ANOTHER OBAMA VICTORY! ONE MORE TRIUMPH BY THE MASTER! CALL YOUR FRIENDS! – AT 9:05 A.M. ET: We rush with uncontrolled enthusiasm to report on the latest foreign-policy triumph by Barack "I know the world" Obama. This is bigger than big:
(Reuters) - Russia has forced the United States to close its aid mission in Moscow, the U.S. government said on Tuesday, in a blow to U.S. efforts to improve ties and a step that may aid the Kremlin's crackdown on pro-democracy groups.
Hey, no problem. A little difference in point of view.
Russia gave the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) until October 1 to cease operations after two decades and more than $2.6 billion spent to combat disease, protect the environment, strengthen civil society and modernize the economy.
Yeah. We see where that got us. How many new schools would that be in the U.S.?
In announcing the decision to close down the USAID operation in Russia, the State Department suggested the Russian government - which is earning high levels of oil revenues - felt that it should no longer be the recipient of such foreign aid.
Analysts also suggested a political motive: reducing foreign support for Russian groups that promote democracy and the rule of law but that are viewed with deep suspicion by the Kremlin.
You can be sure that's the real reason. The Russians never hesitated to take the cash.
Vladimir Putin, who served eight years as president until 2008 and then four years as prime minister, took office in May for a third presidential term after winning nearly two thirds of the vote in an election international monitors say was skewed in his favor.
In a sign of his reluctance to brook dissent, Putin has pushed through new laws to raise fines for protesters, stiffen punishments for defamation and put new controls on foreign-funded campaign groups.
"Russian authorities have made clear for the better part of a decade that they see Russia as a great power and a provider of assistance, not a recipient," said Matthew Rojansky of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
COMMENT: Let the spin begin, starting with the Carnegie Endowment. When Obama came to office he promised to "reset" relations with the Kremlin, acting as though George W. Bush had restarted the Cold War. He hadn't. Putin had.
Now, with almost four years of reset, we have achieved absolutely nothing. Russia battles us all over the globe, and resists virtually everything the U.S. tries to do in Obama's much-beloved and very useless international forums, like the UN.
In addition, Russia is building its military might once again, at a time when we're cutting ours.
Obama makes Carter look like a genius.
Well, I won't go that far.
September 19, 2012