Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What Passes for Diplomacy these days

The White House announced today that it would cancel a private meeting between Vladimir Putin and the President that would have taken place during the G-20 meetings in St. Petersburg, Russia.   The move was taken to reflect the general grumpiness that the Administration holds against Russia as a result of their decision to allow Edward Snowden asylum.

I find this quite amusing.   Let me understand this.   We are so grumpy that the President won't meet privately with Putin but we will meet with him in public.   Can they say hello across the table?  Does it mean that the president (ours) will glare across the table during the meetings or throw spit balls?   There are a several possible explanations of this move.   There are so many good choices it is just hard to choose.....

#1 - The Administration is really not that angry about not being unable to get Snowden back.   Any intelligence service with a brain might understand that every country of substance is constantly trying to find out stuff about every other country of substance in all sorts of ways and that Snowden's leaks are not that important.  We would never allow a low level contract employee access to all the good stuff.  (nah, at least to the last part).

#2 - The President believes that anyone deprived of a chance to meet privately with him will cycle into a round of depression unparalleled even in the Russian character that produced such uppers as War and Peace and that he will then have his revenge for allowing this leaker to get away with leaking stuff.

#3 - The President's pique with Assad and other tyrants has been so successful in achieving the administration's policy objectives that they will try the same thing again - another example of leading from behind.  He is creating a new standard of engagement (or is it disengagement?).

#4 - The President does not have a clue about how to get Snowden back and this is the best they could come up with.

#5 - This is a considerably better response than what the Administration put up in Benghazi.

#6 - Diplomacy is not in the learned portfolio of a community organizer.

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