The typical pettiness and vengefulness of the Obama administration was at full display with yesterday’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closing of two Russian estates in New York and Maryland.
Obama also sanctioned the Russian external intelligence service FSB and the military intelligence service GRU as well as some of its leaders for doing their job.
The move was ostensibly over alleged but completely unproven Russian “hacking” to influence the U.S. election. But the real reason is likely Obama’s loss of face after being left out of the successful negotiations of a new ceasefire in Syria.
True to form the Russian government responded with high-class trolling and generosity.
The first move came through the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom. It tweeted about the current status of the Obama administration:
The tweet gained so far more then 17,000 retweets and 19,000+ likes – certainly a “best of the year” candidate.
In response leaks and speculations appeared in the U.S. aligned media about the bad, bad Russian responses to Obama’s moves.
CNN claimed that Russia would close the American school in Moscow:
The nonprofit day school, which enrolls international students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, will be closed along with the U.S. Embassy vacation dacha in Serebryany Bor on the outskirts of Moscow, according to a CNN report.
Then BBC and others said that Russia would expel 35 U.S. diplomats and spies.
But showing real greatness is not about hitting back in kind. The Russian President Putin (again) outclassed Obama with this response:
Putin decides not to expel US diplomats from Russia
MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision not to expel any US diplomats from Russia in retaliation for Washington’s latest sanctions against Moscow.
Putin also said that Russia would not prevent the families and children (of diplomats) from using the customary rest and leisure facilities and sites during the New Year holidays.
“Moreover, I am inviting all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas parties in the Kremlin,” Putin said.
The Russian compounds in Maryland and New York Obama closed are used for vacations of Russian kids in the U.S.
Putin’s counter is using his opponent’s moment of inertia to bring him to fall. A classic judoka move by a high master of the art.
“We reserve the right to take retaliatory measures but we will not stoop to the level of the so-called kitchen diplomacy, so we will take further steps to restore Russia-US relations taking into account the Trump administration’s policy,” Putin said.
Ouch. The “lame duck” tweet must have already hit Obama, but this is so far out that Obama has no chance to ever catch up.
The foreign policy of two Obama administrations has been a terrible mess. Think about his big initiatives and the results at the end of his rule:
“Reset” with Russia: FAILED
Negotiations with Iran: Somewhat succeeded but not institutionalized and in high danger of being reversed
“Pivot” to Asia: FAILED
TTP and TTIP trade pacts: FAILED:
New Middle-East peace initiative: FAILED
Regime change in Ukraine: Somewhat succeeded by ended in a huge fascist mess
Regime change in Libya: Somewhat succeeded by ended in a huge terrorist haven mess
Regime change in Syria: FAILED
About the only thing Obama achieved in foreign policy was to keep the European poodles in line. An easy task due to the lack of good European politicians. He had no chance though against the great and gracious opponent Putin can be.
Putin’s high class move today set the tombstone over a presidency history will judge far worse than its contemporary media echos reflect.