On March 26, 2012, just six months before the Presidential election that awarded Barack Obama a second term in office, the President spoke with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. During what President Obama thought to be a private moment with Medvedev, an open microphone captured the following dialog between the two:
President Obama assured Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Monday that he'd have "more flexibility" after the November election, during a conversation that appeared to focus on the touchy issue of missile defense.
Obama, during a sit-down with Medvedev in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him "space" until after November. The conversation was relayed by a TV pool producer who listened to the recording from a Russian journalist.
"This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility," Obama told Medvedev.
Obama appeared to be asking Medvedev to relay this point to Vladimir Putin, who recently won election to return to the Russian presidency.
"On all these issues, but particularly missile defense ... this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space," Obama said.
Medvedev told the president he understood the "message about space. Space for you ..."
After Obama noted he'd have more flexibility in the future, Medvedev told him: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."
In 2013, President Obama declared there would be consequences if Syria crossed the red line and used chemical weapons against its citizens. A short time later, Syrian President Assad crossed the red line and nothing happened. The red line disappeared or evaporated.
So, now in March 2014, is it any wonder that Russia has apparently taken advantage of that promised flexibility as the United States announces to the world that it is cutting military spending.
The embedded video "Russian Invasion" provides an insightful montage of the past week's news footage and commentary regarding the situation on the ground in Ukraine.