Who’s the US to demand that Russia free anyone? Back to Cold War 2.0 with Biden and His ‘Diplomacy-Favoring’ Secretary of State Blinken

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist ‘Doomstay’ clock is at 100 seconds to midnight, suggesting that renewing the SALT agreement by Feb 5 would be in the interest of both the US and Russia.

By Dave Lindorff

A fawning liberal media and a passel of well-endowed ‘peace’ organizations like Plowshares and Council for a Livable World and self-described “progressive” organizations like MoveOn have been hailing Biden’s cabinet picks, many of them veterans of the Obama administration, claiming they will steer the US in a new direction under which diplomacy, not bluster and military threats, will be the default policyBa.

And yet right out of the box we see the Biden administration “demanding” that Russia release Putin critic and political challenger Alexey Navalny from a just-ordered 32-month sentence for jumping bail and leaving the country?  Is that supposed to be diplomacy?  Is Moscow likely to cave in to such an imperious demand? Is the US prepared to act in some fashion to enforce its demand?

Of course not.  Typically on issues like his, at least with the US, one sees sanctions being placed on the offending country, or on individuals in power. But while that tactic might cause enough pain to get results against some third world country, it doesn’t work so well when the target is a nation like Russia, which doesn’t do much business with the US, which has reduced its holdings of US debt significantly and that has actually been with other countries to develop a banking system that doesn’t rely on US banks. Furthermore, Russia has a product — oil and especially natural gas — which Europe is hungry for.

Making threatening-sounding demands doesn’t work either when the target country has a long history of resisting being pushed around.

Now if  Secretary of State Antony Blinken seriously wants to engage in diplomacy, he should start off the new US Biden administration’s relationship with Moscow not by making a blustery demand it cannot enforce. He should instead offer a carrot of some kind, which could then be withheld.  Perhaps he posits such a carrot is President Biden’s offer over the phone to President Vladimir Putin to extend the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). This decades old pact reached   by President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev is set to expire in three days, potentially setting off a new arms race in nuclear warheads, bombs and intercontinental missiles.

But using that treaty as a carrot would make no sense. Putin, a seasoned international leader, knows the  US needs SALT renewed as much as Russia does. The Doomsday Clock was just moved down to 100 seconds by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and more weapons of ultimate destruction are the last thing either country or the rest of the world needs. 

So what gives here?  Is this just more Cold War posturing of the kind we saw so often under Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, George HW Bush, Clinton, GW Bush and Obama and, in North Korea, China and Venezuela at least, Trump?

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please to to:  https://thiscantbehappening.net/back-to-cold-war-2-0-with-biden-and-his-diplomacy-favoring-secretary-of-state-blinken/

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