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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McFaul Learns what “Reset” Really Means

Over on the massive Pajamas Media megablog, LR publisher and founder reports the breaking news that U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul has resigned.  McFaul, the architect of the U.S. “reset” with Russia, has now himself been reset. His policy of appeasement was a miserable failure both in terms of delivering Russian good conduct and in defending American values, so as with most things Obama and Russia the U.S.A. got the worst of all possible worlds. To top things off, Vladimir Zhirinovsky announced he was sad to see McFaul go, sure and certain proof it’s a good thing.

Stark Humiliation for Michael McFaul in Russia

5103-p-03-ngosOn March 27, 2013, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (pictured above) published a blog item on Russia Beyond the Headlines, a website bought and paid for by the Russian Kremlin to disseminate propaganda to the West. The item was headlined “Experience the U.S. for Yourself” and boldly declared:

Almost one year ago today, I was celebrating the selection of the U.S. as the “dream country” according to an online poll of Russian travelers conducted by respected travel web site In the year since that announcement, the U.S. Embassy, especially our U.S. Commercial Service and Consular Section, has worked hard to ensure that more Russians have the opportunity to experience the U.S. first-hand.

Just one week later, he had egg on his face that it would take a bulldozer to remove. On April 4, 2013, the Moscow Times reported:

Without warning or explanation, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has rejected an unprecedented percentage of Russian university students applying for visas to take part in the State Department’s popular Summer Work and Travel program this year, dashing hopes and placing the program’s future in doubt. About 80-90 percent of the estimated 1,000 applicants who have applied for visas in Moscow since mid-March have received a green rejection slip, according to five Russian agencies that arrange the interviews. Last year, the number was 35-40 percent, they said, and more than 6,300 in all were approved.

The U.S. Embassy refused to comment.

This incident is just the most sensational example of a Russia policy that stands in ruins because of the stark incompetence of McFaul and his boss, Barack Obama.   They began with a “reset” policy that ignored horrific Russian human rights violations in pursuit of vainglorious appeasement, and then were humiliated when the U.S. Congress forced them to accept the Magnitsky Law banning dozens of Russian government figures from U.S. shores because of crimes against humanity.

Now, McFaul stands humiliated before the world, hoist with the petard of his own words. This man clearly has no idea what he is doing and should never have been appointed, just as Obama should never have been elected.

Russia and its Icepick

There is only one real truth about Russia:  If you try to befriend it, Russia will stick an ice pick in your back when you are not looking.

Barack Obama and Michael McFaul learned that lesson recently when, despite their “reset” policy followed by four years of Chamberlain-style appeasement, Russia booted USAID out of the country, falsely accusing it of seeking to rig Russian elections.

It was an epic humiliation for Obama and McFaul, who previously have watched slack-jawed as Putin and Russia, despite their unilateral concessions on issues like missile defense and their feckless betrayal of the forces of democracy in Russia, have sided with every anti-U.S. dictatorship throughout the Middle East, from Egypt to Syria.  Russia has staunchly defended each and every one of the, up to and including the maniacal regime in Iran, from U.S.-led international pressure to be democratic, exactly what Obama claimed the reset would avoid.

And now Russia has spit in the face of Obama and McFaul by liquidating the primary engine of American philanthropy in Russia, without warning or reason, in simple knee-jerk display of anti-American hatred.  It has made clear that it intends to launch a whole new round of neo-Soviet crackdowns, and that Obama and McFaul have been suckered the exact same way Hitler suckered Chamberlain.

Fortunately for Americans, they will soon have the opportunity to show Obama and McFaul the way to the exits, and the ash heap of history. Unfortunately for Russians, they face a Putin who will be “president” for life, in the manner of Stalin and Brezhnev, and misguided U.S. policy has contributed mightily to that costly hardship.

The Failed Policies of Obama and McFaul send Navalny to Siberia

Over on Pajamas Media, Kim Zigfeld explains how the totally failed policies of Barack Obama and Michael McFaul have led to the prosecution of leading opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, who is now facing exactly the same fate as Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the last man who tried to directly challenge Putin for power.

Who Does Barack Obama think he’s Fooling?

On June 30th, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted about a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and what McFaul called “civil society” at the U.S. Consul General’s office in St. Petersburg.  He linked to a press release from the U.S. Department of State about the event.

If you read the link, you will be quite confused.  Not only is not one single name of any person who is a member of “civil society” mentioned, but there is no clue about what they said to Clinton, or what Clinton said to them, or their reactions afterwards, much less is there the slightest hint about what the U.S. government is prepared to do to help them accomplish their mission.

And if you go out surfing the Internet, good luck trying to find any public comments made by either McFaul or Clinton about the meeting in the press.

It’s almost as if McFaul and Clinton are trying to hide the fact that this meeting is taking place, so as not to offend the Russians. Yet at the same time, they feel the need to try to dupe the friends of democracy into believing that they are taking action to oppose the horrifying specter of rising dictatorship and aggression in Russia.

Who does Barack Obama think he’s fooling?  Does he really think that empty, meaningless propaganda gestures like these could possibly fool anyone?

Then again, he got elected once. Who’s to say he’s not right.

McFaul Highlights Russian Self-Destruction

Writing on Foreign Policy, Russia scholar Leon Aron takes Russia to task for brutally “tormenting” the new American Ambassador, Michael McFaul.

Even though Aron is wrong to fail to acknowledge he has not one but two fatal biases when writing about McFaul (he admits McFaul is a personal friend but doesn’t stop to wonder whether he can write objectively about him, and he himself is an academic like McFaul and therefore has a vested interest in arguing that academics can be successful diplomats), and even though Aron’s piece is utterly one-sided (it doesn’t contain a single word of criticism of McFaul’s policy or of the Obama administration where Russia is concerned), the article still contains an important truth about McFaul and Russia.

McFaul is one of the best friends the Kremlin ever had.  He is aggressively seeking to rationalize the “reset” policy he helped to engineer, dealing with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as if he were just another world leader and not a proud KGB spy bent on American destruction.  He is faithfully carrying out the partisan agenda of his lord and master Barack Obama, whose goal is to make Americans believe he has turned Russia from a dangerous enemy into a friend and thereby win votes in November. Yet Russians can’t see this.  Ruled by a proud KGB spy and seething with contempt for America and her values, Russians simply can’t help but view every move McFaul makes through their crazy, paranoid lenses, and they can’t help attacking anything they perceive as different.  McFaul holds out a hand of friendship, and the Russians bite it off.

It’s just too bad that, undoubtedly because of his biases, Aron doesn’t follow this truth to where it should lead him:  Obama and McFaul have promised us over and over again, using their promises to justify their policy, that Russia would not act this way.  They’ve promised us that Russia doesn’t hate and want to destroy us, that Russia is a reasonable country that, if treated reasonable, can be our partner.

But the Kremlin’s treatment of McFaul shows this is a lie.  Russians hate Americans and their values, and any other view of Russia is just wishful thinking, the kind that Neville Chamberlain liked to engage in.  Just as Obama and McFaul lied to us when they told us Dmitri Medvedev was a real political force in Russia, rather than a sham figurehead, they are lying to us when they tell us Russia can be trusted, can be brought around by their “reset.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The reset policy is only seen by the Kremlin as a sign of weakness and an invitation to exploitation.

McFaul’s approach to Russia has proven an absolute failure. Russia has opposed American policy throughout the Arab world despite America’s unilateral withdrawal of missile defense in Eastern Europe. Medvedev has admitted his presidency was sham, and Putin has rolled back to power as president for life on Obama’s watch.  Putin’s blitzkrieg on American values within Russia has continued unabated while Obama and McFaul turn a blind eye, and America has lost he moral high ground it used to hold where such issues are concerned.

Michael McFaul Jumps the Shark

Over on the American Thinker, Kim Zigfeld delves into ever more pathetic performance of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul.  The Ambassador goes on repeating the Obama reelection propaganda about “reset” even as he comes under brutal attack from the Russian nationalists, and he creeps around Moscow having secret meetings with opposition leaders when he should be meeting with and supporting them openly.  The only “policy” the U.S. has towards Russia is to get everybody to stop criticizing Russia and making the “reset” look like a pathetic fraud until Obama has his reelection in the bag. Yikes.

Obama as Enemy of American Values

On American Thinker, Kim Zigfeld pulverizes Barack Obama and his Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul for their craven support of   the Putin regime, which has helped Putin become president for life.  On a Washington Post blog, Jennifer Rubin points out that Obama’s government actually congratulated Putin on his “victory.” It’s a new low in American history.  And on Pajamas Media, Kim puts the hurt on the Western mass media for its repugnant misreporting on the opposition movement, exposed by the dominating return to power of Vladimir Putin. She explains that their desire to help Obama look good is part of the reason for their mis-reporting.

Obama’s response to Russian human rights atrocities in Syria, where it is helping to murder women and children by the hundred, and Russian human rights atrocities at home, where it has just conducted a rigged election and anointed a proud KGB spy as president for life, has been truly shocking and outrageous. Instead of condemning these Russian atrocities, Obama responded by rewarding Russia by promising to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which was passed to punish the USSR for its own similar human rights atrocities.

America stands without moral leadership, helmed by a figure similar to Neville Chamberlain who will sell out American values to her enemies in the hopeless search for appeasement.

Michael McFaul is an Obama-Sized Idiot

“All in the open, all the time. Secrets only reinforce stereotypes. Cold war over long ago. Our time to do differently.”

That was one of the first tweets by America’s new ambassador to Russian Kremlin, Michael McFaul. Just before that, he’d tweeted: “This is going to be fun.”

One has to wonder what news sources McFaul has been reading, if any.

Not his own country’s official mouthpiece, the Voice of America, surely. If he’d read that, he’d know that Russia was threatening war with the United States if the latter dared to send any troops to Russia’s bosom pal, Syria.

Nor the Washington Post, which reported that Russia was making similar threats in the event of any military incursion into Iran, Russia’s other bestie in the region.

Also not perusing Time magazine, which revealed that the Kremlin was accusing the U.S. of shooting down peaceful Russian spacecraft, just for spite apparently.

In fact, the news virtually overflows with conclusive proof that the cold war is far from over. Russia is ruled by a proud KGB spy who spent his life learning how to hate and destroy America. He is rehabilitating Stalin, he is restoring the Soviet national anthem, and he is engaged in an all-out assault on American values. He is massively increasing Russia’s military budget and aggressively seeking to reestablish the Soviet empire.

In fact, the only one who doesn’t know the cold war is still being waged is Barack Obama, whose propaganda line McFaul is eager to reiterate to anyone stupid enough to listen. Talk about an ugly American!