Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on August 7, 2013 by Allahpundit

Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Russia

Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September. We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea. However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship.

***

The Kremlin expressed disappointment, especially with the president’s linking of the decision to the case of Mr. Snowden. A senior aide to Mr. Putin, Yuri V. Ushakov, said that Mr. Obama was still welcome to visit, but blamed the United States for not wanting to build a stronger partnership to manage bilateral and international issues.

“This very problem underlines the fact that the United States is still not ready to build relations on an equal basis,” Mr. Ushakov told reporters at the Kremlin, according to the Interfax news agency…

“The president clearly made the right decision,” [Chuck] Schumer said. “President Putin is acting like a schoolyard bully and doesn’t deserve the respect a bilateral summit would have accorded him.”

***

“The question the White House has been asking is not about whether Russia is going to give us anything on Snowden … but what will come out of a summit in Moscow that will be useful to the president’s agenda on arms control, missile defense and our economic relationship,” said Steven Pifer, a longtime U.S. diplomat who served in Russia, Ukraine and at the White House. “What I’m hearing from administration officials is that over the last month they’ve had no resonance, no response back from the Russians.”…

Gati also said such a meeting would have exposed Obama to potential embarrassment.

“Imagine this scenario: the president is in a meeting with Putin and Snowden appears on TV or at the Bolshoi with Anna Chapman at his side,” Gati said, referring to a Russian spy expelled from the United States in 2010…

Some experts say the cancellation reflects a new reality that U.S.-Russia experts may be reluctant to confront: The relationship isn’t so pivotal any more.

***

And for all the Kremlin’s pouting, there’s also a consensus in Moscow that, well, there’s not much left to talk about. “Obviously, Obama just can’t come to Moscow with Snowden there, but they made clear they’re not totally shuttering the relationship,” says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a voice that, traditionally, is not far from the Kremlin’s line. “Okay, well now, the score is now 1-1, but the other problem is that the relationship has no content now. Even if Obama came to Moscow, it’s not really clear what they’d talk about.” Lukyanov, who wrote exactly this almost an entire month ago, elaborates: “No one is prepared to discuss a new agenda”—Asia, who gets what in the Arctic—”and the old one is totally exhausted.”

In other words, the Russians aren’t mad, really. They know, as the Americans know, that they’ve reached a dead end of sorts, a cul-de-sac. The question now is, how do they get out of it? And, then where do they go, and how? Given that both governments have other priorities at the moment, and that both have realized that they don’t really need each other, it seems the answers to those questions won’t become apparent for a while.

And this, 22 years after the end of the Cold War, is the recalibration we’ve been waiting for.

***

“Our relationship with Russia has been a roller coaster ride at times,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an interview on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”…

Psaki was the press secretary for Obama’s re-election campaign, and mocked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he said Russia “is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.”

It appears Romney may have had a point, while Russia may not be enemy No. 1, it has recently acted as a geopolitical foe.

Secretary of State John Kerry “is still meeting with his counterpart on Friday, because it is such an important relationship,” said Psaki. “Secretary Kerry is hoping to continue the conversation, issues where we agree, issues where we disagree … on Friday. And maybe there will be a summit in the future, but it wasn’t the time to do it in September.”

***

The president could stress the absurdity of granting Snowden asylum by insisting on visiting Putin’s strongest adversary, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in prison on trumped up charges. He could invite Alexei Navalny to his hotel room and invite the press to hear about the anti-corruption campaigner’s experience in Russian prisons and why he thinks a Russian Spring is on the way. He could arrange a photo opportunity with the green campaigner Yevgeniya Chirikova, and dozens of other activists who are targeted by Putin’s secret police. He could welcome a group of gay Russians to talk about the laws that persecute them and to warn the world about the rights they will have to forego if they attend the Winter Olympics.

The president could do worse than give a keynote speech in St. Petersburg on human rights, and the abuse of democratic freedoms by spies posing as whistleblowers, rekindling the memory of the great generation of Soviet dissidents, Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, and inviting today’s Russian dissidents to sit in the front row. He could make a fuss of the veteran rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva and the president-in-waiting Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster strong-armed out of challenging Putin for the presidency. He might play mood music before his talk by Pussy Riot, two of whom remain in jail for daring to sing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral and have just had their parole turned down.

There is a lot Obama can do if he really wants to live up to Reagan’s example. But does he have the Gipper’s genius for turning the tables on his opponents? If he does push back against Putin, he will win the admiration of Americans way beyond his own party and will increase his chances of advancing his agenda. He should be bold, like he was when he ordered Operation Neptune Spear that ended the life of Osama bin Laden.

***

President Obama prides himself on being cool, calm, and collected. But his latest move—cancelling a summit meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin—suggests that he is having a hissy fit, succumbing to peevishness. It’s wholly counterproductive. In attempting to cow Russia into releasing Edward Snowden, he isn’t showcasing American power but its limitations. The more Obama seeks to challenge Putin, the stiffer Russian resistance will become. Obama’s persecution of Snowden is singlehandedly transforming him into a Russian hero…

When it comes to Snowden, it is America, not Russia, that is behaving as though the frostiest days of the cold war continued to prevail. It seems clear that Snowden has become an obsession with Obama. WIth no one listening to Obama at home, perhaps he felt that this was the one arena where he could flex his muscles. If so, he had it wrong. Obama initially declared that the presidency was bigger than Snowden. If only he had believed what he said. Instead, he has transformed Snowden into a dissident who has found refuge in, of all places, Russia.

***

Via Legal Insurrection.

***


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thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:18 AM

Good evening..:)

Dire Straits on August 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

Love In Vain Blues – Peter Green

thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

Evening Dire

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Dire Straits on August 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

;) What’s your favorite kind of beer… I mean just for drinking as refreshment… late night?

thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Well… I played Axefellow’s theme song… and I played the unofficial Glade theme song ( as opposed to the official Glade theme song.. Last of the Mohicans “The Glade”.. and I played “Love in Vain Blues” which, of late, Axefellow is inclined to object and aver that there is ‘no such thing as love in vain’… and still… no Axefellow.

Where ever he is… I hope he’s well. :)

thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:36 AM

Good Night friends.

Thank you for the music, and your minds, hearts and souls.

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2013 at 1:41 AM

Love In Vain Blues – Peter Green

thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

“No such thing” — Axe

Jackie, once again, signing off concurrently :) Sleep well.

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2013 at 1:42 AM

It’s impossible for me to see liberals as persons. I give my vacuum cleaner more respect than I might a liberal.

Liam on August 8, 2013 at 12:43 AM

A vacuum cleaner actually works and performs a service.

Whereas, leftists…well……

Solaratov on August 8, 2013 at 1:52 AM

Valery Jarret must have informed Barry it was time for a hissy fit.

VorDaj on August 8, 2013 at 2:09 AM

thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Miller Lite..:)

Dire Straits on August 8, 2013 at 2:11 AM

Same ol’ sh!t, different day… That’s Life (graphic content warning)…

Ugly on August 8, 2013 at 2:16 AM

Dire Straits was here!

–wait, that’s not right

Axe on August 8, 2013 at 2:28 AM

Axe was here!

Love In Vain Blues – Peter Green

thatsafactjack on August 8, 2013 at 1:29 AM

OMG There’s no such thing! You CANNOT. LOVE. IN. VAIN!

Axie, Baby! Eye See You!

Resist We Much on August 8, 2013 at 12:36 AM

it’s really the “baby” what does it, you know. :)

Axe ♥ RWM

Sleep well, guys. :)

Axe on August 8, 2013 at 2:39 AM

good morning!

set your dvr folks, dear leader will be speaking from the lincoln memorial on 28Aug, for the 50th anniversary of the MLK speech

catch it!
/

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 6:31 AM

This skeptic thinks that is all a set-up anyway folks. Why? Well it is Obama after all, and socialists think alike.
Here’s my take.

Let’s see now, Obama got caught red-handed (so to speak) promising Putin help by finagling our nukes in the way he likes somehow, but only after he’s reelected. That fear(or fact) need to be erased in people’s minds. How would Alinsky handle it? Let’s see now–Rules for radicals, page number ..hmmm, oh here it is …”Create a crisis”
Well sorta–create a faux minor feud so that no one remembers (especially his deceptive media army) the deal while the dirty work continues.
Naw, that would never happen in America where politicians are honest and transparent, and the media would investigate and expose them for doing such a dangerous thing anyways, right?

Don L on August 8, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! “Congress Now Exempt From Obamacare. If It’s Good Enough For us…?” My take.

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 6:39 AM

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 6:39 AM

excellent take KJ

crickets from the lsm about this little waiver…all they want to crow about are the right wing wackos who want to shut down the gov’t to defund obamacare…the horror!!!

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 6:45 AM

ot: chris christie is a WINNER!, just look at the latest polls
-mj and crew

did i call it last night or did i call it

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 6:47 AM

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 6:45 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

If the idiot GOp tries to run Governor Zeppelin, it will resemble the crash of the Hindenburg.

Oh, the Humanity!

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 6:51 AM

set your dvr folks, dear leader will be speaking from the lincoln memorial on 28Aug, for the 50th anniversary of the MLK speech

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 6:31 AM

Well, at least that little trip isn’t too expensive.

Federal employees are still being furloughed and yet the taxpayers spent two million to fly the rat-eared one to visit with Jay Leno and, of course, we’ve got the whole entourage going up to Martha’s Vineyard this weekend. I really think it is time to clip the filthy bastard’s wings.

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 6:56 AM

If the idiot GOp tries to run Governor Zeppelin, it will resemble the crash of the Hindenburg.

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 6:51 AM

I don’t thing the powers that be quite get that. But, nevertheless, there is no way in this lifetime that I would ever vote for Christie. That has always been true but especially after the Obama endorsement the week before the election.

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM

As always, KJ, you nailed it…and nailed it well.

Now what?

herm2416 on August 8, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM

They don’t understand much.

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 7:01 AM

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 6:51 AM

indeed, but they will, we all know it…

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2013 at 6:56 AM

agree

cmsinaz on August 8, 2013 at 7:03 AM

The president could do worse than give a keynote speech in St. Petersburg on human rights, and the abuse of democratic freedoms by spies posing as whistleblowers, rekindling the memory of the great generation of Soviet dissidents, Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, and inviting today’s Russian dissidents to sit in the front row.

You mean he is going to come clean about how he swindled St. Petersburg of millions and funneled them into his personal account in Germany? And his Colombian cartel contacts that helped him to enable their drug smuggling, as well? These points were brought up in a documentary about the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in Poisoned by Polonium. That entire film is worth reading to see the amount of BS and kissing up these authors from the West are doing to suck up to Putin.

Then you have to see the documentary on Khodorkovsky in his rise from a chemist to a banker to an oligarch… to then creating the first open book company in Russia with transparent operations. How he goes from nothing to the richest man under 40 and, if he had sucked up to Putin, becoming the richest man in the world… and yet he decided that freedom and a strong civil society were necessary for true reform in Russia. He started Open Russia, founded and funded schools and programs to teach about the value of civil society and why it is necessary for such a society to keep government in check. And he ticked off Putin, too, publicly about the deals that Putin was forcing on people…

Yeah, Putin has a lot to bring out into the open and a long list of apologies should be front and center. Not talking to some select group of people to show his openness: he can show his openness by opening his personal books to scrutiny, showing who he as worked with at home and abroad, and how so many former KGB members are now, essentially, running the government. It is the first Police State I’m aware of in which the Police are running the State, not being forced to do so by some dictator but running it by an insider from the Police. The State Police.

Alexander Litvinenko told how the FSB got its funds via extortion, something that is their sacred cow.

Khodorkovsky challenged Putin and made an open company that was attracting money hand over fist, and wanted more openness and transparency in Russia and understood he would be targeted by Putin. Unlike Litvinenko he had such a high profile and dedication to his cause that he came back after visiting his son in the US, to get arrested and put through the FSB guided court system.

Why anyone wishes to kiss up to and try and put a nice patina on this SOB is beyond me: Putin can only redeem himself and if there were any justice in the world, an alter would fall down on him at prayer service for his lies, deceit and outright theft from the people he swore to protect.

ajacksonian on August 8, 2013 at 7:36 AM

What are your thoughts gunter?

Bmore on August 8, 2013 at 9:35 AM

kj at his best!

KOOLAID2 on August 8, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! “Congress Now Exempt From Obamacare. If It’s Good Enough For us…?” My take.

kingsjester on August 8, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Excellent!…as always. If only the citizens would prepare their “what you eat with”.

The people still respect the constitution but obama and the congress don’t any more. “You eat the bread crumbs, we’ll eat the cake, you pay for”. God, how I hate, hate, hate.

The Rs lobbied for this as much as the Ds. Not even Grassley is to be found on topic.

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2013 at 12:09 PM

obama’care’ is just a front. obama and the Congress want it to fail, so the entire package goes single payer. Another huge tyrannical takeover of your freedom…wake up stupid people!!!

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

There’s a series of videos that I’ve been trying to get here in the “Prime Time” so that Jackie, and Scrumpy and Sophie and Schade and Axe all get to see them…….but I keep dropping them in waaaay too late in the day…….so, here they are at – hopefully – a “better time”……

I Love The Kinks – and I Love this song, which kind of changed musical history to an extent……I really like this version (guitar solo) by ‘The Records’…..and, yes – it’s allegorical to my relationship with this site…..

williamg on August 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM

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