Satter on Obama

IA-Forum: What do you think of Obama’s attempt to collaborate with the Russian leadership on common interests while still criticizing Russia’s problems with human rights, rule of law, etc.? Was Obama effective on both fronts?

David Satter: It was very mild criticism. It was the gentlest of hints, and there is no reason for that. There was no mention of specific cases. If you’re not going to mention specific cases, you create the impression that you’re not mentioning them because you don’t have the will to mention them. If you don’t have the will to mention them, you may not have the will to stand up to them in other respects. Even in his discussions with the opposition, [Obama] was rather measured and didn’t mention specific cases. Once you restrict yourself to generalities, you greatly reduce the impact of what you’re saying. So I think he was too conciliatory. But we’ll see.

International Affairs Forum interviews Russia scholar David Satter of the Hudson Institute, author of Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State, on Obama’s performance in Moscow:

International Affairs Forum: You were in Russia during President Obama’s recent trip to Moscow. What were your impressions of his highly-anticipated visit? How do people in Russia perceive the U.S.-Russian relationship right now?

Mr. Satter: Well, I think that Russians believe—in part because they’ve been told—that the U.S. has ignored Russia’s interests and it is therefore up to the U.S. to do something about it. In fact, all of the talk about resetting relations plays into this because it seems as if we actually agree with this interpretation. After all, why would we need to reset the relationship if we haven’t done anything wrong? So I think that there’s a sense in Moscow and in the rest of Russia that the United States is acknowledging the validity of the Russian interpretation of events.

Otherwise, my general impression was that—and this is based only on what was public, of course I don’t have access to what was private—the U.S. went too far, really, in showing a willingness to compromise. In general, being willing to compromise is probably a good thing, but the demands that the Russians have made and the positions that they are advancing are not reasonable. There’s no reason why we should encourage them to make unreasonable demands, nor is there any reason why we should give the impression that we are ready to think about those demands.

For example, Obama said that he will inform the Russians about the results of a feasibility study of the proposed anti-missile shield for Eastern Europe. In the Russian media, this was already depicted as preparing for the cancellation of plans for the deployment. This is a good example of why it’s important to be very clear with the Russian side and not to make unnecessary statements. Why should they be the first to know? The feasibility study is undertaken by us to determine whether the system will work. It has nothing to do with them, and in fact, if the system isn’t going to work, we’re not going to deploy it whether they’re in favor of it or whether they are opposed to it. But what we do is we give them the impression that they can somehow take part in the decision, which they can’t and shouldn’t. I think that this was unwise and I think that the references to the system of justice in Russia, which in fact is nonexistent, were unwise. And the praise for Putin for having done a remarkable job as president of Russia when what he really did was construct an authoritarian system also shows a level of naïveté and lack of professionalism that would have been better for us to avoid.

IA-Forum: One of the main things on the agenda was coming up with a replacement for the START I treaty…

Mr. Satter: Here again we’re dealing with something that is basically a concession to the Russian side. We don’t need a replacement for that treaty. We’re not adversaries, theoretically. What’s the point? The United States is not under pressure to reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal and we shouldn’t be doing it if the real purpose is to please the Russians or to give them something that makes them feel like a superpower, which they aren’t. But this is seen as something we can do for the Russian side that will not have adverse consequences for us, so therefore we are hoping to win goodwill. I don’t know why we should be trying to win goodwill with them.

IA-Forum: Can the agreement even be considered a significant step in terms of arms control? After all, the proposed goal of the new treaty—for both countries to reach a level of 1,500-1,675 warheads— does not seem very far below the 1,700-2,200 warheads allowed by the 2002 Treaty of Moscow.

Mr. Satter: Well, now they’re talking about even lower ceilings… I’m not an expert on these things, but I do feel that whatever decisions they make ought to be based not on the desire to reach an agreement with the Russian side, but rather on the real requirements of the defense of the United States. And if as a result of that we are reducing the number of warheads through a natural process (as these weapons become more modern, the number of warheads that are required apparently becomes less), then that’s perfectly fine. But I don’t think it’s something we should be doing simply in order to have an agreement with them.

We don’t need to encourage the impression in Russia that Russia is a superpower, that at least in nuclear weapons it is entitled to parity with the United States, because that mentality is the same type of mentality which will encourage Russia to abuse its power vis-à-vis its neighbors. We need to encourage Russia to think about itself in a completely different way, as a nation among nations, as a part of the democratic and Western community, as a country which has a vested interest in the upholding of civilized values.

IA-Forum: Considering that the new agreement still needs to be finalized and ratified in both countries, can we expect Russia and the United States to “make the deadline” of December before START I expires?

Mr. Satter: I’m doubtful, although there are ways of adopting some sort of interim measure. But I’m doubtful not because of the pace—although the pace would have to be pretty hectic. I’m doubtful because Russia is still trying to leave the strategic arms negotiations with concessions by the United States on the anti-missile defense in Eastern Europe. Now this is what we call real chutzpah. [The Russians] are getting in effect a gift from the United States, and in order to accept the gift they want another gift, which is totally unjustified. They won’t insist on the second gift, I assume, because they might jeopardize the first gift. But who knows – they may feel that their interlocutors are so naïve that they can get away with that.

IA-Forum: In terms of the proposed missile defense system, it seems like the powers essentially agreed to disagree. Is there a possibility of compromise or a mutually satisfying solution when it comes to this issue? Or is it just a matter of time until this conflict of interests comes to a halt?

Mr. Satter: I don’t see room for compromise. The only compromise that the Russians are talking about is cancelling the deployment. The U.S. is not willing to do that, and shouldn’t be. It’s possible that there are some technical arguments against the deployment, but assuming that from a technical point of view it makes sense, then no amount of Russian pressure should make any difference.

IA-Forum: It’s tough, because Russia and the United States have completely different ideas about what the missile defense system is intended for.

Mr. Satter: Well, in fact, the Russians know what it’s intended for. Their own experts have made that clear to them. But they’re using this as a propaganda ploy. It’s one way that they can organize the population against the West and consolidate their own hold by creating this false impression that there is some kind of external threat, which there isn’t. Those missiles pose no threat whatsoever. There are too few of them, they’re not deployed in the right place, they’re too slow. The whole concept is completely different from what would be necessary if we were trying to shoot down Russian ICBMs (which would be launched over the North Pole).

IA-Forum: Let me ask you about one of the other big issues, Georgia. Is Russia—or has Russia been—planning an invasion of Georgia for this summer? If so, did Obama’s visit to Moscow reduce the likelihood of a renewed conflict?

Mr. Satter: This is all speculation. There were signs that they were preparing for something, possibly. But were they really preparing for something or were they only trying to intimidate? That’s something that we don’t know.

Did Obama’s visit make a difference? We can’t read their minds. We also don’t know everything that Obama said to them in closed session. Was he strong and resolute about defending Georgia and Georgia’s sovereignty? Some people said yes. I hope so. Possibly it did have an effect; when I was there people told me that whether there would be a second invasion depended on the results of the visit.

The other thing that I heard, and that I think is credible, is that they need time to prepare a kind of pretext. It’s not a simple direct invasion of Georgia without any pretext like the one that Saakashvili so generously provided them for the first invasion. That would be difficult because not only would it cast doubt on the legitimacy of the second invasion, it would raise questions about the first one. Now, to prepare a real pretext for invading Georgia, you need to put some work in. For the first invasion, the preparations began months before the actual crossing of the border. It might be the same in this case. I think for the moment they don’t have the pretext that they need and I think that, more than anything else, is what is restraining them.

But who knows? A trap has been set. Obama at the end of the day will probably not cancel the deployment in Eastern Europe. The Russians will claim that this is an aggressive action and that all of Obama’s talk about a reset and his friendly gestures were just hot air and that it just shows the duplicity of the United States. And the population, which has limited access now to free information because of the control over TV and everything else, will buy it. So we could be setting the stage for an unpleasant confrontation. In that context, it would be much easier for them to invade Georgia. Much easier to say, ‘we have to act in our own defense because the West is turning against us’. So it’s too early to be sanguine about the direction in which they are going.

All of this poses a threat not so much to the rest of the world as to Russia itself. Russia has very deep problems, and to solve those problems it really needs decent values and democratic practices. What it has now is not going to do that. They have a leadership which comes from the KGB which is totally corrupt. So we can only hope that the Russian country, the Russian state, the Russian society will somehow find a way to act in its own interest.

IA-Forum: Russian political scientist Sergei A. Karaganov insisted that the real winner of Russia’s August 2008 war with Georgia was Iran, because the conflict caused such a rift in U.S.-Russian relations. Now that the “reset button” has been pressed, do you foresee Russia and the United States actually taking any joint action to discourage Iran’s nuclear program?

Mr. Satter: I don’t believe so. The much more serious issue is whether Russia will supply Iran with the S-300 missiles. I don’t expect anything good coming from Russia, but I’m hoping that they won’t do something so destabilizing as to provide these missiles. These missiles are really a big leap ahead of the Tor M-1 missile, which is what they already have given Iran, and they can shoot down targets over a range of 120 miles. They’ve never said that sale has been cancelled by the way. On the contrary, the last public statement on that was that it was still valid. If it goes through, that could provoke an Israeli attack, because the Israelis would not want to have to deal with that. And then what we have is a Mideast war with unpredictable consequences for everybody, which nobody particularly wants.

IA-Forum: What do you think of Obama’s attempt to collaborate with the Russian leadership on common interests while still criticizing Russia’s problems with human rights, rule of law, etc.? Was Obama effective on both fronts?

Mr. Satter: It was very mild criticism. It was the gentlest of hints, and there is no reason for that. There was no mention of specific cases. If you’re not going to mention specific cases, you create the impression that you’re not mentioning them because you don’t have the will to mention them. If you don’t have the will to mention them, you may not have the will to stand up to them in other respects. Even in his discussions with the opposition, [Obama] was rather measured and didn’t mention specific cases. Once you restrict yourself to generalities, you greatly reduce the impact of what you’re saying. So I think he was too conciliatory. But we’ll see.

IA-Forum: On that note, would you please comment on the recent murder of Natalia Estemirova?

Mr. Satter: This is part of a whole string: Stanislav Markelov, Anna Politkovskaya… One of the signs of the cruelty or the lack of morality of the Putin regime is the fact that their protégé, Kadyrov, is really absolutely free to murder anyone he wants to, to torture, to kidnap with complete impunity; whether it’s in Chechnya, whether it’s in Russia, whether it’s in Vienna; as long as he keeps the situation under control for the leadership in Chechnya. This was a woman who was monitoring the human rights situation in Chechnya. She was a colleague of Markelov, who was a colleague of Politkovskaya. So who’s behind it? We know that Kadyrov said the people who are disappearing are being murdered. These are people who are his opponents and enemies.

And don’t expect any serious effort to investigate. When Markelov was killed along with Anastasia Barburova—in broad daylight near the Christ the Savior church on a crowded street—no one thought it worthy of comment until nine days later when Medvedev did an interview with Novaya Gazeta and said something. This shows the character of the regime. Bearing that in mind, an American president should not bend over backwards to praise Putin and to praise the Russian leaders. They are not deserving of that.

IA-Forum: That said, do you think that improving the relationship between the two countries could lead to change on some of the issues we talked about?

Mr. Satter: Well, I think it’s more the other way. I think that changing [Russia’s] behavior will improve the relationship. Let’s say you have a neighbor. This neighbor piles up garbage in front of your front door, his kids beat up your kids, and his pet pit bull bites and attacks your wife. Now, what do you want from this neighbor? Do you want good relations or do you want good behavior? I think you want good behavior! If he continues to behave the way he’s behaving, good relations should not be your objective. Because if he can get good relations and the benefits of good relations at the same time as he’s doing all these things, then what’s the point?

23 responses to “Satter on Obama

  1. Thank you, Mr. Satter!

    Another very astute analogy of the quagmire that is current KGB controlled Putler’s Russia and our B. Obama and related matters. Let’s hope that wiser heads than Obama’s head….( his empty, appeasing mindset) prevail over him, so that….somehow…..he is forced to do the right things, in the end, in his relations with our enemies in Moscow., and around the world. Somehow, we the American public need to remind Mr. Obama that he is OUR American President and that his ONLY task, is to defend OUR country, and not to yield to our enemies. OR….he needs to resign the presidency, post haste. Joe Biden would do better. I predict impeachment for B. Obama, if he continues on his current anti-American paths, and the total destruction of his Democrat Party in the ashes. Week by week, more and more Americans are asking ourselves: ‘Is THIS? who we voted into office!?, maybe we goofed, big-time!’
    Obama seems eager to give away the keys to the city, to any and all foreign foes. What a sorry day, since he took office, a very very sorry day for America! He is a dedicated extreme leftist-socialist, who appears bent on destroying our country’s engine of success, our free-enterprise capitalist economic system….and…..our personal freedoms. Day by day, we hear of his screwy and nation-destroying ideas and ….his…on-going socialistic determined plans for his ‘new America’. God save our country from him and his Democrat-Socialist ‘reformers’!!!
    We have, currently, much more to fear from him, & his Democrat Congress, than from Putler or any anti-American Islamic terrorists.
    I have no doubt, that Putler and his cronies….are laughing night and day….with joy, at our clunkhead/’nice-guy’ head of state. He is their (athiest)…’answered prayers’.

  2. Since we are quoting Russia experts, let me share what was said last year by Dmitri Simes, President Nixon’s policy adviser and the president of The Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom:

    Literally hours after what President Saakashvili announced on state-controlled TV the cessation of hostilities, he ordered a full-scale assault on Tskhinvali. And mind you, the assault could only succeed if the Georgian units went right through the battalion of Russian troops serving as international peacekeepers according to agreements signed by Tbilisi itself in the 1990s. Under the circumstances, the Russian forces had three choices: to surrender, to run away, or to fight. And fight they did—particularly because many of the Russian soldiers were in fact South Ossetians with families and friends in Tskhinvali under Georgian air, tank, and artillery attacks. Saakashvili was reckless to count on proceeding with a blitzkrieg in South Ossetia without a Russian counterattack.

    Bush administration and outside commentators are appalled by Russia’s disproportionate response. But proportionality is in the eye of the beholder. In July 2006, after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others—smaller losses than those inflicted on the Russian troops in Tskhinvali—the Israelis launched a massive bombardment of Lebanon, including Beirut, killing more than a thousand Lebanese, many of them civilians. When some in the UN Security Council sought to condemn Israel’s “disproportionate response,” the United States acted as Israel’s staunchest defender and prevented any resolution critical of Israel.


    Umm, you do realize right that Simes is RUSSIAN and that the current administration is DEMOCRATIC? Sorry if that bursts your bubble . . .

  3. Dimitri Simes! What a slime-ball-Putin’s mouthpiece. I have listened to him for years now. He changes his slant, according to who is currently in power in Moscow, who pays him his wages. Sadly, he feeds into the extreme ‘liberal’ left hate-America/blame America crowd’s mindset…..of which attitudes he and his Kremlin bosses are well aware. The KGB know very well the attitudes of Americans, better than we do ourselves, and they know how to manipulate them to their benefit. Mr. Simes needs to be deported.
    If Dimitri Simes told me that it was raining outside, I would assume it was sunny.

  4. LR: “the current administration is DEMOCRATIC”

    1. Simes wrote this article in August 2008 when the administration was fellow REPUBLICAN

    2. I fail to see why the validity and veracity of facts and expert opinions would change just because there is a new occupant in the White House. I hope you are not suggesting that history should be re-written every time there is a new election. This would make USA into a country with “unpredictable past”, just like the old USSR and the modern Georgia.

    LR: “Simes is RUSSIAN”

    No, he is not:

    Simes has been an American citizen for the last 30 years. He was born in the Soviet Union but he renounced his Soviet citizenshi, paid $1 500 for this “priviledge”, came to USA as a refugee in 1973, and became a US citizen in the late 1970s. His biography is similar to that of many other famous American foreign policy experts like Kissinger (refugee from Germany), Brzezinski (refugee from Poland) and Albright (refugee from Czechoslavakia).

    Simes can hardly be accused of russophilia. In the Soviet era, he was one of the most outspoken anti-Soviet republican hawks and remains a harsh critic of Putin to this day.

    Psalomschik wrote: “Mr. Simes needs to be deported”

    Nice try, buddy Psalomschik, but you, fascists, have no chance of ever coming to power here in USA. Thus, USA will continue to tolerate free speech and will not deport American citizens like Simes and Kissinger, even when their Republican Party is out of office. If you want to deport people, move to North Korea or Iran.

    • I agree with those who find Mr. Simes and his statements quite distasteful to say the least. However, you are right, if he is an American citizen, he cannot be deported.

      I am sure Psalomschik would agree and his statement about deporting Mr. Simes was just a figure of speech reflecting his frustration with Mr. Simes’ ideas. I share this frustration and think that Psalomschik’s words should not be taken literally

    • But Phobophobe, I thought you said that the Russians were not responsible for Soviet excesses?

      If that is the case, surely it is possible to be a Sovophbe & Russophile at the same time?

      Or are you starting to tie yourself in knots trying to justify your support of an authoriatarian, xenophobic, gulag denying, imperialist Russian regime?

      • Andrew, I am posting what hawkish but sane American foreign policy experts say about foreign affairs.

        Since russophobia and other xenophobias go together with intolerance and the desire to shut up and deport anybody who disagrees, you guys will never agree with anything pro-Russian said by any US expert, no matter how respected he is and regardless of whether he is a Democrat or Republican.

        Since no psychiatrist can cure your phobia, neither can I. Nothing I post is meant to convince **you** and all other phobes of anything. I am just posting sane arguments by sane American policy experts just in case there still are some neutral readers lurching here, although I suspect that your verbal diarrhea has scared most people off, Andrew.

        By posting sane opinions by sane intelligent experts, I want to act as a sanity check in this group. Arguing with you is totally useless, since you are not only an ignorant Russia-hater but also an America-hater, who doesn’t even know what Libertarians are and who blames American Jews for Nazi crimes:

        Andrew wrote:

        > I am not being anti-semitic, but the fact is that during the Bolshevik terror under Lenin, and the Communist Terror under Stalin, Soviet Jews were dispraportionately involved, far more so than Georgians.

        > How many did your family lose [in WW2]? Or were they too busy being isolationists in the US, and thereby directly contributing to the deaths of millions through impeding the US entry into the war?

        > “Hmmm, now are you not (as a Libertarian) supposed to be working for the deminishment/destruction of State governments and their “crushing” of personal liberty?”

        > or maybe you come from the Libertarian Socialist/Communist tradition?”

  5. To Phobophobe & RV and all: No! I mean exactly what I say. I predict that after…or during the Obama-Socialist-Democrat ruination of America and especially their on-going utter destruction of our capitalist economic system (and with it, jobs for the common man), AND of our traditional freedoms and rights, ….and too, if/when America suffers a catastrophic attack from Russia (or from their proxies) or from anyone, then….will come (in fact soonish rather than later), a sudden radical turn to the extreme-right, and very likely a military take-over of the reigns of government….in order to SAVE the nation. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights….will be temporarily….set aside, just as did Abraham Lincoln, who said when he did that: “The Constitution is not a national suicide pact”…i.e. in order to save the NATION, he as President……temporarily, suspended civil rights. And he …ignored…the Supreme Court who told him that he had no right to stop any state from leaving the union, etc. (If he had listened to that body, we would have no America today!)
    This will HAVE to be done again. And in such a scenario (which I…and many many other Americans… look forward to, eagerly, as the only possible method to save our nation), ALL in this country who speak against/work against our nation, (no matter where they were born or what ‘citizenship’ they hold) will be severely punished/or deported en masse. And that includes Dimitri Simes, a mouthpice ‘expert’ advisor to Americans of just how we are to treat his…native…country, whose main message has been: give in to Moscow or we may provoke them, etc. He does not….speak….as a loyal American. His citizenship should be removed, and then deport the rat. Millions ! of present residents of this country, will have to flee, to save their lives. WHAT A BLESSING THAT WILL BE!!! You who are betraying America to her enemies, especially you hate/blame America leftist rascals….will have to flee for your lives…to Canada or Mexico or to jump into either ocean or take one-way plane rides OUT of OUR country. You damn traitors, will be finally paid for your traitorous words and behaviour….you who have been so spoiled, in taking for granted our American freedoms and rights, to think that you can enjoy our freedoms, and…then speak and act against America. Friends!….in all of human history, in every place on this earth, such disloyalty to the country where one resides, has never been tolerated, not forever. Why is America different?…it isn’t! …and it can’t be, to survive as a nation. Some believe, that our American experiment….has come to a concluding dismal end, that it simply…does not work, that all of our former rights and prosperity has made us…..weak and divided and….disloyal. This country cann0t continue to exist, with our overburden of traitors and enemy agents in our midst, either sent here from Moscow or from wherever., or just our native betrayers. Something has to give. IF….Russia…or Islamic terrorists…or any enemies, cause a major calamity (again) IN our country, then….all hell will break loose, (and this could happen at any day now, any day!) and our pathetic current leftist federal government will be swept away……AND…no one will have any rights here, unless the Military Federal Governor grants it. Voting or party-politics won’t save us.
    Putler’s gang is pushing us to this, as are our domestic traitors. America is at a crossroads, either we surrender to our enemies, or we fight, to save our country. Day by day, The Obamanator is pushing this country and the common man, to what could turn into, a bloody revolution ….here, OR the military take-over, which would be more peaceful and which would stop mass bloodshed. Putler is also pushing us to major war. Voting, (the mythical panacea for all social ills) has put this Obama tyrant and anti-American into office, which shows the value of voting….which also put Adolf Hitler into office too.
    Sorry, if my words here offend all you traitor disloyal leftists….who endlessly praise all of America’s enemies, while you down America.
    Your day of recompence is coming.
    Why not beat the rush, by now, buying your one-way Aeroflot plane ticket back to Mother Russia….to to whatever other enemy nation, you prefer.?

  6. Psalomschik,

    Buying Aeroflot tickets for hundreds of millions of Americans who favour peace over war, is way too expensive. Even **you** can’t afford that. Why don’t we settle for a much cheaper solution: buying you a one-way ticket to Iran or North Korea (your choice), where your intolerance willl fit in very well thank you.

  7. > his statement about deporting Mr. Simes was just a figure of speech reflecting his frustration with Mr. Simes’ ideas

    Why is Psalomschik so frustrated that he wants to deport Simes? There are thousands of American political experts who express a whole spectrum of views. No matter what views you have – there will be hundreds of experts who disagree with you.

    If Simes’ views and ideas were invalid, then few people would agree with them. So, why would Psalomschik get frustrated? The fact that Psalomschik is so frustrated with Simes’ words means that they have real resonance.

    And the fact that Simes is so hated by an intolerant bigot like Psalomschik indicates that Simes is on the right side of the fight between freedoms and bigotry.

    • Really Phobophobe, you are a moron.

      “If Simes’ views and ideas were invalid, then few people would agree with them. So, why would Psalomschik get frustrated?”

      Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot all had a lot of people agreeing with them, do you think their ideas were valid?

  8. To Phobophobe: I guess your monicher says it all, you fear fear? In other words, you are trying to tell us that: all is well, we have no enemies, just be nice, ignore real threats..nobody is right and nobody is wrong, Russia is just fine the way it is now, etc..because anyone who believes anything strongly,…or opposite to your mindless leftist-‘liberal’ empty mind-set, (a true version of the Ostrich with his head in the sand) is a …nut? Well, you and I just have a major failure to communicate.
    I do understand your ‘superior’ types, though I couldn’t agree less with your morally bankrupt/laxidasical mindset. Are you on drugs? You talk like a druggedout moron. For myself, I am intolerant of the enemies of my country, whether they be domestic or foreign foes.
    To me, your ideas are irresponsible, and one day, it is your types of sell-out traitors, who will make America into a North Korea.
    I will not waste more of my energy responding to you here. Your words, indicate that you are indeed the intolerant bigot, that you label me with.
    But, thanks for the laugh.

  9. psalomschik wrote:

    > you fear fear?

    Well, yes I do. I don’t know which country you live in, but here in USA our beloved President Roosevelt said in his famous speech in 1933:

    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

    > In other words, you are trying to tell us that: all is well, we have no enemies

    I am not saying that at all. Americans have a lot of dangerous enemies. The most dangerous are called “Islamic terrorists” and “Islamic extremists”. They come primarily from the countries, which USA treats as its closest allies: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan. We are at war with these extremists, a war that cost us more than 2 000 civilian lives on 11 September 2003.

    I am not saying that we should throw fearful fits about them, but we certainly should find a way to neutralise them.

    People, who want America to continue to fight the Cold War against Russia, want to detract our attention from the real 21st century threats to USA. The Cold War was won by USA back in the late 1980s. Time to move on to the modern issues.

    As far as which one of us is intolerant: let the other people read your and my posts and decide for themselves.

  10. I have to make a sincere apology here, Psalomschik. I wrongly assumed that you are an American. Like most other russophobes here — Robert, Andrew etc — you are not an American.

    So, I sincerely apologise to my fellow Americans for assuming that this Psalomschik bigot is an American.

    And this makes it especially poignant: a foreign fascist like Psalomschik telling Americans what to do and which American citizens to deport from America.

    So, are you already living in a merde-hole like Iran, psalomschik?

  11. I have to make a sincere apology here, Psalomschik. I wrongly assumed that you are an American. Like most other russophobes here — Robert, Andrew etc — you are not an American.

    So, I sincerely apologise to my fellow Americans for assuming that this Psalomschik bigot is an American.

    And this makes it especially poignant: a foreign fascist like Psalomschik telling Americans what to do and which American citizens to deport.

    So, are you already living in some merde-hole like Iran, psalomschik?

    • Did you not claim to be of Russian/Byelorussian/Ukrainian Jewish heritage Phobophobe?

      How does this make you “more” American than Reader Daniel?

      Oh, thats right, your hypocrisy is showing again.

  12. to Smarty-Pants Know-it-All, Mild-Mannered Rational/Peacemaker, Phobophobe: This comment section of this blog, is much too limited a place and a forum for me to fully refute and to fully spell out all my beliefs, as compared to yours, etc. So all that is left, as you prove by your ad hominem attacks on me, is exactly…only that, a mud-fight. Such is futile, and I refuse to engage in that. But of all your sundry remarks, your naieve belief that the cold war is over, etc. …and hense, that current Russia has nothing to threaten us with, etc,… especially lamentable and most utterly ridiculous.

    My fine-feathered sir! (whatever your nationality REALLY is?) this blog, spells out just how wrong that…know-nothing……baloney is. Are you living on another planet?…that you actually don’t KNOW what is going on in Russia or the rest of the world??? I am a loyal American, perhaps YOU are a native-traitor? OR are you in reality, another Putler internet goon troller? You….say…you are an ‘American’, but to me your words are those of a traitor or an active enemy agent. Your thoughts are those of a typical leftist-‘liberal’ mush-brain, an effete-intelectual snob type, of those who want Americans and everyone else to blame our country for all the woes of the whole world, to give in to all our foes and to just die off. Thus, in practical effect, you are an enemy agent. Does Putler pay you? Your type needs no pay, of course, as you are what the KGB calls: ‘a useful idiot’, or in past semantics: a fifth-columnist, or a fellow-travelor, etc.
    By the way, since it is one of the rules of this blog, that commentors NOT engage in personal comment-fights, I cannot tell you further, what a low low opinion I have of your STUPID words and
    ….bigoted ideas. I can…also throw mud in your face, but to what good…???

  13. Pingback: David Satter on Natalya Estemirova |

  14. Pingback: David Satter on Natalya Estemirova « afewgoodpens

  15. Interesting conversations you have here, very lively, sort of like a brawl. Not contributing right now, just wanted to thank you for the link to Satter’s interview. Also, sorry about pinging this article so many times; have been experimenting with a few blogging tools and my trackbacks got out of hand… feel free to delete them, if you want….



  16. Agree with psalomschik a 100%, especially about Simes and all the rest as well actually.

  17. My concluding comment here: Again, thanks to David Satter…and all those other knowledgeable astute truth-tellers. They keep us posted as to what is really happening in Russia and in nearby countries. As to the comments here, by so-called ‘American’…. ‘phobophobe’, all that I can say in the end, is that it sure sounds as if he/or she is but parroting the Kremlin’s propaganda line, especially about the cold-war being long over, and about other issues. The Putler’s internet goon trollers, are of different qualities, and this fearer-of-fear personage is a quite clever one, as he/or she uses perfect English, claims to be an American, apologies to the (rational world-?) for a fellow-American’s ‘bigotted’ views (i.e. myself), and appeals to all viewers of this site, to compare his …..sane/nice/peaceful/MALARKY opinions, as….somehow…the …real …Americans’ perspectives., to my nutcase rantings. DARN! Maybe someday, I may (?) match up to ‘phobophobe’s’ high standards!??? But, sorry Charlie, I am not buying your……’American’ role, clever as it is. Futhermore, when ‘phobophobe’ seems to denegrate other truth-telling posters here, as Andrew, and some others, as …not-Americans (& how does he know that?)…as if their views are not valid (with mine)…because they are not Americans, etc, (if that is even true?)….that is the height of typical leftist-‘liberal’ snobbery,…or….a KGB effort at trying to mimic such a mentality-? I believe that ANY intelligent and truth-loving person, from whatever nation, can say profound and valuable views and observations….about…any and all subjects. Does that make me…’bigotted’?…apparently so…..
    What I appreciate, however, are truth-full intelligent comments….even from those who don’t agree with me on every point of any matter.
    These days, friends, we all need to know and to repeat the truth….about Russia, about Putler’s KGB gang, and about what are the very real and fearful threats to our American freedoms too, as is all spelled out so well, on this blog.
    So, yes, I AM intolerant of…liars and lies.

  18. Pingback: David Satter on Natalya Estemirova –

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