By:  Marilyn Assenheim

Vladimir Putin’s takeover in Crimea remains in the forefront of the news. That is, unless commentary about illegal butt-enhancing injections or whinging about media blackouts of FLOTUS and her daughters’ China vacation (er…I mean “official visit to expand Sino-American relations”) takes the spotlight. The Crimean takeover and consequent highlighting of America’s geopolitical limpness under the spineless “leadership” of The Lyin’ King is, to be sure, of critical importance. More so because of Putin’s growing brashness. He’s digging footholds in other, strategic spots on the globe.  According to The Hill, Putin is taking aggressive strides toward establishing bases in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Vladimir Putin has not been shy about announcing his goal to reconstruct the Soviet Union’s empire. Russia’s assumption of control of oil-rich Crimea makes the objective less of a goal and more of a conviction. Potential, future targets for Russia’s attention, such as Georgia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Moldova, are of direct, strategic importance to Russia. What is also vital to Russia, however, in any plan to reclaim her former glory, would be a tactical, geographical presence in places where she currently isn’t. Force isn’t necessary to inject official influence in such locales. Such steps taken by Russia may not be widely reported but they are happening. Right now.

America’s Quarterly reported last week: “Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced…that his country is planning to expand its long-standing military presence in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, possibly bringing the U.S. and Russia’s icy diplomatic standoff into the Western Hemisphere.” Translation: They’re planting the Russian Bear in America’s sandbox. The Quarterly continued: “Shoigu mentioned that Russia would also boost its armed presence in Vietnam, Singapore, the Seychelles and several other countries…‘The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents…We need bases for refueling near the equator, and in other places…’” The Hill reported on Friday that such military meetings had taken place as recently as last week. Splitting his attention with Crimea didn’t slow Putin down one bit. He isn’t interested in using a four-wheeled lawnmower to get where he wants to go. Putin is driving a souped-up muscle car; emissions are not a concern…nor does he care if he’s in the bike lane.

The Hill reported that the activity, while underreported, was not entirely unnoticed. Even by Congressional Democrats: “They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.” Contrary to Senator Donnelly’s assertion, he’s missing the point; it isn’t that we “can’t work in those scenes” it is that our current leadership won’t. The Hill’s report added observations by the United States military: “Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a ‘noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel’ in Latin America. ‘It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence…’”

While The Lyin’ King mewls about not showing Russia (or anyone else that is truly a threat to America) military strength, Vladimir Putin is not hampered by such niceties. Putin expands his power. What does the Imperial President do? He telegraphed his intent over a year ago. He was caught on camera and audio, blustering to Dmitri Medvedev that his reelection in November would give him the ‘flexibility’ to decrease America’s missile defenses. On February 25 The Washington Free Beacon reported: “… Obama will sharply cut ships, aircraft, and troops as part of a major reduction of U.S. military forces that will face even steeper downsizing in 2016…The defense cuts…would reduce U.S. ground forces to their lowest level since World War II at a time when world threats are increasing.” Those cuts follow the draconian surgery already performed on US military forces. Any rational individual would question why The Pretender-in-Chief is so fanatical about getting rid of America’s defenses. Why, when daily assaulted by violent acts from the world’s bad players, “cultures” impervious to the unrealistic, Kumbaya view of the world he remorselessly peddles, is this being done? PC “doublespeak” is deftly used against America but is otherwise ignored.

The Lyin’ King, with typical disregard for truth, claims that Putin’s annexation of Crimea shows that Putin is acting “out of weakness” and the United States conversely, by demonstrating a mounting inability to muster her strength, is “strong.” Such Orwellian claptrap is designed to perpetrate the liberal myth that Soviet domination was never a threat. Putin isn’t confused by such nonsense. He clearly grasps the difference between weakness and strength. Putin is following the historically-established pattern of Russian dictators. Putin’s Russia is a Russia run by a KGB thug. Russia is ambitious but still fledgling. The Lyin’ King is offering assistance.  Putin will take full advantage of the open barn door, courtesy of The Lyin’ King; it can’t last but by the time it closes, the horse may be long gone and regrets, if ever experienced by the regime’s disciples, will come too little and too late.

Regardless of motive, POTUS is not only ceding America’s starring role on the world stage he is deliberately breaking the nation’s legs in order to give Putin a shot at taking the lead.