So the left lost its mind because President Donald Trump said America isn’t so innocent after Fox News‘s Bill O’Reilly stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer. I don’t blame them. Putin is a killer. He’s a schemer that will do anything to grab what he wants.
But where was this outrage in 2008 when then-presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama wanted to start over with Russia? Where was this outrage when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a reset button?
The fact is that, though worded differently, Obama started off light against Russia and wanted a complete do-over even though Russia invaded Georgia less than a year before he took office in 2009! The International Criminal Court believes that the Russian invasion reduced the ethnic Georgian population by 75% in the war zone, and Obama’s response? Russian reset.
Let’s journey back to August 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia, a former Soviet Union republic. It actually started in April when Putin signed decrees with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway regions that want to become a part of the Russian Federation. Putin started moving troops and equipment to the region.
(Important to note that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev became president in May of that year. Putin took over as prime minister because of course.)
The battle started on August 1, 2008 when an IED blew up a Georgian police vehicle and injured five officers. Georgian snipers then killed four Ossetians. The war lasted about two weeks.
Many do not know that our peacekeeping brigade returned from Iraq to Tbilisi on American military planes which under the circumstances of war was direct military support by the US.
“Many do not know that Russia could not bomb the Tbilisi airport because American Hercules planes were on the tarmac,” Shishkin continues.”Many do not know that the flagship of the US Fifth Fleet which entered the Black Sea monitored on its radars the airspace in the Tbilisi-Moscow-Volgograd triangle.”
And “many do not know that the August 14 Hercules flights from Jordan were accompanied by (American) fighters. Many do not know that the statement of the commander of these fights that ‘any activity of Russian planes in the Georgian sky will be considered an attack on the United States of America,’ thus effectively closing the Georgian sky to Russian planes.”
Shashkin also noted that then-Senator Barack Obama, who won the presidency a few months later, instead encouraged the United Nations to send in a mediator and for the councils to condemn the invasion. We all know how that works out! Ukraine has been at war with Russia since 2014 despite countless meetings within the UN and talks between Lavrov and our State Department.
This short war remains important because a lot of people believe this is when our relationship with Russia dissolved. No one should forget the Georgian-Russian War because this got us into this mess.
But before he even started his presidential campaign, Obama’s description of Russia somewhat mirrors what Trump has said:
President Obama said in April 2007 that Russia is “neither our enemy nor close ally,” and said the United States “shouldn’t shy away from pushing for more democracy, transparency, and accountability” there.
Remember the outrage expressed by the left when Putin has praised Trump and said nice things about him? Look at what Putin said about Obama a few weeks after the 2008 election:
Diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington should improve once Barack Obama takes office, Vladimir Putin today suggested.
Speaking before an invited audience at a live, televised question and answer session, the Russian prime minister welcomed the imminent handover at the White House.
“Usually… when there is a change of power in any country, and even more so in a superpower such as the United States, some changes occur,” Putin observed.
“We very much hope that these changes will be positive. We are now seeing these positive signals.
“If it’s not just words, if they are transformed into practical policy, we will respond accordingly, and our American partners will immediately feel that.”
Once Obama took office in 2009, he made it known that he wanted to reset the relationship with Russia, and Medvedev remained encouraged over new relations:
“I’ve said that we need to reset or reboot the relationship there,” Obama said. “Russia needs to understand our unflagging commitment to the independence and security of countries like a Poland or a Czech Republic. On the other hand, we have areas of common concern.”
The president said he wants a constructive U.S.-Russia relationship “based on common respect and mutual interests.”
Medvedev said that Russia was encouraged by Obama’s administration’s readiness to discuss Moscow’s complaints.
“Our American partners are ready to discuss this problem, and that’s already positive,” he said at a news conference. “Several months ago we were hearing different signals: The decision has been made, there is nothing to discuss, we will do what we have decided to do.”
That’s when Clinton gave Lavrov the reset button. Yet, the button really foreshadowed what would happen to relations during Obama’s presidency. They used the word peregruzka, which means “overcharged.” Clinton laughed and said that the U.S. would not allow Russia to do that to the states. But again it was a sign to show commitment to a new relationship:
Clinton said earlier she was presenting the gift because it “represents what President Obama and Vice President Biden and I have been saying and that is, ‘We want to reset our relationship.’ And so we will do it together.”
Also, do not forget that Putin endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012 just as he endorsed Trump:
“Although President Vladimir Putin recently thanked Romney for his openness regarding the ‘No.1 foe’ comment, he also indicated that it would be hard for the Kremlin to work with Romney as president, especially on sensitive security issues such as the missile defense system.
During Putin’s interview with RT state television, he also called Obama an ‘honest man who really wants to change much for the better.’ This comment was widely viewed as Putin’s most direct endorsement of Obama in the presidential race.”
Putin probably hated Romney so much because the GOP presidential nominee had the nerve to identify Russia as America’s biggest geopolitical foe:
ROMNEY: Well, my guess is it has to do either with – with nuclear arms discussions or it has to do with missile defense sites. What he [President Obama] did both on nuclear weaponry already in the – in the new START treaty, as well as his decision to withdraw missile defense sites from – from Poland and then reduce our missile defense sites in Alaska from the original plan, I mean these are very unfortunate developments. And if he’s planning on doing more and suggests to Russia that – that he has things he’s willing to do with them, he’s not willing to tell the American people – this is to Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They – they fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The I – the idea that he has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed.
Obama even made fun of Romney for the remark along with the rest of the left.
Wait. You want to talk about appeasing to Russia, which many have claimed Trump has done and wants to continue to do? Who can forget the hot mic moment Obama had with Medvedev?
As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time – “particularly with missile defense” – until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.
“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.
“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.
“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.
Obama wanted the Russian government to know he would have that flexibility “with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.”
I could have easily made this 1,000 more words. I didn’t even dive into the whole Ukraine fiasco.
Selective outrage sucks, and it’s hard to take these people seriously when they only outrage against one politician and not the other.
The U.S. needs someone tough on Putin.
But outrage because Trump? Give me a break.DONATE
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