2:40 PM, Jul 18, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
No columnist rivals Matthew Continetti's ability to contrast so starkly the president's exalted self-image with his actual smallness on the world stage. This morning's installment of his weekly Free Beacon column is perhaps the best example yet. While President Obama announces his arrival at coffee shops and diners by declaring "the bear is loose!" the Russian bear is marking its territory much more aggressively:
One can trace a line from any global hotspot to Russia and its authoritarian ruler. Iran? Russia has assisted its nuclear program for decades. Syria? Russia is Bashar Assad’s arms dealer. Iraq? Russia is sending men and materiel to the central government. Afghanistan? Putin muscled nearby Kyrgyzstan into closing our air base there, crucial for transport, resupply, and reconnaissance in the war against the Taliban. The contretemps between the United States and Germany is the result of Edward Snowden’s breach of national security. Where is Snowden? In Russia, where he has just asked to have his visa renewed. I wonder if Vladimir Putin will say yes.
Then there is Ukraine ...
"Obama is not the bear," Continetti notes. "He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow."
Continetti's analysis is correct, but it also reminds us how history repeats. Thirty years ago, President Reagan campaigned for re-election on precisely the same theme: "There is a bear in the woods."
There is a bear in the woods.
For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don't see it at all.
Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it's vicious and dangerous.
Since no one can really be sure who's right, isn't it smart to be as strong as the bear?
If there is a bear?
As Fred Barnes recalled years later, this ad was "the most devastating of President Reagan's TV ads in the 1984 presidential race." Reagan's "Bear in the Woods" made it impossible for Walter Mondale and the Democratic party to disabuse the public that America could afford to approach the Soviet Union with anything other than strength.
The bear seems to be back. So let's bring back the "Bear in the Woods" ad, too. Because America still needs to be as strong as the bear.
Uprisings in the East, corruption in the West— Ukraine emerges from elections divided and weakenedJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
7:08 AM, May 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that "we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war." He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be "more tactful politically" and that he's disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.
Has Obama given up on Putin? Let’s hope so.May 12, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 33 • By TOD LINDBERG
It's hard to look on the bright side of the dismemberment of a sovereign state by force of arms. But because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ongoing threat Vladimir Putin intends to pose to eastern Ukraine, the Obama administration must now face international reality free of one of its more cherished illusions: that Russia is a partner in the pursuit of commonly desired outcomes.
4:07 PM, May 1, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Vladimir Putin evidently feels a kind of boundless nostalgia for what he remembers as days of glory and pride, with parades and big red flags on the streets of Moscow with the rest of the world looking on in fear.
So this May Day, they are marching again, as Ilya Khrennikov of Bloomberg reports:
Hosted by Michael Graham.10:30 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on why the U.S. needs to push back against Vladimir Putin.
2:26 PM, Apr 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Lolita C. Baldour of the AP reports that:
A Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region, a U.S. military official said Monday.
9:49 PM, Apr 13, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The Obama administration has scheduled a deputies committee meeting this week—tentatively set for Tuesday—to resolve a bitter inter-agency dispute over a request from Russia with respect to the Open Skies program. Informed sources believe the White House is likely to side with the State Department, which wants to accommodate Russia, over the objections of the Obama administration's Defense Department and intelligence agencies.
11:20 AM, Apr 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Ukraine crisis may end not with an invasion, but a lien. As Reuters reports:
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom said on Tuesday Ukraine had failed to pay for its March gas supplies on time but did not say whether the company would take any action against Kiev. "They haven't paid for March," a spokesman said, confirming that Ukraine's total debt of $2.2 billion had not been reduced by the deadline of midnight on Monday.
Only Putin learned them. Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Vladimir Putin learned lessons from the Balkan wars of the 1990s that the rest of the world ignored or has forgotten. He invokes an obviously false parallel between the NATO bombing of Serbia and liberation of Kosovo in 1999, and his own annexation of Crimea.
12:12 PM, Apr 2, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Travelling from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Mostar, a city almost midway toward Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast, one drives through a stunningly-beautiful landscape of mountains, forests, and rivers. On a recent trip, however, I observed a surprising sight: four gas stations owned by Gazprom, the Russian energy giant.
3:02 PM, Mar 27, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
As Vladimir Putin reminds us that hard power, military power – not “soft” or “smart” power – is the ultima ratio in international affairs, who speaks for the Republican party?