We got early warning. On March 6 2009, newly-minted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, a “Reset” button, meant to symbolize a reset of US-Russian relations.
The actual button was mounted on a small platform which had “RESET” and what was supposed to be Russian for “RESET” printed on it. The problems here are two. First, the Russian version wasn’t even printed in Russian (Cyrillic) but in an Anglo-phonetic, “PEREGRUZKA,” which doesn’t mean “reset,” rather “overcharge.” Russian for “reset” is сброс, and is pronounced “sbros.” It would appear, for all the world to see (this event was a photo op, telecast worldwide), that the United States Department of State has no Russian-speakers. Pathetic.
State Department’s next noteworthy event was the total debacle of Benghazi, which they attributed to a video. So while Secretary Clinton started out her tenure at State as the Junior Senator from New York, she ended it as Mrs Bill Clinton – lying to the American people (including to the faces of the families of the fallen as they received their loved ones’ remains at Andrews AFB).
That sort of sums up the administration of Barack Obama – beginning full of promise (“the most open and transparent presidency in American history”), and finishing up as most deceitful (“if you like your insurance policy, you can keep it”). But most importantly – most profoundly – the most inept at foreign policy in American history. Like George W Bush, who looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and could “see his soul,” Barack Obama thought he could “reset” relations with a Russia who had been ravaged by history (it’s own, as well as the world’s) for centuries. President Obama’s faith in the sound of his own voice is monumental. That is coupled with a pathological belief that for America to be the world’s most powerful nation is, well, unfair. And he has been systematically dismantling the instruments of our influence in the world – our economy, our military, our vast oil and gas reserves. Our very credibility. In five short years, he has undone over two hundred years of American voracity and dependability to our allies and American resistance and steadfastness to our adversaries. No one believes what the United States of American says anymore.
Israel, our most stalwart ally in the most dangerous region of the world, has come to believe that the United States cannot be counted on to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. The Europeans were aghast when President Obama set a “red line” that Bashar Assad should not cross, and then did nothing when he did – actually, he did worse than nothing, he handed leadership in the Middle East to Russia. PRC is threatening separate islands administered by ROK and Japan, and Vladimir Putin has assumed Crimea much as Saddam Hussein claimed Kuwait as Iraq’s 19th province. Welcome to the world without American leadership, and this is only the beginning.