OBAMA'S OPEN MIC COMMENT
The Russian administration of Vladmir Putin is one of oppression, murder, anti-Americanism, and persistent military and economic support of totalitarian regimes worldwide, particularly those dedicated to the destruction of the United States. There is little occasion for informality in matters of state, let alone in fawning, when one speaks with an enemy. The open mic comment of President Obama on March 26 is therefore particularly troubling.
Believing himself off the record, President Obama, then in Russia, leaned over to outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and said in reference to prospective negotiations on reduction of American missile defenses: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” In response, Medvedev replied in English, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladmir,” meaning to incoming President (and de facto Russian dictator) Vladmir Putin.
The comment is problematic for at least five reasons. First, President Obama is revealing to the Russian president that Obama will act after his re-election in less of a representational capacity, but more on his own behalf as if he too were a dictator. Second, President Obama is signaling that he presently maintains a public position that will change after the election albeit the intended change is one not to be revealed to the American public. Third, President Obama is suggesting that he will move to reduce American missile defenses, thus making the United States more vulnerable to nuclear attack. Fourth, President Obama’s statement in this instance suggests that he may well have a hidden agenda on a host of other vital issues that will become apparent only after he is re-elected. Fifth, the President is confiding in an enemy of the United States in a rather casual manner, revealing that he fails to recognize that when he appears abroad he represents at all times and in all places the United States of America.
The fickle statement of the President is an embarrassment for the entire nation. It proves once again that President Obama cannot be trusted. Amazingly, he does not appreciate that by stating his willingness to undermine his current position by adopting a new approach after the election that he feeds into the Russian pre-conception of him: that he is a “flexible” man who can be made to bend to pressure. Rather than increase the Russian leaders respect for and trust in him, he has diminished that respect and trust by proving that he is quintessentially a political animal, free of any concrete commitment to principle and to serving America’s best interest.
At root, the most disturbing aspect of the President’s remark, in addition to its revelation of political deception, is its destructive effect on the image of the United States in the world. Whether the theater is Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, or Russia, all over the world people perceive the United States as falling from grace, as violating core principles that have historically made our country revered internationally as a bastion of principles in defense of life, liberty, and property.
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I am struck by the contrast of Barack Obama with Ronald Reagan. Remember Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate sending into the former Soviet empire the searing message that the wall imprisoning the East from the free West must come down. Contrast that image with Barack Obama leaning over to the leader of America’s enemy and suggesting to him that our nation’s missile defenses will be lessened to curry favor with that tyrant.
© 2012 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved