Hart: Putin shows up Obama again
After a nice, peaceful, hope-filled week when Pope Francis visited the United States, we go back to the realities of the world. Catholics cheered, smiled and thoroughly enjoyed the pontiff’s visit. It was the most fun they were allowed to have without having to ask forgiveness at their next confession.
The pope's message of peace was followed by an attempt at diplomacy by Vladimir Putin. When Putin visited the U.N., he opened his speech with “My fellow future Russians.”
He actually made sense in his speech, and followed it with a thoughtful sit-down interview with Scott Pelly of "60 Minutes." It was the most penetrating interview Putin had ever had with a man not hog-tied to a chair.
He also visited with the pope this year. It was the first time Putin was not carrying a handgun for protection and a pope was.
Putin met with our feckless "world leader," President Obama, for 90 minutes last week. Obama was shocked to find out afterward that Russia began bombing ISIS targets in Syria, supposedly in support of ally al-Assad.
No one is sure what Obama is doing in Syria. Ever since he engaged in faux bravado by saying that if al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people it would be a “red line,” — and then did nothing when Assad gassed thousands — he has no credibility in the area. 250,000 deaths and countless refugees flooding into Europe later, the world views the Obama administration as weak, ambiguous and unreliable. Putin sees that, and fills the void.
Putin told Obama he would commence bombing and told him to stay away. I think we know who rules the playground here. Putin knocked out the ISIS/terrorist command center in Syria first thing. Where Obama pussy-foots around, Putin gets it done.
Under Obama, Kerry and Hillary Clinton, we are losing allies and friendly countries in the Middle East at a record pace. Should we lose two more countries, we will top the record held by the Ottoman Empire, an empire, like ours, apparently led by rulers just putting their feet up and watching.
John Kerry is so ineffective in diplomacy that he could not break up a ketchup fight at his in-laws' Heinz family picnic. If Kerry or Hillary were to actually have a success in foreign policy, it would be their first. When they whined about Putin taking Ukraine, Putin said “Crimea river.”
Donald Trump is resonating with the American voters because they are tired of being outwitted by the likes of Putin. We, too, would like a strong, decisive and smart leader, not one given to these naive notions.
Unlike the USA, foreign countries have no deference to affirmative action when dealing with Obama. It's the real world out there, and it's dangerous. Obama is always played internationally as a fool. There is not one place in the world where we are better off than when he took office: Iraq, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Russia, Crimea, North Korea, China, the Gaza Strip, Israel, North Africa, Syria, etc.
If I were dealt the five cards of Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Ash Carter and Susan Rice, I would fold.
Obama has been outwitted — again — and seems to always have us on the defensive with his “lead from behind” strategy. He has combined the worst of Bush without the best of Bush. Being a weak and unreliable ally, Obama thinks he can win conflicts with a speech to the UN.
And we are starting to learn the Obama Doctrine: When confronted by world crisis, raise taxes on Americans and blame global warming.
This all began when Edward Snowden came to prominence and showed Americans that this administration was spying on us more than adversaries like Russia and Iran.
Bush got along with Putin; Obama hasn’t. When Obama and Putin meet, there is always that awkward photo-op when they look like they have reached that point in a bad E-Harmony date when each realizes the other looks nothing like his online picture.
Putin sized Obama up pretty quickly as a man who ascended to our presidency with scant accomplishments, on the shoulders of America's racial guilt. Obama does not have the leftist media covering for him overseas and thus is left bare with just the facts and reality. He is not used to being challenged or provoked. Obama had best toughen up; in Putin’s Russia, the national bird is the middle finger.
Ron Hart is a libertarian op-ed humorist columnist, author, and TV and radio commentator. He can be contacted at Ron@RonaldHart.com or www.RonaldHart.com.