Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meet and Greet

This should be fun to watch:

President Barack Obama is set to meet with Russian LGBT rights groups as well as several other Russian human rights activists at this week’s G20 summit in St. Petersburg, BuzzFeed reported Monday.

Obama cancelled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in August amid tension over the country’s offer of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The news of Obama’s planned meeting with Russian LGBT activists is likely to be viewed as a jab at Putin, who signed an anti-gay law earlier this year.

The best comeback for Mr. Putin would be for him to set up a meeting with Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann.

One bark on “Meet and Greet

  1. Interesting related NYT article today, basically laying out how Putin is playing something between old-school KBG apparatchik and undermatured schoolyard bully and thinking it will have a positive impact on Russia’s role on the world stage. The writers concluded that Putin is convinced the US is falling back into Cold War strategies of sowing unrest in nations friendly to Russia/China/Iran as a means of triggering regime change.

    Putin is almost certainly misled: while the results of the various Arab Spring events are hardly to Russia’s advantage, the Russian preference for strong central governments (and usually for strongmen to run them) dictates that any popular uprising wouldn’t benefit them. But if Putin is concerned about US meddling in other (lesser) nation’s affairs then he’s looking in the wrong place: his own regressive, repressive policies at home make “meddling” in Russia itself far more attractive than the messier events in the Middle East.

    Related: since not intervening in Syria is so obviously helpful to Assad and thus to Putin, I’m surprised more of the Teahadists opposed to intervention there aren’t being assailed with “Russian sympathizer” accusations from among their own ranks. This seems like one instance where they’d be vulnerable to charges of a) supporting Teh Russkies and b) throwing Israel under the bus. There seems to be no good solution to the Syrian situation, but doing nothing runs contrary to the Conservatists’ Ahmurrcan Supremacy principle as well as their unquestioning, unhesitating support for Israel.

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