Monday, February 02, 2015

They Say - 8 (Barack Obama)

On January 27 Barack Obama, the President of the USA, gave a remarkable interview to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, aired on February 1. One part of this interview was devoted to Russia, Putin and the Ukrainian crisis.

Here I go to draw your attention to some points that make the 'Russian part' of the interview that remarkable in my eyes (full transcript you can find here).
OBAMA: ... And since Mr. Putin made this decision around Crimea and Ukraine — not because of some grand strategy, but essentially because he was caught off-balance by the protests in the Maidan and Yanukovych then fleeing after we had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine — since that time, this improvisation that he's been doing has getting — has gotten him deeper and deeper into a situation that is a violation of international law, that violates the integrity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, has isolated Russia diplomatically, has made Europe wary of doing business with Russia, has allowed the imposition of sanctions that are crippling Russia's economy at a time when their oil revenues are dropping. There's no formula in which this ends up being good for Russia.
The annexation of Crimea is a cost, not a benefit, to Russia. The days in which conquest of land somehow was a formula for great nation status is over. The power of countries today is measured by your knowledge, your skills, your ability to export goods, to invent new products and new services, your influence, and…
ZAKARIA: Do you…
OBAMA: — none of those things are provided by his strategy. Now but what is absolutely true is that if you have a leader who continually drives past the off ramps that we've provided, given the size of the Russian military, given the fact that Ukraine is not a NATO country and so as a consequence there, you know, there are clear limits in terms of what we would do militarily, you know, Mr. Putin has not been stopped so far. To those who would suggest that we need to do more, you know, what I've said to them is that we can exact higher and higher costs, and that's exactly what we're doing, and we can bring diplomatic pressure to bear. I don't think that it would be wise for the United States or the world to see a actual military conflict between the United States and Russia.
2003: Colin Powell holding a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to the UN Security Council.
2003: Colin Powell holding a model vial of anthrax
while giving a presentation to the UN Security Council.
Look who's talking. Mr. Broker of "a-deal-to-transition-power-in-Ukraine" (as far as I understand, this is kind of diplomatic doublespeak for "assisting an anti-Russian coup d'état") explains us how the power of countries is measured today.

Do you think he just forget such words as Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, t.b.c.? And as for "to invent", do we all remember, e.g., "invention" of Iraqi chemical weapons by Colin Powell?

The world can be happy, though, because Mr. Broker is able to see clear limits even for the US or NATO military abilities and, which is maybe the most important thing of all, that he does not think.

As we see from the last sentence I have marked.

And, to finalize, the last quote of Mr. Obama:
So he [Putin]'s looking backwards, not forwards, and perhaps, over time, he changes his mind. In the meantime, we just have to make sure that we're firm in protecting our allies and supporting the principles that have maintained peace in Europe for the entire post-war period.
Tell this to Yugoslavians, Mr. Broker. Tell this to Serbs who had lived in Kosovo centuries before the USA appeared on the world map. Tell this to the military from different European countries who took part in military attacks on independent countries of Asia and Africa, and to relatives of those who lost their lives thanks to the USA supported and promoted politics. Tell this to those who remember that Europe is not the only continent of the world (though the reachest one after the North America), who do not divide people in grades A, B, C, etc. Who remember Korea and Vietnam, just to remind some, where dozens thousands, if not hundreds thousands lives disappeared, while someone had been maintaining peace in Europe. And what about Africa that lost millions meanwhile?

Tell anything you want: being the President of the most powerful country of the world, you apparently have no need to think.

Though, since last year the economy of your country became the second largest; world is steadily slipping out from the still global, yet already holey sphere of your influence. Isn't it a good reason to start thinking?

Everything has its reason. Do not forget that the current troubles with Al-Qaeda started way back, with the US support of Afghani mujahedeens. It was when the USA intervened into the Soviet (or, for the matter, Russian) sphere of influence. Not only did it lead to extra bloodshed; it produced the results you are bravely, yet without radical success fighting with now.

It's not too late, Mr. Obama, the world is still here, alive, albeit seriously ill. But to find a proper medicine you need to understand one simple (and, evidently, at the same time pretty complex) thing: it's neither Ebola nor Russia that are major threats. At present Earth gives place to various civilizations, and the Western one, once firmly based on Christianity values, is losing its positions. And the world around is not waiting for the American style democracy to be delivered; people sometimes prefer to go their own ways, and sometimes it's way better for them and for the rest.

Come on, people, start thinking.

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