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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Little R-S-P-E-C-T": Does Obama Wear Mom Jeans? Does Putin Inject Botox? Does Dowd Inject Botox?

Okay, America's president seems to have difficulty spelling without a teleprompter, but does Obama wear mom jeans? Does Putin inject Botox into his forehead? Does Dowd inject Botox into her forehead? These and other momentous questions are raised by Maureen Dowd's latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Little R-S-P-E-C-T" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/dowd-little-r-s-p-e-c-t.html?ref=maureendowd&_r=0) and the picture accompanying her column. Concerning Obama's feeble response to Putin's invasion of the Ukraine and the mom jeans issue, Dowd writes:

"Sarah Palin, who seems ever more viperish, deployed her Yoda syntax with Sean Hannity: 'People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.'

Actually, the jeans the president wore in the Oval Office, talking to Putin on the phone last weekend, looked good."

Well, let's have another look at the picture, released by the White House, depicting Obama in serious discussion with Putin after his West Wing staff finally opted to allow him to learn of Putin's infraction:


Okay, here we have Obama, in denim and matching button-down shirt, one arm akimbo, sleeves carefully rolled up almost to the elbows, discussing with Putin the Russian invasion of Crimea. I don't know the make of his watch. There is no pen in sight. There are no loose papers on his desk. Query: Does Obama actually ever work in the Oval Office?

But more to the point, does this picture project power? Or is the following picture of Pajama Boy more imposing?:


My guess is that Putin would be more afraid of Pajama Boy.

But enough about imagery (Maureen and the White House are responsible for raising the topic, not I). Instead, let's focus on America's foreign affairs. Dowd seems to think that Obama's swift non-response to the Ukraine crisis improved upon his awkward vacillation involving Assad's use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. Dowd tells us:

"And his Russia response is a positive contrast with Syria, where Obama came across as naval-gazing and feckless when he dithered and then drew a 'red line' against Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons. He was still explaining to the press why he had decided on military action while Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the Brits were yanking the rug out from under him."

But in fact, Obama's reaction to Putin and Assad were one and the same. In both instances, he and his friends, John Kerry and Susan Rice, employed variants of the same "tough" language:

"All options remain on the table!"

In fact, there have been no options on the table. No options have existed and no strategies or shelf plans have been devised to deal with malefactors in Obama's imaginary post-Cold War world renaissance, devoid of villains. And even if options and a strategy had been readied, the Procrastinator-in-Chief would seek to avoid any provocation during his second term in office, as he, assisted by his weak-minded friend Chuck Hagel, dismantles the American military to fund Obamacare.

Obama not tough? How can that be? Prime Minister Netanyahu was in Washington last week, and the president sternly warned his Israeli ally via Jeffrey Goldberg (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/03/new-york-times-editorial-israels-choice.html) that his opposition to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was dangerous. Regrettably, no one from the US State Department had informed Obama that Netanyahu favors a two state solution. For example, as reported by Arutz Sheva last April (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/167201#.UxgQsZtWHcs):

"Speaking during a reception for foreign diplomats in honor of Israel’s Independence Day, Netanyahu said, 'We are committed to our aspiration for peace, a peace that will be based on the principle of two states for two peoples, a Jewish state alongside a demilitarized Palestinian state.

'But in order for the peace to last it must be anchored in security,' he added. 'The State of Israel must be able to defend itself by itself; its security will be a main component of any future peace agreement.'"

Well, at least Obama was able to deflect some of the criticism involving his feeble response to Putin by slapping at Netanyahu, a true friend of the United States.

Dowd's opinion piece also fails to mention recent developments in Turkey, which have offered Obama multiple opportunities to exhibit mettle and ethics.

Do you remember Obama's State of the Union address? Did you hear any mention by the president of his pre-election promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide by Turkey? No way! You see, autocratic Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in the past was declared by Obama to be one of his best overseas friends (see: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/world/2013/05/16/Erdogan-and-Obama-Best-friends-no-more.html).

The radical Islamization of Turkey and the end of that country's civil liberties? As reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists at the end of 2013 (http://cpj.org/reports/2013/12/second-worst-year-on-record-for-jailed-journalists.php):

"For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the world’s leading jailer of journalists, followed closely by Iran and China."

Even a whimper of protest from Obama? No way!

Now, after the dissemination of a recording in which Erdogan purportedly tells his son to dispose of large sums of money following police raids connected to a burgeoning corruption scandal, Erdogan is threatening to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/07/us-turkey-erdogan-idUSBREA2609A20140307).

Again, not a word from Obama.

Why doesn't the world show a little more R-S-P-E-C-T for America's president? Apparently, even the president ultimately reaps what he sows.

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