Thank God for open mikes.
An open mike last November caught Obama and Sarkozy at the G20:
According to a Monday report in the French website “Arret sur Images,” after facing reporters for a G20 press conference on Thursday, the two presidents retired to a private room, to further discuss the matters of the day…
The conversation then drifted to Netanyahu, at which time Sarkozy declared: “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” According to the report, Obama replied: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
An open mike at the G20 yesterday caught this exchange between Obama and the outgoing president of Russia:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
Obama's attempt to explain himself :
"This is not a matter of hiding the ball," Obama told reporters at a nuclear security summit in Seoul on Tuesday, adding his views on the U.S. plans for a defense shield are already "on record."
"The only way I get this stuff done is if I'm consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I've got bipartisan support, and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations," [...]
Obama poked fun of his mic gaffe on Tuesday before the summit began.
While greeting Medvedev, Obama laughed and exclaimed "Wait, wait, wait," placing his hand over the microphone.
The lie Obama broadcasted to the world is "the only way I get this stuff done is if I'm consulting". Obama as the world has learned gets "this stuff done" by acting unilaterally. From The Telegraph September 17, 2009
I blogged a couple of weeks ago that the Obama administration was about to abandon its plans for Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. I wrote then that “if enacted, this would represent a huge turnaround in American strategic thinking on a global missile defence system, and a massive betrayal of two key US allies in eastern and central Europe. Such a move would significantly weaken America’s ability to combat the growing threat posed by Iran’s ballistic missile program, and would hand a major propaganda victory to the Russians.”
It now looks as though the president has surrendered to Russian demands to kill off Third Site. Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard is reporting that:
“According to reliable sources, Obama administration officials are on their way to Poland and the Czech Republic to deliver very bad news. The administration intends to cancel completely the missile defense sites that had been promised to these governments by the previous administration.”
Goldfarb also links to a post by leading defence expert Gary Schmitt, who writes:
“Guess who’s coming to dinner (in Warsaw)? Four senior Obama officials, including Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security “Sandy” Vershbow, are apparently in the air right now on their way to Poland. Why? If the Washington hot rumor mill is right, to deliver the news to the Poles and then the Czechs that the administration has decided not to go forward with a missile defense system for Europe and the United States against the budding missile threat from Iran.”
This is bad news for all who care about the US commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defence of Europe as well as the United States. It represents the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defence installations sends a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.
What signal does this send to Ukraine, Georgia and a host of other former Soviet satellites who look to America and NATO for protection from their powerful neighbour? The impending cancellation of Third Site is a shameful abandonment of America’s friends in eastern and central Europe, and a slap in the face for those who actually believed a key agreement with Washington was worth the paper it was written on.
From TheLATimes, May 10 2010:
Obama decides to unilaterally announce secret U.S. missile tests, satellite launches
President Obama has decided to pre-announce to the world once-secret American ballistic missile tests and satellite launches.
The Democratic administration's goal is to show a friendlier face to other countries and to coax Russia to do the same.
It's part of a confidence-boosting initiative launched, so to speak, last fall when Obama suddenly abandoned the U.S. missile-defense system in Eastern Europe that had exercised the Russians, though it was aimed at potential future missiles from Iran.
Obama hoped such a unilateral U.S. forfeiture would encourage Russia to put pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear weapons development. So far no good on that.
Mitt Romney on Obama's assertion that after the election he will be more "flexible" with Russia:
Mitt Romney’s political camp was quick to jump on the gaffe, calling it a sign that Obama intends to campaign on one policy but implement another.
Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer from the campaign trail in San Diego, Mitt Romney said he found Obama's candid remarks “alarming” and “troubling”.
"Russia continues to support Syria, supports Iran, has fought us with crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran. Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility where he doesn't have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very very troubling, very alarming. This is a president who is telling us one thing and is doing something else," he said in the live broadcast.
Mitt Romney then went further, describing the nation as America’s number one foe.
“This is without question our number one geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very very troubling indeed, " he said.
After Wolf Blitzer challenged the statement, Mr Romney explained: "The greatest threat the US faces is a nuclear Iran ... [But] who is it who always stands up for the world’s worst actors? It’s always Russia, typically with China alongside.”
President Medvedev on Romney's comment:
"I would recommend all U.S. presidential candidates ... to do two things. First, when phrasing their position one needs to use one's head, one's good reason, which would not do harm to a presidential candidate," Medvev said, according to Reuters. "Also, (one needs to) look at his watch: we are in 2012 and not the mid-1970s."
Excuse me President Human Rights Violator but Mitt Romney was using his head (well) when he spoke. Plus he also knows it's 2012. It's Obama who is stuck in the summer of '68. More than that Mitt Romney recalls what Medvedev said in 2011. From The Telegraph:
A damning indictment of the White House's spineless foreign policy: Barack Obama gets the Kremlin's vote for 2012
When Hillary Clinton famously called for a “reset” of Washington’s relations with Moscow back in March 2009, she should have used the more accurate term, “surrender”. From caving in to Russian demands to scrap plans for Third Site missile defences in eastern and central Europe to signing on to the New START Treaty, US policy towards Russia under the Obama administration has been one wretched give away after another, even stretching as far as handing over sensitive information on Britain's nuclear deterrent.
Is it any wonder that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is now openly calling for Barack Obama’s re-election? In an extraordinary interview with The Financial Times, the Russian leader gives a glowing account of his US counterpart, in a direct intervention in US domestic politics 16 months ahead of the November 2012 presidential election. Here is what Medvedev said to the FT’s interview team:
Nothing lasts forever in this world. Our relations have improved, and I think this is owing to the efforts of the new [US] administration and personally president Obama, with whom I am friends. It is easy for me to work with him. If a different person becomes US president, he might have a different agenda.
… I believe I have been lucky in this respect at least, because my counterpart has been a modern man wanting change not only for America, but for the whole world order as well. You have kept on asking me about my presidency and whether I will stand for president again, or whether somebody else will come to office. Let me tell you that no one wishes the re-election of Barack Obama as US president as I do…
The White House should be thoroughly embarrassed by this endorsement from the leader of one of America’s biggest strategic adversaries, the head of an increasingly dangerous, aggressive and authoritarian regime with an appalling human rights record. It is a particularly telling moment for a US administration that has spent a great deal of its time engaging many of America’s enemies and appeasing hostile powers while treating traditional allies such as Great Britain and Israel with thinly veiled contempt.
Medvedev’s adoring praise is a damning indictment of President Obama’s weak-kneed approach at a time when US leadership is being increasingly challenged from the Middle East to the Near Abroad. When the Kremlin clearly has a soft spot for the leader of the free world, you know something is monumentally rotten at the heart of American foreign policy.
Newt Gingrich on Obama's exchange:
Gingrich called the exchange with Medvedev an "extraordinary moment caught on tape where the president basically said to a Russian leader, 'Please wait until after the election so I can sell out.'
"If you read what he said, it is the most blatant comment about selling out American defenses I think any American president's ever made and I don't see how any American could trust him ever again after that comment. I mean, he thinks it's in private and he's saying to the Russians, please quote 'give me some space' so I can be re-elected and then I'll be free to do anything I want to. Well, that just told you how radically left-wing Obama's going to be in the second term."
Radical? Obama sounds more Old Testament. Like Esau, he's selling our birthrights for 4 more years of red lentil stew served up on presidential china...