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The Limits of Cheeseburger Diplomacy


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limits-cheeseburger-diplomacy-sen-john-cornynt | TextThe National Review:

 

 

The Limits of Cheeseburger Diplomacy

By Sen. John Cornyn

April 2, 2012 1:56 P.M.

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President Obama’s “hot mike” comments to Dmitry Medvedev represented a classic Kinsley gaffe. Unaware he was being recorded, Obama assured the Russian leader that he would “have more flexibility” on missile defense after his reelection. Medvedev, in turn, promised to “transmit this information to Vladimir,” a reference to the once and future President Putin.

If anyone was still wondering why Republicans remain skeptical of Obama’s commitment to missile defense, now they understand. Yet the significance of the hot-mike incident goes beyond that one issue. In a broader sense, the president has indicated that he is doubling down on his “reset” policy toward Moscow, despite a mountain of evidence that the policy has largely failed.

The most recent evidence of its failure was Russia’s March 4 presidential election, which restored Putin to the top job — his former job — in the Kremlin. That election was sullied by “procedural irregularities,” not to mention a political and media environment that forestalled genuine democratic competition. The same could be said of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary elections, in which the government’s mischief was even worse. As the New York Times reported, OECD election observers said they “had observed blatant fraud, including the brazen stuffing of ballot boxes” — which makes it all the more remarkable that Putin’s United Russia Party suffered such major losses.

In short, the country is sliding deeper into lawless autocracy. Meanwhile, Moscow continues to resist imposing tougher sanctions on Iran and Syria, Scissors-32x32.png


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