|Russia honours Obama with birthday stamps - and steps up campaign of dirty tricks and intimidation|
It is now more than two years since President Obama launched his famous "reset" with Vladimir Putin´s Russia. Obama a few days ago Obama said that the "reset" is a "great achievement". Unfortunately there are not many outside of his administration who share his optimism.
This is the reality of the "reset":
In the past four years, Russia’s intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union.
U.S. diplomats and officials have found their homes broken into and vandalized, or altered in ways as trivial as bathroom use; faced anonymous or veiled threats; and in some cases found themselves set up in compromising photos or videos that are later leaked to the local press and presented as a sex scandal.
“The point was to show that ‘we can get to you where you sleep,’ ” one U.S. intelligence officer told The Washington Times. “It’s a psychological kind of attack.”
Despite a stated policy from President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of warm U.S.-Russian ties, the campaign of intelligence intimidation - or what the CIA calls “direct action” - has persisted throughout what both sides have called a “reset” in the relations.
They have become worse in just the past year, some U.S. officials said. Also, their targets are broadening to include human rights workers and nongovernmental organizations as well as embassy staff.
“There are most certainly some in the Russian government - nationalists, hard-liners, KGB folks, etc. - who don’t like the reset and are doing whatever they can to derail it,” this official said.
The official compared the Russia situation to domestic U.S. political divisions.
“We also have our critics/skeptics here within the U.S. government who are also still busy fighting the Cold War. And in these matters, they have good justification since certain elements of the Russian establishment are also still fighting the Cold War,” the official said.
This official pointed to Russia’s willingness to help supply U.S. troops in Afghanistan and their support for U.N. sanctions against Iran, North Korea and Libya as evidence of the reset policy’s success.
“The Kremlin seems to be a willing partner, even if maybe some in that regime don’t like this new trend and are doing what they can to derail it,” he said.
However, on Tuesday, Mr. Putin, now Russia’s prime minister and widely seen as its real leader, made some belligerent comments about the U.S., calling it a “parasite” on the world economy.
At a conference of the Nashi and Young Guard youth associations, Mr. Putin also suggested that his country would invite the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia into the Russian Federation, effectively annexing land taken in a war three years ago.
Read the entire Washington Times article here
The naivity of the above mentioned Obama administration official is mindboggling. Does he not understand that the "some in the Russian government - nationalists, hard-liners, KGB folks, etc. - who don’t like the reset and are doing whatever they can to derail it”, are Russia´s ruler, former KGB spy Vladimir Putin and his fellow thugocrats?
The Heritage network´s Ariel Cohen and Michaela Bendikova have a more realistic - and truthful - grasp of Putin´s Russia:
The recent statements by Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian President’s Special Representative for Missile Defense Cooperation with NATO, raised hackles in Washington. Putin called the U.S. a “parasite” on the body of global economy, while Rogozin claimed that U.S. Senators told him U.S. missile defense is aimed at his country. Putin’s statements are baffling, as the global economy needs consumer consumption for growth—and the United States is by far the biggest consumer country. In fact, the U.S. trade deficit drives a lot of global growth.
Putin spoke at his United Russia Party youth camp on Lake Seliger, while Rogozin let his hair down on a visit to Washington after a meeting with two U.S. Senators. These are no longer words alone: Russia is also threatening to stop cooperating with the U.S. over Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, and North Korea, if Congress passes the Sergei Magnitsky sanctions. The toughening Russian negotiating positions and rhetoric—including Putin’s outburst and Rogozin’s calling two U.S. Senators “monsters of the Cold War”—suggest the Obama “reset” policy is failing and needs reassessment.
It has been over two years since the United States launched the “reset” policy. Where is it heading in view of Russian rhetoric and threats? President Obama called the “reset” his “great achievement” only days after Putin’s “parasite” outburst. Maybe he was encouraged by Russia’s issuing a series of postage stamps to commemorate his 50th birthday.
If history is any guide: The United States tried a policy of détente with the Soviet Union in the 1970s, culminating in the kiss between President Jimmy Carter and Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev at the SALT II Treaty signing in Vienna, Austria. The U.S. reward for its more “constructive” stance, however, was the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan.
U.S. policymakers should reassess the “reset” and develop strategies that counter Russia’s global anti-American agenda—not focus on phantom “advancements” in bilateral relations.
Read the entire article here