President Barack Obama has decided to punish Russia for its alleged hacking of Democratic National Committee and other computer files for the purpose of influencing election 2016. He has ordered 35 Russian diplomats expelled and has imposed sanctions. The White House has suggested that the diplomats were engaged in intelligence gathering, which begs the question as to why they were permitted to remain in the United States, to begin with.

Four years ago, when then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested that Russia was America’s principal enemy, Obama quipped that the 1980s were calling and wanted their foreign policy back, suggesting that Romney was overly nostalgic for the Cold War.

Since then, Obama had treated Putin’s Russia with some forbearance, not batting an eye when it snatched the Crimea from the Ukraine and committed genocide in Syria. But allegedly breaking into the DNC’s computer files and embarrassing the Democrats by releasing the contents via WikiLeaks was the last straw. Obama has revived the 1980s Cold War with a vengeance.

It should be noted that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has denied that Russia was the source of the information that proved damaging to the Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.

In any case, the sudden chill in Russian-American relations may be short lived. Incoming president Donald Trump sees Putin as an ally and fellow alpha male with whom he can do business.

He has stated that he finds the kerfuffle over cyber espionage from Russia a distraction and wishes the people should get on with their lives. On the other hand, as rumor has it, Russia tried and failed to hack into Republican National Committee files.

Coming on the heels of Secretary of State John Kerry’s intemperate assault on the State of Israel, Obama’s sudden punishment of Russia smacks of overreaction in an attempt to prove, albeit belatedly, that he is not a pushover.

Considering the number of times he has issued threats and not followed through and has appeased enemies of the United States, the time for proving his manhood may be too late for the soon former president of the United States.

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