Garry Kasparov: Vladimir Putin Takes a Victory Lap While Barack Obama Helplessly Watches

putin-obama

Obama’s speech was routine because he knows he will not act. Putin’s speech was routine because he knows he will act anyway.

Garry Kasparov writes: With the Middle East in chaos and a belligerent Russian regime stoking the turmoil, the dueling speeches at the United Nations on Monday by presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin might have offered new insight. What the world saw instead was entirely predictable.

“The images of the two leaders together are being splashed across the Russian media as a huge triumph for Mr. Putin. The narrative, which began circulating as soon as the meeting was announced, is that not only did the valiant Mr. Putin confront and condemn the weak Mr. Obama and the evil United States, he did so in New York City, the belly of the beast itself.”

Mr. Obama has already decided to continue his policy of disengagement from the Middle East, and his platitudes about cooperation and the rule of law rang hollow in the U.N.’s General Assembly hall. Of the conflict in Syria, he said, “we must
recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo.” But every
51jUYNkqdIL._SL250_listener was aware that Mr. Obama had no intention of backing his words with action.

[Order Garry Kasparov‘s bookWinter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped” from Amazon.com]

Mr. Putin, speaking about an hour later in the same room, included his usual NATO-bashing and obvious lies. “We think it is an enormous mistake,” Mr. Putin said, “to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces, who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face.” He spoke of national sovereignty—which is very important to Mr. Putin, unless it’s the sovereignty of Georgia, Ukraine or another place where he wishes to meddle.

obama-frown-white-background

“Mr. Obama has already decided to continue his policy of disengagement from the Middle East, and his platitudes about cooperation and the rule of law rang hollow in the U.N.’s General Assembly hall.”

The content of the speeches was irrelevant to Mr. Putin before he even opened his mouth. He made his first U.N. address in 10 years because looking like a big man on the international stage is the only ploy he has left to justify his rule in Russia. His devil’s bargain with the Russian people a decade ago was to provide prosperity in exchange for their giving up their rights and democracy. Now we have none of the above.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Mr. Putin’s only remaining gambit is to claim that he is defending Russian greatness while surrounded by enemies (whom that he is an expert at creating). With his offensive in Ukraine sputtering along, new fronts were needed. He has found them in Syria and at the U.N.

putin-buzz

“The content of the speeches was irrelevant to Mr. Putin before he even opened his mouth. He made his first U.N. address in 10 years because looking like a big man on the international stage is the only ploy he has left to justify his rule in Russia.”

In this light, the much-hyped private meeting between Messrs. Obama and Putin was the biggest possible prize. The only statement to come out of the meeting was that the U.S. and Russia would consider working together against Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Not that Mr. Putin cares about cooperation, as long as his goal of preserving Bashar Assad’s murderous dictatorship in Syria isn’t interfered with.

“His devil’s bargain with the Russian people a decade ago was to provide prosperity in exchange for their giving up their rights and democracy. Now we have none of the above.”

Yet the images of the two leaders together are being splashed across the Russian media as a huge triumph for Mr. Putin. The narrative, which began circulating as soon as the meeting was announced, is that not only did the valiant Mr. Putin confront and condemn the weak Mr. Obama and the evil United States, he did so in New York City, the belly of the beast itself. As soon as the first pictures were taken, the meeting became a great success for Mr. Putin, and another self-inflicted defeat for American foreign policy—and for stability and democracy in the Middle East.

No matter how well-intentioned and popular the U.S. exit from Iraq was, or how well the White House spun its concessions to Mr. Assad in 2013, the results clearly have been disastrous. A look at a map of Iraq and Syria shows that the rise of ISIS was a logical response to American abandonment of the region’s Sunnis….(read more)

Source: WSJ

Mr. Kasparov, chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, is the author of “Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped,” out next month from Public Affairs.

 


One Comment on “Garry Kasparov: Vladimir Putin Takes a Victory Lap While Barack Obama Helplessly Watches”

  1. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.


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