At worst, Russia has historically been America's arch nemesis, at best, it has been the country's ongoing strategic and ideological opponent. Yet, despite millennia of cultural contributions and "fundamentally transforming" since the fall of Communism, many wonder just how "free" a nation Russia really is.
Take into account the staggering number of members of the press who have been killed under the stewardship of past and incoming President Vladimir Putin. To date, the toll falls at over 40. In the words of Observer journalist Peter Preston: "He [Putin] is elected time and again. Yet a free press seems to mean pitifully little to him. You investigate? You report? You die, unavenged."
Realigning the axis of power?
On Tuesday evening, Glenn Beck reminded viewers of Russia's "totally and completely corrupt" government and wondered why it appears U.S. President Barack Obama appears to be courting the nation's unspoken foe.
On Monday, ABC's Jake Tapper caught Obama on a hot mic telling outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that, if "given space," he will "have more flexibility" regarding Russia's missile defense program "after my election."
Of course, the White House spun the remark as merely an innocent reference to incoming and outgoing administrations around election years, and that the missile shield the president was referring to was merely a nod to give the "technical experts" a chance to "work on" the matter. The administration tried to backpedal further by stating, "it was clearly not a year in which we are going to achieve a breakthrough."
For reference, below are Obama and Medvedev's remarks in full. Audio follows:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
To recap, Beck pressed, Medvedev said he'll "transmit" the information to the "former KGB spymaster" Putin.
He corrected, however, that while Obama promised a foreign leader assistance in return for time, as president, he in fact does not have the power to effect how the U.S. role in Russia's missile defense -- that is reserved for Congress.
"He is selling us into slavery," Beck slammed.
Beck said he found it "astonishing" the media has not spent more than two days reporting on Obama's hot mic debacle, considering the contents reveal the president's intentions.
Obama's comments to Medvedev may make more sense, however, if provided with background and taken in its proper context. A stunning move revealed by Wikileaks last month provides greater insight into the president's possible motivations.
The leak uncovered that the Obama administration subverted the special relationship shared with Britain when it “secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information on Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty.”
In what Telegraph analyst Nile Gardiner hailed "an astonishing betrayal of America’s closest friend and ally," serious implications between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Obama could soon arise from the revelation, despite the two's affable-looking public appearances.
Watch Beck delve into Obama's affinity for Putin and Russia:
But, Beck reminded, it would not be the first time the president has unabashedly embraced Russia or snubbed America's allies.
Recall that upon Putin's election, Obama was among the first to bestow a congratulatory call on the incoming president, despite the fact that Russians were rioting in the streets over what they insist was a "rigged" election.
"I've been predicting this for as long as I can remember," Beck said.
After all, Putin's "been elected...50 times now?"
Knowing that Putin would retake to power, "by force if necessary," Beck said "extremists" are now poised to take hold in Europe and Russia.
He also noted that once this occurs, it is those very countries corrupted by extremists the U.S. will align itself with, because the president "managed to walk all over every ally" she has traditionally held.
The affinity may be traceable:
Russia "collapsed their own system," both in Communist days and recently through overspending while at war at war with Bin Laden in Afghanistan. They "love crony Capitalism" and, according to Beck, rigged government contracts to those "willing to play ball" then made a few "hand-picked billionaires" thrive while the rest live in poverty.
Beck pointed out that the administration likely even moved the G8 Summit for Putin's comfort level in order to "get cozy" with the incoming Russian president at Camp David -- a move, Beck reminded, that was made just days after Putin's re-election. The Russian media even reported that the change of venues was meant "to improve" U.S. relations with Russia in the hopes of igniting the missile defense discussion again.
Spanning the list of Obama's past interludes with Putin, Beck also mentioned a trip to Russia in which the president allegedly had a two hour-long meeting with the former KGB agent where he was taught the history of World War II.
Beck mocked the affair and said he "hoped that was true" because the "secret meetings get worse."
"Then yesterday he goes and sets Poland on fire with his comments."
A headline ran in a Polish newspaper reportedly translating to: "Were they trading Poland?" and
discussed the "puzzling Obama talk with Medvedev about the missile shield."
It may not come as a surprise:
Beck recalled that when he traveled to Poland over the summer many people he came across believe the U.S. has been attempting to make their country "more Communist."
"Of course this administration is!" Beck slammed.
In looking at Obama's mentors and influences, is it any wonder, Beck posited, that he would embrace Putin or seek to further the decline of our allies?
Many will recall Frank Marshall Davis, the radical often cited as having played pivotal role in the president's formative years. And, according to Beck, he was also a communist with a thick file.
Beck promised that more about Davis will soon be revealed in an upcoming book slated for release.
The fallout felt across the globe:
Beck then broke down just some of the countries experiencing the fallout from the administration's policies. According to Beck:
- Israel: Will be decimated. U.S.-Israel relations are at an all-time low as the White House repeatedly disregarded the construction of Jewish communities. When Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the White House and was snubbed by the president. Obama was also caught on a hot mic complaining about Netanyahu to French President Sarkozy.
- Egypt: Changed alliances. The administration applauded the Arab Spring and encouraged its new "democracy," then the country turns and raids American NGOs. Workers are arrested including the son of a cabinet member and are barred from leaving the country. They do not respect the U.S. nor do they count our opinion in high regard.
- Japan: The U.S. blasts Japan for weakening its currency yet is guilty of doing the same at home. "They are over" the U.S."
- China: Beck said America is now a slave to China. It does not trust the U.S. economy and is no longer buying U.S. debt. It criticizes American government's handling of debt and believes Americans to be killing innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan. The list goes on
- France: Beck said French President Sarkozy hates the U.S. and that his country is "about to go Communist" regardless. Islamic extremists are shooting Jewish people in the street and Israeli Knesset members say it is no longer safe for Jews in France. The contender currently beating Sarkozy in the French polls also happens to be a Communist.
- Turkey: Obama's greatest ally, according to Beck, is the one who said he helps Obama parent his daughters, yet his own daughters dress in full Islamic garb.
So who are our allies?
"Who are our allies?" Beck asked. "And why would we have any when our president treats them like a bunch of morons who can't use Google?"
Beck, of course, was referencing an embarrassing series of missteps in which the president, upon visiting a number of America's foreign allies, copied the exact same compliment.
The rote remarks President Obama delivered to nearly every country he has visited was compiled by a Danish newspaper -- likely because the Danes inevitably realized that what they thought were genuine words of praise for their country, were in fact no different than those the president had delivered to citizens of the Philippines.
Perhaps, to Obama, all allies look the same.
Below is the video montage of the numerous times Obama has praised a nation and its people for "punching above their weight."
Obama is "single-handedly changing the axis of power" in this country. "Who are our allies now? Libya?"
"Whoever they are -- I'm sure they'll 'punch above their weight,'" Beck quipped.