A half-hearted near handshake between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin before and after they spoke for about four minutes, standing up, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru, captured to perfection the melancholic dwindling of the Obama era.
A whirlwind flashback of the fractious relationship between Obama and existential threats Russia and China would include everything from the Washington-sponsored Maidan in Kiev to Obama’s Assad must go in Syria, with special mentions to the oil price war, sanctions, the raid on the ruble, extreme demonization of Putin and all things Russian, provocations in the South China Sea – all down to a finishing flourish; the death of the much vaunted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, which was reconfirmed at APEC right after the election of Donald Trump.
It was almost too painful to watch Obama defending his not exactly spectacular legacy at his final international press conference – with, ironically, the backdrop of the South American Pacific coast – just as Chinese President Xi Jinping all but basked in his reiterated geopolitical glow, which he already shares with Putin. As for Trump, though invisible in Lima, he was everywhere.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 24, 2016.