Oct 14, 2009 12:33 pm


Hillary Clinton trip to Russia has been a disaster. She came to office calling for the use of the new academic concept which replaced"soft power," "smart power:"

"We must use what has been called 'smart power,' the full range of tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural -- picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation," Clinton said in her opening remarks."With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy."

Hence, reset buttons, revival of arms control talks and to crown it all, throwing the Poles and the Czechs to Russian bear by canceling the missile shield. As the much maligned Neo-cons could have predicted, it was all for naught. Indeed, relations with Russia got worse, not better. Here are a few recent headlines coming out of Clinton's recent trip to Moscow:

Russia Not Budging On Iran Sanctions: Clinton Unable to Sway Counterpart

Agreeing to sanctions, was supposed to be the big pay off. Hillary claims she did not even ask thereby as Martin Peretz (who permitted himself to be fooled by Obama) characterizes as making a"a cupcake out of a turd." It gets worse -

Russia: We’ll Nuke ‘Aggressors’ First and we also mean Iran:

In an interview published today in Izvestia, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Kremlin’s security council, said the new doctrine offers “different options to allow the use of nuclear weapons, depending on a certain situation and intentions of a would-be enemy. In critical national security situations, one should also not exclude a preventive nuclear strike against the aggressor.”

What’s more, Patrushev said, Russia is revising the rules for the employment of nukes to repel conventionally armed attackers, “not only in large-scale, but also in a regional and even a local war.”

And worse -

Russia calls for new European security body despite thaw with U.S.

Russia will continue to promote the idea of creating a new pan-European security body despite the U.S. decision to scrap its missile shield plans for Central Europe, the Russian president said on Wednesday.

"Despite the easing of tensions, the solving of several problems, and the recognition of a multipolar world order by key international players, it seems to me sensible to set up such a system, and we will promote this idea further," Dmitry Medvedev said after talks with his Czech counterpart, Vaclav Klaus.

In another words, a challenge to NATO. It is announced at the presence of the Czech president who takes the opportunity to reiterate his refusal to sign the Lisbon Treaty. Under the circumstances, it makes sense for the Czechs for trying to do their own kind of appeasing. They will be followed by others.

Hillary retaliated by calling for more democracy in Russia. Yes, you read right. In obvious desperation, the secretary of state of an administration that has nothing to say about the Iranian brutal treatment of their people, is suddenly concerned about Russian domestic policy. Is this not the type of issues that concern unsophisticated"neo cons?"

In a town-hall meeting with almost 1,000 students at Moscow State University, Mrs. Clinton spoke forcefully about human rights abuses and the weaknesses in Russia’s legal system.

“That’s why attacks on journalists and human rights activists are such a great concern, because it is a threat to progress,” Mrs. Clinton said. “The more open and dynamic political system you have, the more opinions that will flow in, and the more successful outcomes will flow out.”

She even tried to sow discord between Putin (who did not bother to stay in town for her visit) and Medvedev by emphasizing the president's is official superiority.

On Wednesday, when Mrs. Clinton was asked during a Moscow radio interview why she had gone to see the president, she pointedly reminded listeners of who directs Russia’s foreign policy.

“The president sets the policy,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I carry out President Obama’s policy; Minister Lavrov carries out President Medvedev’s policy. So making sure we are communicating is very important.”

First came"soft power." When it obviously failed we got"smart power." It fared no better. In other words, Obama is learning the lesson Carter learned when he was president though forgot after he was booted out. We are still paying for the price of his temporary enlightenment. For those who forgot, they included the Soviet take over of Afghanistan and the Islamist take over of Iran.

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Arnold Shcherban - 10/15/2009

What do you want, Ms. Klinghoffer, now? Russia to dissolve as a state, as did USSR?
Russia give up all her WMDs to the US and NATO?
Your hatred towards Russian people, the entire Russian nation (not just Russian governments) just emanates from all your pertaining statements throughout all your articles on ...-Russia relations, with ellipsis left for any other country, especially, US and Israel.
Why? Don't you, as a Jew, have a bit
of gratitude to Russians for sacrificing millions of its citizens, and thereby (together with the US) saving millions of Jews from Nazi genocide over WWII?
You know very well that it was the Soviet Union (regardless of how evil was Stalin's regime) who saved, giving the refuge in its Eastern regions, to millions of Soviet and Polish Jews, don't you?
No matter what one thinks about it the fact remains that Russia did what no other European or American country would do at the time.
It is also the fact of history that it was the Soviet Union whose UN representative voted among the first
for establishing Israeli state in Palestine in 1948 and did allow
Soviet and other Eastern European Jews then to go to Palestine.
Yes, Stalinism did repress many Jews,... as well as Georgians (if you know what I mean), Ukrainians, Chechens, Uzbeks, Tatars, much more Russians and whoever not.
If one accuses Stalinism/Soviets in anti-semitism, then being even mildly objective person they have to also accuse them in anti-Russism, anti-Georgianism, virtually anti-anybodyism.
Stalin/Soviet regimes were totalitarian, but not anti-ethnical.
On the contrary, those regimes and their ideology were as international, as they get.
Now let's talk about the present.
You say: <Hence, reset buttons, revival of arms control talks and to crown it all, throwing the Poles and the Czechs to Russian bear by canceling the missile shield.>
What's wrong with the revival of arms control talks?! Hasn't this, the most PEACEFUL country in the world, declared on multiple occasions (as president Reagan himself suggested) that its eventual goal is the world's full nuclear disarmament?
Hasn't the US unilateral exit from SAT obligations more than significantly spoiled US-Russian relations under Bush presidency?
Then, there is your contempt for cancelling the Poles' and Czechs' missile shield. Why this decision of the US government throws those people
to Russian bear, as you put it?
Wasn't that shield, according to numerous affirmations of Bush
and Obama's governments, meant to protect Poland, Czechia, and other NATO states from Iranian missiles and was not meant to affect Russian national security (though it looks like you and other in your ideological and political camp refuse to acknowledge that the latter exist or, at least, has to ever be considered in US-Russia or NATO-Russia relations/negotiations)?
Then what's wrong with the proposed new pan-European security system?
In that regard, let me raise the issue that none seems wants to even touch: what's NATO for now?
NATO, as it's well known was created
and maintained throughout Cold War period as the US and Western Europe military union to resist possible Soviet aggression against the respective countries.
The Soviet Union, its totalitarian regime together with its aggressive, threatening behavior has been no more for 18 years by now. The so-called socialist camp along with the Warsaw Pact was gone 20 years ago.
Today's Russia is essentially a capitalist country with not a bit lesser (if not greater) freedoms and democracy than say Turkey (NATO member), or Ukraine, or Georgia and with definitely greater ones comparing to many US friends, such as, e.g. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Columbia, to name just a few.
Is its (Russia's) democracy as developed and modern as some Western ones? Surely, not. It cannot be yet, as Russia has never been democratic, either before or after Bolshevik revolution and only 20 years passed since Russian democracy was given a chance to evolve. The Western democracies, e.g. had a couple of centuries to come to fruition (should I remind of colonial system, imperialist wars, slavery, and racism those "democracies" used to embrace.)
Moreover, contemporary Russia has immeasurably less territorial, human, economic, and military potential/ army forces than the 15 united Soviet Republics used to have, which even back then together with the rest of socialist camp did not dare to attack
the Western world/civilization.
So, whom NATO, this allegedly defensive organization, was meant to "resist" after its main enemy - so-called Russian/Soviet bear - turned to a puppy and its ex-juniors are gone whatsoever?
First, to strategically and morally justify its continuing existence it had to INVENT NEW enemies, which should be shown as no less dangerous
than the former Evil Empire.
But contemporary folks around the world is also less ignorant and naive
than their parents and grandparents were. The former have a hard time to
believe that gangs of Muslim religious fanatics with the help
of one or two Muslim countries, whose
combined economic and military potential is miniscule comparing to just one middle-sized Western European state is capable to constitute serious threat to entire Western civilization (as it is virtually screamed on your side.)
And thus - let's revive the mythology of monstrous "Russian bear" whose alleged only goal and life meaning is to scare, upset, or aggress (against) the West, in general, and US, in particular, not to leave in peace with the latter and its neighbors and secure its citizens.
You see NATO surrounds Russia with a tight circle, US encourages, if not
provoking Georgian democrats (read
political gangsters and election fraudsters) to aggress against South Ossetia, killing Russian peacekeepers,
the Ukranian pro-US government helps the aggressor with arms while unfolding fierce anti-Russian propaganda (the type that
usually precedes a war), but it is Russia who "challenges" NATO with its pan-European security proposal!???
Just PROPOSAL (which, in addition has a microscopic chance to become a real deal) is not only equated by Ms. Klinghoffer to already happened AGGRESSION and other described above DECISIONS, and ACTIONS, but calls for the same reactions.
Thus,... the logic itself is defeated here.

And , finally we read: <Obama is learning the lesson Carter learned when he was president though forgot after he was booted out. We are still paying for the price of his temporary enlightenment. For those who forgot, they included the Soviet take over of Afghanistan and the Islamist take over of Iran.
Firstly, pay attention folks. Carter was "booted out", i.e. he wasn't reelected for the second term.
But you see only such Presidents as Papa Bush deserve the latter terminology the others were "booted out.."
So apparently he was booted out for
because he did not do what any sensible US president MUST do: invade Afghanistan and Iran (perhaps, Iraq too) back then, which would scare Soviets (who are now freely equated with Russians) so much that they would raise their hands and disarm., instead of doing the same what Americans did after Soviet invasion to Afghanistan, i.e. provide full monetary and military assistance to the bordering Afghan and Iranian massive resistance (though not to Taliban and Al-Qaeda, as US did over Pakistani territory, which they are bombing now.)
But stupid or treasonous President Carter decided just to sufficiently provoke the Soviets by launching wide-scaled covert operations to overthrow Kabul's communist government, the provocation that according to Z. Brzezinski himself led to the Soviet invasion, and eventually to the demise of Evil Empire.
As far as Iran was concerned, Carter
is hardly the one who has to be blamed for Islamist takeover in Iran, since what really caused Iranian people's revolution that propelled anti-American Islamists to power is full and unconditional support and spoinsorship all the US presidents before Carter provided for Shah's reactionary regime. And Iranians (Islamists or not) were supposed
to forget that the first Iranian truly democratic (though not pro-British-American) government was
overthrown by the covert CIA operation
(at British request) in 1953, with Shah's power restored. And that president Ford at his last visit in in pre-revolutionary explosive anti-Shah atmosphere "wisely" called Shah "American Friend."
That certainly watered eyes of millions of anti-Shah protesters with tears of joy and firmly secured pro-American sentiment there.
If not for that Carter...

Really, Ms. Klinghoffer is not only a gifted and sharp political observer, but also a joke-master.