August 7, 2013

"Look, Putin doesn't deserve the respect after what he's done with Snowden... He goes out of his way to stick the knife into the United States."

Said Chuck Schumer:
"I know what he is doing. I mean he's trying to make Russia a big power again. But there are good ways and bad ways to do it. Good way build up the economy, create some freedom and strength... Bad way, step on somebody else's back. That's what he is doing."
Meanwhile, Obama was talking to Jay Leno:
Q    Now, were you surprised that Russia granted Snowden asylum?


THE PRESIDENT:  I was disappointed because even though we don’t have an extradition treaty with them, traditionally we have tried to respect if there’s a law-breaker or an alleged law-breaker in their country, we evaluate it and we try to work with them.  They didn’t do that with us.  And in some ways it’s reflective of some underlying challenges that we’ve had with Russia lately.  A lot of what’s been going on hasn’t been major breaks in the relationship, and they still help us on supplying our troops in Afghanistan; they’re still helping us on counterterrorism work; they were helpful after the Boston bombing in that investigation.  And so there’s still a lot of business that we can do with them. But there have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality.  And what I consistently say to them, and what I say to President Putin, is that’s the past and we’ve got to think about the future, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate more effectively than we do.

Q    And Putin seems to me like one of those old-school KGB guys.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, he headed up the KGB.  (Laughter.) 

Q    Yes.  Well, that’s what I mean.  Yes, that’s what I mean.  He has that mentality.  I mean, look at this picture here. You two don’t look pretty — (laughter) — you look like me and the NBC executives.  What is going on there?  (Laughter.)  That doesn’t look like a friendly picture.
You know the picture.
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, the truth is, is that when we have meetings we can have some pretty blunt exchanges and animated exchanges.  But he’s got — that seems to be his preferred style during press conferences, is sitting back and not looking too excited.  (Laughter.)  Now, part of it is he’s not accustomed to having press conferences where you’ve got a bunch of reporters yelling questions at you.

36 comments:

donald said...

Jay Leno. Wow.

Richard Dolan said...

"Now, part of it is he’s not accustomed to having press conferences where you’ve got a bunch of reporters yelling questions at you."

Actually, neither of them is accustomed to having press conferences. Coincidence or pattern?

Tom Gallagher said...

In the morally ambiguous world of Obama, when he explains how the US should respond to the Russians and Snowden he remains ambiguous. (Applause)

Matthew Sablan said...

The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.

chuck said...

Putin didn't head up the KGB.

Alex said...

Yet as Senator Obama said he would meet with all of our enemies because we had to.

traditionalguy said...

The Cold War between Empires was Spy v. Spy while the hot fighting was limited to surrogates in places such as N. Korea and N. Viet Nam and Afghanistan. That was only limited because of the Hydrogen Bombs.

So we live in the real world of military strengths and weaknesses.

The Obama pretense that Empires can live in a DisneyLand of friendship while also eliminating our Hydrogem Bomb arsenals is super delusional.

Why does Obama insist on deluding us with his snake oil? Maybe it is to save us from trace amounts of harmless plant food called CO2 gas that is his other super delusional snake oil.

Jason said...

This idea that Russia is somehow obligated to hand Snowden or anyone else back to us is regarded. Obama comes off as petulant, weak and pathetic. As usual.

SteveR said...

Let's yuck it up

Big Mike said...

Has anyone besides me noticed that (with the exception of the Daily Caller intern and now and again Jake Tapper) Jay Leno asked tougher questions than the regular White House beat reporters.

chrisnavin.com said...

I reflexively turn to Chuck Schumer for all the foreign policy questions left unanswered by Obama.

Henry said...

I prefer Schumer's Senatorial Bluster to Obama's presidential pretension.

In this version of Dr. Strangelove, Schumer is playing George C. Scott while Obama seems to playing all of Peter Sellers' roles at once.

Mandrake, Muffley, Strangelove: jejune, confused, insinuating.

Charles said...

Chuck: just like Obama currently "heads up" our CIA. Seriously, though, Putin joined the KGB in 1975 right upon graduation, and underwent a year's training at the 401st KGB school in Leningrad. He then went on to work briefly in the Second Chief Directorate (counter-intelligence) before he was transferred to the First Chief Directorate, where among his duties was the monitoring of foreigners and consular officials. He was KGB until 1991.

Almost Ali said...

The question Leno never asked: Mr. President, did you tell Susan Rice yet that it wasn't the video?

Robert Cook said...

Traditional Guy said:

"The Obama pretense that Empires can live in a DisneyLand of friendship while also eliminating our Hydrogem Bomb arsenals is super delusional."

The United States has no intentions of eliminating our arsenal of nuclear weapons. Why would you think such a thing?

Big Mike:

"Has anyone besides me noticed that (with the exception of the Daily Caller intern and now and again Jake Tapper) Jay Leno asked tougher questions than the regular White House beat reporters."

That's because Leno isn't part of the collective clubby professional world or the same personal cliques as is inhabited by the White House Press Corps and those who reside in the White House. Also, Leno's professional status and success is not dependent on his being a toady to the President.

Jason said:

"This idea that Russia is somehow obligated to hand Snowden or anyone else back to us is regarded. Obama comes off as petulant, weak and pathetic. As usual."

Did you mean "regarded" to be "retarded?" Anyway, I think your meaning comes across.

Shit, I think Snowden and Manning should jointly be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and Obama's should be yanked away from him, as they are true heroes while he is just another war criminal in the White House.

chuck said...

@Charles

Yes, I knew that. But Putin never "headed up" the KGB, nor does Obama "head up the CIA". Obama may be commander in chief, but he doesn't personally "head up" government agencies or the military. An executive may head up a company, but he is not normally described as heading up HR, Accounting, or the Law Department. Those positions are usually headed up by specialists who know something about the work.

David said...

"there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate more effectively than we do."

Obama may (likely does) actually believe this.

That's the first problem with his approach.

The second is that Obama plays well with others only from a position of superior power.

jimbino said...

I quit listening to anybody who mouths abortions like "the truth is, is that," "absolutely!" or "in terms of."

traditionalguy said...

Cookie...The Russian Empire and the Chinese Empire are not about to restrain their Nuclear weapon development. Both of them are upgrading and expanding theirs as they both watch the Siberian Mineral deposits and leibesraum that Russia's birth rate will be unable to use.

But Obama's current orders are to stop maintaining the USA's nuclear weapons and to reduce the USA arsenal numbers at least 1/3 below present treaty levels, unilaterally of course.

That irritates Putin and every other defense minded Russe. Which is why their answers to Obama's delusions have been no, no and no.

And that is why the Russians dropped the dime by leaking proof of a Global Warming fraud conspiracy of faked data in the e-mails between the criminals at East Anglia and at Penn State.



n.n said...

Surely Obama does not think his policies are without repercussions. His support for Syrian "rebels" is in particular harmful to Russian interests.

As for "sticking the knife into the United States", Obama is displacing responsibility for his success.

Man up, Obama. Take pride in the dysfunctional behavior you endorse and the corruption which it engenders.

Peter said...

Mao famously claimed that political power grows from the barrel of a gun.

And perhaps it does, but someone has to buy the guns.

In the international arena, political power grows from economic power. And here, Russia has a long, long way to go.

Of course, so do we- a long way down, should things go wrong.

Charles said...

chuck:

Agreed (which is why I followed that comment with "Seriously, though".

nn:

Unless I'm mistaken, the "knife in back" comment was from Sen. Schumer, not Obama. Other than that, I agree.

Robert Cook said...

@Trad Guy at 2:30PM...

We have more than enough weapons in our nuclear arsenal to destroy the world several times over. Given the murderous and paranoid war- and fear-mongering of many in Washington, you can sleep comfortably in the assurance that if they perceive a "missle gap" that they believe will put us in a less-lethal-than-them world-destroying capability, we will return to making new world-killing bombs with alacrity.

sykes.1 said...

I don't care about Snowden. So he's a monster. So what. The important point is that the rogue regime in Washington is illegitimate and lawless, malevolent and violent, and utterly corrupt. This applies to both Republicans and Democrats, elected and appointed, and all civil servants.

The regime murders people. In the recent Yemen Hellfire missile assassinations, they killed Al-Qaeda terrorists and innocent bystanders. They didn't care. God help the innocent. The regime is itself a monster.

Get real! We are on a road to dictatorship. We aren't there yet, but our grandchildren will live in slavery. They are fitting the boot now.

So Snowden weakens our "defense", meaning he weakens Leviathan. Anything that weakens Leviathan is good. Anything. Leviathan is the threat, not Al-Qaeda.

Big Mike said...

@Robert Cook, thank you for your response to my rhetorical question.

And as for having "more than enough weapons in our nuclear arsenal to destroy the world several times over," you have to learn to stop believing left-wing propaganda. We have enough so that a nuclear-armed enemy has no hope of taking out our entire arsenal in a first strike. We might still be able to do that with fewer than we have, but would you bet your life on that? I won't let you bet mine!

Robert Cook said...

Big Mike,

Once nuclear nations start trading exchanges of nukes, does it really matter who has more of them? What's left of the world will be devastation and death. Those who die quickly will be the lucky ones.

My bet is that we will be more likely to initiate a nuclear strike than China or Russia...at least as things stand now.

GrandpaMark said...

When I see "the picture", I see a man who has never been involved in a physical confrontation sitting with a man who would enjoy an occasional bar fight.

Perhaps there is some actual fear involved in Obamas' decision

Carl said...

We have more than enough weapons in our nuclear arsenal to destroy the world several times over.

Even if ever, that hasn't been true since the 70s. Christ, I wish people lay down a smidge of factual substrate in the cerebrum before they light up the Broca's on this subject, like they would if discussing whether Chrome or IE was taking over. It's not hard:

http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/77.full.pdf

The US has about 1600 deliverable strategic nukes, probably averaging 200-300 kt each. Certainly enough to make a hellacious bang, but destroy the world? Oy.

Carl said...

With respect to the subject, Schumer appears in the grip of the soft bigotry of low expectations, treating Obama as our First Affirmative Action President.

Those lousy big boys, they aren't playing fair.

Oh boo hoo. Like we can imagine Ike kvetching that Stalin was a big meanie. We could carve a better President or senior Senator from New York from bananas, to paraphrase TR's ascerbicism.

Cedarford said...

Trad guy - "traditionalguy said...
Cookie...The Russian Empire and the Chinese Empire are not about to restrain their Nuclear weapon development. Both of them are upgrading and expanding theirs."

Considering the great betrayal of the working class by the American Ruling Elites that sent so much of our manufacturing capacity abroad, the Chinese warhead programme is far,, far less than it could be. They could crank out missiles and warheads like the computers and jet turbines pouring out of their factories.

The US military has to start being cut back, and the truth is the Russians and Chinese get far more bang for the buck spent on the military than the US does. Just like health care costs 40-50% less in the best Euro countries.

Given cuts to the military are coming and can't be avoided...
I'd rather see the savings come from elimination of the single Momma of 6 SGT data entry clerks, Neocon wars of adventure and doing Israel's bidding. And doing away with too many officers and too many gold-plated weapons systems.

cubanbob said...

Schumer never misses an opportunity to play the fool.

What does anyone expect the Russians to do? Hand him back? The stupidity of that expectation beggars belief. Who knows what Snowden had or has given the Russians. Even if it's nothing, even if the Russians really don't want him at all, they can't give him back. Not only would it make them look weak but it would discourage any future leaker to come to them. If a Russian Snowden came here would we extradite him back? Not a chance. And for the very same reason. It would helpful if we actually had some intelligent people in Congress instead cheap hustlers like Schumer. So now Obama can't meet one on one with Putin, thanks in part to Schumer & Co. since that would also look weak. So we get this gamesmanship going on here where it isn't needed instead of some real conversation of the problems we both have and where we could could exert our national interest quietly and effectively.

Paul said...

"Good way build up the economy, create some freedom and strength... Bad way, step on somebody else's back. That's what he is doing."

Wish someone would tell Obama that.

Saint Croix said...

Whenever Obama goes on Jay Leno, the traffic becomes a nightmare.

You hear horror stories of people waiting 2 hours to move a couple of blocks.

They even have a name for it: Obamajam.

It couldn't happen to a nicer narcissist.

Hyphenated American said...

"THE PRESIDENT: Well, he headed up the KGB. (Laughter.) "

He was the head of FSB, which was during Eltsin, and for a pretty short time. Why can't Obama learn at least some facts before talking?

elkh1 said...

Thank god for Putin.

Dr.D said...

I was not surprised at all at what Putin did. I think it makes sense from his perspective, and little IDIOT chuck schumer has just confirmed it. Anything schumer says is a priori stupid.