Pushing for Syria Action, Obama Stares Down Putin...On Gays
In a display of utter political incoherence, President Obama plans to meet with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates in Russia while visiting the Kremlin, even as he attempts to lobby Russian President Vladimir Putin for support on an international military action against Syria. Russian opposition to American intervention in Syria has been a major factor in Obama’s decision to seek approval from Congress for military action in Syria. On Saturday, Obama blasted the UN Security Council, a veiled reference to Russia, by calling it “completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold [Syrian President Bashar] Assad accountable.”
While in Moscow, Obama plans to meet with human rights activists Lev Ponomarev and Lyudmila Alexeyeva, legal aid non-governmental-organization director Pavel Chikov, and Coming Out.
Russia and the United States have been at odds over myriad issues over the past few months, including Russia’s grant of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Russia’s law against “gay propaganda,” and Russia’s Middle Eastern policy in support of Iran and Syria.
President Obama’s language has become markedly dismissive of Putin and Russia; in a recent press conference, Obama characterized Putin as demonstrating the body language of a “bored kid in the back of a classroom.” That language was said to have infuriated the notoriously prickly Putin. During that same press conference, Obama said, “One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there.”
The White House website brags about Obama’s stellar relationship with Russian leadership: “In one of his earliest new foreign policy initiatives, President Obama sought to reset relations with Russia and reverse what he called a ‘dangerous drift’ in this important bilateral relationship.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).