While President Obama was in Seoul on Monday, he made some interesting comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that were not supposed to be recorded. His comments demonstrate the lack of honesty he shows toward the American people, as well as his administration’s continuing incompetence when it comes to dealing with foreign affairs.
Below is the actual text of the conversation that was caught on a hot mic:
President Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [Putin] 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.”
Pretty creepy right?
First of all, this shows clearly how President Obama is concerned mainly about his reelection above all else. Rather than engaging in foreign affairs in a way most beneficial to American interests, Obama does so in the way he believes most beneficial to his domestic political strategy. This is a sad and frankly disturbing testimony to this presidency as being more concerned about politics than the array of challenges that wait to be confronted at the international level.
More than this, these statements beg the question as to what exactly President Obama means by “more flexibility” as he puts it? It seems as though Obama, if given a second term, will be willing to take action on international relations that would be too dangerous for him domestically during an election year. In other words, apparently he is willing to sell out American interests in favor of the Russians, but is only willing to take this bold step after his reelection has been secured.
These statements did not ruffle Medvedev, as he seemed to know what President Obama was saying as if it were old news. Medvedev seems to understand that the President needs his “space” right now, and after the election things will be better. But better for who, exactly? Obviously, better for the Russians, and other rivals the Obama administration wishes to appease. In any case, the “flexibility” Obama will have after his reelection will not be good for the United States or our allies, but quite the opposite.
Besides the disturbing thought of what President Obama would do with more flexibility (can we just call this unaccountability to the American people?), these types of statements are detrimental to the image of American strength around the world. Obviously, the Russians see the weakness of this administration concerning the missile defense system, but what about other international problems? How are potential adversaries such as Iran and China going to know when President Obama is just bluffing for domestic political gain, or when he is serious? Moreover, how will our allies know whether the administration is committed to the common problems we face, or just paying lip service to important international challenges to appease them until after the election?
Perhaps the most important audience who will now wonder where President Obama really stands on issues of foreign policy is the American people. How can we possibly know if the President means what he says about the Iranian nuclear threat, Israeli security, deterrence of an attack against the European continent, or any other challenge facing the US or our allies around the world? Perhaps this is Obama’s plan: Keep the American people in the dark long enough to make them irrelevant, then we can really get down to business.
One has to ask what else President Obama has in store for the American people if he is given more “flexibility.” If this isn’t a wakeup call, I don’t know what is.