Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pessimistic ...

Attending an all-day conference at Georgetown University, Key Strategic Issues in U.S.-Russia Bilateral Relations, one of these "informal" gatherings where experts and government folk can exchange thoughts. Unfortunately such formats are off the record so I can't report on proceedings but while the talk is frank I can't say I am going to leave feeling encouraged.

"Talk is frank" ususally means that there was so much disagreement among the participants that they wond up yelling at each other.

It is quite astonishing that there can be this level of disagreement on US policy towards the single state on this planet that can destroy US.

One would have thought there will be at leat a fundamental agreement on the observation that (in the eternal words of R.N.) "we and the Russians can never be friends but we cannot afford to be enemies."
Any word on Russian/Iranian relations?

Since Russia is in a critical position to be both "unhelpful", and cooperative in America's dealings with Iran, I am curious about the chatter between these two countries, and particularly with regard to the Bush government seeming provocations against Iran.
With the current Bush regime, one can only be pessimistic. Both in general and vis-`a-vis Moskva. Unfortunately,I am not in the least impressed with the alternatives out there in the way of potential Presidential successors to Bush. With say Clinton, Obama,
McCain, Guiliani, et al., on offer, I do not hold out much hope for any future improvement on bilateral Russian-American relations.

George Frost Kennan, where are you when we need you?

Rather depressing actually.
No shouting at the conference--a good civilized exchange of views. Overall sense that more of these types of exchanges are needed.

Very clear disagreements in perspectives and even American participants who disagree with the Bush Administration were still not finding common ground.

I don't want to violate the off the record stipulations but suffice it to say major gaps in perception about Iran and what needs to happen.
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