20 Years and Counting

Here’s a great analysis of the Biden-Putin encounter in Geneva. I have absolutely no idea why it made sense for the US to give Putin this big PR win. Or to give him Nordstream 2. Twenty years of these pathetic meet-ups, and nobody learned anything.

8 thoughts on “20 Years and Counting

  1. Do not see anything particularly great in this analysis. Pretty standard mainstream US propaganda. Gosh, I just noticed that your link is to CNN. So MSM are actually OK, as long as they agree with your preexisting beliefs? 🙂

    Yes, Putin appears a winner of the meeting, but the reason for that is not his personality or Biden’s personalty, the US has been painting itself into a corner for quite some time, in part for domestic political reasons (bashing each other as Putin’s puppets appears too irresistible), in part because the US cannot get over their belief that everything in the world is theirs to regulate and theirs to give or not give (like pipelines in which US has zero shares). And at some point some sane person was bound to come to a realization along the lines of “jeez, one cannot escalate indefinitely even with North Korea, how do we deescalate without losing too much face”… In some sense it is good to have Biden as president at this point – necessary but psychologically hard to accept decision to deescalate can be attributed to his being personally “weak” or “not quite here”.

    —To talk to the US as equals and in such a way that the other side does not demand a change of position as a condition of dialogue…

    Isn’t that the position ANY country should aspire to be in? Just several posts back you wrote about insignificant countries that obsess about how many minutes their leaders got with the US president…

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    1. I have no idea how arming an enemy is considered de-escalation. What do you think Putin will use the windfall from Nordstream 2 for? To plant daisies? Or go kill more people like he usually does?

      And no, I don’t think that any country should aspire to talk to the US as equals because that’s aspiring to a delusion. This idea of “everybody is equal, nobody should tell anybody what to do” is not serious. The moment the US steps away from the role of the world leader, somebody else will take it. Chances are, that somebody else will be really bad because look at the contenders. Historically, this equality has never existed. There’s always been a hegemonic power. And there will always be one. US has been vastly imperfect in this role but the alternative is the China-Russia alliance. Is that better?

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      1. Ok, I do not mind the argument “there is only the law of the jungle and anyone who aspires to something else is delusional” as long as one understands the implications of going there. Namely, that there will be more than one country trying to build their foreign policy on this premise. The US will not have monopoly on that.

        And no, Putin will not plant daisies. Neither will Kim. Neither will whomever rules Iran now, I lost track. I do not have to like any of those leaders or their particular actions to understand why someone would do their best to manipulate the situation in such manner that would allow them to talk to US as equals. Sorry if I am taking it too far, but try putting yourself in Putin’s shoes… Why in the world would you indulge the desires of the US if you do not have to, and can afford not to because you have nuclear weapons, and other weapons, and natural resources, and imperfect but still reasonably stable economy, a real rating of ~60%, and enough people willing to die and kill for your country, and are not undermining your own country by certain kinds of social engineering?

        I am not into weakening the US so much that some other country achieves the degree of domination the US had in the 90-ies. As Iraq invasion showed, too much self-confidence is not good for the US. Not because the US is particularly bad, but because US is made of humans like any other country. My point is exactly that no one country should be that dominant. The idea that US can be that dominant and will not be corrupted by this power is hubris of the same level as believing that Communism is compatible with human nature. Checks and balances and all that jazz..

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        1. I’m not criticizing Putin for being a dick. That’s his nature and we’ve got to accept it. I’m criticizing Biden for being a limp dick. Trump managed to contain Putin quite easily for 4 years. He stood strong on Nordstream 2. There were no new invasions. It’s possible to contain the bastard. And we now have a president who is not even trying. I don’t think he’s not trying because he thought hard and decided to go the America First route out of deep philosophical considerations arising from the results of the Iraq War. The guy is stupidly pissing away the legacy of hegemonic power that’s at the root of American prosperity and stability.

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      2. Are you sure Trump blocked Nordstream because of Russia? His dislike for Germany was well known. Maybe he didn’t want them to get cheap gas.

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        1. I am actually not even sure if it is true that Trump blocked anything, as opposed to just talking bombastically about blocking it. Nordstream II is 95% ready. It obviously did not all happen in the last several months. The Russians and the Germans were building respective infrastructure during Trump’s presidency.

          Same for no new Putin’s incursions into Ukraine… I find it very likely that in addition to tough talk in the direction of Russia the US did tell Ukraine behind the scenes, in no uncertain terms, that the US will not fight for Ukraine, and that Ukraine should not start any serious military action to retake its territories. Yes, some military aid was given but the main purpose of it was likely to make sure everybody involved could save their face and some people could make some profit… Think of it in the context of everything else Trump did and said – Trump actually publicly questioned the past expansion of NATO. Not because he likes Russia (although his opponents surely took that chance to accuse him again), but because he would not want to fight for the Eastern-European countries, and now he would have to because they are NATO members… Such an inconvenience…

          As for “poisoning political opponents”… I happen to know a thing or two about phosphor-organic military-grade chemical weapons. They are supposed to kill quickly. Read about sarin, or VX, the info about them is more likely to be accurate. You do not want enemy soldiers to continue shopping (sorry, fighting) for an hour or two and then (not) die after dinner. OK, not killing the intended victim(s) once is within the realm of possibility. Even the professionals are bound to mess it up sometimes. But twice, in two completely separate incidents, the second one being on Russian territory i.e. under much better control of the Russian secret services? With Soviet Union’s track record of much more effective poisoning of its political opponents by much less sophisticated and deadly poisons? Sorry, but at this point even the Russian official version is more believable.

          And I want to ask you a very general question: You clearly do not trust MSM on topics of US internal politics, and for a good reason… Why do you trust them on the topics of foreign policy?

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          1. I’m for the immediate disbanding of NATO, actually. Not only do I not want Ukraine in it, I want this ridiculous joke of an organization to be over and done with ASAP. The only thing it does is money-laundering. It should go away.

            Ukraine has zero interest in fighting for the Donbass. The situation is the exact opposite of what you describe. Russia wants Ukraine to take the Donbass back and Ukraine is refusing. The idea that Ukraine wanted to start “serious military action” to retake Donbass and expected the US to help with that truly insane plan – my friend, which news are you listening to because this one is really out there.

            As for “trusting” the media, I don’t understand the concept. I approve when they publish the truth and disapprove when they don’t. The NYTimes recently published an article about the disastrous consequences of school closures. I approve that because it’s the truth. When they published articles about children dying en masse of COVID, I disapproved because it was a lie.

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