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  • That Pesky Reset Button

    An assistant shows the block with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting on March 6, 2009 in Geneva.

    The media and pundits alike have skewered the Clinton State Department for giving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a prop “reset button” when Secretary Clinton met with him in Geneva earlier in the month. Obviously it is a bad idea to reset relations with Russia only weeks into a new presidential term, especially given the number of outstanding sensitive issues that the United States should maintain some level of leadership on, rather than ceding all ground to Russia. But this episode also demonstrated a clear lack of leadership at the State Department, as it was the second very embarrassing diplomatic “gift” since President Obama took office.

    Secretary Clinton’s aides had been very careful to get the Russian word for reset correct. That’s not to say they spoke to any of their Russian translators or diplomatic officials, but it sounds like they googled it very carefully. The result was a plastic yellow and red toy button that was inscribed “Reset” on one side and “Peregruzka” on the other. The problem? Peregruzka means overcharged. It was also written in Latin script rather than the native Cyrillic.

    Politico published the apology from longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines: ““Ultimotely [sic], this was my soul [sic] risponsibility [sic], nobody else’s in or out of the building. While the Russians laughed off the error and accepted the gift in the spirit of cooperation that it was meant, I’ve been sic [sic] about the mistake since, especially that I let down the Secretary and the fine professionals at the State Department.”

    Honest mistakes are made, especially by inexperienced aides plucked from the campaign trail, but this follows a pattern which includes the horrific gift of a DVD set that President Obama gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that 1) could not play in European DVD players, and 2) did not account for the fact that the Prime Minister is blind in one eye and suffering from vision problems in the other.

    The State Department didn’t necessarily apologize for that incredible mistake. Instead they told British press: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”

    We hope before President Obama departs for his trip to the G20, and to have tea with the Queen of England, he gets a much needed education in international diplomacy. It would also be helpful if someone at the State Department explained to the inexperienced President that Great Britain is indeed our most special relationship, and Russia is in fact, not.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to That Pesky Reset Button

    1. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Same sort of research that seems to have been done behind their ,'Global Warming', Green house Issues', and'Fossil Fuels'!

      Those were all poven to be wrong at a later date also!

      Perhaps the whole team should try reversing their trend and,'Think berfore they act!'

      Hozro

    2. John Jakobsen, Litit says:

      Can we get a "RESET" button for the last election??

    3. Ernest E Mason says:

      This episode is very embarassing for our country. It shows that no one is this Administration is up to the challenge.

    4. Frank W. New Mexi says:

      We just can't please anybody Russia doesn't like the cool $25 dollar button we gave them, and the UK doesn't like the DVD's that Obama gave Brown.

      I was wondering if I could get a first edition, personally signed autobiography of Churchill for 25 DVD"s. Do you think the UK would trade another one for that?

    5. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      I do not like referring to people as being stupid because I have always thought that a human being can learn. That would make the person ignorant, not stupid.

      President Obama and his Administration are stupid!

    6. Franklin's Lock says:

      Obama’s foreign diplomacy has been abysmal. The Left complained about Bush but Obama has done more damage in 60 days than what Bush did in 8 years. Obama is just an embarrassment and showing weakness at that most critical time.

    7. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Clinton aide Phillipe Reines is apparently not very good in spelling English words either!

      Obama's humiliating treatment of Gordon Brown is intentional,I think. Obama being a socialist with anti-colonial feelings towards Britain (probably learned from his father)wanted to make his feelings known to the British people. He returned the bust of Winston Churchill to the British government, not even sending to a museum or library. It was a slap in the face of our loyal ally.

    8. David Edwards, San A says:

      Are members of Congress furnished Heritage solutions to our nation's problems?

    9. Pingback: Change. « Little Platoons

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