Friday, April 3, 2009

Comrade Obama

To American audiences, it's a joke:
Russia's Dmitry Medvedev hailed Barack Obama as "my new comrade" Thursday after their first face-to-face talks, saying the US president "can listen" -- even if little progress was made on substance.
But to Russian ones it is a signal-- you have no friend in President Obama. He, and the world, are going our way. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Otherwise, the substance of the Russians' remarks were catered to American ears, American audiences. They are reinforcing our own little delusions about the nature of American foreign policy and this historic 'change' that has taken place. Interspersed are subtle jabs, announcements of victory:
"I liked the talks. It is easy to talk to him. He can listen. The start of this relationship is good," he said, adding: "Today it's a totally different situation (compared to Bush)... This suits me quite well."
And again:
"Today from the United States there is at least a desire to listen to our arguments," he said, adding that: "Such defence measures should be carried out jointly" between Washington and Moscow.

The missile defence plan was "a mistake that the previous US administration is responsible for. Many of my European colleagues also believe this," the Russian leader added, without specifying who.

Obama, speaking on Wednesday, admitted US-Russian ties had cooled, saying: "What we've seen over the last several years is drift in the US-Russian relationship.

"There are very real differences between the United States and Russia, and I have no interest in papering those over. But there are also a broad set of common interests that we can pursue," he said.
The notion that the Russians were hurt and offended by the intransigence and belligerence of the mean Bush, but now are heartened by the open and friendly Obama, is quite ludicrous. Yet it is exactly what the Obama people, and their loyal denizens in the media, and thus all sophisticated Americans, actually believe.

In reality, Bush was almost as taken in by the Russians as Obama was. However, he was not an ideologue, so he wasn't about to 1) compromise on missile defense, 2) leave our true allies in the cold, 3) disarm nuclear weapons, and 4) apologize for American arrogance. Obama has already done most of those things, and is prepared and eager to carry them out completely. It is a very, very dangerous thing.

"It's impossible that capitalism can regulate the monster that is the world financial system, it's impossible," Chavez told Venezuela's state TV late Thursday. "Capitalism needs to go down. It has to end. And we must take a transitional road to a new model that we call socialism."

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, shared that critique, saying "some decisions by the world leaders cannot restore dead imperialism."

The two leaders, appearing Friday at the inauguration of joint commercial bank, referred to their nations as the "G-2." In recent years, Chavez and Ahmadinejad—both well-known for their anti-U.S. rhetoric—have boosted economic and political ties.
We ignore the growing alliance between Iran and Venezuela...

...a partnership that is almost certainly fostered by Russia...

and yet our new administration is 'pushing the reset button' on relations with Russia.

Russia, our friend, our strategic partner...

Just like China...

Russia, China...

Apologizing for American arrogance, asserting European prominence, representing American spinelessness, bowing to barbaric dictators...

And everybody's happy: