Monday, March 28, 2011


The new Obama Administration seemed determined to "reset" relations with Russia, which they claimed had been damaged by George W. Bush.  In early 2009, Secretary of State Clinton sent her Russian counterpart a "reset" button as a gift, and as an allegory for changed relations.

Except the State Department didn't use the right word:
Russian media have been poking fun at the US secretary of state over a translation error on a gift she presented to her Russian counterpart.

Hillary Clinton gave Sergei Lavrov a mock "reset" button, symbolising US hopes to mend frayed ties with Moscow.

But he said the word the Americans chose, "peregruzka", meant "overloaded" or "overcharged", rather than "reset".
At the time, people put this down as incompetence at State.  Now, it looks eerily prescient, as US-Russian relations are definitely overloaded:
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday attacks on forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi amounted to intervention in a civil war and were not backed by the U.N. resolution authorising no-fly zones.

In the latest Russian criticism of military action by the Western-led coalition, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council on March 17 had the sole aim of protecting Libyan civilians.

"And yet there are reports -- and nobody denies them -- of coalition strikes on columns of Gaddafi's forces, reports about support for actions by the armed insurgents," Lavrov said. "There are clear contradictions here."

"We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution," Lavrov said when asked about Libya at a news conference with the Kyrgyz foreign minister.
The Russians suspect that Obama played them for a fool, getting their cooperation in the UN Security Council for a very limited - no-fly zone only - effort which Obama then turned into a full on war kinetic military action.

In the future, we can expect this sort of "smart" diplomacy to garner peregruzka cooperation.  Smart.

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot, or something.

Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.


TOTWTYTR said...

Shouldn't that be, somewhere in Texas, or if you hat is made of tin foil, somewhere in Kenya?

That aside, Present Feckless and his incoherent foreign policy have made the US an international laughing stock.

Remember though, it was G.W. Bush that lacked gravitas.

Tam said...

The "reset" gaffe wouldn't have happened with our previous Secretary of State: She spoke Russian.