Ben Shapiro, Opinion
In the aftermath of Russia’s alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee, followed by Hillary Clinton’s shocking presidential election loss, Barack Obama has gone on the warpath against the Russians. “Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave,” Obama said of Republican softness on Putin on Friday. Obama added that we’re vulnerable to Russia because of “how divided, partisan, dysfunctional our political process is.”
George W. Bush was soft enough on Russia – he once said that he looked into murderous dictator Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul; the Bush administration response to Putin’s invasion of Georgia was tepid; Bush himself was puzzled by Putin’s inability to work with him. And of course Donald Trump’s ties to Putin are troubling.
But Obama’s the man to blame for Putin’s radically strengthened stranglehold on his nation’s power. Obama followed up the too-soft Bush policy with a reset button, essentially pledging that he would be even softer; a Time magazine cover in July 2009 advertised Obama talking to the Russian bear, stating, “Can We Be Friends?”
Obama pledged flexibility for Putin in 2012 should Putin ensure stability during the election cycle. He then ripped Mitt Romney for supposedly wanting to bring back the foreign policy of the 1980s — and now whines about the lack of Reaganesque foreign policy among Republicans.
Obama did nothing when Putin marched into Ukraine, other than placing some weak sanctions on a few Russian oligarchs – as Liz Peek of Foxnews.com pointed out:
Obama promised that, “If Russia continues on its present course…the isolation will deepen, the sanctions increase and there will be more consequences for the Russian economy.” The reality? Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov 20 times in the next twelve months and visited Moscow twice to meet with Valdimir Putin, just to be sure he wasn’t getting too lonely.
Obama nodded politely as Putin strengthened his ties with terrorist-funding Iran – he’s even insisted that Russia arming Iran with an air defense system doesn’t violate the Iran nuclear deal.
Most obviously, Trump handed over leadership in Syria to Putin, who promptly rearmed dictator Bashar Assad. Assad has used the threat of ISIS as an excuse to wipe out all opposition. In late 2015, Politico reported, “The two presidents are today ingreater alignment than they have been in years on what to do about the threat from Syria.”
And we know now that while Obama knew about the Russian DNC hacking during the election cycle, he was too fearful of alienating Russia to say anything about it – which, of course, incentivizes Russia to further aggression.
Now Obama’s whining about Russia’s domination of foreign policy.
But Obama doesn’t have anybody else to blame. The buck stops with him. Or at least, the ruble does.