Puttin' Putin in his Place
June 27, 2013 - ABC News: [President] Obama said has called neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping to ask that Snowden be turned over because "I shouldn't have to" - expelling a criminal should be a routine legal matter.
"No, I am not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker," Obama said.
August 7, 2013 - New York Times: Obama canceled next month's Moscow summit meeting [with Russian President Vladimir Putin], ending for now his signature effort to transform Russian-American relations.
It was the first time an American leader had called off such a trip in decades.
Oh, yeah. That Obama swagger is working really well everywhere outside of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.
President Obama had to do something to express displeasure when his Russian counterpart granted Snowden political asylum in the Motherland for at least a year, so he called off a meeting with Putin.
That was after the Chinese just about allowed Snowden early boarding on a flight from Hong Kong to Moscow to get him out of their collective hair.
Fact is, no foreign government, leader, or organization has ever thought much of Barack Obama.
Remember this bit of hubris from October 2009? From CNN:
President Obama traveled overseas -- in the middle of debates over health care and Afghanistan -- to make his personal pitch to bring the 2016 Olympics to his hometown. President Obama personally appealed to IOC members for the 2016 summer Olympic Games to be in Chicago.
But despite their efforts, the Obamas will come home empty-handed.
The 2016 Summer Games will not be in Chicago. They will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We've recounted the failures of the Obama foreign policy many times.
He doesn't have a foreign policy.
There is a misconception in the United States about how the world sees us. Most people think the rest of the world respects our power.
What they respect is our willingness to use that power to protect our interests - near, middle, and long-term. Obama won't use it - with the exception of his beloved drones - and everyone knows it.
Obama won the Presidency on the basis of his opposition to the war in Iraq. No matter what you think about that war, Obama's determination to remove the U.S. from that country has left Iraq in continuing turmoil.
Iran doesn't have do much to keep that havoc going other than to nudge the Shia's into setting bombs off in Sunni areas. Low risk, high reward. Thank you Mr. President.
Iran, itself, is trundling along in creating a nuclear weapon - if they haven't already bought one from North Korea - in spite of the French and Germans and Obama wagging their economic fingers at the Iranian leadership and pretending that they can influence internal activities there.
Egypt and Syria we know all about.
Current Secretary of State John Kerry clumsily claimed that the military in Egypt was not in control of the country. Of the seven billion people on the planet Earth, only Kerry believes that to be true.
The left-leaning Salon.com said it this way: With blood of Islamists on the street, Kerry praised the [Egyptian] army for "restoring democracy."
Twenty-something U.S. embassies and consulates are closed around the Middle East and North Africa even though Obama has sent those drones back into Yemen to knock off, according to USA Today, "a total of 12 suspected al-Qaeda militants."
But back to Russia.
Vladimir Putin is a former senior KGB officer and so knows a little about dealing with the West.
What does a "29-year-old hacker" mean to Putin? He obviously knows way too much about the National Security Agency so Snowden might be the best American asset since the Walker family went down.
But, even more than that, with the stroke of a pen Putin put Russia at a level with the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world.
No more acting like Oliver Twist and asking for more gruel from the West.
Putin has Snowden, and Obama is left holding his breath until he turns red, white, and blue.
That's puttin' Putin in his place.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the NY Times, CNN, Salon (John Kerry), the Walker family, and the Wikipedia entry for Vladimir Putin. A pretty good license plate Mullfoto on I-95 the other day.