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  • Is Putin Out Charming Obama?

    When Russia threatens to outdo the United States on public diplomacy in a place like Poland, something is seriously amiss in the way the State Department and the White House is conducting the relationship with one of the United States’ most loyal allies. Unfortunately, this is exactly what may happen at the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, which will be taking place tomorrow (Sept. 1) in the Polish port city of Gdansk.

    While the Obama administration has been insultingly negligent in responding to the invitation from the Poles, and only this weekend gave the final word on participation, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is using the occasion for a charm offensive of his own. (Whether Mr. Putin succeeds is of course another matter – Russia has a lot of history with Poland to overcome, including the Katyn forest massacre in which Soviet secret police killed thousands of Polish officers in 1940.)

    The ceremony commemorating the start of World War II will be attended by heads of state from all over Europe – but not the United States — will be used by Mr. Putin to try to warm up relations with the Poles, according to the Russian News Agency RIA Novosti. In an article published in the Polish press, Mr. Putin said that “the shadows of the past must not darken current and, let alone, future cooperation between Russia and Poland.” The Polish and Russian governments will be signing three agreements, on spent nuclear fuel imports from Polish reactors, on shipping in the Baltic and on cultural cooperation. He will also be discussing plans for U.S.-Polish missile defense cooperation with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, a very sore point with Russians.

    Meanwhile back in Washington, the Obama White House finally this weekend settled on National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones to head the U.S. delegation – after first having announced last week that it would be former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry. The fact that the Polish government had been unable to get an answer for three months from the White House or the State Department, and then was brushed off with a former official from another administration, understandably had had the Polish media in state of high dudgeon. Gen. Jones will undoubtedly do a good job, but he is not a head of state or government like the other attendees, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brisith Prime Minister Gordon Brown –or of course Putin.

    According to Polish news reports, the prospect for U.S.-Polish missile defense cooperation is waning anyway, something on which the Polish government had staked its reputation. Add to this fact, the persistent irritant of Poles being subjected to U.S. visa requirements unlike most other Europeans, and the Obama administration’s lack of diplomatic sensitivities. Combined these factors have sent Polish public opinion of the United States into a tail spin. The administration has made a priority of reaching out to the Muslim world and to Africa, yet seems to have little understanding of how to interact with America’s long-standing allies in Europe.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Is Putin Out Charming Obama?

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      If I may, I'd like to take this time to lighten the situation by saying Mr, Putin has a more attractive topless physique (referring to posted picture of Putin) then President Obama. Although President Obama has much prettier skin tone, just saggy skin.

    2. Roger D says:

      I am not surprised at anything that knuckle head Obama does. He is so far over his head and so much a socialist/communist, he actually believes that he has a mandate.

      He was a mediocre senator at best if not for the bias media attention that he received he never would have made it pass the primaries.

      And just about anyone but McCain would have beat him.

    3. MLP says:

      You speak about the visa situation as if it is something Obama can do something about. He can not for the same reasons that Bush couldn't do anything about it. Poland doesn't qualify for visa waiver because it's overstay rate is far too high. The law as passed by Congress only allows visa requirements to be waived for citizens coming from countries that have an overstay rate of about 2-4%. In recent years Poland's overstay rate has far exceeded that. If Congress were to waive that requirement for Poland it would open the floodgates to similar requests from any number of other countries. The Poles have been repeatedly told this. This is not a situation of Obama's making.

    4. Helle Dale Helle Dale, Washingt says:

      The Polish problem with the U.S. visa regime does indeed predate the arrival of the Obama administration; I do not suggest that it is responsible for it. It is, however, the case that the Bush administration was sufficiently concerned about the fall out in terms of public opinion to try to seek a solution — as has indeed been found with other allies in Eastern and Central Europe who are now part of the visa waiver program. The Poles have been very solid allies over the past decade, being among the four nations to contrinute troops to the Iraq war effort from the get go. The Poles might even contribute more troops in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the United States would see floods of Polish immigrants coming in. These days, Poles are focused more on prospects among the countries of the EU, of which they are a member.

    5. Vladimar I have requested for

      America to return my family property

      They have been leasing but not

      Compensating me for. I will be living

      In White House and The President the World

      Court deems best for President of America

      On long term will live in part of White House

      Or they can stay in a Hotel like French President

      Does. My issues is the Legislation up at Garant

      In regard to my family property in Russia Do

      Not grant it away – will have call Eminent Domain

      You are not to give mine claims away like Canad

      I have to go in now and do eminent domain on my gggreat

      Grandfathers land. If you want to build farms of fruits

      And vegetables indoor greenhouses you can let me know and

      I will tell Central Bank and they will write each employee

      At 7.75 an hour a paycheck every two weeks or draft a letter

      Send it to Central Bank or go to them with a delivery of new

      employees for them to pay. That will go for all new employees.

      Her Imperial Highness M

    6. Vladimar Don't get me wrong

      I meant you can build the

      Giant green houses for the

      People but put in The Imperial

      Name Imperial Greenhousing

      And Farms. Check with NASA on

      What standards we need for Space

      So we will know what will work

      For our new Planet too. HIH Margare


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