How pathetic is it when Putin sounds more trustworthy than our own leaders?
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Just before Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, he blasted the Obama administration on Wednesday for what he termed its propaganda on military action against Syria. “We talk with these people,” he said about Secretary of State John Kerry, the administration’s chief political spokesperson making the case for war. “We assume that they are decent. But he lies. And he knows that he lies. That’s pathetic.”

Putin has always been a bare-knuckles political brawler with a penchant for saying politically incorrect things about enemies — he once said of Islamist terrorists in Chechnya, for example, “If you are willing to become a radical Islamist and be circumcised, I invite you to Moscow. I will recommend that they perform the operation so that nothing can sprout there again.” Now, however, he’s directly challenging the authority of the United States – and he’s winning. President Obama has always wanted to be perceived as a global leader. Instead, it’s his chief international rival, quasi-dictator Putin, who has seized the reins.

Obama has been left to complain. “Do I hold out hope that Mr. Putin may change his position on some of these issues?” Obama asked in Sweden on Wednesday. “I’m always hopeful, and I will continue to engage him.” Just a few weeks ago, Obama mocked Putin’s posture during their meetings, likening it to a “bored kid in the back of the classroom.”

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