The Campaign Spot

It’s a Lot Easier to Brag When You’re Willing to Lie.

President Obama, last night:

Second, we are demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy. We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small — by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies. Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.

The actual news:

After days of intense fighting, Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine claimed Monday they had seized control of Donetsk airport once again. The Ukrainian military denied this but acknowledged that the fighting for the rubble-strewn trophy had been fierce.

Three Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 66 wounded in the previous 24 hours, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters in Kiev, but he would not say how many of those casualties occurred at the airport.

Donetsk airport, reduced to rubble in the fighting since May, is of limited strategic importance in the short term but has great symbolic value. In the longer term, the government fears the separatists could use the airport, located north of the main rebel-held city, to expand their control over eastern Ukraine and create an air supply route with Russia…

Russia has shown “no political will, no movement on the ground, so no reason to change policy,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius said.

The U.N. estimates more than 4,700 people have been killed in the fighting in eastern Ukraine since April. Ukraine accuses Russia of arming the rebels. Russia denies the charge, but acknowledges that Russians are among those fighting the government in Kiev.

As for the Russian economy being in tatters, that has a lot more to do with the rapid decline in oil prices than any U.S. or Western sanctions. OPEC hit Vladimir Putin a lot harder than we did.

Elsewhere, NBC News’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, declared:

It seems that the rose-colored glasses through which [President Obama] was viewing the foreign policy were so rose-colored that they don’t even reflect the world that we’re living in,” and that the U.S. is not winning in the fight against ISIS.

Fred Fleitz points out that contrary to the president’s assertion, the Iranian nuclear program has not been halted.

It’s very easy to make it sound like the administration’s foreign policy is succeeding when you’re willing to just lie.


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