(NationalSecurity.news) They say if looks could kill…
As reported by the New York Post this morning, President Obama – on his final taxpayer-supported ‘close-out tour’ of the world before leaving office – met up with some world leaders in Peru over the weekend. One of them was Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In describing the encounter between Obama and Putin, the Post took the long way around to avoid the obvious: Putin has zero respect for Obama and never has had any.
This greeting was as warm as winter in Siberia.
Both men have good reason to be icy with each other.
Obama is likely still smarting from the humiliating ballot-box defeat his party suffered two weeks ago in the presidential election, when Donald Trump — an open admirer of Putin — pulled off a stunning upset.
Obama might also could be miffed that suspected Russian hackers exposed embarrassing confidential e-mails between Democratic bigwigs, which political observers say helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Russia also has angered the Obama administration by taking sides in the Syrian civil war, aiding despot President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, Putin must still be stewing over the continued US sanctions against his country, which were payback for Moscow’s incursion into Ukraine and have crippled his nation’s economy.
There is likely some truth to most of this – the Russians didn’t hack the Democratic Party or the Hillary Clinton campaign – but the most obvious answer to Putin’s behavior is simply that he doesn’t respect Obama.
Oh, the Russian leader has to respect the military and economic power of the United States. And what world leader wouldn’t want the kind of power projection our nation possesses?
But in terms of whether or not he believes Obama personally to be a worthy adversary, it’s crystal clear to any honest observer that Putin doesn’t.
And he very likely would have had even less respect for Clinton, had she won the election. Worse for America, Putin would have had her over a barrel from the outset because while Russia wasn’t the source of the political hacks, even the FBI believes that her home-brew email server was hacked multiple times by foreign powers (which would include the Kremlin).
As for his current mutual admiration and respect for Trump, that could vanish in an instant, depending on what foreign policies he will pursue. But already Trump starts on a better footing than Clinton would have, and in a better place than the Obama administration ever had. (Remember the famous Clinton-Russia “reset button” moment? What great power foreign leader wouldn’t have found that stunt juvenile and laughable? They couldn’t even get the word right.)
In what is likely the last Obama-Putin meeting of the former’s presidency, it’s quite clear what the Russian leader really thinks of Obama – not much.
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