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  • Pushing the Wrong Buttons

    Friday night, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a dinner in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss US-Russian relations. As a token, Secretary Clinton brought a yellow box with a button and the words “reset” on both sides in English and Russian.

    Apparently, the State Department got the Russian word for “reset” wrong and instead it said “overload”. This is highly symbolic, as incompetence and haste in foreign affairs are the enemies of wisdom, or as the Russian proverb goes, “Measure seven times before cutting”.

    On the dinner menu were: Iran, Euro-Atlantic relations, missile defense in Europe, and negotiating a strategic armaments agreement, called START II, which will expire in December – enough to give indigestion to anyone. The working dinner prepares the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the two presidents, Barak Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, which will take place April 2 in London at the G20 economic summit.

    The discussion between Secretary Clinton and Mr. Lavrov came on the heels of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels which concluded with the decision to resume formal high-level talks in the NATO-Russia Council (NRC). The Council’s work had been suspended following the Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008.

    NATO’s desire to cooperate with Moscow is understandable in view of what’s going on with Afghanistan and Iran. However, part of the problem was “Made in Moscow”: After the “Yankee Go Home” announcement by the Kyrgyzs, Moscow offered to use its cargo planes and air space to resupply Afghanistan. And it is refusing to compromise on Iran. This is Tony Soprano geopolitics: “use my trucks and my garbage dumps – or you can’t do business on my turf”.

    Why, then, push the reset button?

    Other overtures include the hand delivered secret letter from President Obama to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev asking for Russian cooperation with the United States to halt Tehran’s atomic aspirations, and offering in return that a new missile defense system in Europe would go away.

    America’s Eastern European NATO allies view with concern the most recent moves to resume formal NATO-Russia ties. The allies are justified in their concerns about Russia. The “Guns of August” in Georgia demonstrated that Russia tore apart the 1975 Helsinki accords, which guaranteed inviolability of the borders in Europe. Russia also abandoned the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. To quote Mrs. Clinton herself, “We do not recognize any sphere of influence on the part of Russia, or their having some kind of veto power over who can join the EU or who can join NATO”.

    Mrs. Clinton should keep in mind that giving up missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic in the face of the Iranian satellite launch is dangerous. In the meantime, U.S. should step up military training and cooperation with Eastern Europeans, boost ties with Ukraine, and reiterate our refusal to recognize secession of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Pushing the Wrong Buttons

    1. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      This is a perfect example of why the "world" hates us. The left constantly complains that they want the world to like us, but then alienate the same people once they get into office. WE are America Ms. Clinton. The "world" doesn't see a differance between Bush vs. Obama, they see a country waffling everytime someone gets elected. Grow up. If we give our word to people in the world…….OH! Right. I forgot. Just words. I forgot that this administration gives a hoot about its word. Forget anything I have said. Sorry.

    2. Sue R., Michigan says:

      Watching and listening to these fools in Wahington is frightening. Why can't people see the Hitler-esque mannerisms and capabilities of this "President"? Why are these people mindlessly following him as he destroys the greatest nation in the history of the world? He is playing the fiddle and they are dancing while Rome burns!! God help us because the liberals in Washington are on a mission of destruction.

      Thank you Rush and Sean for being the voices of reason. We conservatives are alive and trying to spread the message of sanity throughout these insane times. We need your encouragement and reminders to keep on alert against their dangerous mind bending rhetoric while they consort with the enemies of freedom.

      We are living in dangerous times.

    3. jdi,li says:

      her lack of experiance is obvious to everyone she deals with except those who chose her-due to their own lack of any clue of what they are doing-no-they do know exactly what they are doing. that is the scary part. baraks red book.

    4. Ron, Derry NH says:

      Too bad we can't push the reset button on the election.

      I had a relative that was a contract negotiator for Raytheon in Japan. He was so loved by the Japanese he worked with, that when he passed away we found out from his friends that although he wasn't needed so much professionally, that he was wanted for his humor and cultural respectability toward them, and they insisted Raytheon send him over.

      This was no wonder as his wife was Japanese and I am sure she spent a lot of time teaching him the culture and of course he was so thorough and respectable that he insured he learned their ways; language, courtesy and of course their humor.

      Apparently our state department isn't as well adept at understanding foreign humor or language and should be ashamed at themselves for being such incompetent idiots. But they won't be. They are after all life time public servants that ineptitude is something of an accomplishment to them.

      It is times like these when a little homework would have sufficed and proves once again, why public servants avoid working in the private sector, where they might get fired for such stupidity.

    5. MK, MS says:

      A great commander is surrounded by competent journeymen assistants and Field Generals of the highest order! His ability to pick and promote these are in part a measure of his greatness. The bond of these "Brothers-in-Arms" is the common good of the people.

    6. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      This just shows how stupid the dc bunch is. It also shows the mentality of the "annointed one" and his cronnies.

    7. Frances Chambers, Co says:

      How sad to see the new administration be exposed to embarrasement of juvenile quality. Who is it considered to be responsible for an incorrect translation and were they immediately fired or reprimanded? Were previous assignments to the same translator reviewed for accuracy of intent?

    8. Joanne Tellez Giron says:

      There is no excuse for such an error. When this administration decided to have new relations with Russia, it was the responsibility of all involved, especially the secretary of state to do their homework. It is not a laughing matter and Hillery's laughing it off was even more embarrassing. How incompetent is that?

    9. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      If sacred marraige vows meant nothing to Mrs. Clinton, and she couldn't or wouldn't keep track of Bill, and didn't ackowlege his Wrongs to her, and still stayed married to a cheat and a liar, well, in my opinion, that means she condones that type of stuff, making her a cheat and a liar too! Someone who cannot be trusted. In otherwords, the perfect person to represent Mr. Obama!

      Hozro

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