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Ex-Russian Chess Champ: Obama 'Doesn't Have Guts' to Call Putin's Bluff

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama (Dmitry Azarov/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 30 Oct 2015 05:39 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin first figured President Barack Obama would be a "weak" adversary in 2012 after an embarrassing open-mic admission that "the military option would not be on the table," Garry Kasparov tells Newsmax TV.

In a frank interview Friday with "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth, the former Russian World Chess champion and author of  "Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped" says Obama's remarks to then-President Dmitry Medvedev may have been misinterpreted, but "that's the way Putin read it."

"[E]ven if Obama didn't think about it, that's exactly what happened," Kasparov said. "Putin recognized that Obama was weak, the military option would not be on the table and he could start expanding anywhere he wanted."

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In the exchange with Medvedev, Obama didn't realize the microphone would pick up his comments that on issues such as missile defense, he would have "more flexibility" after his re-election – signaling, according to critics, that he'd be able to do what Russians wanted even if Americans didn't like it.

Kasparov said Putin has turned out to be a bold gambler on the world stage.

"He is playing poker and I have to give him credit," Kasparov said. "He's a very good poker player because, having very weak hands, he always out-forms the opposition – mainly Barack Obama and his administration – because they don't have guts to call his bluff."

The Russian president, he adds, is a "dictator," who "knows that to stay in power, he must perform every day."

"He doesn't have elections, he doesn't have the parliament to negotiate with, he doesn't care about the press – public opinion inside or outside of Russia," Kasparov said. "But he knows that one thing a dictator cannot afford is to look weak."

"That's why he has to come up always with victories – even virtual victories," he lamented. "That's why we probably have more Russian TV crews in Syria than Russian troops because every day they present news from Syria demonstrating how Putin the great, Putin the invincible, defying America, defying the West and demonstrating Russian power once again."

Kasparov says the West's victory in the Cold War wasn't followed with an effective "strategy."

"In 1991-1992, we had a reason to celebrate this [Cold War] victory," he said. "It was the end of communism, collapse of the Soviet Union, but as it always happened in history, after the big victory, we needed a game plan, a strategy, what to do next."

"[W]e needed some kind of a legal democracy that could be based on respect for human rights, for democratic procedures and could promote aggressively the agenda of democracy worldwide," he said.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin first figured President Barack Obama would be a "weak" adversary in 2012 after an embarrassing open-mic admission that "the military option would not be on the table," Garry Kasparov tells Newsmax TV.
garry kasparov, russia, vladimir putin, obama
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2015-39-30
Friday, 30 Oct 2015 05:39 PM
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