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U.S.-Russia Crosstalk

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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?

Did COVID-19 prevent World War III? Or did the virus prepare us for it?

For months after the attacks of 9/11, when people would be asked, "What did you learn?" they invariably responded, "Spend more time with family." That answer has reverberated in my mind throughout these two months of idyllic scenes of parents and children jumping on trampolines, riding bicycles and walking dogs.

In this March 9, 2020, photo, the full moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York. From California to Colorado to Georgia and New York, Americans are taking a moment each night at 8 to howl to thank the nation's health care workers and first responders for their selfless sacrifices during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

The world after the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is in the full swing around the globe and no one can predict when it will be over or at least largely contained. We can only hope and pray that this happens sooner rather than later.

Them's fightin' meds

When the Antonov cargo jet departed from Reno on April 1st, it kicked up such a cloud of dust that locals called the fire department reporting a wildfire. While there's no official confirmation, it's possible the Russian AN124 carried a delivery similar to the ventilators, masks and respirators that landed the same day in the same kind of plane at JFK International, an offer accepted days earlier by President Trump from President Putin. Or, as U.S. media call it, "a public relations coup for the Kremlin."

Russians stand during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 74 years since the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. Putin told the annual military Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The duality of fever

One side effect of the SARS Coronavirus-2 appears to be a diminished appetite among Americans for war with Russia. Given the overreaction by my fellow Americans, thanks to whom I may have to go back to Soviet toilet paper (newspaper) -- and am once again getting into any line I see -- one would hate to see how they'd react in a real crisis

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Needed: U.S.-Russia collusion 2.0 in 2020

It would take desperation to find something heartening in the Russian portion of National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien's comments last week at the Meridian International Center, which were replete with the typical projections and inversions between us and them. But amid Washington's unhinged nonseriousness (President Trump selling Alaska to Russia as a bargaining chip, Rep. Adam Schiff?), a desperate grab for sanity is better than none at all.

New U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, center, poses after presenting his diplomatic credentials with Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a ceremony to receive credentials from newly appointed foreign ambassadors to Russia in Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Aleksey Nikolskyi, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Time to start full scale U.S.-Russia dialogue

Now that President Trump has been acquitted after the three-year-long impeachment ordeal, some of us expect him to start this dialogue that he pledged to initiate during the past electoral campaign and kept repeating many times over without following up.

Iranian boots on the ground (Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times)

A little 2020 foresight, please

Not to add to apocalyptic associations with the year 2020, but we now find ourselves officially in the Year of the Rat, according to the Chinese calendar -- characterized by chaos. Thanks only to my obscure interest in the Balkans, sparked in 1999 by the shock that a war could be started by the world's superhero nation and my family's refuge from inhumanity, I learned the Serbian word for war: rat.

Forestry researcher Jhon Farfan carries saplings to replant a field damaged by illegal gold miners in Madre de Dios, Peru, on March 29, 2019. The rainforest is under increasing threat from illicit logging, mining and ranching. Farfan's job involves inspecting lands where the forest has already been lost to illegal mining spurred by the spike in gold prices following the 2008 global financial crash. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Can Russia be key in fighting climate change?

While U.S.-Russian relations keep sinking in a seemingly bottomless ditch, optimists aren't ready to give up and wonder whether there is anything to reverse or at least to stop this process before Armageddon.

Russian Reaction to Nato Expansion Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

How to build trust between U.S. and Russia

At a time of one of the greatest political upheavals in American history that could spill over into foreign affairs, especially U.S.-Russian relations with unpredictable and devastating results, I thought Christmas might offer a chance for all of us to take a pause and search for an exit from the megacrisis.

Worldly Ambitions of Vladimir Putin Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Can Russia trust the wily, wily West?

On a recent episode of "Life, Liberty and Levin," Hoover Institution fellow Niall Ferguson told host Mark Levin, "The problem at the moment is partly that we are on a kind of permanent war footing with respect to Moscow ... It's also partly that President Putin simply cannot bring himself to trust the United States."

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