In the last years of his presidency, Barack Obama has clearly displayed an unhealthy obsession with Russia. Any speech that has even a little bit to do with international relations without fail includes a reference to Russia, Moscow and Putin.
During his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. president couldn’t restrain himself. In his nonchalantly preachy tone like always, Barack Obama advised our country not to interfere in the affairs of neighboring countries. And he even chided Russia for attempting to recover “lost glory” through force.
Yes, that’s right. The commander-in-chief of the largest army in the world, whose budget amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars and which is based in almost every corner of the world, is chiding Russia for acting from some kind of position of power. And what’s more, it dares to interfere in the affairs of other countries.
Thank you, Mr. President, for at least not openly saying we should all sit quietly and not get in the way while the hegemon “creates democracy” wherever it pleases.
But seriously, for Obama, Russia has long since turned into a convenient adversary through whose trumped-up aggression it’s possible to justify his own military campaigns. Any U.S. action or, in the case of the Islamic State group, inaction in the international arena is immediately reduced to a confrontation with Russia.
Dropping bombs, “interfering in the affairs of neighboring countries,” sending in troops, implementing regime change — only the U.S. can do all these things, and no one is allowed to get in its way. President Obama is still trying to hang on to this utopia.
But it’s all slipping through his fingers like sand. The hegemon’s time has gone, if it even ever had a time. And Russia isn’t now trying to recover some kind of “lost glory” at all. Russia is simply taking its rightful place in the international arena. And that’s far from what America and its leadership are used to.
Anything-goes politics, the dependence of the majority of international institutions on Washington, unquestioning worship of the American army’s military potential — that’s what the U.S. is used to.
It liked this myth of world domination. Now every year brings greater and greater enlightenment. It’s almost a withdrawal symptom or the convulsions of an ill person. How can the U.S. live in a world in which it has to take into consideration the opinion of other countries? How can it live in a world in which the opponent can fight back?
In essence, these are the very questions the U.S. president’s administration has been asking in recent years. And judging by the populist reproaches being uttered today, it hasn’t found an answer.
It’s entirely possible to consider this the main foreign policy outcome of Barack Obama’s eight years in office: a lack of skill in building relations with a strong opponent that has its own view of the situation.
And that, by the way, is a basic principle of democracy itself, a defender of which Obama, for some reason, always considered himself.