U.S.-Russia Crosstalk

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States Coming Apart Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Our house divided could leave the planet whole

Earlier this month, in his first speech as secretary of state, Antony Blinken underscored that "the president has promised diplomacy -- not military action -- will always come first." He was building on a sentence from a moment earlier: "More than at any other time in my career -- maybe in my lifetime -- distinctions between domestic and foreign policy have simply fallen away."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduces President Joe Biden for remarks to State Department staff, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Leading not by force but by example - really, Tony Blinken?

In his recent speech outlining the new U.S. foreign policy vision Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a really sensational statement: "We will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We have tried these tactics in the past. However well intentioned, they haven't worked."

President Joe Biden arrives for a virtual event with the Munich Security Conference in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

How to avoid nuclear war

Let us review President Biden's "America is back," return to "normal" foreign policy that will be infused with "American values."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., with impeachment manager Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., speaks to members of the media during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, after the U.S. Senate voted not guilty, to acquit former President Donald Trump of inciting riot at U.S. Capitol, ending impeachment trial, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Biden presidency makes Balkanites of us all

One could say the Jan. 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol and resulting impeachment and acquittal of Donald Trump were the culmination of the tumultuous year that was 2020 -- chaotic by definition as a Year of the Rat. In the previous rat year of 2008, something similar happened in a country that was the proving ground for much of what's been happening here, not incidentally because of our meddling in its affairs.

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Can the CIA resuscitate U.S.-Russian relations?

Nowadays, when something bad happens in America, the popular game in Washington is to make bets on how fast Russia and Vladimir Putin will be accused of being responsible. Therefore, it was no surprise to hear exactly that about the Jan. 6 events on Capitol Hill.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 2, 2017, Matryoshkas, traditional Russian wooden dolls, including a doll of U.S. President Donald Trump, top, are displayed for sale in Moscow, Russia. From Moscow, the U.S. election looks like a contest between who dislikes Russia most, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russian President Vladimir Putin is frustrated with President Donald Trump's failure to deliver on his promise to fix ties between the countries. But Democratic challenger Joe Biden does not offer the Kremlin much hope either. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

America through the looking glass

So agape was the world at the Jan. 6 spectacle of conservatives setting themselves up for moral equivalence with the left that everyone forgot to invoke the invisible hand of Russia-Putin.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright (Associated Press) **FILE**

Russia and the Hunter-gatherers Biden

Real geopolitical challenges are facing the next American president: North Korea, Turkey, Iran and China, for example. One hopes that this is where a Biden-Harris-led focus will be, rather than on convenient distractions and comfort zones called Russia.

Illustration on Putin by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Trading places after the election

Being shared among the Russian diaspora on Facebook the week after the U.S. election was a reaction video by 10 or so octogenarians in Russia. Their spokeswoman delivered a tongue-lashing.

In this photo taken on Thursday, March 2, 2017, Matryoshkas, traditional Russian wooden dolls, including a doll of U.S. President Donald Trump, top, are displayed for sale in Moscow, Russia. From Moscow, the U.S. election looks like a contest between "who dislikes Russia most," according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russian President Vladimir Putin is frustrated with President Donald Trump's failure to deliver on his promise to fix ties between the countries. But Democratic challenger Joe Biden does not offer the Kremlin much hope either. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

What to expect in U.S.-Russia relations after Jan. 20, 2021

It is an undeniable fact that presently America is experiencing serious challenges on both domestic and foreign fronts. The dramatic polarization of society, the largest number of pandemic victims and major disputes between the nuclear powers require strong leadership and social unity.

Pope Francis makes the sign of the cross at the start of his weekly general audience in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Solutions to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

In recent weeks, the danger of war between neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia has caused many to ask how this chaos might be resolved before it directly drags in other powerful players.

A pro-Armenia protester wears a protective face mask that reads: "Europe" as she holds a poster depicting Turkey's flag during a still flash mob gathering in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Death and injury tolls rose Tuesday as fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces raged for a third week over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, as the United States urged both sides to adhere to a Russia-brokered cease-fire reached over the weekend. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

A Turkey wrench in our war plans

At a press conference last week in Los Angeles, every tier of lawmaker gathered at city hall to, one by one, condemn Azerbaijan's Turkish-backed invasion of its breakaway ethnic Armenian Republic of Artsakh.

In this June 28, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin walk to participate in a group photo at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh/File)

We are 'at the present deception'

In the three weeks since Vice President Mike Pence's Republican National Convention speech, right-leaning broadcasters have given much play to his quoting of Robert Gates, the Obama-Biden secretary of defense who wrote in his 2014 memoir that then-Vice President Joseph R. Biden "has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

President Donald Trump attends a luncheon with members of the United Nations Security Council in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Which way for America?

As the most powerful nation on Earth prepares to go to the polls in November, decisions will be made that will affect not only the next four years of American politics but also the lives of countless people around the world.

Two activists dressed up as U.S. President Trump and Russian President Putin ride two atomic bomb models during a protest for a world without nuclear weapons in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, July 30, 2020. Several peace and disarmament organizations as well as environmental protection groups demonstrated on the Pariser Platz for a nuclear weapons-free world before the start of negotiations between the USA and Russia on further action in nuclear arms control. (Fabian Sommer/dpa via AP)

Urgent call to rethink U.S.-Russia policy

Within the context of a speedily devolving geopolitical roller coaster ride shaped by renewed Cold War era hostilities, an Aug. 5 Politico open letter authored by 103 American foreign policy experts calling for a reset to U.S.-Russia relations appeared to be just what the doctors of reason prescribed.

Democrats Playing the Putin and Russia Bogeyman Card Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

U.S. is its own Russian boogeyman

Last month saw a duo of "news" stories making the rounds about this or that Russia-based hacker group that's "almost certainly linked" to Russian state intelligence. Bloomberg.com and USA Today were among those running with "Russia Accused of Vaccine Hacking," while the AP had a second go at "Russia Behind Spread of Virus Disinformation," which originally surfaced in April.

Former National Security Advisers Susan Rice, left, and John Bolton take part in a discussion on national security at Vanderbilt University Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

They gave us Glasnost, we gave them Naglost

Amid the intermittent riots and looting; the disbanding of police departments; the increase in armed disagreements between citizens; a four-year coup; an economy in turmoil; and talk of a geographic separation between Americans who have a race-based view of the human condition and those who don't, one would think our country's current upheavals -- unyielding even to a plague (itself partisan) -- would see us wanting to reduce our headaches, perhaps by making nice at least in the international sphere.

Trump Flynn Rift Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Do gods want to destroy America or might sanity yet be recovered?

Looking at today's America, one would be hard pressed to say that the gods were not interested in destroying this great country. For who can argue that this once proud and noble nation has not fallen into the depths of madness in recent years? After all, what is madness but a self-delusion run amok, far removed from any semblance of reality?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Washington. Mr. Pompeo said Wednesday that the Group of Seven members were all aware of China's "disinformation campaign" regarding the coronavirus outbreak, as the two countries dispute the origins of the disease. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)

'Prosper, and live short'

Society values externals, but internally the president may be the least crazy person on Earth.

In this June 8, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. If Donald Trump is serious about his public courtship of Vladimir Putin, he may want to take pointers from one of the Russian leader's longtime suitors: Chinese President Xi Jinping. In this political love triangle, Putin and Xi are tied by strategic need and a rare dose of personal affection, while Trump's effusive display in Helsinki showed him as an earnest admirer of the man leading a country long considered America's adversary. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Geopolitical puzzles

President Trump wanted to transform the G-7 to G-8, then to G-11, but are G-12 or G-5 the better choices?

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