say they have a favorable opinion of the U.S., less than half of the 51% registered in last year’s survey.
At the same time the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) survey shows the Russian President’s rating is up to 82, 3%. The West’s assessment of Russia’s President has never been impartial. They turn a blind eye on evident weak points of Obama and shy away from making straight comparisons between the US and Russian leaders. But many politicians highly appreciate the personality and activities of Vladimir Putin. For instance, Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, shared his thoughts on President Putin appearing on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show. Giuliani praised Putin for being what he called “a leader”. He laid it out as simply as he could: “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day, right? He decided he had to go to their parliament — he went to their parliament, he got permission in 15 minutes”. Besides “He makes a decision and he executes it, quickly. And then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader”, the former governor said. Giuliani next compared Putin’s decisiveness to President Obama’s leadership. In this regard, he found the American President lagging behind, “President Obama has gotta think about it, he’s got to go over it again, he’s got to talk to more people about it”, Giuliani joked. Perhaps the President talks to wrong people?
It’s important who makes up the President’s team. He’s got ladies-bureaucrats around him saying many foolish things about Russia daily. For instance, Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State, said at the press – briefing devoted to the Malaysian airliner tragedy that, “I would say that the Administration in general is attempting to put out as much information as we can about what underlies our assessment. I would also say that these aren’t competing narratives from two equally credible sources here. The Russian Government has repeatedly put out misinformation and propaganda throughout this conflict in Ukraine, so I would caution you from saying that this is just two equally credible sources”. According to her, “We know that the Russian Government’s been training the pro-Russian separatists. We know, period, that what’s happening in eastern Ukraine would not be happening without the support of the Russian Government”. As Harf put it, “So we’re still trying to get the facts here. And it’s true that it’s not possible for the separatists to function the way they are without support from Russia, without the training, without the sophisticated weaponry. So we need to get all the facts about this specific incident, but we know that the pro-Russian separatists could not function the way they’re functioning without the support from Russia”. She said all those things without producing any evidence whatsoever. Americans ignore the data from other sources, except social networks, making the President look like a liar because the whole word knows the war and chaos in Ukraine have a label of made in USA. Moscow could affirm the United States always lies and the American leadership is not trustworthy. It’s not clear how the Obama’s Russian policy meets the national interests of the United States.
For instance, President Obama included two lesbian – former athletes into the composition of US official delegation going to Sochi. The US team did not include any official of Secretary’s level or higher. Russia was lambasted by the West for the law introducing a ban on so-called “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors”. Obama managed to strike a happy medium here. On the one hand, the United States did not boycott the Olympic Games, on the other hand, it took advantage of another chance to emphasize that Russia violates human rights and freedoms. The “anti-gay” law has become another pretext for publicly displaying hostility to Moscow. After the Sochi Olympic Games the United States called on the International Organization of Football Association to deprive the Russia’s team of taking part in the Brazil-held world cup. It did not work, so now the US is using the Ukraine to deprive Russia of its right to host the world cup in 2018.
The Ukrainian crisis provoked by the United States should make more reasonable those in Russia who have not yet lost the illusions related to the “re-set” policy.
The White House has crossed its strategic line switching from the cooperation to constant attempts to isolate Russia. There real reason is not the violation of democratic norms, or the events in Ukraine, where the United States has no vital interests except damaging Russia. Many reasons for confrontation are concocted. For instance, the US initiative to ban Russia from participating in the soccer world cup held in Brazil. Even the differences on the European missile defense are not fatal. The US cannot afford to deploy it due to lack of funds while Russia has the means to overcome the missile defense countermeasures.
Talking about the European choice of Ukraine, Washington is thinking about something else. It ponders the ways to make Russia destitute of its geopolitical advantages and isolate it from Europe. The policy is spurred by fear of Russia’s growing economic might.
“I also feel that we must think about additional steps to decrease the dependence of the national economy and financial system on negative external factors. I am not just referring to instability in global markets, but possible political risks as well”, said President Putin at the Security Council session held on July 22 devoted to Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President emphasized not only global markets’ instability but also the political risks involved. The West-imposed sanctions are used as a leverage to exert pressure on Russia.
The European commission has adopted a package of extended sanctions against Russia. Now they introduce tough measures to close access for Russia to capitals, military and high-tech technologies, including energy. The introduction of the sanctions will weaken the European Union – the leading US competitors on the European market will suffer heavy losses from sectoral sanctions. Washington will have a double gain. Perhaps, that’s why President Obama shies away from meeting his Russian counterpart and the old continent partners.