Monday, July 27, 2009

Hitting the Overcharge Button

From the files of "If Cheney had done this" comes this foray into nuanced, relations-repairing diplomacy:

Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that Russia's economy is "withering," and suggested the trend will force the country to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of national-security issues, including loosening its grip on former Soviet republics and shrinking its vast nuclear arsenal.

Mr. Biden said he believes Russia's economic problems are part of a series of developments that have contributed to a significant rethinking by Moscow of its international self-interest. The geographical proximity of the emerging nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea is also likely to make Russia more cooperative with the U.S. in blocking their growth, he said.

But in the interview, at the end of a four-day trip to Ukraine and Georgia, Mr. Biden said domestic troubles are the most important factor driving Russia's new global outlook. "I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold," he said.

That bit of logic won't stress our diplomacy with Russia, now will it?

Smart diplomacy? Who knew that nuance requires us to tell the paranoid owners of thousands of nuclear warheads that they are doomed and eventually we'll make them do what we want? Now that smarts!

I mean, I don't actually disagree with this thinking, but I'm a knuckle-dragger! Even I wouldn't spell it out to them. Speak softly and let the big stick they carry wither away, I say.

Hey, maybe that "reset" button wasn't really mislabeled, after all.