The US/Russia Summit

This morning, as I am having my coffee, and after my reading and prayer time, I have been reflecting on the meeting between two of the most powerful leaders in the country. I wanted to take a couple of minutes and record those thoughts here as well as reflect on the more recent things that have occurred which have damaged US/Russian relations.
  • No, it is not ok that another nation (Russia) interfered in our elections. It’s also not ok that we interfere in other nation’s elections. If we want to get all indignant about it claiming the moral high ground, that starts by example. If we are the leaders of the free world as we like to claim, that leadership starts by example, and in international elections, we have not given a good example. (source)
  • The reality is that there were warnings that a foreign government, specifically Russia, would try to interfere in a US election as early as 2014, but the common perception that nothing was done is not quite so true. Russia was warned by US intelligence officials speaking to their counterparts in Russia not to do this. This is a common way to relay messages in international politics. Former POTUS Obama personally warned Putin not to do this, via the “red phone” that is normally used for nuclear matters, but had previously been agreed could be used for cyber matters as well. This is a very rarely used method of contact. Those warnings did not work. You can say that enough was not done, and I am one of the voices that says this,  but you can not say honestly say that it was ignored. (source)
  • After it became known that Russia was attempting to influence the election, former SCOTUS Obama expelled 35 diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in the US. I am among the voices that say the response was not significant enough both from the US, and from our allies, but there was a response and saying otherwise is not honest. Contrary to the rumors, POTUS Trump did not ease sanctions on Russia, but yes, the sanctions were slightly adjusted in a way that is generally seen as routine so as to not harm American companies. In any other time, it would not even be a news story. Democratic leaders such as Pelosi, were wrong in their assertions. (source)
  • No matter what happens at this summit, there is  sizable group that will not be happy. The Trump tweet, while bombastic as usual, is likely correct regarding this group. He’s correct when asserting that Putin could give up Moscow in reparations for past misdeeds, and many would complain that Trump did not get Saint Petersburg too. There is a large group of people who will not allow Trump to be correct about anything or to have a good idea, even if they supported it previously. That is not loyal opposition, which is vital to this nation, it is just opposition for the sake of gaining power which is how we will fall. It’s most recently seen in the opposition to whomever Trump nominated to the SCOTUS before they were nominated. They hype and partisanship is astounding at this point, and frankly it is dangerous.
  • Until now, I have defended the Muller Probe. I don’t generally like special prosecutors and think it could have been handled a different way, but this is how it was chosen to be handled, so be it. It is vitally important to know what happened in the tampering by Russia so that it can be prevented in the future. It was also important to know if there was collusion, which I feel the need to point out that there is no evidence of such. I no longer support this inquiry because I was not born yesterday. Suddenly, just a day or two before Trump and Putin are to meet, there are conveniently new indictments of Russian hackers.  It is difficult to see this as anything other than an attempt to influence the meeting. There is no reason that the indictments could not wait. Furthermore, there are then the calls by Democrats, and apparently some Republicans,  to now demand extradition of the hackers from Russia. (source) Let’s start with the obvious. Putin is not going to do this. That is just the reality of the situation. Let’s move to another reality, we have no extradition agreement with Russia. Let’s move to the legal, even if they wanted to, Russia could not extradite them due to constitutional restrictions. “Article 61 1. A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported from Russia or extradited to another State.” (source) I am not naive. I understand that Putin likely doesn’t care about the constitution. I do however. I would not want our nation to violate our own constitution, so because of that, I can not reasonably expect another nation to violate theirs. Neither should anyone else.  The Democrats demand the impossible and will then blame Trump for not delivering it. That is not good and healthy for the nation. That is not loyal opposition. That is the very type of power play that they frequently deride Trump for. Frankly, there are more important things to worry about anyway. The probe needs to come to an end. We know what was done, we know who did it, and we know that it was not a matter of collusion by Trump, which was the initial claim. Stop spending more and more money on the thing since it’s original purpose is now unfounded and the meddling unmasked.
  • Despite the claims of some, the two most powerful leaders of the world, who collectively control 90% of the world’s nuclear stockpile, sitting down and talking is a good thing. If you are talking, you are not shooting. I imagine that the START II treaty will be discussed and enforced, perhaps even expanded, or at least the framework for an expansion. Less nuclear weapons seems far more important to me than a few hackers that we can not reasonably expect to prosecute anyway.

If all that comes of this summit is that two powerful leaders have a good chat and start to repair damaged relations, then it was a success. Russia is not our friend, again, I am not naive, but we can work with them in some areas. It’s not a bad thing for 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons to be able to have a civil chat. I am so passed the Russia Trump crap. There is not evidence, so at this point, it’s just slander. I am not a Trump supporter, though some policy decisions he has made I do like. I find myself defending him more and more however not because I particularly like his style or all of his policies, but because there is such an irrational opposition and unwillingness to work with him, that it is terrifying. There are those who are hoping that the Russia meeting will fail just so that Trump will look bad. Actively hoping that the leader of your nation fails? Really? Be opposed to Trump all day, but be loyal opposition, and give credit where it is due, otherwise, we have already lost The Republic.  In truth, I fear that we have.

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3 Replies to “The US/Russia Summit”

  1. A slight demurer not shooting while talking: Empire of Japan and USA immediately before and during Pearl Harbor attack.

    1. The phrase if they are talking they are not shooting is pretty common, or at least was, when I was trained in threat deescalation which is why I chose it.
      I think that I might argue that Japan and the US in the 1930s were on a similar path as Russia and the US. Relations had steadily worsened starting with the invasion of Manchuria in 1931(? maybe it was 32?). finally culminating in the US cutting off exports of anything that could be used in war in 1939. That combined with competing for the same SE Asian resources meant that that the talking was at a minimum. Throw in the treaty between Germany and Russia, it took the threat of war away from Russia (they thought) and that meant that they could defend and repel Japanese aggression on the coast of South East Asia and control the resources themselves. My point being that there was no amount of talking that was going to stop that as the situation was already far out of control due to the aggression of the Axis. Your point is well taken. No, it does not always work, but yes, it most often is true 🙂

  2. https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/kompromat-russia-trump/index.html

    “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,”

    Honestly, CNN has some sick puppies working for them. Imagine asking a question like that (compromising info? – but everyone knows what he is referring to) – in a major world forum before two world leaders, in front of Trump’s wife. No wonder Trump hates CNN. Oh – neither Trump or Putin said “No”. Really? I would have told the CNN reporter to go to hell.

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