One of President Obama’s first promises was to “reset” relationships with Russia. In March, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton symbolically gave a reset button to her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. The problem was the label on the button, “Peregruzka” in Russian actually means “overcharged.”
That gaffe is representative to the left’s lack of doing their homework in most things. Five years later, the “reset” was declared dead, failed.
t’s been over five years since the United States and Russia vowed to “reset” their relationship. In that time, the two countries have had to grapple with disagreements over Syria, Iran and Libya, as well as Russia’s welcome to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and the U.S. condemnation of a Russian-supported referendum in Crimea.
In fact, the relationship has devolved into a petty tit-for-tat of diplomatic slaps in the face, sanctions, and military brush-offs. It’s no wonder the Russians used their considerable disinformation assets and conspiracy news generating operations to help Donald Trump and hurt Clinton. But remember, it was the Democrats who first wanted the reset.
Now that they have it, with President-elect Trump expected to nominate Exxon-Mobile chief Rex Tillerson, recipient of the Russian “Order of Friendship,” as secretary of state. This is how you give a reset button.
The company’s deep ties to Russia would potentially serve Tillerson well, given Trump’s desire to repair relations with the Kremlin. But Tillerson’s close ties to Putin could also become a flash point during confirmation hearings, especially in light of a recent CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.
Part of the “reset” would necessarily give the Russians a pass on their attempt to influence an American presidential election. How much they actually influenced it is open to interpretation, and in fact intelligence experts with the FBI and CIA differ on its impact.
The FBI official’s remarks to the lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee were, in comparison, “fuzzy” and “ambiguous,” suggesting to those in the room that the bureau and the agency weren’t on the same page, the official said.
The divergent messages from the CIA and the FBI put a spotlight on the difficulty faced by intelligence and law enforcement officials as they try to draw conclusions about the Kremlin’s motives for hacking Democratic Party emails during the 2016 race. Officials are frequently looking at information that is fragmentary. They also face issues assessing the intentions of a country expert at conducting sophisticated “influence” operations that made it hard — if not impossible — to conclusively detect the Kremlin’s elusive fingerprints.
What really frosts my rear-end is that the left has no problem suggesting that ISIS and radical Islamic terrorists are simply reacting to American aggression in Iraq and other places–and our stalwart support of Israel–when they proclaim their dedication to our slaughter. If only we were nicer to the terrorists, they would see things our way (“universal values” and all–Obama’s Cairo speech and all).
But when it’s the Russians, and the left’s ham-handed and shallow “reset” didn’t work, they can’t fathom why the Russians might want someone like Trump in the White House. And what did the Russian hacking prove? That the Democrats did at least as much to ensure Trump’s win as anyone, and far more than the Russians could possibly have.