Condi Rice: Snowden asylum a Russian “slap in the face” to US

posted at 8:41 am on August 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Former Secretary of State and Soviet expert Condoleezza Rice told CBS News’ Charlie Rose in an interview that aired this morning that Barack Obama is “absolutely right” to have canceled the one-on-one summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. That’s not to say that Rice gave a stirring endorsement of Obama’s foreign policy regarding Russia, as she skewers the White House’s naïveté and arrogance in its much-ballyhooed “reset” with Moscow.  In the end, Rice argues, Russia means a lot less than people seem to think, so it’s not much of a loss — for us, anyway — if the meeting gets canceled:

“President Obama tried to, quote, reset relations with Russia. We reset and Russia didn’t. And so the question is what’s left of our interest in dealing with this Russia?” Rice asked.

“The relationship today is really terrible, just to be very blunt about it,” Rice told Rose, “But it’s not the Cold War. The Russia of today is a diminished power. It still has nuclear weapons. It still has a security council veto. But it is, on any given day, the 14th, 15th or 16th largest economy in the world, in a world in which economic power matters.”

Despite the decline in power, Russia still “has influence,” Rice said, adding “It has influence in Syria, it has influence in Iran, and do we sacrifice that kind of relationship if you don’t try to talk to Putin one on one in Moscow?”

“You have to start with the fact that we have very few overlapping interests any longer with Russia, with this Russia. The Russians are not going to cooperate on Bashar al-Assad and Syria as long as they think he might win. With Iran, frankly, I don’t think the Russians have been all bad on Iran. They’ve supported security council resolutions. But I don’t think that you sacrifice very much by saying to Putin in Russia, look, we are not going to sacrifice our interests trying to court you.”

That’s basically what the Bush administration learned early on with Putin. After an initial attempt at personal diplomacy by George W. Bush went nowhere, Bush and Rice shrugged off Putin and made plans to install a missile-defense system to defend Europe and the US against Putin’s Iranian clients.  Obama and Hillary Clinton laid the blame for that impasse at the feet of Bush rather than Putin, offering the bungled “reset button” as a gift to apologize for the previous administration’s attitude.

Now, US-Russian relations are back to the Bush-era status, only we’ve backed down on missile defense and angered our partners in Poland and the Czech Republic by leaving them twisting in the wind on the project. We’re no closer to stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons than we were before, and once again we have Russia backing an Ba’athist Arab dictator that America opposes (Saddam Hussein then, Bashar al-Assad now). If the Snowden asylum was a slap in the face, maybe it will at least have the salutary effect of waking this administration up about Putin and Russia.


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Reset is a two-way street..

Electrongod on August 9, 2013 at 8:44 AM

This wouldn’t be as bad for Bark if he hadn’t spent the last 4+ years acting like the entire world was ready to lick his toes just because of a few vapid speeches here and there.

A stupid prop reset button and kowtowing to Pootie about “flexibility” only makes Dog Eater now look like a bigger fool than everyone knows him to be.

Bishop on August 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Snowden asylum a Russian “slap in the face” to US

Yes, it is, and once again President Putin proves strong, while obama proves, once again, to be obama – a weak, inept wannabe.

Pork-Chop on August 9, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Bottom line: Putin has been playing Barky like a violin.

tommyboy on August 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Typical dems blame bush instead of Russia

cmsinaz on August 9, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Weak

Bmore on August 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Smart Power!

Mimzey on August 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Perception…now that’s the thing…

If places such as Georgia, Poland, the Baltics, Kazakhstan, and places such as China, or India, or Afghanistan, Iraq and a host of others “perceive” Obama to be a fumbling fool bent on screwing up everything he touches (and this public Putin-Obama snit is just the latest example) do you believe for a moment any rational world leader, any nation, would lend one iota of credence to anything Obama says, or any declaration on the part of the United States this regime makes?

Sorry, Condi, but Tsar Vladimir I wins this round.

He won it long before Snowden ever showed up at Chek Lap Kok airport…long long before that.

coldwarrior on August 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

More like a kick to the groin, although the jury’s out on whether that would harm Barry like it would a normal man.

NoDonkey on August 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

If the Snowden asylum was a slap in the face, maybe it will at least have the salutary effect of waking this administration up about Putin and Russia.

But Ed…We just don’t have that level of granularity yet…

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Problem is Obama’s playing checkers, while Putin is playing death race – and he’s winning.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Bottom line: Putin has been playing Barky like a violin.

tommyboy on August 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Yep!

workingclass artist on August 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM

The point, Ms. Rice, is that Putin has not spent the past 4+ years trumpeting a new tone of relationships with the world to regain their respect. This action only underscores what the world has come to understand about Obama, that he is a geopolitical amateur and “weak-sister.” Russia may not be as strong as it once was, but it is still a major power, and we are asking for trouble when our leader is incapable of garnering the respect of their leadership, if not their admiration.

yesiamapirate on August 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Wouldn’t you love to see Condi debate Hillary on foreign policy?

Kafir on August 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

As long as the government thinks that the crime is not a problem but the whistle-blower is, that face deserves to be slapped.

The Russians are not going to cooperate on Bashar al-Assad and Syria as long as they think he might win.

And on this too, the Russian position makes sense.

…But it is, on any given day, the 14th, 15th or 16th largest economy in the world, in a world in which economic power matters.”

Here’s something else that matters: whether you are going up or going down. In large part through policies Obama supports, America is going down.

Open borders America, doormat-to-the-third-world America, spendthrift America, indebted America, increasingly socialist, politically correct, gay, feminist, racially conflicted America, must decline.

America is ceasing to be a nation and becoming an experiment in how much “progressive” social experimentation a country can take before it breaks.

That diminishes everybody’s willingness to deal on America’s terms. A reset button can’t change that. People are looking to the future, not to gimmicks.

The best thing any American government can do diplomatically is repudiate political correctness, close the borders and start rebuilding the country. Straight away, America’s opinions would count for more on every topic, because long term promises and threats by America would be more credible.

David Blue on August 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM

The phrase, “if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch” comes to mind.

Putin simply challenged Obama to see what he’s made of.

He has his answer…which is not much.

All part of the “big dog” game.

NavyMustang on August 9, 2013 at 9:19 AM

coldwarrior on August 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Absolut–ly!

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The point, Ms. Rice, is that Putin has not spent the past 4+ years trumpeting a new tone of relationships with the world to regain their respect. This action only underscores what the world has come to understand about Obama, that he is a geopolitical amateur and “weak-sister.” Russia may not be as strong as it once was, but it is still a major power, and we are asking for trouble when our leader is incapable of garnering the respect of their leadership, if not their admiration.

yesiamapirate on August 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Maybe all of those inappropriate bows to foreign leaders weren’t deep enough. I say fly Obama over there for some more photo ops and more bows. And maybe another “monumental” speech in Cairo.

visions on August 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

David Blue on August 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Every point that you make is correct.

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Of course it’s a slap. To Putin, Obama might as well be wearing a dress and white socks and tap-shoes with a bow in his hair.

Marcus on August 9, 2013 at 9:26 AM

A stupid prop reset button and kowtowing to Pootie about “flexibility” only makes Dog Eater now look like a bigger fool than everyone knows him to be.

Bishop on August 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Pootie & The Dog Eater … sounds like a really terrible late-seventies action/ buddy flick.

M240H on August 9, 2013 at 9:27 AM

We gave Russia a button that said “Reset.”

They gave us a button that said, “American girls are easy.”

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Wouldn’t you love to see Condi debate Hillary on foreign policy?

Kafir on August 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

No. I think they’re both equally terrible.

Punchenko on August 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM

maybe it will at least have the salutary effect of waking this administration up about Putin and Russia.

/snort

ElectricPhase on August 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM

We gave Russia a button that said “Reset.”

They gave us a button that said, “American girls are easy.”

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Actually, we gave them a “reset button” that said “overcharge” since State doesn’t have anyone who speaks Russian these days. :-(

Punchenko on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Jeez, back in August 2012 Condi was pretty smitten on Obama. I wonder why?

Condi Rice Can’t Name A Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure

dmann on August 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Punchenko on August 9, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I know, just keeping with the meme.

Actually, the button they gave us doesn’t say “American girls are easy,” it says, “Yo mama is so fat she could be a former Soviet republic.”

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Snowden performed a thankless service for his country. He exposed the fact that our government is run by crooks who seek to control us.

They break the law with impunity. As for Putin why should any leader have respect for the slobbering fool in the white house? Zero is an idiot laughingstock and obvious incompetent who believes his own drivel.

As for Ms. Rice, I have no respect or regard for her whatsoever, and haven’t for some time.

dogsoldier on August 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Condi was not as bad as the Hillary/Obama team, but she was awful none the less. She supported the islamists, she virtually supported Obama’s election, as did Bush by not actively campaigning against him, she basically was just somewhat less terrible than Hillary. And lets look at what Bush/Condi accomplished…yes…no big terrorist attacks post 9/11 but Iraq and Afghanistan have now proved to be wasted American lives and over a trillion dollars. not good.

georgealbert on August 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM

dmann on August 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Yeah she has been for a while.

dogsoldier on August 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Former Secretary of State and Soviet expert Condoleezza Rice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx49KA_IW-Y

Condi and I are in a room in Slovenia……

PappyD61 on August 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Bottom line: Putin has been playing Barky like a violin.
tommyboy on August 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Maybe the US should send Bush to look into Pooty Poo’s eyes and see into his soul.

antifederalist on August 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Good to hear advice on Russian from an actual Russian scholar for a change…

Pest on August 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

If only BO had one woman half as smart of Condi Rice…

But no, not meant to be. Women with depth scare 2 dimensional cartoons.

MarkT on August 9, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The (conscious and unconscious) Machiavellian world cheered Obama’s election because they understood it would weaken the “arrogant hyper-power” America.

They got their wish.

America is being undermined by the incompetent (or is it intentional?) lightweight Utopian fool Obama.

And a slim majority of Americans cheer it on, thinking that unicorns crap skittles and power is bad.

They will have to learn the very hard way that weak is worse.

profitsbeard on August 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM

As good as this administration is at making end-runs around the Constitution, one would never think they’d be so bad at negotiating with Communists.

TimBuk3 on August 9, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Bottom line: Putin has been playing Barky like a violin.

tommyboy on August 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Evidently, Barky isn’t quite as flexible as he promised the Ruskies.

hawkeye54 on August 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

As good as this administration is at making end-runs around the Constitution, one would never think they’d be so bad at negotiating with Communists.

TimBuk3 on August 9, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Maybe because Barky is much better at dictating than negotiating.

hawkeye54 on August 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Like almost every Presidency when a Democrat sits in the White House, the United States is neither feared nor respected. This time, the apologizer, blame-shifter, & ‘insulter’ and Chief is to blame.

Obama’s ‘M.O.’ is to accept no reponsibility at all and shift as much blame for everything as possibe on to others.

Our status with Libya’s President is on shaky ground because Obama disputed the Libyan President’s declaration that we were aware of an indication that the attack on Benghazi on 9/11/12 was going to happen and did nothing. Obama insulted him…and as a result our relationship is on shaky ground.

Russia warned the US about the Tsarnaev brothers. The FACT is the Obama administration dropped the ball. While KNOWING who these guys were, they put fliers out and pictures on TV asking the public for help identifying them. SERIOUSLY?! After the bombing, Obama suggested the Boston bombing occured because Russia did not do ENOUGH to help prevent it. Obama Blame-shifting 101 insulted Putin, and he took the opportunity to stick it to Obama when it arose in the form of Snowden. Once again, if you are looking for at whose feet to lay the blame for the current shaky US-Russia relations, look no further than Obama.

easyt65 on August 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM

So what, Condi? What has Obama done to elevate U.S. presence in the “Global” community? Besides his Apology Tour, which was a first in the history of this country, and did nothing but show a sign of weakness to the rest of the world. Obama has a penchant for miscues in executing foreign policy.

tomshup on August 9, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Condi Rice is a bit more of an apologist for Obysmal than I like.

VDH has a better take on Obysmal’s weak foreign policy with a slam on our fearless leader’s fecklessness vis a vis Putin.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/355360/putinology-victor-davis-hanson

onlineanalyst on August 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

What has Obama done to elevate U.S. presence in the “Global” community?

Quite true, but then his task is actually to take the U.S down in the global community. Once were at the level of, say, Zimbabwe, then he’s done his job successfully.

Obama has a penchant for miscues in executing foreign policy.

Maybe that is precisely why he is where he is.

hawkeye54 on August 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Jeez, back in August 2012 Condi was pretty smitten on Obama. I wonder why?

Condi Rice Can’t Name A Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure

dmann on August 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Tell us why — why this reason only applies to one group. Have you ever suggested that__________ was the reason one ________ agreed with another?

I know. I know. You’re not a _________.

Capitalist Hog on August 9, 2013 at 12:02 PM

What’s a “slap in the face” is giving a perfectly good microphone to the person second most responsible for not having a post-Saddam governance plan activated the moment the Iraqi Army was defeated. When I need brain dead neo-con talking points, I’ll just turn on Sean Hannity.

elfman on August 9, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Spying on your own citizens and flagrantly violating the Constitution is a slap in the face to those citizens, Condi. I’m perfectly glad that Snowden is safe from being persecuted for telling the American People what’s really going on.

quikstrike98 on August 9, 2013 at 1:28 PM

And having every text, email, and phone call stashed by our govt is not a slap, Condi?

If not for that we wouldn’t know Ed Snowden.

Akzed on August 9, 2013 at 3:07 PM

What’s a “slap in the face” is giving a perfectly good microphone to the person second most responsible for not having a post-Saddam governance plan activated the moment the Iraqi Army was defeated. When I need brain dead neo-con talking points, I’ll just turn on Sean Hannity.

elfman on August 9, 2013 at 12:25 PM

The above is right on. And then Bush/Rice set up a democrat (L Paul Bremer) like an Indian Viceroy in Iraq and he proceeds to screw everything up.

Oh, and Rice please explain what you did after your Administration was briefed on Able Danger in March 2001 and then you can explain the collapse of the third tower at 520pm on 9/11 that reached free-fall acceleration rates for more than 2.5 seconds and that was so embarrassing that Tom Keane and Lee Hamilton on the 9/11 Commission refused to include even one word about the tower’s collapse in the 2004 9/11 report.

The American people needed someone like Snowden to alert the country about all the unconstitutional spying that what was being employed against US citizens under the at least partly unconstitutional Patriot Act and NDAA!

Falcon46 on August 9, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Cotton Condi is one of the dumbest people in pubic today.

She’s a “Russia expert”? What a joke.

What she’s been an expert in, is using her gender and race to advance to positions she’d never have held otherwise.

She’s one living proof among many of what a disaster the W presidency was for this country.

sartana on August 9, 2013 at 5:56 PM