From Russia With Love
The President fumbles the moment in South Korea with his now-notorious and indefensible open mike comments to lame duck Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.
Perhaps as a result—and certainly as an opportunity—Mitt Romney says Russia is our leading geo-political foe.
That leads to weeping, angst, and gnashing of teeth by the usual suspects, including likable-enough Hillary Clinton and Gaffemaster Flash, AKA Joe Biden.
“He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on, Russia is still our major adversary. I don’t know where he has been,” Biden shot back during a Sunday interview on the CBS current affairs program “Face the Nation.”
“This is not 1956,” Biden added. “We have disagreements with Russia, but they’re united with us on Iran. One of only two ways we’re getting material into Afghanistan to our troops is through Russia … if there is an oil shutdown in any way in the Gulf, they’ll consider increasing oil supplies to Europe.”
How big of the Russians to consider such an increase and how excellent of Joe to notice it isn’t 1956.
From there, the Romney campaign offers a counterattack:
“Vice President Biden appears to have forgotten the Russian government’s opposition to crippling sanctions on Iran, its obstructionism on Syria and its own backsliding into authoritarianism. And Secretary Clinton herself asked recently of Russia, ‘whose side are they on?’,” Romney policy director Lanhee Chen said in a statement.
But in the meantime, consider Russia, as assessed by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates:.
“SecDef (Gates) observed that Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services,” read a cable about the meeting…
There’s also the descriptions of Russia as a ‘Mafia state’ and of Moscow as a ‘kleptocracy’ by wikileaked U.S. cables (and remember, you still can’t spell Julian Assange without a-s-s).
Now, you have your 76-year old former KGB front man committing suicide. I’m not sure about the Russian tradition, but the 76-year olds in America are fighting to stay alive and well.
Just as recently, post-Putin re-election, that is, you get this:
Russian police say they detained 55 opposition supporters near Moscow’s Red Square in order to prevent an unauthorized anti-government rally there.
The entire lesson of the Obama gaffe and even the Romney campaign’s counter-point is missed. Regardless of who the major U.S. geo-political foe is—and it probably varies from day to day and even moment to moment—Russia is out for Russia and Russia’s rulers are out for Russia’s rulers.