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In Facebook post Russian Prime Minister Medvedev bids bitter farewell to Obama, damning him with no praise

In scathing final assessment Russian Prime Minister Medvedev accuses former US President Obama of wrecking US-Russian relations by paying no heed to Russian concerns and by underestimating Russia.

Alexander Mercouris

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Observing Russian practice, Russian President Putin has been careful to avoid making any personal comments about Barack Obama, now no longer President of the United States.

I would add that it is a courtesy that was not reciprocated.  Obama on occasion personally, and his officials frequently – including especially Vice-President Biden – spoke of Putin, and did so in the most offensive terms.

It has therefore been left to Prime Minister Medvedev to sum up the Russian government’s view of Obama and his administration in – of all places – a Facebook post.

The administration of US President Barack Obama has come to a close and the results are decidedly mixed. I would like to give my assessment of Russia-US relations during this period, especially since I was directly involved in many events.

On the one hand, Russia and the United States managed to work together to resolve a number of major international problems. Our countries signed a nuclear weapons reduction treaty, and Russia and the United States played a leading role in resolving the controversy surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme. We achieved the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. These outcomes are important for the entire world.

On the other hand, US-Russia relations completely fell apart by the end of the second term of the Obama administration. Everyone is aware that the United States has always tried to” steer” almost all global processes, brazenly interfering in the internal affairs of various countries and waging multiple wars on foreign soil. Iraq, the Arab Spring, Ukraine, and Syria are just a few examples of such reckless policies in recent years. We can still see their consequences, which range from the complete collapse of the political systems in these countries to wars which claimed tens of thousands of lives.

There is only one explanation for such actions: the interests of the United States. An explanation which is entirely defensible in America itself, though much less so in other countries.
But the real issue lies elsewhere– the failure to understand one’ s own true interests.

The Obama administration was completely short-sighted on such an important and complex issue as relations with Russia. There was hope that it would be smarter, more circumspect, and more responsible– despite differing assessments of complex international processes, varying approaches to key decisions, the role of emotion and the pressure exerted by various political forces. The most important thing was to remember that Russia is not a banana republic (even though equal dialogue is a must with all members of the international community).

It is unacceptable to talk to a country which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council in such a manner. A country with defensive capabilities equal to the United States. It is important to remember that Russia-US relations, without exaggeration, determine the fate of major international initiatives. Often, we may like or dislike some of the policies of our key partners, but we must be aware of our common responsibility. This is something that the Obama administration failed to do.

The pressure on our country has reached unprecedented proportions. Ill-considered economic sanctions, which did no one any good, have reduced our cooperation to zero. There were the ridiculous individual sanctions that nobody paid attention to. And it doesn’t get any dumber than restricting entry to the United States for the leadership of the Russian parliament, ministers, and businessmen, thus deliberately reducing the possibility of full-fledged contacts and closing the window to cooperation. The bet was on brute force and sheer pressure. It is impossible to imagine such actions even during the Cuban missile crisis, even though the situation was much more serious then…

Who benefited from this? No one. Certainly not the United States. It didn’ t work.

Conclusion: The Obama administration has destroyed relations between the United States and Russia, which are at their lowest point in decades. This is its key foreign policy mistake which will be remembered by history.

We do not know yet how the new US administration will approach relations with our country. But we are hoping that reason will prevail. And we are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship.

Medvedev’s claim that the level of bitterness and acrimony in US-Russian relations has come to exceed the worst levels of the Cold War (the Cuban missile crisis) is absolutely true.

His criticism of the “ridiculous individual sanctions that nobody paid attention to” is also true.  Not only do the individuals in question have no assets in the US or EU for the sanctions to bite on, but as Medvedev correctly says restricting travel and contacts at the highest levels of the US and Russian governments makes no sense.

I would add that nothing like that happened during the Cold War, when the whole impetus of US and Western policy was to increase contacts with the Russians – and to persuade Russian leaders to travel more, not less, outside their country – rather than reduce them.

Obama, if he reads Medvedev’s post (which is doubtful) will find a particular cause for bitterness in it.  One of the major objectives he set himself during the period of the so-called Reset was to foster “reform” (ie. pro-US) policies in Russia by trying to play Medvedev (supposedly a pro-Western liberal) and Putin off against each other.  He even sent Vice-President Biden to Russia to threaten Putin not to stand for President in 2012, so that Medvedev could continue as President.

The whole idea of playing Medvedev off against Putin was doomed from the start.  Not only is Medvedev personally loyal to Putin, but quite simply he doesn’t have the support in Russia to go against Putin even if he wanted to.  As Medvedev’s Facebook post shows, the whole idea that Medvedev is more pro American than Putin – though widely held – is anyway wrong.

In any event, all Obama’s foolish meddling in the relationship between Putin and Medvedev actually achieved was to antagonise Putin unnecessarily whilst undermining Medvedev’s standing in Russia.  That may explain some of the bitterness in Medvedev’s words about him in the Facebook post.

In truth, as Medvedev’s words say, the underlying cause of the breakdown in relations between the US and Russia during Obama’s second term – which has cast a pall of failure over Obama’s whole Presidency – is that Obama was both disastrously ill-informed about Russia (and was fundamentally uninterested in learning more about it) and completely underestimated it.  Medvedev sums it up well

The most important thing was to remember that Russia is not a banana republic (even though equal dialogue is a must with all members of the international community).

It is unacceptable to talk to a country which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council in such a manner. A country with defensive capabilities equal to the United States. It is important to remember that Russia-US relations, without exaggeration, determine the fate of major international initiatives. Often, we may like or dislike some of the policies of our key partners, but we must be aware of our common responsibility. This is something that the Obama administration failed to do.

As Obama’s Presidency recedes into the past, the accuracy of this assessment will become ever more apparent.

 

 

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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