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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thomas Friedman, "Putin Blinked": What the @#$% Is "Obamaism"?

Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs genius that he believes himself to be, has just coined a new term: "Obamaism."

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Putin Blinked" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/opinion/friedman-putin-blinked.html?hp&rref=opinion), Friedman writes:

"The crisis in Ukraine never threatened a Cold War-like nuclear Armageddon, but it may be the first case of post-post-Cold War brinkmanship, pitting the 21st century versus the 19th. It pits a Chinese/Russian worldview that says we can take advantage of 21st-century globalization whenever we want to enrich ourselves, and we can behave like 19th-century powers whenever we want to take a bite out of a neighbor — versus a view that says, no, sorry, the world of the 21st century is not just interconnected but interdependent and either you play by those rules or you pay a huge price.

In the end, it was Putinism versus Obamaism, and I’d like to be the first on my block to declare that the 'other fellow' — Putin — 'just blinked.'"

Putin "blinked"? The problem is that Obama, who promised Putin "flexibility" during his second term in the White House, never showed up for the fight. Moreover, irrespective of Russian claims (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/27/world/europe/russia-ukraine-sanctions/) and those of former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton (http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/03/24/bolton-obama-admins-sanctions-against-russia-are-meaningless) that Obama's sanctions against Russia were "meaningless," the fact of the matter is that Russia has annexed Crimea.

But more to the point, what is the meaning of Friedman's "Obamaism"?

Perhaps some insight into the underlying import of this new word is to be found in a New York Times editorial entitled "Trapped in Afghanistan" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/opinion/trapped-in-afghanistan.html?hp&rref=opinion), which today concludes:

"Mr. Obama has dragged out the biggest part of the withdrawal from Afghanistan for two years and now wants to leave more troops there until the end of 2016. His promise to end the war, made years ago, won’t be honored until he’s practically out of office."

Or stated more succinctly, Obama lied concerning his promise to end America's senseless ground war in Afghanistan, which America's president escalated in his first term in office. Of course, everyone remembers how Obama acceded to a military "surge" in that country while concurrently providing the Taliban with a timetable for the removal of US troops.

Obama lied? Why should that come as a surprise coming from a president who declared that if you like your health care plan and your doctor, you can keep them?

But I stray. "Obamaism"? What is it? Quite honestly, if it's something other than "leading from behind" coupled with bowing to the Japanese emperor and Saudi king, i.e. "showing his behind," and shaking hands with tin-pot tyrants, I don't have a clue.

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