Obama's memoirs: what the 44th US president thinks of Putin and other world leaders
On November 17, the memoirs of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, entitled "Promised Land" were published. What President Obama wrote about the leaders of other countries in his book, the publication said with the BBC.
On the first day, the book sold 890 copies in the US and Canada alone - a record for the Penguin Random House publishing house. The 000th President's revelations are expected to be the best-selling presidential memoir in history.
In his book, Obama talks not only about American politics and problems in his own family life. A significant part of his memoirs is devoted to his trips abroad, and, naturally, meetings with world leaders.
Who impressed him, and what kind?
Obama visited Russia for the first time as President in the summer of 2009. Before the visit, the head of the White House was advised by an employee of the US National Security Council, Michael McFaul, who later took over as ambassador to Moscow.
Dmitry Medvedev was then Russian President, who impressed Obama as a "modern politician" interested in establishing good relations with the United States. According to the memoirs, McFaul warned Obama in advance that Medvedev was indeed trying to prove his "serious role on the world stage."
“Do not forget that decisions are still made by Putin,” said the presidential adviser.
This was confirmed at the very first meeting of Dmitry Medvedev with an American guest. At that time, one of the main problems in bilateral relations was the "three-day war" with Georgia. Obama recalls that as soon as the conversation started about this, Medvedev, "as if he was being kept on a leash," repeated all the arguments of the official Russian authorities. But when it came to other matters, he clearly relaxed and enjoyed the conversation.
“He seemed to be trying to show me that he himself did not believe a single word of his,” writes Barack Obama.
After that, the American guest met in Novo-Ogaryovo with Vladimir Putin, who was then prime minister.
Obama was received on the veranda of the residence, where the table was "richly laid", and as a Russian exoticism there was a man in a blouse who was blowing a samovar with his boot.
Obama said the Russian leader reminded him of people he had to deal with in Chicago when he first got involved in politics - "something like a district boss, but only with nuclear weapons and a veto in the UN Security Council."
“Putin reminded me of the type of men who once ran Chicago politics or Timmani Hall [the Democratic political society that operated in New York in the XNUMXth and until the mid-XNUMXth centuries, regulating the nomination of candidates, etc.] - brought up by the street, tough, types devoid of sentimentality; narrow minded people who never went beyond their limited experience and regarded roof, bribes, blackmail, deception and occasional violence as legitimate methods of their activities, ”writes Obama.
The Chicago political "machine" in the United States has long been a symbol of corruption.
As the former head of the White House recalls, the Russian leader at the very beginning of the conversation preferred to state in detail all his claims against the United States.
“I had barely finished my question when Putin embarked on a seemingly endless monologue,” Obama says in his memoirs. - He listed in detail all cases of supposed injustice and disrespect for the Russians on the part of the Americans. He recalled that it was he who called President Bush on September 11, offering to provide intelligence data. "
The Russian leader, among other things, mentioned that he helped the United States to persuade the authorities of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to place American military bases in these countries. As Obama recalls, Putin emphasized that Bush did not "heed his warnings" and that his invasion of Iraq "destabilized the Middle East."
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In his monologue, Putin also referred to the expansion of NATO and the "color revolutions" that were organized in the United States in the "Russian sphere of influence" and Washington's attempts to "dominate the world."
In addition, according to Putin, the United States does not see Russia as an "equal partner", so in these conditions it is difficult to hope for an improvement in bilateral relations.
Obama claims that Putin's lively monologue lasted exactly 45 minutes. After that, the American leader tried to give a detailed answer to all the complaints he made, but he got the impression that the Russian prime minister was not interested in these explanations. At least Putin didn’t listen to his guest very carefully.
Eaton's pupil, leader of the Conservative Party, who served as Prime Minister of Britain from 2010 to 2016, appeared before Obama "with exquisite manners and self-confidence," he possessed "the calm confidence of a man who has never really been ruffled by life."
Obama admits that he had sympathy for him ("I personally liked him, even when our heads collided"), but makes no secret of the fact that he did not agree with the British leader about his economic policy.
“Cameron adhered entirely to traditional free market policies. He pledged to his constituents that his political platform to reduce public sector deficits and spending, along with regulatory reform and expanding trade, would usher in a new era of British competitiveness, writes the 44th US President. "Instead, as expected, the British economy fell into an even deeper recession."
The former French president was full of "emotional outbursts and rhetoric", he reminded Obama of "a character from a painting of Toulouse-Lautrec."
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“The conversations with Sarkozy were both interesting and exhausting; his hands were constantly in motion, his chest heaved like a Bantam rooster, his personal translator, who was invariably nearby, desperately tried to repeat his every gesture and intonation as the conversation was interspersed with flattery, threats, but never left the original, the benefit that is poorly concealed by him, which should be the center of all these actions and which can be credited to himself - whatever this benefit turns out to be.
The German chancellor, according to Obama's impressions, is "reliable, honest, with a ruthless intellect and kind by nature."
Obama, however, notes that at first, Merkel perceived him with a fair amount of skepticism. Mostly because of his grandiloquent speeches and ability to perform in front of the public. By the way, the 44th President Obama is really proud of his oratory skills.
“I was not offended, thinking that for the German leader, aversion to all kinds of demagoguery is actually a healthy reaction,” the author of the memoirs admits.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The Turkish leader was "friendly" to Obama and "generally, sensitive to requests," the author of the memoirs admits.
However, "I have a clear impression that his interest in preserving democracy and the rule of law can only exist if it preserves his own power," Obama said.
The former Prime Minister of India has been described as a "wise, thoughtful and impeccably honest" politician as well as the "chief architect of India's economic transformation."
Singh is “an unassuming technocrat who gained the trust of the people not by appealing to their feelings, but by bringing a higher standard of living and retaining a well-deserved reputation as an honest, non-corrupt politician,” concludes Obama.
Obama never hid that he was an admirer of Vaclav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic after the Velvet Revolution. His successor, Vaclav Klaus, the former head of the White House in his memoirs calls "problematic."
Obama feared that this Eurosceptic president would spearhead a resurgence of right-wing populism in Europe. Klaus, he said, was a prime example of "how the global economic crisis [2008-2009] has led to an increase in nationalism, anti-immigrant sentiment and skepticism about [European] integration."
"The promising wave of democratization, liberalization and integration that swept the whole world after the end of the so-called Cold War began to subside," the 44th US President sums up.
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