Cleaning up McFaul’s Mess

For the first time since Barack Obama entered the White House, America finally has a competent and qualified ambassador to Russia in Mr. John Tefft, a tough and seasoned defender of American values in Eastern Europe.  Obama’s first two choices for the job, John Beryl and Michael McFaul, left our Russia policy a smoking ruin, a horrific mess for Tefft to start cleaning up.

“Russia is part of the European culture. And I cannot imagine my own country in isolation from Europe and what we often call the civilised world. So it is hard for me to visualise NATO as an enemy. I think even posing the question this way will not do any good to Russia or the world.”

Those were the words of Russian “president” Vladimir Putin to BBC interviewer David Frost back in March 2000, just as Putin first took the formal reins of power.  Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul recently tweeted them (sloppily without linking to the source material) as if for the purpose of showing that his “reset” policy towards Russia was not nearly as insane when it was implemented as it now appears.

The question Putin was referring to was: “Do you see NATO as a potential partner, or a rival or an enemy?”  In order to believe that Putin might not see NATO as an enemy, one had to disregard Putin’s entire life history and all of his actions since joining the administration of Boris Yeltsin in Moscow precisely three years before the Frost interview.

And that, incredibly, was exactly what Michael McFaul was prepared to do when he assumed office in December 2011. It was one of the lowest moments in U.S. diplomatic history, following on the heels of Hillary Clinton’s humiliating use of a “reset button” physical prop to announce the policy that was incorrectly labeled in Russian.

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Buchanan and Paul, Ugliest of Americans

Over on the massive Pajamas Media megablog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld rips into the deviant feral lunatics known as Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, who give new meaning to the phrase “right wing nutjob.”  This pair of malignant Putin appeasers are America’s answer to Neville Chamberlain, and it makes us sick even to write their names.

Is Ukraine Putin’s Vietnam?

Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld documents Vladimir Putin’s escalation of the crisis in Ukraine as he invites the world to consider World War III.  Russia’s naked, shameless, bloodthirsty aggression comes on the heels of similar moves against Georgia, and leaves Russia an isolated pariah, viewed by the world as another North Korea, Syria or Cuba.  Is Putin leading his nation down the road to Russia’s Vietnam?

Mark Adomanis, Wiggling and Squirming

It’s a telling commentary on how far and how fast Vladimir Putin has has fallen that even hardcore Putin apologists like Mark Adomanis are now scurrying to abandon him in order to save their own reputations.

In a recent op-ed for the Moscow Times, Adomanis concedes that the European Union’s cutting Russia off from investment cash will deal a devastating blow to the Russian economy.  He admits that even as Russia’s economy grinds to a screeching halt, the EU’s action will choke off the lifeblood of the economy, making borrowing vastly more expensive and therefore unattainable to many small businesses. He admits that the Russian finance sector is “largely at a standstill already,” before the new round of sanctions have even taken effect. The obvious result is recession.

Adomanis mocks Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who actually claims with a straight face that massive worldwide economic sanction are a good thing for Russia.  It’s a neo-Soviet jaw-dropper if ever there was one.

But Adomanis also feels compelled to write this in the second paragraph of his piece:  “It is possible, of course, that the Europeans will lose their nerve.”  That’s wishful thinking, and smells of desperation.  Adomanis has been writing for years that the EU would not be capable of imposing sanctions like those he now sees before him, most particularly because Russia’s fossil fuel might would prevent it.  Now, the utter frivolousness of Adomanis’s prior views have been exposed for all the world to see.

Indeed, conspicuous by its absence is any effort at all from Adomanis to confront his prior bogus analysis of Russia.  His claims about the strength of the Russian economy have been proved totally false, just as his claims about the impotence of the West have been. And most importantly, for years Adomanis has done what he could to provide cover to Putin as he consolidated his malignant regime in Russia, claiming and implying that Putin was not the evil force that Republicans like Mitt Romney claimed.

Adomanis smugly mocked Republicans like Romney and Palin, who correctly predicted Russia’s incursion into Ukraine while Adomanis did not, in a supremely juvenile and immature fashion. He’s now trying desperately to walk it all back and jump on the bandwagon driven by Romney and Palin, but it’s much too late. Adomanis has no credibility left, as the entire Russophile community does not. Putin has pulled the rug out from under them, and all they can do is fall.