Yesterday, weapons inspectors confirmed that Syria handed over all declared chemical and biological weapons to an international inspection team for destruction, completing a major foreign policy coup for the Obama administration (or in the media version, a triumph for Vladimir Putin in a negotiation over Syria where Obama got everything and Putin got nothing) - disarming a middle eastern power of its weapons of mass destruction in the midst of a civil war without firing a single shot.
ISIS - the Islamic militant group that is gaining ground in Iraq - many Americans will be surprised to learn stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Incidentally, these were the same rebels McCain was urging US arms in Syria. While Bush searched for WMDs in the wrong country between this pair, it took President Obama to actually get rid of the weapons where it did exist, Syria. Despite all of the Right's huffing and puffing about terrorists getting their hands on WMDs, there is only one reason that actual terrorists will not be able to get their hands on actual WMDs, and his name is Barack Obama.
Yet, outside of Rachel Maddow, this momentous news in international relations was covered with all the enthusiasm of watching a snail pass. When Syria was erupting and Congress was fiddling its thumb on President Obama's request for action, the same media could not be kept away from covering how the black guy didn't have the balls to shun Congress and take us to war.
The same media couldn't get enough the "weak black guy" narrative then. But now that his strategy of strength, fairness and diplomacy has born major fruit? Nary a peep.
But that is not the only international news story the media will ignore this week.
Vladimir Putin has formally asked the upper house of the Russian parliament to rescind their March 1 authorization for Putin to attack Ukraine. Leaders of the Russian Federation Council said it will act on the request tomorrow, June 25. The truce was declared as the Ukrainian government and rebels attempt to hold a fledgling cease-fire.
President Obama spoke with Putin on this matter just yesterday. Both Putin's office and the White House have released readouts of the two presidents' conversation. Far from his usual chest-thumping macho-man image that our media and the political Right are having an orgasm over, Putin was conciliatory towards Ukraine and publicly urged the rebels to back off.
And the day after Putin publicly tells the pro-Russian rebels to honor a cease-fire, he very publicly asks the Russo parliament to end his authority to send Russian forces into Ukraine. Any second grader can put these two together: After telling the rebels to back off, Putin is now making clear that they cannot expect Russian military support.
Putin is backing off, with his tail between his legs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and its European allies are finalizing a package of sanctions on Russia's key economic sectors that could be levied as early as this week, though the package might be delayed because of positive signals from Russian President Vladimir Putin, administration officials and others close to the decision-making said Tuesday.
These sanctions would be much broader than the limited ones President Obama had imposed before, with evidence that even those limited sanctions are hurting the Russian economy badly - so much so that the Russians plan on whining about them to the WTO. So imagine what could happen when joint sanctions under consideration would broadly hit the Russian energy sector, the very lifeblood of the Russian economy.
Actually, no need to imagine. As mentioned before, any second grader can do this math. Obama-Putin phone call, reports of serious oil sanctions under consideration, and suddenly Putin folds like a cheap tent, putting out the word that he's renouncing even the legislative power to use Russian forces in Ukraine. This, my friends, is what happens when you cross the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
This is yet another crowning foreign policy achievement for this president.
Ending two wars. Securing the world's loose nukes. Killing Osama bin Laden. Bringing the last American POW home. Disarming a middle-eastern madman without firing so much as a water balloon. Dashing Putin's hope of a new Soviet empire.
If this were any other president - let me clarify, if this were any white president - the work of carving their face on Mount Rushmore would have already begun. For any Republican president, any one of these achievements would be reason to replace Benjamin Franklin on the one-hundred.
But for President Obama? All we get is scorn, questions on his patriotism, and conflation of things that have nothing to do with him at all (Iraq's devolvement into civil war no matter when we left has been predicted for as long as we had been in Iraq). We have an opposition party incapable of celebrating America, and a media that continuously serves as a mouthpiece for those who have been wrong about... everything.
This president has worked harder than any other in modern history, and has accomplished more for peace than any other perhaps in history. That isn't my emotion speaking - that is the categorical judgment of the facts.
But for that story to be told to the masses, we will have to await history. Because our Obama-deranged fourth estate is both incapable and unwilling to do the job.
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