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Putin and Obama: responsible “weakness” vs. irresponsible “strength”

Photo: AP

Washington says President Barack Obama will launch a dialogue with Russian leader Vladimir Putin over the Syrian problems only when he feels that it will be within the interests of the United States. Not Syria, but the United States…  “When the president (Obama) has determined that it would advance our interests to have a conversation with President Putin, then he’ll pick up the phone and try to set up that call,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Meantime, Obama considers Russia a “weak regional power” and does not hurry to set up that call. “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors — not out of strength but out of weakness,” Obama says. Of course, the U.S. president’s statement is absurd, considering Russia’s force potential. The influence of a nuclear-armed power whether it is positive or not goes beyond its region. Where is that region where Russia – a country that stretches from Arctic Regions up to the Caucasus, from Europe up to Japan - is a “weak power?”  

Nevertheless, the official stand of the U.S. Department of State claims that the influence and potential of Russia does not let it consider even the territories around its borders as a zone of “vital interests.” The Department claims that Russia has no zone of vital interests beyond its borders. It appears that only the United States has such zone throughout the world.

Actually, Moscow is a priori deprived of an opportunity to wage an initiative foreign policy in the neighbor regions basing on its own “vital interests.” Quite the contrary, they would like to see Russia isolated in a local region and dead.  Actually, the economic sanctions of the United States and their allies pursued Russia’s partition and destruction. No one conceals this either. According to the official stand of the United States, the countries neighboring with Russia are free to wage any foreign policy: up to accession to the unions competing with Russia (FTA with EU) and openly hostile military unions (NATO) in the prejudice of Moscow or simply ignoring the official agreements with it.

It is about Ukraine and Georgia, the countries that have kin relationships with Russia – millions of families in Russia.  Meantime,  U.S. considers the “state interests” of Georgia and Ukraine apart of the interests of the Georgian and Ukrainian peoples. Practice shows that the Western allies begin to notice the people only when many-kilometer-long refugee queues emerge on the borders.

It is about the millions of citizens of Iraq, Syria and Libya who were expelled from their homes by the “democracy wave.” “From Tripoli to Misrata and Benghazi – Libya is free today,” said President Barack Obama at UN on September 21 2011 feeling himself the ruler of destinies of the entire world.  Almost a year after that speech, Obama’s representative in the “free” Benghazi, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other member of the embassy staff were viciously killed.  It turned out that the American security services quite timely informed the Department of State that a symbolic terror assault was prepared against the Americans in Libya just on September 11 – the day when the twin-towers in New York were attacked.  However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who cared for the free Libya as enthusiastically as the president simply concealed those data in her personal mail. Why should she obstruct “free Libyans” from making “democracy?”

“Moreover,” Obama said in his speech at UN GA four years ago, “the United States will continue to support those nations that transition to democracy -- with greater trade and investment -- so that freedom is followed by opportunity.”  Look at the countries, which U.S. intended to “develop” and “support” after “democratization.” At appears that those countries no longer exist. They fell in the abyss of civil war and have no legitimate authorities, as their “free citizens” successfully swept them away with the active support of Washington.

Most certainly, the idea to listen to the calls of the “weak regional power” Russia and avoid from interfering into the internal affairs of the Middle East countries during the “Arab Spring” could occur to few people in “the free world” then.  They in Washington said Russia is too far from Middle East to give any advises. “American values are universal,” the Department of State said.

Many still try to blame Russia for all the troubles of Ukraine, for the tragedy like the ones in Libya, Iraq, and Syria, that started with the “Maidan” – with the support of U.S. authorities - and grew into a civil war that may collapse the country.  Meantime, it was not in favor of Russia to destabilize its big trade and economic partner, a large country with friendly population, and get economic, political and humanitarian problems instead. This simple idea was forced out from the public opinion by means of the propaganda of the “Russian threat” – a threat from the “weak regional power.”

Anyway, by the moment of regular “democratic revolution” called “Revolution of Dignity,” U.S. had already removed Kiev from the zone of Moscow’s vital interests -  though they do not recognize it –  and started building there a unique political, economic and public reality. It was an evident fact for Ukrainians until Russia started establishing deterrent mechanisms.  U.S. did the same in all the other CIS countries, though with different level of success. Mass Media described in details – persons, events, and statements - how a kind of “sanitary cordon” was created around Russia. Like in the case of Syria, Washington will not start a dialogue with Russia over Ukraine unless that dialogue meets the strategic interests of the United States. Ukraine has to wait, molder, war and collapse, but it is the problem of Ukraine, not the problem of Barack Obama. An estimated 82% of the Syrians believe the “Islamic State” was created by the U.S. and its allies (according to a survey by ORB International), but it is not the problem of the U.S. president either.

What do after all Obama and his country pursue?  What are their interests? Some influential American media say the United States has no political line expect declarations and messianic rhetoric.  The Wall Street Journal, for instance, does not recommend President Obama with his unclear political line to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.  The paper writes: “There is plenty to be said for talking to the other guy when you have a clear and effective policy. That’s an easy call.”  According to WSJ, the White House worries such talks at the UN General Assembly will “make the president look weak and undercut efforts to isolate Russia.”  It turns out that the major task is to isolate Russia, not to save Ukraine! It appears to be much more important not to make Obama look “weak.”

It is interesting that Vladimir Putin as well thinks that the current acute problems in the Middle East and Europe are a result of the United States’ “wrong,” unclear and inefficient foreign policy. “We in Russia said several years ago that there would be massive problems if our so-called western partners conduct what I have always called the ‘wrong’ foreign policy, especially in regions of the Muslim World, the Middle East and north Africa, which they continue practically to this day.” Putin blamed the United States for imposing its own standards on countries in the Middle East and Africa while failing to understand their culture and traditions.

Does Barack Obama admit his failure that has become a failure of his country too? Given the global ambitions of Washington, this has become a failure for the entire world. If it is not a failure, does it mean that U.S. purposefully undermined the bases of the international security?  The international analysts discuss such option – it is about creating hotbeds of chaos to reach its goals and develop new ones. In such case, the responsible global leader Obama and his country appear to be an armed and very dangerous gangsters, who do not care for the interests of other countries and even for the ones of their partners, spy them, and do not pick up the phone unless the talk it within their interests.

What is the United States for the world, taking into account the results of its global leadership: an a priori irresponsible gangster-extremist or a benefactor who is often mistaken without intention?  Actually, Russia has already got the answer to this question. It is very likely that Vladimir Putin will voice it at the 70th Session of UNGA.

Whether the words of the leader of the “weak regional power” will be accepted by the leaders of other countries that are even weaker in view of the coming cataclysms is not an idle question.  After all, it is Russia and its partners that hold the Middle East with “an iron grip” and not let the religious fanatics defeat it finally.  Vladimir Putin fairly said at the session of the UN Security Council in Dushanbe that the situation in Syria would be worse than the one in Libya and the refugee flows into Europe would be of larger scale but for Russia’s support to Syria.

Furthermore,  whatever Obama says, his reputation  - the reputation of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate - depends on no one but Russia. At the awarding ceremony, the U.S. president said he does not feel he deserved it so far.   Apparently, he was awarded in advance - for his promise (dating back to 2009) to achieve reduction of nuclear arsenals. However, Obama failed that promise like the one to create  “free Libya.” One does not disarm in the face danger. Hence, the irresponsible and openly domineering policy of the most undeserving Nobel Prize winner has resulted in a global arms race. For instance, Russia announced its plans to increase its nuclear potential with 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles, probably, no to seem a “weak regional power” to Obama and the future presidents of the United States and not to receive from them the “support” that will put an end to the century-old proud history of the Russian state.

Vigen Akopyan, EADaily Editor-in-Chief

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