Cold war: Obama may cancel Moscow leg of overseas trip to protest asylum for Snowden

posted at 4:01 pm on July 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

I guess this is the best we can do anymore.

Just to make this lame supposed snub a bit lamer, there’s no question that O will attend the G20 in St. Petersburg. He’s not snubbing Russia entirely, in other words, just a formal visit in the capital with Putin. Whom he’ll almost certainly be meeting with at the G20 anyway.

The White House announced the Moscow meeting in June as an extra stop on an already planned trip to St. Petersburg for the annual gathering of the Group of 20 nations. But while Mr. Obama is still committed to going to St. Petersburg, he is now rethinking the Moscow stop, not just because of the impasse over Mr. Snowden but due to a whole range of issues dividing the two countries.

A cancellation of the Moscow meeting would be seen as a direct slap at Mr. Putin, who is known to value such high-level visits as a validation of Russian prestige. While the White House may be using the meeting as leverage to win cooperation as it seeks the return to the United States of Mr. Snowden, who is now staying at Moscow’s airport, the reconsideration also reflects a broader concern that the two countries are far apart on issues like Syria, Iran, arms control and missile defense.

The White House has not publicly confirmed the prospect of scrubbing the Moscow meeting, but has sent unmistakable signals that it is now on the table. Asked directly on Wednesday if Mr. Obama is still going to Moscow before the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, declined to say. “I can say that the president intends to travel to Russia for the G-20 summit,” Mr. Carney said. “I don’t have anything to add to what we’ve said in the past about that trip.”

Maybe the goal here is less a snub for snub’s sake than making Putin squirm a bit over his public pronouncements that Snowden mustn’t do anything to harm U.S.-Russia relations, as if Russian aid to Assad and nuclear cooperation with Tehran hasn’t done that already. He’s trying to dress up his big propaganda windfall as responsible statesmanship; if the White House cancels its visit to Moscow, then that becomes a marginally harder sale. But what does Putin care at this point? If he’s looking for “validations of Russian prestige,” America’s impotence in getting him to hand Snowden over and Obama’s obligation to attend the G20 on Russian soil anyway are better than a photo op with O at the Kremlin. Frankly, if I were Putin, I’d retaliate by arranging some sort of photo op with Snowden instead. I’m sure Snowden would be game. He is, after all, the man who recently cooed:

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression [by the U.S.], countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

Russia and Venezuela, the vanguard of international human rights. What better way to “extend his personal thanks” to Putin for being a gracious host than by smiling for the cameras with him in response to a White House snub? The whole thrust of his NSA leaking over the past month or so, after the initial PRISM disclosures, has been to embarrass the U.S. by reminding people in other countries that our foreign intelligence apparatus actually does collect intelligence overseas. A joint middle finger to Washington with Putin would be the cherry on the embarrassment sundae.

Incidentally, if that does end up happening, the State Department should reply by clarifying that they didn’t skip the Moscow visit in protest over Snowden, they skipped it in protest of Alexei Navalny, one of Putin’s most prominent domestic critics, being thrown in prison on an obviously political embezzlement charge. If Putin wants to make Snowden some sort of international civil-rights cause celebre, use U.S. media power to give Navalny the same treatment. Make sure people understand who Snowden’s new best friend really is.

Speaking of lame snubs, here’s Lindsey Graham urging America to rethink its participation at the Sochi Olympics, which won’t do anything to get Snowden back but will deprive U.S. athletes of the chance to embarrass the Russians at home.


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BHO and Lindsey Graham….not such strange bedfellows!

tomshup on July 18, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Not.

Obama is scared shirtless of Putin.

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I imagine Putin said the first prayer of his life: “Thank God I don’t have to put with him more than I have to!”

Liam on July 18, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Boycott the Sochi Olympics to protest the Russian war in Afghanistan.

kunegetikos on July 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Let’s boycotts teh Olympics!!1!

John the Libertarian on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

A cancellation of the Moscow meeting would be seen as a direct slap at Mr. Putin, who is known to value such high-level visits as a validation of Russian prestige.

Now thats funny right there, folks.

Putin needs Obama’s presence to validate something? Oh man, $10 bucks says Vlad orders AF 1 searched before it can leave.

$10,000 says every country in AF1′s flight path orders the plane to land and conducts a search for Snowden.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Why doesn’t O just hit the reset button? What is he waiting for?

danking70 on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Take that Putin!

DarkCurrent on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Lindsey’s always good for some well thought out foreign policy suggestions. Bomb, bomb, bomb!

a capella on July 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Boycott the Sochi Olympics to protest the Russian war in Afghanistan.

kunegetikos on July 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Ha ha. The very first thing I thought of when I saw the headline before I read any of the post.

Obama really is Carter redux.

INC on July 18, 2013 at 4:14 PM

He doesn’t have what it takes to snub Putin, he doesn’t have a spine first and foremost. Putin is likely one of the worst thugs in exitestence,, but he’s neither afraid, nor ashamed to admit it, and he acts as such. So, you have to give him that, I suppose. Barry has no idea who he is, what he stands for, or what his convictions and politics are, it’s all amateur hour, improvisation and patch work with him…

jimver on July 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

On second thought, could Russia keep Obamuh and send Snowden home in AF1? That’d twist the libturds’ shorts into a really tight knot!

stukinIL4now on July 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

$10,000 says every country in AF1′s flight path orders the plane to land and conducts a search for Snowden.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Heh. Complete with deep cavity searches for all passengers on board.

a capella on July 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Existence that is…

jimver on July 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Reset button, baby!

jnelchef on July 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

They aren’t protesting over Snowden

That’s five links, by the way.

But of course, taking a stand over what has been done to Navalny and Ofitserov would require guts, and not a whole lot of “flexibility.” That hasn’t been the tendency out of this administration.

Gingotts on July 18, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Take that Putin!

DarkCurrent on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Putin jhas ust gone in withdrawal over this hypothetical snub :)

jimver on July 18, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Take that Putin!

DarkCurrent on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Putin has just gone in withdrawal over this hypothetical snub :)

jimver on July 18, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Putin should ask obama why he had Michael Hastings body was cremated without family consent. Talk about police states.

abobo on July 18, 2013 at 4:20 PM

I’m sure Putin will be crushed.

The Rogue Tomato on July 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Flexibility.

Boycott the Sochi Olympics to protest the Russian war in Afghanistan.

kunegetikos on July 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Let’s boycotts teh Olympics!!1!

John the Libertarian on July 18, 2013 at 4:12 PM

If we boycotted the Olympics, I wouldn’t miss it.

22044 on July 18, 2013 at 4:25 PM

BREAKING:

Detroit Goes Under

Once the nation’s fourth largest city, Detroit was hailed as an industrial hub with nearly 2 million people. Today, after a half-century of residential flight, high unemployment, a significant reduction in state funding, plummeting income and property taxes, corruption and chronic mismanagement, the bankruptcy filing solidifies the city’s standing as a model of urban decline.

IOW, “due to racism….”

Will the city have to attend financial counseling before the bankruptcy can be approved?

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I’m sure Putin will be crushed.

The Rogue Tomato on July 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I’m sure this to keep President Obortion from kicking Putins’ ass.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Putin should ask obama why he had Michael Hastings body was cremated without family consent. Talk about police states.

abobo on July 18, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Family? Cremation would either be the deceased or his wife’s decision. What the rest of the family wants carries no legal authority. Also, the guy was burned so badly in the crash, he was for sense and purposes already cremated.

Blake on July 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I love that picture!

Obama: I don’t know what I’m doing

Putin: He doesn’t know what he’s doing

pain train on July 18, 2013 at 4:29 PM

he was for sense and purposes already cremated.

Blake on July 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

for all intents and purposes

Just sayin’

pain train on July 18, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Well, it took a few years for Coleman Young’s dream to come true, but, there it is.

a capella on July 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Depriving Putin of Obama’s company is some sort of punishment????

You know what would really teach me a lesson? A naked lapdance from Kate Beckinsale, that’s what.

Chuck Schick on July 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Reset the reset…

ExpressoBold on July 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I guess this is the best we can do anymore.

Hahaha, as if Putin could care less whether he ever sees the little poser again.

petefrt on July 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM

obama may cancel Moscow leg of overseas trip to protest …

LOL – as if Putin cares – obama is a complete assclown.

Pork-Chop on July 18, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Chuck Schick on July 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

I’d pay good money for that kind of punishment.

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Blake on July 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I understand that there are strong anti-conspiracy sentiments around here but please know that His wife wasn’t consulted either and has hired a private detective in the matter. We can keep calling these things coincedences but after Breitbart and now this I’m getting an unshakeable suspicion that all the police state hyperbole wasn’t exageeration at all. Putin really should bring this up with obama when he gets the chance.

abobo on July 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Vlad The Impaler vs. Barry The Inhaler

Place your bets if you can stand to.

Drained Brain on July 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Yeah sure, more like the First Black Gumby got uninvited.

antipc on July 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

abobo on July 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

If it were true, his wife would be hiring an attorney – not a private investigator.

Blake on July 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM

And it worked so well for Jimmah! Yep, he showed those Soviets a thing or two!

Gothguy on July 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

We’re gonna need a bigger reset button.

HumpBot Salvation on July 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

If we boycotted the Olympics, I wouldn’t miss it.

22044 on July 18, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Slight fix: I would miss it if it meant missing the open thread on Hot Gas to make fun of the closing ceremony. Possibly the best thread of 2012!

22044 on July 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM

President Pi$$y McStompypants and Teh Gehe Foreign Policy. “Not gehe enough!” protests Lindsey Graham.

Although, in Graham’s defense, he is talking about the Winter Olympics, which is one of the Alternative Olympics That Don’t Really Count anyway. It’s primary function is to provide ski disaster clips for the “Agony of Defeat” part of the opening montage.

You know your foreign policy is a shambles when its best hope for success is calling on John F. Kerry to say a few words in French.

Adjoran on July 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Putin should ask obama why he had Michael Hastings body was cremated without family consent. Talk about police states.

abobo on July 18, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Cremated without family consent? You gotta be kidding me. I hadn’t heard this.

Michael Hastings body cremated against family’s wishes
Wife hires private investigator

Smells bad. Real bad.

petefrt on July 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

It’s primary function is to provide ski disaster clips for the “Agony of Defeat” part of the opening montage.

Adjoran on July 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Showing that clip today would be considered bullying.

It is, though, one of the most classic of all clips.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

We’re gonna need a bigger reset button.

HumpBot Salvation on July 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Sarah keeps one in her purse….just in case.

BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Well, I guess now Putin isn’t going to give Obama asylum. Rats! Won’t anyone take him????

BetseyRoss on July 18, 2013 at 5:18 PM

not sure but I think Mr Putin is the winner here and Obama dose not want to have to answer any questions.

jpcpt03 on July 18, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Maybe Obie is scared Putin will leave him sitting alone in the Kremlin while Vlad goes upstairs and pretends to “eat dinner with his family.”

Just the exact super nasty snub Obie gave to Bibi Netanyahu a couple of years ago. O got ticked and left Bibi sitting there in a ‘time out,’ twiddling his thumbs for a few hours.

Ya never know with the KGB guy, huh? Didn’t Putin recently humiliate Kerry by leaving him to sit and wait for three hours?

marybel on July 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM

We’re gonna need a bigger reset button.
HumpBot Salvation on July 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Sarah keeps one in her purse….just in case.
BobMbx on July 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM

We need a reset button that has a reset button.

Mojave Mark on July 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Putin might send Snowden back if Barky promises never to come visit him in Russia

phreshone on July 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Send in Hillary! with another “reset” button!

GarandFan on July 18, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Obama hopes to bring Snowden back from Russia in Air Force 1….

albill on July 18, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Obama hopes to bring Snowden back from Russia in Air Force 1….

albill on July 18, 2013 at 6:14 PM

How about a general switch-around instead? Navalny comes here in Air Force One, Barky sits in a Kirov prison, Snowden goes to the Kremlin, and Putin can choose between Venezuela or wandering around Sheremet’evo with his thumb up his arse.

Don’t know how it would work, but couldn’t be much worse than the current situation.

Gingotts on July 18, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Other countries Obama will visit:

“Lucky Russians! Hey, is there anyone we can grant asylum to?”

Marcola on July 18, 2013 at 6:33 PM

I thought Shrillary Cankle’s Pantsuit Diplomacy made the U.S. and the Soviet, er, Russia BFF?

Guess not.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 18, 2013 at 7:19 PM

This country is nuts.

So the Russians invade a country who sent troops to help us in Iraq (and have Christian women who are virgins when they get married) and we do nothing.

Now we toss a hissy fit about Putin keeping what one US official called “a hacker” at the airport?

You don’t know which invasion? The media ignored it. Since the media was busy burning W to the ground, the Georgia invasion by Russia was not covered.

Wanna watch a free movie on Comcast? With lots of war action?

Title; 5 Days of War (US)

5 Days in August (Europe)

5 DAYS OF WAR is a gut-wrenching war movie about two American journalists’ quest to transmit vital information about the brief but bloody war that took place between Russia and Georgia at the same time as the 2008 Beijing Olympics. From online movie review.

BTW, the lefty and Soviet puppets over there think the US encouraged Georgia to attack Russia (what could go wrong?) and Dick Cheney was behind it.

Cheney was one busy guy.

IlikedAUH2O on July 18, 2013 at 7:50 PM

So the Russians invade a country who sent troops to help us in Iraq (and have Christian women who are virgins when they get married) and we do nothing.

Now we toss a hissy fit about Putin keeping what one US official called “a hacker” at the airport?

You don’t know which invasion? The media ignored it. Since the media was busy burning W to the ground, the Georgia invasion by Russia was not covered.

I did know, and remember it clearly. The media covered it very briefly – not the buildup and tension but the actual invasion in August – then stopped for an obvious reason. The reaction to it by the candidates at the time was the one brief moment in all of 2008 that I thought McCain could possibly win the election. Not when he picked Palin, that. Obama looked like a stuttering fool who clearly had no idea what a Russia was or why they were in Atlanta. McCain was clear, strong. It was the one moment he looked like somebody who could be President.

So naturally the media shut down that noise and went back to talking about vapid Hollywood crap and leftist propaganda. Then Palinmania, campaign suspension, and the rest is history… the sad history of the decline of America.

And it continues today. Snowden wishcasting every day, but only the briefest mention of Navalny, or the massive protests over there. 11 minutes into CBS news, a 15 second blurb. Of course the dirty secret is despite Amnesty International having the brief lucidity to recognize him as a political prisoner, he’s a dirty Christian free-market right-winger, so the US media can’t pay too much attention. Want to know about what is going on with Russia, the evils of the Putin regime, and with it how it could affect US-Russian relations in the future, follow that story from those that bother to cover it in depth. Hope you can read Russian.

Gingotts on July 18, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Why doesn’t he just stay home? He’s wasted enough of our money flopping around all over the world on his totally unproductive trips. Among other places his boondoggles could fund the layoffs at Walter Reed.

rplat on July 18, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Obama may cancel Moscow leg of overseas trip to protest asylum for Snowden

Putin probably appreciates the time he will not have to waste with the clueless and infantile Obama.

landlines on July 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM