Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I really can't come up with an explanation for why, with such a target-rich environment, Hillary Clinton decided to focus on Russia's treatment of dissidents.

Why not challenge Russia to respect the sovereignty of its neighbors, in particular the former republics of the Soviet Union?

Why not challenge Russia to refrain from playing gas games with Eastern and Western Europe?

Why not challenge Russia to seriously cooperate with international efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

Why not challenge Russia to clamp down on government corruption and government confiscation of foreign business interests?

Why not challenge Russia to back off its publicly stated willingness to preemptively use nuclear weapons?

What kind of ranking puts the way Russia treats its own citizens at the top of the list of concerns the United States has with the Russian government? There are far more important issues than whether Russia allows its citizens to criticize the Russian government... and it is bewildering that an American Secretary of State wastes an opportunity on something that relatively just isn't that important.

And her focusing her attention on the Kremlin's treatment of domestic dissidents is likely to be viewed in the Kremlin as an admission that the Obama Administration doesn't have the guts to challenge Russia on the major issues.