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Romney got it right on Putin and Obama

Friday, 13 September, 2013

Mr Putin on the smile “Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s ‘No. 1 geopolitical foe.’ His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender.” So thundered the New York Times on 28 March last year. The cause of its outrage was a piece that the Republican presidential candidate had written for Foreign Policy magazine titled Bowing to the Kremlin. Romney’s summation of Obama’s Russia strategy was devastating:

“Unfortunately, what they are getting is a sad replay of Jimmy Carter’s bungling at a moment when the United States needs the backbone and courage of a Ronald Reagan. In his dealings with the Kremlin, as in his dealings with the rest of the world, President Obama has demonstrated breathtaking weakness — and given the word ‘flexibility’ a new and ominous meaning.”

And so it has come to pass. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” says Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. President Obama now finds himself in a position where he must depend on the kindness of strangers, like Vladimir Putin. But that strategy didn’t work out very well for Blanche DuBois.


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