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Ear to the Ground

Obama and Medvedev Set New Tone for U.S.-Russian Relations

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Posted on Jul 5, 2009
Medvedev and Obama
AP photo / RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev welcomes U.S. President Barack Obama on his arrival at the Kremlin on Monday.

Sure, some of the show of good will between President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, was glad-handing for the cameras, and that whole missile-shield issue was swept under the rug for the time being, but some actual progress was made during their summit in Moscow on Monday.

CNN:

On the most immediate challenge, working out an arms control agreement to replace the START I treaty which expires December 5, the two presidents signed a joint understanding for a follow-on agreement to START that commits both parties to a legally binding treaty that will reduce nuclear weapons. Video Watch Obama discuss arms control pact »

The joint understanding commits the United States and Russia to reduce their strategic warheads to a range of 1,500 to 1,675, and their strategic delivery vehicles to a range of 500 to 1,100. Under the expiring START and the Moscow treaties the maximum allowable levels of warheads is 2,200 and the maximum allowable level of launch vehicles is 1,600.

Russia has insisted on linking the arms control agreement to the controversial issue of a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The presidents dealt separately with that issue, instructing their experts to work together to carry out a joint threat assessment, analyze ballistic missile threats in the world and prepare appropriate recommendations.

They also announced plans to conduct a joint review on possible cooperation to monitor the development of missile programs around the world. Obama said the two leaders are discussing holding a global nuclear summit next year.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

Post 2.

“.....I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that…we vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not – we will not – travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.”

Then Senator, Pres Barack Obama
2002 Speech against the Iraq War

That was 2002, much has transpired because of the actions of intolerant ideologues in America, and other nations.  Now to deal with the reality of mopping up the mess created by these same.  It is not going to be easy, there is no wave of the magic wand, nor any utopia, nor any perfect system within which to do it.

There is only us, The People, to make the world a better place.  All of us, worldwide.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

Post 1.

“I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don’t oppose all wars. My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil.

I don’t oppose all wars.

After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power…. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.”

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By rollzone, July 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

hello. our loser hams it with theirs. those missile shields are going in, because the ruskies cannot be trusted. ever. their citizenry slaughter in Georgia made that obvious. naively believe handshakes are friendship. i only trust Europeans will war again, because we are from there. that is all we believe in. the most powerful rules. eventually everyone tests the waters. strong defense is best. just maintain dialogue so we can realistically monitor their cerebral evolution, or lack there of.

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