Sunday, March 05, 2006

Task Force Urges Bush To Be Tougher With Russia

Task Force Urges Bush To Be Tougher With Russia
The Bush administration should stop pretending Russia is a genuine strategic partner and adopt a new policy of "selective cooperation" and "selective opposition" to the authoritarian government of President Vladimir Putin, a bipartisan task force has concluded.
Really? I had already thought that US policy (and US / Russia international relations) was one of "selective cooperation / selective opposition". I certainly don't see across the board cooperation between our two nations.

Further, I think that pressing Russia would be the wrong move at this time. The US simply doesn't have the international political capital to spend - Bush has spent it all (perhaps even squandered it) with Iraq.

I believe Russia has pretty much a free hand at this time in the realm of international politics - simply because Europe and China are hungry for oil and natural gas resources. Mainland Europe won't cross Russia as long as they keep the petrol flowing. China is even more closely tied to Russia. The strongest European allies that the US has now (outside of the UK, Netherlands), are all former CCCP or Warsaw Pact nations.

Further, to the eyes of many in the world - Russia's international politics have seemed more reasonable than the United States of late. Trying to gain cooperation with Hamas (the freely elected representative party of the Palestinian people, mind you) is a less inciteful path than the Bush/Israel stand-off. It will be good to remember this Palestinian democracy lesson, when Iraq votes in a government that the US isn't very fond of ... in the future.

This business with Iran is clearly Russia seeking to sell technology and weapons to a muslim nation in the face of Iraq - but who can blame Russia for playing that card? Iran is perhaps a poor choice of a nation to cooperate with in many ways - but it still a logical choice, from the Russian point of view. Of course, Iran is using Russia to develop nuclear weapons - but Russia is betting that cooperation with Iran will only strengthen the Russian position in international politics.

I personally believe the Bush administration needs to seek greater cooperation with all of our "allies" - where such cooperation can be found. This cooperation isn't going to be easily found with Russia anymore, Putin has decided on his own path, and he is betting the US can't and won't do anything about that.

"Selective opposition" isn't going to improve that - it will only harden Russian policies. The old language of "наш потенциальный враг" is already in play in Russia ... it is a well worn path, after all. There is no point in making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2 comments:

Bruce786 said...

WHY CANT YOU GET IT INTO YOUR HEADS THAT ISLAM IS THE RELIGION OF ABRAHAM, MOSES, JESUS AND MUHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON THEM ALL).
THINK ABOUT IT HOW COULD AN ILLITERATE MAN INSPIRE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND 1400 YEARS LATER STILL BE HAVING AN EFFECT ON THE WORLD.

WAKE UP FEAR THE GOD OF ISRAEL AND THE UNIVERSE.

AS A WESTENER THE RATE OF ISLAMS INFLUENCE IS SKY ROCKETING ESPECIALLY IN EUROPE. SO STOP BURYING YOUR HEADS IN THE SAND (no pun intended) LIKE OSTRICHES.
STOP DEMONISING THE FUTURE FAITH OF MANKIND.
IF ISLAM IS AN ARAB RELIGION FOUNDED BY AN ARAB IT WOULD NOT HAVE SPREAD FURTHER THAN MECCA OR MEDINA.

YOU MAY READ THE TORAH AND THE BIBLE BUT I DARE YOU TO READ THE QURAN JUST AS A PURELY INTELLECTUAL EXERCISE.
WE IN THE WEST PREACH THAT WE ARE CIVILISED AND AN ADVANCED SOCIETY. EVERY DAY I WITNESS SCIENTISTS WHOM I WORK ALONGSIDE ABANDON SIMPLE LOGIC AND REASONING WHEN IT COMES TO MATTERS OF FAITH.

W. Shedd said...

Ummm ... Ok Bruce. Thanks for the rant.

Now back to reality.

I think the proportion of ALL CAPS in someone's online posting is directly proportional to the persons complete lack of credibility.

No, Islam is NOT the faith of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. By stating so, you completely dispel the right of Jews and Christians to worship their own faith. Further, most of the Koran was written much later than even the time of Jesus - even further removed from the God of Abraham and the God of Moses.

Radical Islam has taken the path of not recognizing Jews or Christians as "people of the book". The term infidel, so lovingly tossed around by so many leaders in the Middle East, is supposedly applied only to those who are outside of these closely related faiths.

I have no problem with Russia initiating talks with Hamas, if it creates the possibility of peace and cooperation.

Lastly, you would be surprised to know that I have read the Koran. However, that does not stop me from recognizing that Iran is on a wrong path and is clearly seeking to develop nuclear weapons - regardless of what they say - something it has no right to do under nuclear non-proliferation treaties to which it is a party.

As for this "demonization" that you are talking about - I wrote nothing of the kind and think you are illogical and a bit silly to suggest otherwise. Maybe you should decaffeinate and calm down.