Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Transmission

Romney To Russia: 'No. 1 Foe!' Russia To Romney: 'Pea-Brained!'

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "The idea that Obama has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed."
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "The idea that Obama has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed."
A new U.S. poll has found that 51 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Russia and just 2 percent consider Moscow to be Washington's "archenemy."

The assessment flies in the face of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent assertion that Russia is America's "No. 1 geopolitical foe." But that's getting ahead of the story.

Rewind to March 26, when a private comment made by President Barack Obama to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was accidentally heard on an open microphone at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. Obama told Medvedev that he was confident Moscow and Washington's differences on missile defense could be solved, but not until after November's presidential election.

Obama told Medvedev, "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it's important for [President-elect Vladimir Putin] to give me space." Then he and Medvedev had this exchange:

Obama: "This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."
Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."

You could have put an egg timer on how long it took Romney, Obama's likely rival for the White House, to jump in. In an interview with CNN, he raised alarm about Obama's comments:

"What [Obama] did both on nuclear weaponry already, and the new START treaty, as well as his decision to withdraw missile defense sites from Poland and then reduce our missile defense sites in Alaska from the original plan – these are very unfortunate developments. And if he's planning on doing more and suggests to Russia that he has things he's willing to do with them he's not willing to tell the American people – this is to Russia, this is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe; they fight every cause for the world's worst actors -- the idea that he has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed."

Medvedev couldn't leave that unanswered. At a news conference at the end of the security summit in Seoul, he took the rare step of commenting on U.S. domestic politics.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, confer in Seoul on March 26.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, confer in Seoul on March 26.
"Regarding ideological clichés, every time this or that side uses phrases like 'Enemy No. 1,' this always alarms me," he said. "This smells of Hollywood…

"I would make at least two recommendations to all U.S. presidential candidates, including [Mitt Romney]," Medvedev continued. "First of all, they need to apply reason and use their heads when phrasing their positions -- sometimes it doesn't harm a presidential candidate to do that. And secondly, check their watches from time to time because it's 2012 now, not the mid-1970s."

Would Romney take that sitting down? Only long enough to dash off a piece for the "Foreign Policy" website that said, in part, "It is not an accident that Mr. Medvedev is now busy attacking me. The Russians clearly prefer to do business with the current incumbent of the White House."  

The Russian newspaper "Pravda" quickly parried with its own piece, headlined, "Mitt Romney: Out-Of-Touch, Out-Of-Date, Unelectable." Here's how it begins:

"Electing Mitt Romney as the next president of the United States of America would be like appointing a serial pedophile as a kindergarten teacher, a rapist as a janitor at a girls' dormitory, or a psychopath with a fixation on knives as a kitchen hand. His comments on Russia are a puerile attempt at making the grand stage and boy, did he blow it..."

You can imagine how it continues, but highlights include calling Romney a "foul-mouthed, big-headed oaf," "a pea-brained, pith-headed simpleton with too much testosterone and too little common sense," and "a foul-mouthed guttersnipe."

But let's remember where all this started: with Romney trying to ping Obama on his foreign policy in his quest to win the White House. The tetchy back and forth between Romney and the Russians may be fun to watch, but it doesn't shine much light on what Romney's foreign policy would be if he were U.S. president.

Enter Obama's foreign policy and military advisory team. Clapping their hands like a cross school mistress trying to bring order to a chaotic classroom, 18 of them sent a letter to their counterparts on Romney's campaign via "Foreign Policy's" website, saying they wanted to "put the record straight" about Obama's record.

They asked for details on how Romney's policy would differ from Obama's on Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, Cuba, and Iraq, and concluded, "We look forward to your responses on these specific issues."

So are we. This is getting good.

-- Heather Maher
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
March 31, 2012 14:48
yet another republican luminary, this time Romney, well.. in one thing he might be right: Russia as any civilized country has to be the enemy of US government. US government is the major sponsor of terrorism in the world, alongside its NATO minions and proxies - Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. Any country fighting terrorism just has to be the enemy of US government by definition

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 31, 2012 17:03
I really hope this guy wins the upcoming presidential elections and will extend the US "stabilization and reconstruction" mission in Afghanistan for another 10 years: it would be just too sad if this show had to end exactly now when all the participants seem to have just warmed up for some real action :-(.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
March 31, 2012 20:35
hmm.. perhaps I will vote for Romney the First then.. I really get bored with Hussein Obama.. no live action.. the guy just prints dollars by trillions to gives it out to his fellow crooks on Wall Street as assorted bailouts.. Perhaps life with Romney the First will get more entertaining.. fireworks will start
In Response

by: Ivan the terrible from: Top of the World
March 31, 2012 22:33
So,good old Romney is pea-brained???That`s a bloody insult to peas,them russkies should have called him Eugenio or Jack brained,but then again it is highly improbable Jack or Eugenio have any brain at all.

by: Patti Winters from: Palmerton, Pa.
March 31, 2012 20:55
We have tried for many years to make peace with Russia. We will never agree on all policy, but we have made great strides with Russia. President Obama is working on that. Why would Romney say Russia is our archenemy. We haven't been enemies in years.

I think Romney is living in the past. He should be more worried about China , and the Middle East. I'm not voting for him because of his views on women. He is living in the past on those views too. It's time to move forward not move back.
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
April 01, 2012 16:13
You believe in whatever you want to believe. Both Russian and American governments know they are enemies. Since they cannot eliminate each other because of the nuclear weapons they use different means: Russia supports Columbian drug cartels to poison US kids and arrest of Viktor Bout is the proof. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Bout. USA supports Afghani drug cartels to poison Russian kids. Read very carefully: "in July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, collaborating with the United Nations to eradicate heroin production in Afghanistan, declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world's most successful anti-drug campaigns. As a result of this ban, opium poppy cultivation was reduced by 91% from the previous year's estimate of 82,172 hectares. The ban was so effective that Helmand Province, which had accounted for more than half of this area, recorded no poppy cultivation during the 2001 season." It didn't last long before 9/11. None of the Afghanis were involved in 9/11 yet USA attacked Afghanistan, removed Taliban, and the drug production is high again. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan
In Response

by: Jack from: US
April 01, 2012 19:12
US government indeed is behind most of Afghan (in fact - world's) heroin production and trade. US soldiers are _ordered_ to guard poppy fields in Afghanistan. But that goes back to rather established and sad truth that US government is the major drug cartel, which controls Colombian, Mexican, and now Afghan drug trade. The main reason US politicians are vehemently opposed to drug legalization is because they will lose billions in illegal and un-taxed profits
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
April 01, 2012 22:53
You are right, M, this year the UN assessed the opium production of Afghanistan to be over 5,000 tons. This is a country under US military occupation with 130,000 troops, air surveillance, satellite spying and super-computers. Do people really think that this volume of opium is moved out of the country on the backs of donkies over-night?

by: vlad from: us - moldova
April 01, 2012 06:00
Americans are friendlier to Russia then Russians to the US. Read Russian forums. The US is still an arch-enemy for the many Russians... Putin just ran his anti-US re-election campaign of the USSR times spirit.

It is humiliating for the US president to ask foreign leaders not to press too hard till the elections and promising solutions after. Obama's policies just proved that appeasing dictators of the world does not bring any results.

In Response

by: Anatoli from: Russia
April 01, 2012 11:13
@Vlad
Bloggers don't define the foreign policies. There's a lot of crap and hatred on both American and Russian discussion forums. What is important what the politicians and intelligentsia say. In many ways the negative reaction of Russian bloggers are the result of the US politics against Russia.

by: Mike from: US
April 01, 2012 14:58
Anyone who thinks that Russia is not #1 enemy of the world is a simpleton. Lets look at a vivid example of Korea. After the Korean war the south went with the US and the North with Russia. And look at them now; the south is one of the greatest countries in the world while the north is still in the stone age, and people there are so brainwashed that they actually believe that their president is the lord himself.

The same goes with everyone else. Russia funds dictators in the entire middle east, helps China, Iran and north Korea and sells weapons in Africa to supply the apartheid.

I hope Romney does win, so he can sink this Russian commies once and for all.
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
April 01, 2012 16:17
He won't win. The central command doesn't like people in government who speak out the truth of the US policies.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 01, 2012 17:33
That's it, Mike - vote for Romney, and I wish you, guys, a solid victory!!! You think he is going to "sink this Russian commies once and for all" :-)? Well, when one looks at his party-friend George W., the only ones he dragged into a lot of troubles in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Caucasus were yourselves and no one else. So, I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope the future president Romney will drag you all in a few more wars that you can only lose, the same way you lost in Iraq and Afghanistan :-).

by: American from: USA
April 01, 2012 17:21
Romney To Russia: 'No. 1 Foe!' Russia To Romney: 'Pea-Brained!' Americans to Russians on RFE/RL 'wanna get deported and eat borscht till the day you die?'

by: vego from: athens
April 01, 2012 19:27
1 million dead in Iraq, (87% women & children) 3.4 million homeless. average income fell from 22k per year to 3.8k per year.

the american empire has killed 7 million people since 1951.

america is only 4% of the world's population., but has 27% of the world's prisoners.

we don't want u guys anymore. the 4% can't dictate what the 96% can do, no matter how stupid they have made u guys. we used to love u but our stock market fell 70% in the months following your mortgage mess.

america isn't on the wrong side, america is the wrong side.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 02, 2012 06:36
Wow, a very good point, Vego from Athens! As I was saying all the way: now it's even citizens of NATO member-states realize that this US-led system of global domination, which is collapsing right now as we speak, has not benefited even the Europeans, be it Greeks, Spaniards, Portugese, Italians or Irish. Just kick them out of Greece, Vego!
In Response

by: Alexander the Great from: Macedonia
April 02, 2012 19:41
That`s right Vego,Kick the bloody americans out,its high time the greeks join a future soviet union - the russians and Eugenio and Jackie particularly will pay your foreign debt to bail you out of the crisis-all you have to do is to drink ouzo ,eat like there`s no tomorrow dance bouzuki and bring back the good old custom of breaking plates.Long live the malakas!!!

by: William from: Aragon
April 01, 2012 22:58
When leaders have trouble at home, they point to external "threats". The US still has not thrown off the effects of the GFC and Russia still has the backside out of its pants after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Their ruling elites both point a finger towards the "other side" and their citizens believe it - the very proof resonates in this column. Has nobody read George Orwell's 1984 that was written in 1948? The lessons are clear.

by: ashoka kanishka from: Hind
April 02, 2012 09:28
If he wins then it would be clear the enemy was not communism but Russians.

And the old-cold war once again will be started.

This will further give platform to the nationalists in Russia , this kind of nationalism will ressurect the personality of cult.

China will watch the situation closely and will be happy he is not the numero uno enemy.

china can never become superpower(in Military sense) since Taiwan (problamatic but solvable) , Uyghurs (Unsolvable due islamic militants and PAK), Tibet (Solvable).

Pakistan will be happy to get billions of aid again to fight terrorism.

Though US prime enemy is PAK but they call them friendship and this friendship is forever.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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