Russia Stands Alone
At a cost of billions of dollars to the Russian weapons industry, one by one Russia’s malignant allies around the world have begun to topple like dominoes. At horrific cost to its reputation among the civilized nations of the world, Russia has bet its future on a shoddy list of rogue states and dictatorial maniacs who are now being thrust out of power by the people Russia has helped them to mercilessly abuse.
Annals of Russian Betrayal
The ink was not even dry on Russia’s signature accepting hideously watered-down sanctions against the crazed Islamic dictatorship in Iran when Russian diplomats were trash-talking, undermining and betraying the nations of the West that Russia had just supposedly supported.
No intelligent person can be surprised by this action, of course, given that the vast majority of movers and shakers in the Kremlin are proud KGB spies. But it does not seem there are any intelligent people in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. In fact, they’re not only too stupid to be surprised, they’re too stupid to even notice what is happening.
In a must-read regarding the Iran sanctions deal, Foreign Policy reports:
Supporters of the Obama administration’s “reset” policy toward Russia tout the New START Treaty, Russian support for sanctions against Iran, transit for Afghanistan across Russian territory, and cooperation in dealing with North Korea and non-proliferation more broadly as the fruits of its success. National Security Advisor Jim Jones cites the reset as one of the main successes in the administration’s foreign policy (that, to some, says a lot about its overall foreign policy). There is no denying the vastly improved tone and rapport between the American and Russian presidents compared to the end of the Bush-Putin days. But before people get too carried away, let’s focus on two recent developments that remind us of the challenges we face in dealing with Russia.
On May 31, Russian authorities brutally broke up opposition protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg and arrested more than 100 people. A journalist participating in the protest suffered a severely broken arm at the hands of the police. The U.S. National Security Council spokesman issued a statement expressing “regret” at the detention of peaceful protestors (“condemn” would have been a more appropriate verb — we “regret,” for example, the recent death of Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky). While violent suppression of demonstrations is nothing new for Russian authorities, what makes this latest example noteworthy is that it happened just days after an American delegation went to Russia for the second round of the Civil Society Working Group co-chaired by NSC Senior Director Mike McFaul and Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov.
Russia and the Madman in Iran
Now, even Russia is getting scared of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Frankenstein monster it has constructed in Iran.
Last week, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran would push forward to build 10 additional uranium enrichment plants it can use to make fissile materials for nuclear weapons. The international community has been pressuring Iran to allow inspections of its facilities and to send its low-enriched waste materials out of the country for disposal, threatening sanctions if Iran does not comply. Russia has been obstructing this pressure for years by selling Iran the technology it needs to use nuclear power, the military weapons it needs to protect it from Israeli strikes, and by voting to block sanctions int he UN security council, telling the world Iran is a peaceful nation which will use Russian technology only for social purposes.
Now, the world can see that Russia was lying and, at last, the Russians are beginning to see the peril of their lies as well. When the latest secret enrichment facility was discovered in Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency moved to censure the rogue state for lying to the world, and this time Russia joined the vote and so did China.
Putin Punks Obama
Mista Obama, u been played.
Last week, despite much Russian ass-kissing by Barack Obama, Russia’s chief diplomat spurned not only the notion of actual sanctions against the incipient nuclear weapons program being developed by Iran, with much Russian assistance, but even the threat of such sanctions. Soon after that, Putin himself began issuing ominous warnings about leaving Iran alone.
It was clear: Obama had been punk’d.
It was not a good week for the American President. First he was humilated when he sought to win the Olympic Games for his home city of Chicago, then when he won a Nobel Prize that nobody on the face of the Earth believes he deserves, and then finally when Russia spit in his eye after he unilaterally cancelled the ballistic missile system for Eastern Europe as part of his now infamous effort to “reset” relations with the neo-Soviet dictatorship.
The Times of London reports:
Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has handed the Kremlin a list of Russian scientists believed by the Israelis to be helping Iran to develop a nuclear warhead. He is said to have delivered the list during a mysterious visit to Moscow.
Netanyahu flew to the Russian capital with Uzi Arad, his national security adviser, last month in a private jet. His office claimed he was in Israel, visiting a secret military establishment at the time. It later emerged that he was holding talks with Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and President Dmitry Medvedev. “We have heard that Netanyahu came with a list and concrete evidence showing that Russians are helping the Iranians to develop a bomb,” said a source close to the Russian defence minister last week.
“That is why it was kept secret. The point is not to embarrass Moscow, rather to spur it into action.”
Robert Coalson, writing on The Power Vertical:
The reports of U.S. President Barack Obama’s private talks in New York yesterday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have generally optimistically highlighted the two leaders’ apparently growing agreement on the need to step up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. Speaking to reporters after the talks, Medvedev repeated a statement he’d made earlier in Moscow that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”
I have long been skeptical of the Kremlin’s interest in cooperating with the United States on Iran and should confess that I remain so.