While Obama didn’t say that Russia is a small and weak superpower in a single sentence, which would have immediately raised questions about his mental condition, he clearly demonstrated a break with logic and difficulties with making up his mind on Russia’s status and role in the world.
On the one hand, he has repeated on numerous occasions, including this Friday, that Russia is a weak country that is of little interest to anyone else in the world:
“The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.”
While on the other hand, just a month ago, he said something completely different during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin:
“Russia is an important country. It is a military superpower. It has influence in the region and it has influence around the world. And in order for us to solve many big problems around the world, it is in our interest to work with Russia and obtain their cooperation.”
So which one is it, Mr. President?
If the two of his latest thoughts on Russia are combined, the view can be summarized as such: Russia is a small and weak superpower that doesn’t produce anything but somehow maintains strong influence around the world and is even capable of changing the outcome of elections in the greatest and most powerful nation on earth.
Clearly, the man is confused and not making any sense.
Obama needs to make up his mind. Either Russia is a weak and pathetic country with no influence, in which case it can’t have the capacity to interfere in the elections of what Obama has himself described as the exceptional and indispensable nation on earth, or, Russia is in fact a superpower with millions of followers around the world and the ability to influence events on a global scale.
If Obama sticks to the ‘Russia is weak’ narrative, then he must also acknowledge that the United States is a banana republic, incapable of protecting its own electoral system from such a minuscule threat.
If, however, he choses to go with the ‘Russia is a superpower’ narrative, he will also have to come to terms with the fact that the US is no longer the world’s hegemon, and that Russia must be approached with respect, on an equal partner basis.
The choice is a difficult one, however, his current plan of combining the two and essentially calling Russia a ‘weak superpower’ is so utterly ridiculous that it raises questions about his intelligence, adding more doubt to what is already shaping up to be a very somber presidential legacy.