You can be forgiven for not having heard about it, because the forum where the announcement was made was fairly obscure by global standards. But U.S. President Barack Obama intends to abolish the G-8.
He’s decided that 12 additional countries should be brought into the group, expanding its membership to 20 and significantly diluting America’s voice on the council. American enemies around the world, of course, are cheering. Maybe if they play nice, Iran and Venezuela will get seats at the new big table.
Obama made the announcement during a touchy-feely interview with the RTR television network — which is owned and operated lock, stock, and assassin’s gun barrel by the Kremlin. The network chose journalist Sergey Brilev to conduct the interview, an odd choice as Brilev is ostensibly a Latin America specialist, though he has previously interviewed George Bush and Condi Rice. (Note Brilev’s 2006 interview with CNN — when asked whether he covered the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, and how Russian journalists could do a better job of reporting critical facts about the Kremlin, Brilev responded with classic, incomprehensible Soviet doubletalk.)
Obama set the stage for his announcement regarding the G-8 by offering gratuitous, unqualified praise of his Russian counterpart:
I’ve been very impressed with President [Dmitri] Medvedev. I think he is a strong leader, a good man, very thoughtful. I find it very easy to do business with him, and I think we’ve established a relationship, a real trust that can hopefully be bearing fruit in the negotiations and conversations that we have in the years to come.
This remark sounded eerily like the comment made by George W. Bush about then-president of Russia Vladimir Putin: Bush remarked that he had looked into Putin’s eyes, been able to glimpse his soul, and found him trustworthy. Before long, Russian tanks were rolling into Georgia.
Now, perhaps we can look forward to seeing them in Ukraine as well.
Virtually the entire planet views the Putin regime with extreme distrust, and Putin has just been named one of the world’s worst predators of the press, but apparently Obama believes he alone (save for George Bush) can see the Kremlin’s true soul.
Obama is so pleased with Medvedev because the Russian leader has assisted Obama in creating a nuclear arms treaty that Obama can, by lying about it, use for domestic political purposes. Russia scholar Dimitri Simes of the Nixon Center has written that “the facts are quite different” than Obama would like to have the world believe — and ominously warned that Obama’s conduct in negotiating it “evokes strong echoes of history.”
But Obama cares little about real-world security concerns or the fate of democracy within Russia. He’s so delighted with his Russian accomplice that he wants to pay him off by abolishing the G-8 and creating a UN-style forum — in a hypothetical G-20, the U.S. voice would be diluted while Russia would have a chance to significantly increase its influence.
Obama is fully prepared to turn a blind eye as Putin, Medvedev’s puppet master, constructs a neo-Soviet state devoid of opposition parties, critical media, and local government. Obama is also ready to concede to Russia its former slave states of Ukraine and Georgia, so long as the Russians permit him to make it appear he is making foreign policy “progress” on the larger stage.
Not once during his entire interview with Brilev did Obama pause to mention issues regarding the territorial integrity of Eastern Europe, or the preservation of an at least vestigial democracy in Russia. There is no reason for Putin not to think he has a willing patsy in the White House. He has a free hand both at home and in Russia’s near abroad to create a new generation of neo-Soviet horror.
Obama does not read Russian, so it’s likely he will never know that in Medvedev’s most recent press statement he asserted that he did not rule out Russia needing to fight World War III and intended to prepare his nation for just such a confrontation.
And while American troops, at Obama’s order, march through Red Square to celebrate Russia’s victory over Hitler, Medvedev is celebrating in his own manner: by decorating city buses with huge images of a beaming Josef Stalin.