October 1st, 2012

Today Putin discontinues the USAID activities in Russia

It's so sad.
In connection with the appearance the article of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on the Russian  LJ's site - USAID Leaves a Remarkable Legacy of Achievements, I invite to evaluate the veracity of the Yuri Panchul's words: “the State Department supported a lot of organizations in Russia that acted as a sort of a pseudo-pro-American religious sect, alienating the wast majority of people”, to all who participated in the previous discussion - “Moscow forces U.S. to close down its aid mission in Russia”.

The attitude of Russians to the event - in the comments to the post.
My opinion as per Rule #8 of this community:

  1. The Russia is the authoritarian state where the authority  takes decisions not in favor of the people
  2. Actions of the Russian authorities have added the growing tension between the government and the opposition.  And it looks like no way to avoid a violent change of the government because there are no conditions for freedom of expression and free election
  3. Putin has shown the clear step to the direction of isolation from the western world
  4. If Putin doesn't choose America as a partner he will look for links with China
  5. Barack Obama's "reset" policy with Russia failed but I appreciate deeply the efforts of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul
  6. The Obama administration does not understand that making concessions under Putin's pressure will not strengthen the bond of friendship. This is a demonstration of false politeness. It only can be assessed by the modern Russian authority like the indication of provocative weakness. Putin is not looking for friends
  7. Romney was right with ...Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe...
  8. Yuri Panchul described the USAID's activities in Russia incorrectly

Monthly Topic

Sooo, the political scandals and gaffes month is over. Which is not to say the gaffes won't stop, to be sure! More likely they'll be getting even more frequent as November approaches. Still, here's what your new choice for this month's topic was:

Science, Technology, Space and Nature

Fascinating! Well, we've partly had this on previous occasions, so you may already know what it's about. Still, here are a few rough guidelines that might or might not be useful:

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Quaero togam pacem.
  • mahnmut

Presidential election & the Middle East

It's already become evident that Romney hasn't yet managed to draw visible benefits from the situation with the perceived failures of the current US administration in regards of its policies in the Middle East - particularly the mass protests against that Youtube vid and the upsurge of the anti-American sentiments in the region. Some recent Pew Research Center studies include polls showing that Obama's behavior in this case enjoys about 45% approval, with 36% expressing disapproval. Meanwhile, only 26% agree with Romney's take on the situation, against 48% opposed to it.

Even many Republicans (according to WSJ) consider Romney's reaction to the whole Muhammad fiasco to be "clumsy" at best. Among them: John Sununu, Reagan's speech writer Peggy Noonan, and McCain's former advisor John Weaver. For instance, Romney criticized what he called the White House's "apologies" in Egypt for its "role" in the events that led to the death of the US ambassador in Benghazi, accusing Obama of conducting "weak foreign policies" and even sympathizing with the Islamists who attacked the diplomatic mission.

Given the reaction from within his own party, this could be called a gaffe in its own worth that betrays a total lack of nose for foreign policy on Romney's part. Or it could be a deliberate effort to stick out and rile up the "base", I don't know. In either case, the polls indicate that it's been a failure - one among many in the Romney camp in recent times.

In response to his reckless statements, the White House accused Obama's rival of "politicizing this national tragedy", stating that "Romney has a habit to shoot first and aim only later", and that's not how a potential president should behave. So in the "scoring election points" game, Obama may've bagged yet one more round under his belt with this one, now being able to skillfully assume a higher-moral-ground position related to his opponent. The most eloquent verdict came from columnist D Horsey from LA Times who called Romney's words "stupid and simplistic political rhetoric".

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