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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:34 PM 
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This will certainly put a ding against Obama for the republicans if it gets more wide spread, well see it in their campaign ads I'm sure.

Original Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... sNewsForth

Quote:
SEOUL—U.S. President Barack Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday that his re-election campaign has tied his hands in resolving differences with Russia over U.S. plans for a missile-defense system in Europe, and suggested an agreement would be more likely after November.

President Barack Obama speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting in Seoul Monday.
."This is my last election, and after my election I'll have more flexibility," Mr. Obama said to Mr. Medvedev after a meeting in Seoul, according to audio picked up by television cameras that apparently wasn't intended to be heard by reporters.

"I understand," Mr. Medvedev replied.

"I transmit this information to Vladimir," he added, referring to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House confirmed that the exchange came after a discussion about the missile-defense shield, saying in a statement that the issue, which has strained U.S.-Russia relations, won't be resolved before Americans vote in November.

Mr. Medvedev said on Friday that Russia was unconvinced that a planned U.S.-led missile defense shield in Europe is meant to deter an attack by countries such as Iran.

Following Mr. Obama's remarks, the Associated Press reported that Mitt Romney, the leading Republican contender to face Mr. Obama in the U.S. presidential election this fall, said in a statement that the president's unguarded remarks "signaled that he's going to cave to Russia on missile defense, but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be 'flexible' in a second term."

Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who often faces charges of having been flexible on his own policies over the years, said Mr. Obama "needs to level with the American public about his real agenda," the news agency said.

Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, wrote to the president requesting an "urgent explanation of [his] comments to President Medvedev," AP reported.

"Congress has made exquisitely clear to your administration and to other nations that it will block all attempts to weaken U.S. missile defenses," Mr. Turner said. "As the chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which authorizes U.S. missile defense and nuclear weapons policy, I want to make perfectly clear that my colleagues and I will not allow any attempts to trade missile defense of the United States to Russia or any other country."

A senior White House security official agreed Monday that a breakthrough on the European missile issue shouldn't be expected this year. "Since 2012 is an election year in both countries, with an election and leadership transition in Russia and an election in the United States, it is clearly not a year in which we are going to achieve a breakthrough," Ben Rhodes, a U.S. deputy national-security adviser, said in a statement.

"Therefore, President Obama and President Medvedev agreed that it was best to instruct our technical experts to do the work of better understanding our respective positions, providing space for continued discussions on missile-defense cooperation going forward."

Mr. Obama met for 90 minutes with Mr. Medvedev on the sidelines of a nuclear-security summit in Seoul. Their exchange about Mr. Obama's election came as they were seated in chairs and leaning in to speak privately to each other while shaking hands.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to have his first meeting with Mr. Putin in May when he hosts him at Camp David for the Group of Eight summit.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:52 PM 
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Do the Russians really still think that we're out to nuke them?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:17 PM 
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I guess so, they are really paranoid about it!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:53 PM 
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It's four counts of saber-rattling. Everyone wants to know where everyone else will be standing for a while before they decide on the weight of any new agreements. If Obama signs anything with Russia and then immediately leaves office, his opponents will complain about what he's saddled them with. If he waits, they do this instead. Meanwhile, Medvedev has the same problem in Russia. Neither country can be seen to be either in a hurry for an agreement, or reluctant to make one, so since neither President can win no matter what anyone does, they're tabling the issue until they at least have the assurance that they'll be in a position to honor any agreement made.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:38 AM 
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That is some very fine spin, Tranthas.

It reminds me of 4 years ago and the NAFTA-CANADA controversy: http://blogs.canada.com/2008/03/03/obam ... dian-memo/ , remember that? We know who he was telling the truth to then don't we?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:48 AM 
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I'm not trying to spin anything. It's like that for any politician who's up for reelection -- there's absolutely no way to win while you're opponents are waiting in the bushes to pounce either way, and they'll tear apart whatever agreement you try to produce anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:58 AM 
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Then why, pray tell, was the message not: "This would be better done in January by myself or my successor." instead of basically "please don't make noise during my last election campaign as it won't do you any good, I will be more flexible Nov." (note "I" will be more flexible later, not whoever is President)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:45 PM 
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uhhh... aren't those essentially the same comments?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:40 PM 
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I'd have to say the difference between them isn't in what the speaker says, so much as what the audience is prepared to hear.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:42 PM 
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I love how it's being presented as, "Obama's secret deal with the Russians!!!" now.

Oh political media, you're so cute.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:43 PM 
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Make up your minds, guys. Are you reporting a missile deal, or an absence thereof? You can't actually say both of those things.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:14 PM 
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It seems like a deal to me. Basically: Don't make noise about this during my campaign and I'll be more flexible after my election. How is that NOT a deal?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:01 PM 
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Quote:
How is that NOT a deal?


The part where he didn't say "We will not have a missile shield in Europe".

He hasn't said either no or yes. He may have said he'll be more flexible (Which he will in that he can make a decision without it affecting an election) but he never said its guaranteed he's going to agree with anything the Russians have requested.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:12 AM 
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Romney: Russia is our greatest geo-political foe.

What decade is it, again?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:18 PM 
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True, it's China, but Russia shouldn't be disregarded as it has plenty of potential even in its current state. Loads of natural resources/strategic land mass, a potentially strong and motivatable base of people, and still a powerful enough influence over its neighbor states in both Asia and Europe. If they somehow managed to get their socioeconomic/political act together... They never completely lost the potential as a juggernaut that they had as the USSR despite the losses of the breakoff states.

At the very least it's important to keep them on the map for those reasons.. or perhaps for no other reason than they may not even be an enemy, but a potential force for higher productivity/benefits in the world. There are plenty of idiots out there with the mindset of "The Cold War is over and we won! They broke into a bunch of countries so there's nothing to worry about!" Such simplistic mindsets are pretty dangerous, imo.

At the same time, Obama has been pretty buddy buddy with everyone, which is fake and potentially disastrous for relations. Romney went overboard in trying to make the contrast, I'm guessing.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:57 PM 
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We don't have to choose between Russia and China. It could easily be both. Bear in mind that from each of thier perspectives, we look far more alien than these guys do to each other.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 1:11 PM 
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That went real well. Now Russia has threatened to strike the missile defense sites if we don't reach an agreement. Guess the "let's make a deal" open mic moment didn't stave off a diplomatic confrontation.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 2:54 AM 
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It was never going to. They'll get more belligerent as the election approaches. Wouldn't you? We're distracted with internal affairs; we'll notice less. They can take advantage.


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