Sunday, September 28, 2014

Does Putin Really Think We're That Stupid?

Is Putin serious in wanting a Reset 2.0?

"We are absolutely interested in bringing the ties to normal but it was not us who destroyed them. Now they require what the American would probably call a 'reset'," [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov said, according to a transcript of one interview on his ministry's website.

"The current U.S. administration is destroying today much of the cooperation structure that it created itself along with us. Most likely, something more will come up - a reset no.2 or a reset 2.0," he told Russia's Channel 5 television.

Right. It's our fault that our relations are bad. If only we'd considered Russian acts of aggression and mayhem promotion as happy occasions!

I think I saw this before:

But we really are going to have to argue.

Russia backs that monster Assad in that civil war, tricking (I'm being charitable to Kerry, here) into a faux chemical weapons disarmament deal that simply bought time for Assad to kill his opponents and allow ISIL to grow stronger:

Though Russia has no sympathy for Islamic State militants who have seized large tracts of territory in Iraq and Syria and face U.S.-led air strikes in both countries, Moscow's relationship with Syria forms a difficult backdrop to talks over any potential role.

Russia's absence from the anti-Islamic State coalition complicates Washington's calculus, reducing the possibility of U.S. leverage over the flow of Russian arms into Damascus as the U.S.-led campaign moves forward with air strikes in Syria and arms anti-Assad rebels.

(With bonus huge tracts of land comment.)

Russia has invaded and picked apart Ukraine, violating the UN charter and international agreements, making Ukraine want to join NATO to gain some heft to resist further aggression:

Ukraine began the process to strengthen ties with NATO and said it wanted to join the alliance in the “short term” after President Petro Poroshenko declared the worst of its separatist war was over.

Russia has threatened NATO members with aggression:

As top Kremlin officials have sounded ominous new warnings that they will defend ethnic Russians wherever they live, Latvia, the NATO nation with the highest proportion of Russians, is feeling in the crosshairs.

Let's not forget that Russia is crowding our (and Canada's) air space with renewed military flights, making claims in the Arctic, and running interference for Iran's drive to get nuclear weapons, among other things designed to harm or merely annoy us (see support of Venezuela's nutball rulers and renewed dabbling in Cuba).

Plus just acting like annoying, paranoid, jerks generally.

The sad thing is, I can't say that we won't take Lavrov up on that offer--despite his blaming us for problems--for Reset 2.0.

I've seen that scene before, too:

John Kerry! Oh, John Kerry!

UPDATE: Lavrov is really starting to annoy me:

NATO's potential expansion to the former Yugoslav republics of Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro could be seen as a "provocation", Russia's foreign minister was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

I hate to break to Lavrov, but he doesn't even have the flimsy excuses his boss has been making against NATO expansion. Yugoslavia was not part of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and wasn't even terribly friendly to Moscow.

If China ever attacks Russia, Russia is on its own.

UPDATE: Remember, the Russians gave us the finger at the first "reset" (picture via National Review Online).

You can't make this up. Lavrov is giving Clinton the middle finger. I know that is our cultural thing and not his. But still, he has given us the finger ever since.