Even if Russia wasn’t getting everything they wanted, they still wouldn’t actively support Obama’s agenda in the Middle East: it’s not in Russia’s interests to do so. Russia profits mightily in Syria and Iran both by selling weapons and by seeing the value of its oil reserves soar as commodity markets fret over the instability Russia foments in the region. What’s more — in case Obama and McFaul have forgotten — Russia is ruled by a proud KGB spy about to become “president for life” who spent his entire career learning how to hate and destroy the U.S. Helping the U.S. advance its foreign policy in the Middle East simply isn’t consistent with Putin’s worldview.
The Kremlin’s forces have been quite clear in warning the U.S. that it better not elect a Republican in November, lest it face global war, both hot and cold, from Russia. Former Kremlin insider Andranik Migranyan was particularly blunt about McFaul, accusing him of making a “costly mistake” in paying lip service to the opposition — slavish obedience is the only thing the Kremlin will tolerate:
[McFaul] now will have to devote effort to smoothing over his mistake, just as Obama did when he put forward some unpalatable claims about Prime Minister Putin before his first official visit to Moscow. Then he had to lavish upon the man plenty of compliments once he arrived to limit the damage caused by his clumsy behavior.
Make no mistake — Obama will do it. He is using McFaul’s reputation to camouflage a policy of appeasement. Meanwhile, the Kremlin will continue — with Obama’s assistance — to obliterate American values in Russia. Kremlin-funded propaganda network Russia Today trumpeted the words of nationalist parliamentarian Vladimir Zhirinovsky as he warned that any member of parliament who met with McFaul would be ostracized from the body. Putin is likewise snuffing out entrepreneurship in business, while Medvedev, with Obama’s blessing, feels free to repeatedly ignore the meeting of his own human rights panel.
Obama has brought America the perfect storm, the worst of all possible worlds. We are seen as betraying the friends of democracy and capitalism in Russia, as supporting the return of Soviet-style repression. We suffer the consequences of dealing with yet another dictatorship, rather than a democracy where we know the rules of the game. And at the same time, we haven’t seen any significant enhancement of Russian support for our foreign policy; to the contrary, we find ourselves openly threatened with war in the Middle East.
I guess I’m “crazy,” but to me it seems like the most essential regime change where Russia is concerned must happen in Washington, D.C.