Secretary Clinton Meets With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 18, 2010

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Today, Secretary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. Following their meeting, Secretary Clinton said, "Since our first meeting in Geneva, a little more than a year ago, Minister Lavrov and I, along with our respective governments under the leadership of both President Medvedev and President Obama, have worked toward a new beginning in the relationship between the United States and Russia. We believe that this reset of the relationship has led to much greater cooperation, coordination, and a constructive ongoing consultation on numerous issues that are important to our bilateral relationship and to the global issues that we both are facing."

Secretary Clinton continued, "I think it's critical that Minister Lavrov is hosting the Middle East Quartet. When we begin our meetings with Quartet members this evening, we'll have the chance to explore in depth the way forward in the Middle East, but these talks are yet another reminder that the United States and Russia, together, face global challenges, and that there are many people not only in Russia and the United States, but, literally, throughout the world who depend upon the ability of the U.S. and Russia to work together."

Secretary Clinton then addressed several topics she and Foreign Minister Lavrov discussed, including the upcoming nuclear security summit, Iran's nuclear program and cooperation on Afghanistan. Secretary Clinton said:

"We discussed the upcoming nuclear security summit. Fifty heads of state, including President Medvedev, will be in Washington. And it especially is important for the United States and Russia, who bear the responsibility, to continue the way forward on nonproliferation and to work as partners in the global effort to secure fissile materials and counter the threat of nuclear terrorism. So this is another initiative that both President Obama, who suggested it, and President Medvedev, who embraced it, can see the cooperation between us. We are making substantial progress on the new START treaty; that's the word from our negotiators in Geneva. And the results from the latest negotiating rounds lead us to believe we will be reaching a final agreement soon.

"We discussed at length Iran's nuclear program, which remains an issue of grave concern for the international community. We are still committed, as we have been, to a diplomatic solution, but there must be a solution. Iran is not living up to its international obligations and, therefore, we're working together with our other partners in the P-5+1 to bring together a very clear international consensus in the Security Council that gives Iran the message it needs to hear that its behavior does have consequences and that its pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a direct threat both to regional and global security.

"I thanked Sergey for the cooperation between the United States and Russia with respect to Afghanistan. The transit agreement that our two presidents announced has resulted in troops and material now moving across Russia in support of coalition operations in Afghanistan. As of this week, 111 flights have ferried more than 15,000 soldiers. And we have also increased our cooperation and launched a joint exercise to share financial intelligence related to the flow of narcotics into Russia, an issue that is very important to the Russian people, and that we have pledged to work with the Russian Government to address.

"We are also looking for ways to increase our cooperation on disaster response. The devastating earthquake in Haiti was a clear indication of why we need to be working more closely together. Russian emergency relief teams were among the very first on the ground in Haiti after that disaster. This is a particular concern of Minister Lavrov's, and I believe it's another area where we should deepen and broaden our working together.

"The Bilateral Commission that our two presidents established is working well, and we're pleased by the results of the efforts of the working groups. This goes far beyond traditional foreign issues. We are exploring new opportunities for collaboration in the fields of energy efficiency and nanotechnology. A United States delegation made up of executives from the information technology companies recently visited Russia to explore joint private sector-led initiatives in education, e-government, and other fields. We're increasing partnerships between Russian and American universities. And there are growing interactions between American and Russian people, including an upcoming sports exchange for young people using basketball as the means of communications."

Secretary Clinton concluded, "Now, there are differences in our relationship. We know that. We've raised them and we have had very frank conversations about them. But they are raised within the context of an overall approach that looks for ways to narrow the areas of difference and disagreement, that looks to enhance the cooperation and partnership between our two countries that we are building.... [W]e have made real strides in the relationship over the past year, but we still have a lot to do. And many of the challenges facing the world today can only be addressed through greater cooperation between Russia and the United States. That's the commitment of our two presidents. That's the commitment that Sergey and I have made over and over again. And we look forward to continuing to work together in the months ahead."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.



Syrian P.
March 19, 2010

SNP in Syria writes:

Looks like the antiquated circa 1950 Red reset button failed. Next time try newer digital one, that may work.

March 19, 2010

Neide in Brazil writes:

I am brasilian
its nice know that Russia is cooperating with the U.S. against atomic bombs. God bless north america.
God bless secretarit

Brian C.
Pennsylvania, USA
March 19, 2010

Dr. Brian A.C. in Pennsylvania writes:

Dear Sec. Dr. Clinton et al,


We all share you concerns for the Middle East and really appreciate all the hard work the "Middle East Quartet" is doing under the leadership of Minister Lavrov.

Keep up the great work & G-d Bless your good efforts,

Dr. Ari C. (R-PA)

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
March 19, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

While Mrs. Hillary Clinton is in Russia, she can ask them exactly how many weapons have they sold the country of Iran? How much Nuclear stuff have they sold Iran?

March 19, 2010

Valera in Russia writes:

Hello, forgive me for my English. I am from Russia. I would like to pay attention to authorities of America matter-position with Human Rights in Russia. In Russia courts and office of public prosecutor commit crime. These crimes are obvious. Set please question Mrs. Hilary Clinton to Russian authorities, why does not carry responsibility for crimes the Russian judges and public prosecutors. I am 31 year labour for bringing in of judge to criminal but he is protected by all system, because there all such.

With kind regards Valerа

Edite L.
March 20, 2010

Edite L. in Canada writes:

Any time high level Foreign Affairs officials meet for discussions is a catalyst for curiosity and a need to hear concrete accomplishments agreed upon. Apart from the "transit agrrement" that has been in place for a while now ,where America is being allowed to transport military folks and operational equipment to Afghanistan, not much else has been achieved. I refer to comments like "Iran's behaviour does have consequences".......what consequences? Russia is going to build a nuclear plant for them in Iran. How does that help America with its nuclear concerns viv a vis Iran? Words like" real strides", "exploring new opportunities", Bilateral Commission is working well"....... how is it working well.And what real strides have been accomplished...... in anything? It has been said that America and Russia are "collaborating" about "energy efficiency". .......Does that mean they also discussed the use of withholding oil and gas to Europe et al as an unwelcome approach on Russia's part. It is a cruel tactic to use as a blackmailing tool and required full and frank discussions on that score.The Russian hierarchy are just too sly by far and way too cunning to be led by the nose by America...... about anything. That is simply not their way. How many Soviets died on the beaches of Normandy, Omaha,etc. How did they manage to squeeze themselves out of that one? Now American soldiers and the Brits will be required to march past resurrected posters of Stalin in Red Square and celebrate his actions as a " liberator" of Eastern Europe in spite of the fact he himself ordered 20,000,000 executions of non-commies. My dad's godparent's bones lie in unmarked graves in the Gulag..... no place to place flowers in their memory......their mistake......opposing Communism. What questions were raised about the use of Stalin , the worst murderer in the 20th century . And our American men are going to march past and honour him? Good grief, don't you people give a hoot? The Russians will milk America for as many concessions as America will be foolish enough to give and yet, in no way, will they support strong, corrective sanctions on Iran. As far as the START treaty goes, America better take the long, long look forward( which is the key word used in this administration as well as "smart" and "reset") none of which have achieved anything concrete............yet. Why is it the State Dept. does not understand that Russia is not our friend? Oh, Condi Rice, we miss you terribly.

Virginia, USA
March 25, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

How many Americans died at Stalingrad? Leningrad? How did we manage to squeeze ourselves out of those?

New Mexico, USA
March 25, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Madam Secretary,

I can understand if folks wish to keep rhetoric toned down to allow "words to mean something" and make a difference in behavior.

My advice to you and Sec Robert Gates is that the American public deserves to know the unvarnished truth about Iran's supplying the munitions that kill our citizens, be that in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I wonder just how long the Iranian government would last if everyone that has a beef with the Iranian way of doing buisiness on the world stage got together and decided to engage in regime replacement therapy after mucking about trying to change the pond water into wine.

Try this theory on for size;

You want to send a universal message to the Iranian government that they need to take stock of their strategic position and stop being a sponsor of terror trying to obtain nuclear weapons?

OK fine, sanctions are the easy part. We can do that as the international community for all the futility of getting the desired results that may be found in that process of resolution after resolution, add nauseum.

They'll still get their bomb.

If you want a different outcome, then unanimously declare war on them, and let them sue for peace if they are sane enough.

Either they manifest a change in behavior very quickly, or it's into the dustbin of history with them.

The war you seek to avoid can only be avoided if you are ready to fight it with all means and the political will needed to secure the common future for all.

If "a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable", the international community needs to understand that it can't be done half-way.

Unconditional surrender and nothing less for terrorists and their sponsors is in order. Also that a good percentage of 70 million Iranians will stand with you in the removal of their government despite what that entails for them. It's their future their government denies them and they look to us to provide one.

As with Japan and state religion, Shinto was relegated back to the monestaries to get whole and peaceful again after being corrupted by politicians.

The same must hold true in a post-regime Iran for "thugocracy" to become a thing of the past. Many Iranian clerics would support that as well. Convinced by example that Mosque and State combined corrupts both inevitably.

The premis that attacking Iran will only strengthen the Iranian government's support by the people is in error simply because there won't be a government able to ask for it after the first 24 hours of applied force used with the intention of removing them from power.

Such is my confidence in the combined armed forces of NATO, Russia, and China, along with all in the Mideast willing to enforce peace in the region. It's time to create it in mutual responsibility to protect populations from bad governance we call tyrany.

The big fear here is that taking military action will have catastrophic repurcussions on the region's economy, and living standards.

I challenge that fear from two directions...

One, that by the combined use of national powers to wage a conflict to secure the peace for all, you have the greatest chance of minimizing the time it takes and the disruption it will cause.

The severity of life lost is fully dependant on eliminating Iran's offensive capability both by proxi and technologicly from the missile delivery aspect.

The one main difference from Iraq or Afghanistan is that you won't have state sponsors of terror trying to destabilize Iran while folks are trying to win the peace in the aftermath. It might be "the last stand" for bin Laden and terrorists in general as in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they will try to have a vote in objection. Like ants to a jar of honey.

The other is that the Arabs and Israelis need a joint project they can earn each other's trust with, so in returning the favor Cyrus did for Israel 2500 years helping in the reconstruction of a free Iran, there's a way to build lasting peace in Palestine in partnership if the spoilers of peace are no longer able to..

Hisbollah and Hamas will be faced with a simple choice of survival without a sponsor, walk the road to peace, or become irrelevant in taking a dirt nap.

If done right, I think the world could see a new Iranian interim gov. take its place at the UN by this upcoming UNGA.

That's anticipating that it will take until May to get sanctions, and June to reconvene because of the Iranian government's response to sanctions placed, in order to take this a step at a time.

But start prepping the forces now, you are dealing with a dangerous wounded animal that is unpredictable and mentally unsound. A rabid dog running amok in the global village that needs to be put down.

That the gov of Iran is willing to "martyr 10 million Iranians" for the cause, is all the proof I should need bring forth from the minds of madmen, to inspire action by the sane.

Just don't be late, please.


Virginia, USA
March 25, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

@ Eric:

All well and good, though I disagree with your premise almost entirely. That aside, this sounds, should all your other options fail, like a call to war.

Questions: Who is going to fight this war? Who is going to pay for this war? Where is the political will going to be found for this war?

Barring aggressive action by Iran, and by that I mean overt aggressive action (Iran's invasion of a neighbor; Iran drops the bomb on Israel), I don't think we have the military, the money, or the stomach for this now. Give us a few years off, would ya?

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
March 25, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

It's not in the interest of the Iran Leader to use Nuclear Weapons, considering that had he did, "His country would be covered in radiation for the next 60 years" This Nuclear Wildcard is a tactic for blackmaling. Just like what North Korea has tried over the years. Rattle some sabors in hope to get free welfare from the West. The Leaders of North Korea live like Kings, but the people live like peasants.

It would behove the Leader of Iran to bring peace talks to the table with our Nation. Considering how many countries around the world already have Nuclear Weapons, it's too dangerous for any country to use them. The fallout alone would destroy hundreds of thousands of lives.

No one on this Planet should be testing Nuclear Weapons, or trying to destroy human life with Radiation. The United Nations should place the highest penalities for Nations testing these kinds of weapons for any Nation on earth.

New Mexico, USA
March 25, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

It's a clear call for common sense in dealing with the possibilities of war, Flavius. It's not my place to call for one, because it's not my decision to make;

In order to avoid one that is fought on their terms with nuclear weapons.

The international community must fight it on their's.

Let me put it bluntly, whether that Iranian agressive action be overt or covert, if the status quo is unnaceptable, then folks need to think about what they may have no other choice but to stomach if they let them continue to commit crimes against humanity.

Folks are betting the farm on a diplomatic strategy that hasn't been working, but it has brought common awareness of the issues involved and if they at this point wish to save lives and money in the long run, folks will consider other options in addition to sanctions and find the ways and the means to do that together.

I wish there were a better way, but I can't paint you a rosy picture of the future no matter how much you might want me to, unless folks are willing to take the steps needed to safeguard it from ethical infants.

How long should we wait to change their diapers?

We don't have a couple years to debate this, my friend.

China, Russia, Britan and the US found the ways and the means in the dark days of WW2 to stand together, they can do so again now in no uncertain terms with Iran.

If they cannot, then we will have the war no one says they want at a great cost and inevitability's whim.

New Mexico, USA
March 26, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald,

Folks thought that about Hitler too before they found out the hard way that he was a genocidal megelomaniac. It's what forced the US to build atomic weapons before Germany did.

"It's not in the interest of the Iran Leader to use Nuclear Weapons, considering that had he did, "His country would be covered in radiation for the next 60 years" This Nuclear Wildcard is a tactic for blackmaling. Just like what North Korea has tried over the years. Rattle some sabors in hope to get free welfare from the West."

It's a lot easier to remove the source of the ill intent than it is after they have the means for nuclear blackmail, but you have to consider that the Iranians don't think about these things quite the same way we do.

How cheap do you consider the Iranian government's regard for the lives of their citizens when in response to the hungry and homeless on Iran's streets, Aminidijad extolled Martrdom as not only the solution for them, but described it as an art form of the highest order?

Why it is folks seem to walk about in a diplomatic haze thinking there's someone reasonable they can find in Iran to talk with is beyond my meager ability to understand after my government's three decades of experience dealing with Iranian leadership on all levels.

I'd say you have ample, time proven evidence that it only gets worse the longer folks put up with tyrants.

I'm not saying this as a US/Iran thing, it's Iran vs. all that the UN stands for and folks better get a grip on their intent and be clear eyed doing it.

Virginia, USA
March 26, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

@ Eric:

Nation states do not commit suicide. Donald is correct. Hitler had chemical weapons. He had the ability to deliver them in rockets and artillery shells and bombs. He did not, even at the end. Why? Retaliation, that's why.

The only terms that Iran would dictate in a nuclear conflict would be which 200,000 people it would kill in exchange for the extermination of the entire populations of the major urban centers of Iran. Criminals may run the regime, but you can't enjoy being the boss when you're a pile of ash. The mob avoids shooting police. It is bad for business. Iran won't drop the bomb because that too is bad for business.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left us unable to summon the political will to fight a war based upon suppositions and best guesses. Methinks that the U.S. and the world would look at whatever evidence presented with a jaundiced eye. Think "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction." That is the reality of this situation. To think that the Russians or the Chinese would help us in anything beyond sanctions is wishful thinking. And if they did actually join in a "coalition of the willing," the strategic implications of Russian troops south of the Caspian Sea or Chinese troops on "our" side of the Khyber Pass are... rather unpleasant.

If we do have to fight a war, and likely fight that war alone, you might want to discuss the difficulty of an Iranian campaign with military people familiar with the situation. This will not be Iraq. And in invading Iran, the world's second oldest continuing nation state, you will unite the people behind the regime. There aren't divisions to exploit here. I would hate to be the American Marcus Licinus Crassus, wouldn't you?

And if you invade Iran, Baghdad and the south of Iraq would certainly go up in flames again. We'll need some serious boots on the ground for that, too.

The only way the U.S. could get ready for this is to increase our force size at least 50%. Safer, actually, to double it. And that would require, to attract the necessary manpower, more than double the money. Unless, of course, we reinstitute the draft.

Fortunately, I don't think this regime has long to live. The end has already begun. We just need to vocally support the good guys and make life difficult for the bad guys. Mostly, though, we should not interfere overtly. That's what got us in this mess in the first place, if you recall. Something about the CIA and the Shah?


New Mexico, USA
March 26, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

(part 1 of 2)

Once upon a time...I too thought the government of Iran incapable of commiting suicide, but we are watching Iran

today commit political suicide on the world stage, arn't we? Or is this just a bad movie we're forced to watch?

This is why the Turkish foreign minister is seeing the momentum of international will as all too familiar in

similarity to Saddam's downfall.

I guess it scares them a bit to have had one idiot who was removed next door, and then the deja vu' of Iran's

bucking the will of UN resolutions giving folks the willies of a repeat performance of "shock and awe".

But it's more than that Flavius, that has me pretty well convinced that there's a suicidal explanation to the

apparent dichotomy between the Iranian Gov. saying nuclear weapons are "haram" and their effort to build them.

Hitler was in violation of sanction and armistace treaty the whole time he was building up his war machine in the


Germany had been the leading scientific community investigating the atom and its potential. After we got involved

in WW2, a letter was given to FDR signed by a number of scientists including Einstien telling him of Germany's

experimentation and the atom's potential for weaponization, convinced this was what Germasny intended.
That's how the Manhattan Project was born.

The reason they didn't get the bomb before we did is the overt bombing of their industrial heartland and covert

opps to destroy their "heavy water" stocks. Japan too was working on its bomb at the time and we didn't even know

until records surfaced in the 1990's.

Many didn't suspect what Hitler was capable of prior to war, and this is now. The same disbelief of capability

exists in many minds with respect to Iran. I understand your's very well. It is a factor of level of awareness, and

you say you "won't let me off the hook so easy." so I guess that's a request for an education...(chuckle).

All kinds of efforts were made in both cases for years on end to seek a diplomatic solution.

Neville Chamberlain's regrettable statement in 1938 claiming "Peace in our time" just before war broke out in

Europe has been cited time and again as example of diplomatic self- delusion.

Mark Twain was right, "History never repeats itself, but sometimes it rhymes."

You're right on this, "Nations do not commit suicide". Only fanatical governments do Flavius, and they often drag their nation's people along with them over oblivion's cliff in the process.

New Mexico, USA
March 26, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

(part 2 of 2)

So if I were to understand you correctly in general terms, you think the Iranian government are criminals, but not criminally insane?

Well insanity on a state level does not eliminate logical reasoning, even though insanity be inspired by ideology.

It goes about it's insane purpose logicly and rationally in many respects concurrent with its own reasoning and rationale born of criminal intent.

Enough in fact to nuke themselves (Nantez being a potential target of choice for a lot of folks), then claim they were attacked, play the "victim" and then "retaliate" on their enemy of choice.

See, they are not as much interested in preserving the peace as they are being seen as morally correct, and other than providing a bomb to a terrorist proxi to deliver for them, what else would an Ayatollah do with a bomb to make himself look righteous?

They can't exactly declare themselves a nuclear weapons state without being seen as religious hypocrites, but yet they are in the process of building bombs right now.
It makes one do a lot of hard and unpleasant thinking about why they want one.

The psycology of tyrany and ideological fanatics has some notable patterns of behavior.

One is that they must create an enemy to justify their existance in power. To even attain it in most cases. They

all claim to have the keys to social utopia if only the "enemy" (by whatever name they put to it) can be


Usually an enemy external to the state, this mindset inevitably turns on its own people in percieving the "enemy

within" the state, because no tyrany exists without opposition to it's existance in power.

Secondly, that the weak, the unproductive, those intellectuals and holders of different belief than the state are

systematicly eliminated from society or forced to become refugees.

Third, that their militaries run the economy into the ground at the expense of the people.

Fourth, that their military are not content to wield ideological control within their borders, but seek control

over other nations.

Fifth, that the justification for all their actions is a feeling of superiority; culturally, racially, or

religiously in nationalistic and global outlook.

These are observable common historical patterns of behavior whether the tyrany is motivated by economic, social,

or religious ideology.

In Iran's case, the leadership is beholden only to their interpretation of prophesy and institutionally is

commited to bringing about the apocalyptic conditions on Earth for the Mahdi's return. They consider it their

religious duty to see that prophesy fulfilled, regardless of cost to the nation.

This is why I put it these terms to the Sec. of State in a previous post on this thread.

"That the gov of Iran is willing to "martyr 10 million Iranians" for the cause, is all the proof I should need

bring forth from the minds of madmen, to inspire action by the sane."

Thing is Flavius, it's historicly accurate as well that democracies don't war by choice, but of necessity for

their survival.

We do these things in our national interest only if we must.

Today in an interdependant world, it is no longer possible for democracies to think solely in their own national

interest, but are now forced to accept that their common national interest is intertwined when facing tyrany of all


If one seeks to unclench their fist, there are points of pressure that can be physically applied to the hand to

force it to unclench.

Anyone who has studied martial arts or Chinese medicine will tell you that's a fact.

Something for the President to chew on as he considers the possibilities of war and peace.

The very things we hold dear tend to blind us to intent, because we just don't want to think the "unthinkable".

If 9/11 was "a failure of imagination." then let's not make that mistake again.

If we want to win the war we are in.

New Mexico, USA
March 26, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

One last thing you should take into account; that "coalition of the willing" is already cooperating on piracy and the global war on terror, the challenge put to them to stand together with the force of arms against Iran if need be, is based on the trends of cooperation already evident in international relations.

When Russia and China wake up to the threat they face along with us, they'll be no shortage of manpower to address it. We may not trust each other completely, but we do work together.

And that's been building trust for a while.

Don't assume my notion of regime replacement therapy involves a full scale invasion please, though that may be an option if the circumstance dictates spec opps.

No, I'm convinced we don't have to put boots on the ground a-la Iraq.

The priority being the taking out of all offensive capability, period. Along with the government infrastructure and leadership, Quods forces, Rev. Guard Command and control & communications.

And the how of that without killing a whole lot of folks can be found here;


Flavius, what Iran has been up to is pretty serious as a direct threat to us, right here.

When I spoke of the false-flag scenario whereby Iran can claim "moral superiority" by nuking itself then retaliate, ask yourself why they are studying this?

America isn't a "one-bomb state". But there's more than one way to drop a bomb.

Thing is, what they contemplate in "retaliation" to their "victimization" by the US doesn't just involve splitting us off from our allies if they believe we just nuked the Nantez facility.

Consistantly they blame their internal terrorist incidents on the US, accusing us of exactly what they themselves are guilty of.

Extend that into the realm of nuclear terrorism and you will start to understand the capabilities of intent.

I also know that this poses an existential threat to the fabric of civilization.

Not tommorrow Flavius...right in the here and now.

Whether diplomatic or militarily, without awareness no solution can be found.

I certainly don't have all of them, and I doubt anyone does.

Or we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Tom B.
Louisiana, USA
March 27, 2010

Tom B. writes:

While Mrs. Hillary Clinton is in Russia, she can ask them exactly how many weapons have they sold the country of Iran? How much Nuclear stuff have they sold Iran?


New Mexico, USA
March 28, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

News Item;

North Korea Warns of Nuke Attacks on U.S., South
Friday, March 26, 2010

North Korea warned today that it might launch a nuclear attack on the United States and South Korea in remarks reacting to a newspaper report that the two nations were planning their response to potential turmoil in the Stalinist state, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, March 23).

"Those who seek to bring down the system in the (North) ... will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army," the North Korean military said in a statement to the official Korean Central News Agency that referenced an article in last week's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper.

Such rhetoric is normal for Pyongyang, AP reported.


It never fails that ethical infants inevitably lend proof to my words.

"You're right on this, "Nations do not commit suicide". Only fanatical governments do Flavius, and they often drag their nation's people along with them over oblivion's cliff in the process."

The AP has identified the crux of the issue; that this behavior IS the new "Normal".

Only in an insane world can it be called that, and the sane better get a grip on it.

Virginia, USA
March 29, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

North Korea's going to plant a nuke in South Korea? In the U.S.?

Bluster, bluster, bluster. This is for domestic consumption in North Korea. The Great and Powerful Oz has Spoken!

Nobody has launched a nuke yet. They've only threatened to. And they've been doing that FOREVER. For God's sake they can't DELIVER it properly! And what they can deliver seems to be the equivalent of a radioactive firecracker.

Nukes shmukes. How about 20,000 artillery tubes thirty miles away from Seoul? THAT'S what we're worried about and what constitutes the REAL threat to peace in the Korean Peninsula. But even with THAT advantage the NK's STILL haven't broken the cease fire. Why? Because nation states don't commit suicide! Even when they're run by BOND VILLAINS.

What people say is different from what they mean. This is the case with Iran and North Korea.

I guess Ronald Reagan was going to begin bombing in five minutes.

Ack. Thwwwpt.

New Mexico, USA
March 30, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius:

You go right on thinking that Flavius, wouldn't want to disturb your illusions that it doesn't mean a thing to threaten nuclear war.

I hate to be right most of the time anyway, and hope I'm wrong on this.

Hope by the way that hangs by a thread on your assumptions of rationality in the minds of madmen.

That's a bad bet to place on peace in my opinion.

Virginia, USA
March 30, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

Oh, it means something alright. And I don't deny that it is disturbing. And we have to say the things we're saying. And we do have to be prepared to do something if we have to. But the Iranians don't want a bomb to drop it. They want a bomb so that we can't drop one on them. Not even a conventional one. That way Iran (and North Korea) is a real player. That's the way they get R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

They are, of course, wrong. Or are they? What did Mao say? Power comes out of the barrel of a gun?

The only nation to have detonated a nuclear weapon in anger is the United States. Twice. And I don't think we'd have done that if the Japanese had had the ability to retaliate in kind. Seriously. Even if Curtis LeMay had been president.

These guys aren't insane, Eric. They're just goons. Crooks. Wise guys. Maybe they think they have some sort of moral, intellectual underpinning for what they do, but they don't. It's all about the chicks and the cars and the yachts and the caviar and the mansions. And fission makes that all go poof!

I wish we could just go in there and beat the snot out of them and take their toys away. The world ain't that easy though. That's all I'm ever trying to say. There's a middle way, I think, and I think that's the way we're choosing. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Just in case.

"I hate to be right most of the time anyway."

I sure wish I was right most of the time like you.

New Mexico, USA
March 31, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

I know the points I've made in this tend to go against the grain of conventional thinking.

I don't have a problem with the way my government has been leading the march to awareness on a global level regarding the common threats to peace we face as humanity.

But diplomacy isn't quite getting the job done, all by its lonesome.

You'd think after what happened to Saddam, nations wouldn't tempt us to even think about using the "big stick" to instill some rational mindets in liew of madmen.

But No.

And that in itself is suicidal on their part.

See, one thing I think we can safely agree on Flavius, is that the leadership of Iran and North Korea have a whole lot more psycological problems than the two of us do. (chuckle).

Thing is, The US didn't drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in anger to end that war

No, we were well beyond anger at that point in WW2, after having lost a half million folks and the US army estimates of a million casualties invading Japan on everyone's mind.

"Git 'er done." was what ending that war was all about and the reason for using the tools we had to do it.

Saved some 5-6 million Japanese lives in the process of not having to invade.

Now if we have to drop a bomb to save a million Americans and many more millions in order end a war before it starts as the last option to a state sponsor of terror getting operational use of nuclear weapons than I think the US government would have no choice but to consider that option if it had a reasonable chance of succeding.

It the how we go about it that history will judge.

What the Iranian government seeks leads directly to war, not a nuclear arms race in the region. There won't be time for that. Like folks think they can keep a lid on a nuclear armed Iran or something for years on end. It's just not sound thinking on the part of those involved to pretend that M>A>D is something that they would wish to avoid at all costs.

Li' Kim is not long for this world, and he wouldn't suprise me if in going out with a "Ack. Thwwwpt." it was because he felt no one took him seriously when he threatened people in the past.

The guy thinks he's God, litterally.

The Grand Ayatollah claims to be the voice of God, all knowing of Allah's will.

Amadinijad thinks he's the Mahdi's appointed representitive, not the people's. Feels he's bestowed with some

mesmerizing green aura that surrounded him at his first UN speech.

Dude! , Jack Nicohlson never had it so good with nurse Ratchet in the "Cookoo's Nest". What's your bottom line criteria for the actionable definition of insanity?

We have paranoid delusions of grandure running amok and the world just goes on it's merry way, the press call that "normal", and you and I may actually be the only sane folks left to tell the tale. (chuckle).

I honestly can't decide which is more disturbing, that the press considers it "normal", or that as soon as ethical infants get they toy of choice, they threaten folks with them.

Whether we take their rhetoric seriously or not, I'm pretty convinced they think they do take what they say litterally and seriously in their own minds.

You just can't expect a psycotic to think on the level playing field you and I are at on any given moment.

They play in their own field of dreams.

Virginia, USA
March 31, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

You're not going to convince me of any of this, you know, and vice versa. I know, I know. I'll regret it. My last thought in life will undoubtedly be, "Eric was right," just before I'm vaporized by someone who refused his medication.

At least my death will be quick, so near ground zero. I fear you'll be eating a lot of canned food before your hair falls out and you become incontinent. Think of me when your skin sloughs off in great gummy patches.

I have a dark sense of humor, sir.

At least anyone who's been reading this has had two points of view to consider. If anyone HAS been reading this.

Pass on my regards to Mr. Abrams, Mr. Krauthammer, Mr. Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney, if you would.

New Mexico, USA
April 1, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Flavius,

Don't be silly, I've already suggested that an invitation to lil Kim to go duck hunting might straiten his attitude out, but that's not a partisan issue, just my brand of humor.

I guess you think being from New Mexico, I must be in favor of cowboy diplomacy bein' from the wild , wild West and all.

Depends on the strength and temperament of the horse ridden in getting where you want to be.

A stone's throw as the crow flies from the original and currently sole "bomb factory" in the nation, we can place bets on who'll be vaporized first. We were always target numero-uno on Moscow's list.

You may take that as a joke but I don't exactly live in the sticks out in hicksville.

It's not you or I that needs convincing pal, just look around.

The only thing worse than thinking a nuclear armed Iran can be reasoned with is the thought that a limited strike on its nuclear facilities that leaves the regime in power will cause them to become reasonable.

Forget reasonable, the deadline has passed for that, and the "pressure track" better get real effective, real quick for the peace to be kept.

We haven't seen anything like reasonable from Iran in over 30 years, and folks are expecting what exactly?

Only that they play nicely with the other kids in the sandbox.

That's not neo-con, that's just reasonable to expect.

I think the French President just today called it a "mad race" Iran was on that cannot continue.

You never really know who reads these things do you?

In any case he hit the nail on the head.

Merci Sarkozy.


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