And now the President is reminding Russians about Alaska.

This post written after I finished wiping coffee off of the monitor.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Check out the haunting of the bear’s papery eyes (original link here).

God, I miss the days of the Bush administration, when we didn’t do things like this.

Referring to the long history of Russia-U.S. trade stretching back more than two centuries, Obama told an audience of business people in Moscow:

“Along the way, you gave us a pretty good deal on Alaska. Thank you.”

Contra Reuters, this was not a “pointed quip” (as Ed Morrissey notes, it only works as one if you assume that the President wanted to insult his hosts): it was a “somebody didn’t read the briefing materials (particularly the bits about Vladimir Zhirinovsky) gaffe.”  What’s next?  Thanking the Chinese for their involuntary help with training up our Navy during the Boxer RebellionThat should go over well: they’re even touchier about their history than the Russians are.

And I actively dread thinking about what the current President is going to say, the next time that he visits Japan.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

32 thoughts on “And now the President is reminding Russians about Alaska.”

  1. “And I actively dread thinking about what the current President is going to say, the next time that he visits Japan.”
    Thank you Moe. I hadn’t thought of that until you said something.

  2. The equivalent would be somewhere between the Prime Minister of Russia coming to the USA and talking up how wonderful this North American Union thing was going to be when we get around to doing it, and him coming to the USA and merely telling us how great it was for everybody concerned that South Vietnam fell. The only distinction here is that Putin would do either deliberately.

    So there’s your calibration.

  3. The list of possible (probable?) offended countries is endless:

    France: Great fighting in WWI & WWII
    England: How’s your tea supply
    Mexico: You guys still remember the Alamo?

  4. Scott: No, in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal. But it is an interesting counterpoint to the fawning adulation Obama has received for his cool ability to sound articulate and to strike a reasoned, informed, balanced position on various issues – – all in stark counterpoint to the Chimpy Bushitler who was pilloried every time he stumbled over a word or made a mistake of some kind. Meanwhile, the cool articulate One commits gaffe after gaffe, makes mistake after mistake, (I won’t even mention his veep) and the media say…….n o t h i n g.
    So Obama unwittingly sticking his thumb in Russia’s eye (if only he had done it knowingly – – ah, then I would show a little respect!) is pretty noteworthy. And funny.

  5. “This is a big deal?”

    It is to the talkie-talk “smart” diplomacy crowd. Unless of course, the gaffe is from one of their own. If it had been Bush, we’d be seeing it 24/7

    But the Left doesn’t really believe in the things they lecture us about.

  6. “This is a big deal?”

    Consider this: Let’s say you sell me an object (say, a painting or antique) that you think is worthless. However, the object turns out to be very valuable, and I resell it at a huge profit. At the very least, you’ll be embarrassed. Assume, further, that on a public occasion, I thank you for the sale, and point out how much I profited from it. I think you’d agree that I was being pretty damned rude.

    In the grand scheme of things, no, having our president insult the host country during a state visit is not that big deal. It ranks maybe with Jimmy Carter’s wisecrack about Montezuma’s Revenge during a state visit to Mexico. Not a huge thing in itself, but it does suggest that President Super-Genius is, in fact, a boor.

  7. “And I actively dread thinking about what the current President is going to say, the next time that he visits Japan.”

    Thanks for making us feel better about our penis size?

    Thanks for helping us test our nukes?

  8. Certain parts of the American media praised Obama as a master of subtle slights and insults. Remember how often his middle fingers were raised when he spoke about Hillary? So consider two possible explanations for Obama’s behavior in Russia. Either he is more stupid than George Bush. Or he is deliberately insulting the Russians and their government. Give how narcissistic he is, maybe he’s just miffed that the Russians haven’t given me enough adulation.

  9. Colonel Obama in Japan, sure enough: “It’s good to see how Japan has become such a good ally to America after the quick end to World War II that saved so many lives.”

  10. The other part of this being a big deal is if you imagine a timeline where the Russians didn’t sell us Alaska. They would have had naval bases not so far from Washington and California. They would have had much, much better control of the Pacific. AND they would have had greatly improved first strike capability.

    Not just the minerals – gold, petrol, diamonds, gas, but the fishing and timber rights, as well. Also, a nearly-complete lock on claims to the arctic – at least against anyone who would oppose it.

    THAT – and not merely the purchase price – is why Russia is touchy about it. If they can claim that it was a bad deal, then they can claim some justification for getting it back. It’s a long, long shot in practice. But for the purposes of resentment and ill will, it goes a long way.

  11. I can just see him saying something along the lines of:

    “I would like to remind Japan, which has developed a world-class military only through the generosity of the United States, to treat North Korea with more respect and not act on its own without provocation.”

    Think that would go over well?

    Btw, as it happens, the Japanese Emperor is in Toronto today. My father happens to be involved in the festivities (as media). Black tie only for everyone, even for the press (including technicians, cameramen, etc.). Maybe we’ll see some class from our politicians.

    Well, maybe not.

  12. Obama could just borrow a line from Arizona’s impeached ex-governor Ev Meacham, who said “When I told those Japanese businessmen how many golf courses we had in Arizona, their eyes got all big and round.”

  13. Next thing for Obama to do: visit the French and thank them for a good deal on Luisiana purchase.

  14. ““Along the way, you gave us a pretty good deal on Alaska. Thank you.””

    Yikes, just yikes. Even junior high history students know how wrong that is.

    “Will Tina Fey and the SNL crew make a sketch about this?”

    For them to do that, they’d have to have some concept of what humor is. They’ve long since proven that they’ve either forgotten or (as in the case of Fey) never had it to begin with.

  15. Two can play at that game. Maybe he’s getting back at them for that dinky chair photo-op. It’s hard to look presidential with your knees up around your ears.

  16. I just think that this is how the guy operates. Remember his insulting gift of DVD’s to Britain’s PM? Returning the bust of Churchill that was loaned after 9/11? The middle fingers when talking about Hillary and McCain? The “lipstick on a pig” joke about Palin? The shoes on the desk while talking to Israel’s PM? Even the recent nod nod wink wink to the Israelis about taking out Iran’s nukes is probably because he’s not happy that the mullahs threw him under the bus during the recent um, “debates” in Iran.

    Ernie is probably right, and he was PO’d after seeing the Russians pull his own tricks on him, and this was payback.

  17. I know for a fact that Putin is f*cking pissed that Russia doesn’t have the rights to “Deadliest Catch” thanks to that jerk Seward.

  18. “Thanks for selling us Manhattan. You guys still got the beads and trinkets we gave you? You lost them, How? Sorry, that always cracks me up.”

  19. Hmmmm.

    “And I actively dread thinking about what the current President is going to say, the next time that he visits Japan.”

    On par with this?

    How about “So. Where did we drop the atomic bombs again?”

  20. Hey France and England, thanks for letting us show off how great our military is during WWII.

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