Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 16, 2021

Summit Summary

The results of the Putin-Biden summit today in Geneva seem to be thin. The meetings were expected to last for 4 to 5 hours but ended after little more than 2 hours.

During his press conference President Vladimir Putin said that the talks were constructive. He lauded Biden as very experienced politician and said that they had two hours of face time.

There were a few results:

  • The ambassadors of both sides, who had been recalled from Washington and Moscow, will return to their posts.
  • There will be new expert rounds about cybersecurity.
  • There may be talks about an exchange of prisoners.
  • There will be new rounds about security, which means strategic nuclear weapons.

A joint statement by both sides about Strategic Stability has been posted in Russian on the Kremlin site (machine translation):

Today we reaffirm our adherence to the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and should never be unleashed.

To achieve these goals, Russia and the United States will soon launch a comprehensive bilateral dialogue on strategic stability, which will be substantive and energetic. Through this dialogue, we aim to lay the foundation for future arms control and risk mitigation measures.

That is a very important result and the upcoming talks will be interesting. The U.S. will have to end its Missile Defense Program if it wants limits on any of the new strategic weapon types Russia has introduced.

But the summit did not bring any further breakthroughs or new deals.

Putin answered at length several reporter questions about the Ukraine, human rights and the Arctic. He responded to critical questions by using legitimate whataboutism to reflect the issue onto the U.S. side.

On an aggressive question about Navalny by a U.S. journalist Putin explained that U.S. law designates Russia as an "enemy" and that the U.S. finances groups in Russia like Navalny's. He is a foreign agent. On top of that Navalny's organization has called for illegal demonstrations and riots. That made his organization an extremist one that now must be dissolved. Putin mentions that the participants of the Jan. 6  U.S. Capitol storming are now processed as criminals even as they only had political demands, were unarmed and mostly not violent.

On another question about alleged Russian political unpredictability Putin responded by listing all the arms control agreements the U.S. has left as well as the U.S. led coup in Ukraine which was executed even after then President Yanukovych had agreed to all opposition demands including new elections.

The press conference of the U.S. side has as of now not begun.

Altogether there was much less drama but also fewer results than the many previews had presumed.

Posted by b on June 16, 2021 at 17:00 UTC | Permalink

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And from the Gravel Institute:
Gravel Institute @GravelInstitute

A short list of elections that the US interfered in:

Italy, 1948
Iran, 1952
Japan, 1958
Brazil, 1962
Costa Rica, 1966
Chile, 1970
Uruguay, 1971
Italy, 1983
El Salvador, 1984
Panama, 1984
Nicaragua, 1990
Ukraine, 1994
Russia, 1996
Mongolia, 1996
El Salvador, 2004
Palestine, 2006

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 17 2021 4:54 utc | 83

I wonder michael j can you identify to each of the so called election interferences
a set of private oligarchs and their corporate knee-breaker corporate need or interest that the specific election outcome you identified above might have threaten? Is it possible to identify the privately owned bit interest (bits = business, industrial, or technological) (legitimate or criminal) to each of the elements in your list?

Posted by: snake | Jun 17 2021 10:46 utc | 101

psychohistorian @ 4

It will be interesting to see the US spin on the event

Yeah, bloody fascinating. We can hang on every word as if there's something of significance in any of them, then devote reams of analysis to all the second and third tier high jinks that follow, that already smell bad, being in an advanced state of decay and all.

Yeah, talking to impostors, and even phantoms... the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council revel in their privileged monopoly to supply the world with just enough destructive power to preserve it from oblivion. Hahaha.

Posted by: john | Jun 17 2021 10:51 utc | 102

Because we are conversing in English here and it is a way of shorting the keyboard hits [...]Vlad is used as a short for Vladimir also, not as frequently as Volodya or Vova.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 17 2021 10:20 utc | 99

In that case, why not El (or Ela) for the queen of England, Bor for Prime Minister, Em for Macron, Anga (or Angie) for Angela Merkel etc.?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 17 2021 10:59 utc | 103

snake @78

The fact that you are trying to spread the shame of American Exceptionalism around beyond the imperial heartlands of the USA and to Latin America shows that you know exactly where the "exceptionalist" label belongs. Your insistence that every single individual in the US be infected with the mental disorder of exceptionalism also belies your disingenuousness. Doubtless there are a few in the US who have broken free from the delusions. A Buddhist monk here, an international vagabond there, but the rule that USAians believe themselves to be exceptional remains unbroken. Indeed, the very fact of your squirming so much on the issue reveals your conviction of your own exceptionality. You personally have the disorder in spades.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 17 2021 11:19 utc | 104

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 17 2021 10:59 utc | 103

Very simple, try reading any word hiding with an horizontal rule the upper part, you won't be able to read it, but if you hide the lower part you'll still be able to read the word. If you say Vlad the rest is there, it may be mir which means world and peace at the same time, or slav which means glory, if you say Bor you won't be able to figure out that it means blond Turk ;)

Posted by: Paco | Jun 17 2021 11:31 utc | 105

Paco @ 99 (and others), wikipedia is good for stuff like this, so being only an amateur with the Russian language, one thing I know when it comes to playing on a name for endearment or familiarity purposes is that the result is usually trickier than the original name. One of my sons, whose name in Russion is Giorgi was called affectionately in our church "Gigichka", and another named Stephen "Tupanchick".

But here's wikipedia on 'Vladimir':

The Old Russian form of the name is Володимѣръ Volodiměr, the Old Church Slavonic one Vladiměr. According to Max Vasmer, the name is composed of Slavic владь vladĭ "to rule" and *mēri "great", "famous" (related to Gothic element mērs, -mir, c.f. Theodemir, Valamir).
The modern (pre-1918) Russian forms Владимиръ and Владиміръ are based on the Church Slavonic one, with the replacement of мѣръ by миръ or міръ resulting from a folk etymological association with миръ "peace" or міръ "world"...

Further down, wiki tells us there are two traditions - Old Church Slavonic and Old East Slavic, hence two permutations on the name as a familiarization would have it. (Interestingly, the 'volodo' strain is described as Ukrainian usage.)

Lastly, my preference, had I known one named Vladimir as a youngster or a friend, would be the historic diminutive 'Vladimirko'.

[The bolds are mine. Apologies, b, for the non-shortness of the comment. My point has been that the historical antecedent in Russia is Old Church Slavonic, and that Russians go to great lengths to express affection,(not to mention ancestry!) when addressing a friend or relative.]

Posted by: juliania | Jun 17 2021 11:35 utc | 106

The three Realities (Tenors)

CNN - Biden set the ground rules for Putin (it was a strong showing)

FOX - Putin played Biden like a violin and made the U.S. look weak because he's a naïve, doddering old man

mine - We are narcissists to believe that we need to scare people to save the world. Nothing changes, our Military Budget will continue to increase.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 17 2021 11:51 utc | 107

Posted by: juliania | Jun 17 2021 11:35 utc | 106

Thanks for adding the main part of it all, Vlad by itself has a meaning, ruler, and mir of the world -they picked the appropriate name for Vlad- Vladislav would be the ruler of glory, so that's why first: Vlad is the shortest version just three strokes, it has meaning by itself, and we leave the world apart since right now the competition for its ruling has not been decided. Satisfied Mr. Berman? Bor does not fulfill those requirements even being a Russian name, Borya would make sense. Lavrov is a sharp guy but then again lost in translation, asked about his personal relation with Boris the Turk he answered, of course we are in good terms, I call him Borís -pronounced the correct way, that is the Russian way with the accent in the final syllable and not the way it is pronounced in English, with the accent in the first one.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 17 2021 12:08 utc | 108

Queen Elizabeth is nicknamed "Liz" by the irreverent and "BoJo" is widely recognized for Boris. Somehow I have a vague notion Merkel has been dubbed "Tante," but this may be the onset of dementia. ("Lilibet" has been revived for a great-granddaughter, but that was more a WWII thing for Elizabeth II.) Before Macron was elected I off-handedly referred to him as "monster," but that really provoked one of the regulars at another blog, Crooked Timber. (Our host may be pleased to know they are allergic to MoA?)

Nicknames may be both expressions of affection and of scorn.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 17 2021 12:55 utc | 109

For those asking how (some of) the US press is presenting the summit, I just made myself read a brief article from The Hill-Five Takeaways From the Biden-Putin Summit, to see what take was being presented from the podium of the top of Apple News feed.

I'm not sure that I read closely enough to discern five takeaways, as the article spent almost its entirety waxing on about how "Putin got what he wanted," which it clarified for us was "legitimacy" and camera time. They certainly didn't mention it was the US who was chasing Russia around for weeks begging for the summit. Anyway, it looks like they are continuing to shore up the neocon groundwork that there is some ill-defined question as to Putin's (or Russia's) legitimacy, as if we're talking about North Korea. And in noting Putin's "...lengthy press conference was mostly relaxed and even, on occasion, jocular," it was simply because "Putin's desire to flex Russian muscle on the world stage is well known." I read this nonsense, implying that Putin was simply giddy as a school girl to finally get some camera time again as a pre-emptive strike against anyone who would note that Biden's performance was much more limited, wooden, and completely scripted. They did give Putin kudos for his kind words for Joe and polite remarks about the summit.

All in all, though, the report was that not much had been expected, not much achieved, but at least some groundwork for the future established...which oddly enough is fairly accurate. There was a hint that there was mention made of Sputnik vaccine acceptance in the EU and US, which is the first I'd heard. I can't imagine that meant they're going to allow sales, but perhaps they are going to "recognize" it as a real vaccine (as most of the world already has done), such that it would clear the way for reciprocity and opening up travel restrictions for vaccinated people. I know the EU has been harping on getting things opened up for the summer tourist season. If this is the only positive of the summit, it was a success, as I can't wait to get back to Russia for a visit.

Posted by: J Swift | Jun 17 2021 13:51 utc | 110

The reason the Russian President is commonly referred to as "Vlad" is to make the mental association with Vlad the Impaler.

Posted by: corvo | Jun 17 2021 14:43 utc | 111

J Swift @Jun17 13:51 #110:

They certainly didn't mention it was the US who was chasing Russia around for weeks begging for the summit.

An important point.

If Russia doesn't actually seek Empire-granted legitimacy then Biden is either delusional or bullshitting. In my estimation the Deep State is not delusional so ...

Now consider the question from the BBC reporter: will Russia renounce unpredictability?

The premise appears to be that Russia's desire for legitimacy is expressed as 'acting out' like child. Biden's solution is that the Empire put this errant child on a legitimacy allowance. That allowance will nurture responsible conduct.

This is a framework that is somewhat insulting to Russia but I suspect that Putin/Russia is not blind to what is going on. By playing along, they are trying to gain something. I suspect that 'something' is gas deliveries to Germany this winter via Nordstream2.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 17 2021 15:09 utc | 112

On a second thought, what Robinsson writes is actually bullshit.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jun 17 2021 15:47 utc | 113

@74 , 85
When Putin is nicknamed Vlad, it is a pun and a joke, started by Pepe Escobar nearly a decade ago. It is referring to or summoning the memory of Vlad III. Draculea, the (in)famous count Dracula, and mocking about Putin vilification. Just another way to mock about Putin Derangement Syndrome, as Patrick Armstrong calls it.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 17 2021 16:06 utc | 114

about "American (yes it is U.S. in fact, but so they call it) exceptionalism, I already commented here:

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 17 2021 16:10 utc | 115

Paco @93--

Thanks for your reply and summary of the Russian media you've seen so far. Another omission from the presser was any question related to Putin's remark about the Outlaw US Empire following the path trodden by the USSR in its decline.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2021 16:14 utc | 116

@ Paco

I have been wanting to compliment you on your English for some time. Some of your sentence constructions, grammar and vocabulary are a pleasure to read.

And of course, it's priceless that you can provide us with Russian meaning directly from the source.


Since the thought with some is that you're not paid enough, maybe you can ask for a raise based on this testimonial? /s

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 17 2021 17:12 utc | 117

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2021 16:14 utc | 116

I have the impression that first impressions are the best, I was really shocked by the CNN and ABC questions, and vk just posted a link to a WaPo article in which they openly admit it:

ABC News’s Rachel Scott was waiting for him.

Those guys are no journalists, they're dangerous sappers to be bought and sold for dirty jobs, trip wire questions with a prepared script to get a headline, and what is worse to raise the level of confrontation without thinking about the consequences.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 17 2021 17:48 utc | 118

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 17 2021 17:12 utc | 117

I'll pass your grieving message to "der Kommissar" asking for a raise ;)

Posted by: Paco | Jun 17 2021 17:49 utc | 119

@Piotr Berman #103:

In that case, why not […] Anga (or Angie) for Angela Merkel etc.?

'Angie' Merkel in row with Rolling Stones over song (The Independent, Tony Paterson, October 5, 2011)

Germany's opposition conservative leader Angela Merkel found herself in an embarrassing row with the Rolling Stones after her party insisted it had the right to play the band's 1973 hit "Angie" to promote her at election rallies.

Placards and T-shirts emblazoned with "Angie" and the rasping voice of Mick Jagger intoning the lyrics "Angie ... you're beautiful" feature at nearly every campaign rally Mrs Merkel attends in the run-up to Germany's September poll.

However the Stones' agent, LD Communications, has complained that no one from Mrs Merkel's Christian Democratic party had sought permission from the band to play the song.

"We are surprised that nobody has asked us," a spokeswoman for the group told a US magazine. "We would probably have said 'no' if they had," she added.

Mrs Merkel's party insisted it would not back down yesterday. "We obtained confirmation of our right to use the music today from the German music distribution rights agency, Gema," a spokesman said. "We will continue playing the song."

But the spokesman declined to comment on the suitability of the song's lyrics which include the refrains - "ain't it time we said goodbye" and "All the dreams we held so close seemed to all go up in smoke. You can't say we're satisfied."

Posted by: S | Jun 17 2021 20:56 utc | 120

@Jackrabbit #112:

The premise appears to be that Russia's desire for legitimacy is expressed as 'acting out' like child. Biden's solution is that the Empire put this errant child on a legitimacy allowance. That allowance will nurture responsible conduct.

This is a framework that is somewhat insulting to Russia but I suspect that Putin/Russia is not blind to what is going on. By playing along, they are trying to gain something.

Yep. We don’t care how Biden sells it to the Russophobic U.S. media as long as we make some real progress on strategic weapons and cybersecurity. Another reason could be that the West thinks they went too far with propaganda and wants to upgrade Russia’s status from “a mortal enemy that poses existential threat to the U.S. and may attack any day now” to “an authoritarian adversary with poor human rights record”.

Posted by: S | Jun 17 2021 21:27 utc | 121

“He’s a professional, you really need to pay attention when working with him”: Putin on his impressions of the Biden meeting (RT Russia, Nataliya Sergiyevskaya, June 17, 2021 — in Russian)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the image of U.S. President Joe Biden presented by both the Russian and U.S. press has nothing to do with reality. The Russian leader spoke about this at a meeting with graduates of the program for the development of the personnel reserve of the Higher School of Public Administration of the RANEPA [Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration — S].

During the meeting, Putin spoke about the talks with his U.S. counterpart in Geneva the day before and noted that Biden is a professional who “does not overlook anything.”

In particular, Putin drew attention to the fact that, despite the long trip and the change of time zones, Biden “looked cheerful” [full of energy — S].

“We talked with him face to face for two, maybe a little more, hours. He knows all the details very well, from time to time he looked into his notes—we all do that,” the President said.

“And the image they paint, it may even, perhaps, make us drop our guard somewhat, but there is nothing here that should make us drop our guard, Biden is a professional, and you really need to pay attention when working with him in order not to overlook something. He himself does not overlook anything, I assure you, but it was completely obvious to me,” Putin said.

The Russian leader explained the fact that Biden “confuses some things sometimes” by saying that when “people think that some things are of secondary importance, they do not really fixate their attention on it.” Americans, according to Putin, believe that nothing is more important than themselves.

“So there is nothing unusual here. I repeat once again: he is collected, understands what he wants to achieve, and does it very skillfully, one can immediately feel it. But at the same time, the atmosphere was quite friendly, and, as it seems to me, we were able to understand each other, to understand our positions on key issues,” he said, noting that during the negotiations they also managed to find issues where better alignment of positions could be achieved.

Putin stressed that there are a number of issues that are a priority for both Russia and the United States. According to him, these include the problem of curbing the arms race, issues of regional conflicts, environmental problems and climate change.

At the same time, the Russian leader noted that in a situation where people do not speak, there is more and more mutual resentment arising that could have been avoided. As an example, Putin cited cybersecurity, recalling that Moscow “for who knows how many years” has been offering Washington to start a dialogue on this matter, but the U.S. side kept rejecting it, accusing Russia of “all mortal sins.” At the same time, the President reiterated that the number of cyberattacks from the territory of the United States is by far the largest in the world.

“But both we and they must closely monitor what is happening in this direction. This is extremely important for us and for them. Instead of ‘barking at each other like dogs’ [bickering — S], as our people say, swearing and looking for the culprits, isn’t it better to join forces to fight cybercrime? We talked about it,” he said.

Putin expressed the hope that Biden would be “allowed to work in peace,” and stressed that Russia would defend its interests.

“We are ready to continue this dialogue as much as the U.S. side is,” he concluded.

Posted by: S | Jun 17 2021 22:52 utc | 122

S @Jun17 21:27 #121:

We don’t care how Biden sells it to the Russophobic U.S. media as long as we make some real progress on strategic weapons and cybersecurity.

I'm not sure your optimism is warranted.

When I say "The premise appears to be ...", readers should understand that it is a "premise" that is not simply a brain fart from one reporter at the BBC but is likely shared by, if not promoted by, the Deep State/Empire. IMO the BBC's question was very intentional. (IIRC Putin has sparred with BBC reporters before.)

And what I propose as "Biden's solution" (the legitimacy allowance) is actually a Deep State solution for a problem that was wholly contrived by the Deep State itself! As such it is bullshit.

Biden said there is no trust and any 'legitimacy' is conditional.

That conditionality is pretended to be about bi-lateral issues but the deepening disputes with China and Iran (still no re-joining JCPOA!) should not be ignored. Whatever 'legitimacy' has been conveyed to Russia will likely be rescinded if Russia doesn't remain neutral in any conflict with other nations (China, Iran, Venezuela, etc.). Bar patrons can decide for themselves how realistic it is that Russia remains neutral as USA promotes it's interests in other parts of the world.

The "unpredictability" of Russia having now been made a thing, rescinding the legitimacy allowance would be easily done. Biden has no political capital at risk. Also note that the theme of Russia's unpredictability turns the tables on Russia's claim that USA is not agreement-capable!

But Putin has no political capital at risk either. He clearly stated at his press conference that poor relations are solely due to USA/Western action. And 'engagement' at this point is only on specific issues that are of benefit to both sides.

Yes talks about strategic weapons and cybersecurity have been agreed. But those talks are not likely to make much progress in the 6-month time-frame that Biden mentioned. Yet you can bet that USA will be looking for quick action on: release of USA citizens that Russia has imprisoned; release of Navalny; "humanitarian relief" to Syria (likely meaning that Russia must refrain from bombing/attacking Idlib); and a Russian guaranty to prevent cyber-terrorism against the civilian infrastructure on Biden's list.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 17 2021 23:02 utc | 123

"Legitimacy" is only meaningful within the American Exceptionalism delusion bubble. Sure, there are some in Russia, particularly the urban middle class, who crave a pat on the head and recognition from the empire, and perhaps even Putin secretly desires it above all else, but that is certainly not a near universal affliction like it was back in 1991. There are still those who nurse the desire to sit at the same lunch table as the "cool kids", but those "cool kids" are not as cool as they used to be.

What is most surprising about this whole "legitimacy" silliness is how few Americans realize just how shallow, meaningless and narcissistic it is. What is being anointed as "legitimate" by a has-been empire even worth anymore? America has nothing left to offer other than withholding its psychotic attacks. America has nothing positive or constructive to offer anyone. America can no longer even do anything positive or constructive for itself, so what could it possibly do for anyone else?

I am relatively confident that Putin is aware of this and is just humoring the empire in its dotage.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 18 2021 1:19 utc | 124

I guess I wasn’t clear enough. What I meant to say is that yes, it’s all bullshit, but this bullshit is necessary in the U.S.’s current climate of extreme Russophobia. Had it not been for the bullshit “predictability-for-legitimacy” framework, the berserk anti-Russia Democrat voters wouldn’t accept any dialogue at all. (Republican voters won’t accept it in any case because “Biden bad”.) The U.S. has pushed its anti-Russian propaganda so far, that it now has to jump through hoops and invent elaborate explanations to make it politically possible to have a dialogue with Russia even on those issues that the U.S. is genuinely interested in. (And I believe the U.S. is genuinely interested in strategic weapons discussions after Putin revealed the new weapons in 2018.)

Posted by: S | Jun 18 2021 1:59 utc | 125

Mr. S | Jun 18 2021 1:59 utc | 125

I think that to Iran belongs the distinction of being the country to which USA has burnt all her bridges and not Russia.

Russia and the United States have a lot of experiences dealing with one another, US has very little such experience with the Real Sovereign Iran.

But I agree that the hypersonic weapons, precision long-rane rocketry have eroded US power against Russia, Iran, and China. Those precision missiles with a range of 5000 KM have made obsolete aircraft careers a d tomahawk missiles.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 18 2021 3:12 utc | 126

Those reports of Biden "playing" Putin sound awfully homosexual.

Posted by: Smith | Jun 18 2021 7:55 utc | 127

He responded to critical questions by using legitimate whataboutism to reflect the issue onto the U.S. side.

Comparing a rioter shot by police after warnings in the US Capitol occupation to his own political opponents being poisoned, shot or imprisoned is far from "legitimate whataboutism".

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Jun 18 2021 9:53 utc | 128

re #83

A short list of elections that the US interfered in:

Italy, 1948
Iran, 1952
Japan, 1958
Brazil, 1962
Costa Rica, 1966
Chile, 1970
Uruguay, 1971
Italy, 1983
El Salvador, 1984
Panama, 1984
Nicaragua, 1990
Ukraine, 1994
Russia, 1996
Mongolia, 1996
El Salvador, 2004
Palestine, 2006

There is no law against the US interfering in foreign elections nor against foreign nations interfering in US elections. There are, however, laws against US citizen colluding and collaborating with foreign agents to interfere with US elections.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Jun 18 2021 10:08 utc | 129

ralf vomits forth:

"...political opponents being poisoned..."

Zero evidence.


Maybe they were "rioting" and were "warned"? According to this ralf moron that is grounds for being shot.

"...or imprisoned..."

Then this ralf idiot goes on to say:

"There are, however, laws against US citizen colluding and collaborating with foreign agents to interfere with US elections."

And poor ralf, with his brain over-washed like a holey pair of old denim jeans, can't imagine that other countries might have equivalent laws?

See, folks, this kind of retardation is precisely what the delusion of American Exceptionalism looks like. Not all cases are necessarily this obvious with the cognitive impairment, but all possess the same lack of self-awareness. Being afflicted with American Exceptionalism might make an individual feel good, much like a obese person looking in the mirror and seeing rugged fitness instead of encroaching morbidity, but it is all just self-delusion.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 18 2021 11:10 utc | 130

What is most surprising about this whole "legitimacy" silliness is how few Americans realize just how shallow, meaningless and narcissistic it is.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 18 2021 1:19 utc | 124

Speak for yourself! It is not a vice to recognize objective facts, like that I am the coolest, smartest, most well meaning person, and you should feel orgasmically happy that you can exchange comments with me. Somehow it seems that you are not, surely something must be wrong with you.
My take from the Biden's press conference is that while not necessarily very bright, Biden was like a tower of wisdom and grace among ravening idiots. Are those female reporters treated with testosterone injections?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 18 2021 12:32 utc | 131

Based on the openly hostile reaction from the naysayers like Hillary Clinton (recall her threat to declare a no fly zone in Syria during her 2016 presidential run?), CNN journalists, National Interest, National Review, Azov battalion commander Zelensky, etc. the Geneva meeting was a resounding success. Why?

The joint communique says: “nuclear war is un winnable.” M.A.D. is back. The whole world won. Dr. Strangelove lost.

Hot heads in the Empire have worked hard for a couple of decades to change nuclear posture from M.A.D. to openly champion a decapitating first strike against Russia. This explains the Empire’s exit from all major nuclear arm limit treaties. Russia’s new hypersonic weapons announced in 2018 changed that. Advocates for an Empire launched decapitating first strike against Russia have been severely weakened in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Jun 18 2021 13:33 utc | 132

"Are those female reporters treated with testosterone injections?" PB at 131

I have noticed more and more of this going on. For all their wokie anti-feminism, the western press sure isn't above using old social mores in their attacks.

In the relatively conservative central US, I always advise a man going through a particularly nasty divorce to employ a certain aggressive female attorney as their counsel. Why? This particular "lady" definitely will over-achieve, as she wants to prove she can be just as aggressive as any man could be; but more importantly she can grill a wife on the stand in ways that no male attorney could without incurring the wrath of a jury for being mean to a woman. I suspect there's some of this interplay going on, where the western media likes to use females to attack non-Western leaders, feeling that those leaders often have a subconscious sense of decorum in dealing with women that will make them hold back on some of the retorts they might use against a male inquisitor, and of course if they do respond in kind to the rude attacks, they will immediately be branded as sexist (so as to distract from their answer).

Posted by: J Swift | Jun 18 2021 13:43 utc | 133

Piotr Berman @Jun18 12:32 #131:

Are those female reporters treated with testosterone injections?

LOL. Everyone's talking about Biden's run-in with a female reporter.

They are NOT talking about:

  • No questions taken from foreign/Russian reporters;
  • Biden's claim that USA doesn't interfere in other elections (because it is done covertly?) and that USA must push a liberal agenda overseas because that's who we are (yet the West is divided over these same issues);
  • Biden's claim that Russia is being "crushed" by China, adding: the Russians want to remain a great power! (this seems like projection - if Russia was really concerned then why are USA-Russian relations so strained?);
  • Biden's claim that there were no threats ... then making an implied threat of cyber-attack.

Ever since CNN's Acosta refused to give up the microphone at a Trump presser, I've been suspicious of the WH press corps. That is to say, the problem isn't aggressive female reporters, it's EMPIRE. When you've got that kind of power, you fix everything to your advantage - including questions from the "free press".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 18 2021 13:47 utc | 134

Most reporters are agents of their respective owners. ‘The mainstream media’ is the mouthpiece of ‘the Imperialist system’ and has always been. The assumption that ‘the media’ is here to tell us the truth or reality is completely unfounded and naive at best.

A good leader needs to be prepared to handle various types of questioners. They need to lead on the public platforms. "All the world's a stage.” Yes, they will make mistakes but need to learn from them and make a strong comeback.

The Western media will frame its administrators as smart or abused or stupid. This way it can hide its aggressiveness and wrong doings. An individual facing this media needs to know their playbook and outsmart them in the game. A good PR team can help in choreographing the event. Steve Jobs was the best in this arena!

Vladimir Putin started his press conference with a statement, “With that, I will take your questions.” This is a very open ended statement. He was being gentle and had good intentions, but assuming the best from the reporters. A big no in the PR world. It would have been better if his spokesperson (bad cop) would have spoken before and asked reporters to limit their questions to “today’s summit.” This way no questions about Russia’s internal matter and more focus on the global affairs discussed during the summit. Similarly, Putin could have said, “I will take questions regarding our summit discussion.” This way he could have easily deflected questions not pertaining to the meeting or out of bound questions. Also, instead of saying, “there is no need for long opening remarks,” he could have given a short summary. Putin did come across personable and willing to openly share his perspectives. Also, one need to keep responses short so they aren’t giving an opportunity for them to be twisted.

Putin making a joke about the missiles installed not being a threat to Russia, was his best response in the media realm. One can see that this sound bite has gotten so much publicity. China and Russia need to play the public relation game well to win hearts and minds. Hopefully, Xi Jinping and his team will have some good takeaways from these summits and be better prepared for the spectacle phase.

Posted by: Max | Jun 18 2021 16:36 utc | 135

@ S - thanks for your posts.. they're informative..

@ 133 j swift... i think you are correct in your views their.. cheers.

Posted by: james | Jun 18 2021 16:53 utc | 136

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