From Volume 8, Issue 28 of EIR Online, Published July 14, 2009
Russia and the CIS News Digest

Russians Give Obama a Cosmetic Success

July 6 (EIRNS)—Despite the fact that President Obama, from all accounts, approached his July 6-7 trip to Moscow from the standpoint of the narcissist that he is, the agreements achieved on that trip reflect his concession, however temporary, to the foreign policy directionality which has been established by his National Security team, led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Advisor James Jones, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The weeks leading up to this trip have seen the President more and more exposed as a bumbling incompetent, on both the economy and foreign policy. Thus he was desperate to get a public relations victory, if it meant that he had to go against his own policy. He was virtually forced to go in the direction of the Clinton-Jones approach, and there were clearly Russians in power who understood the situation, and gave him at least a cosmetic success.

The most striking result was the agreement on Afghanistan, which features the centrality of the war against narcotics trafficking, in the spirit which had been put forward by Victor Ivanov, the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service, and which the LaRouche movement had endorsed. The U.S. military has taken steps in the direction of this policy in the Afghan theater itself, despite the President's pro-drug-legalization predilections.

The two Presidents also signed an agreement on missile defense, which calls for "intensifying dialogue on establishing the Joint Data Exchange Center, which is to become the basis for a multilateral missile-launch notification regime." This seems to postpone the direct conflict that was brewing on this issue, on the eve of the Obama trip.

A Medvedev-Obama Commission was established, which will contain 13 task forces and work on long-term cooperation on various issues, ranging from drugs, to space, to crime. The real work on this Commission is expected to be done by Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. It was announced that Clinton would go to Moscow in the Fall to work on specifics.

On the Other Hand, Slim Results in Moscow

July 8 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Barack Obama can hardly be satisfied with the reaction of his Russian hosts during his brief trip there. As the New York Times noted today, "Moscow has greeted Mr. Obama ... as if he were just another dignitary passing through." Obama's speech at the New Economic School, which was supposed to be his "third major foreign policy address," was ignored by Russian television, being broadcast only by one cable station, and the English-language Moscow Times was the only Russian press at the joint business meeting hosted by Presidents Medvedev and Obama. Michelle Obama said almost nothing, and got scant attention in Moscow.

Obama was given a serious talking-to by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russian press and NBC reported. Obama was in Moscow for only two nights, but devoted one of them to "family time" with his wife and daughters, in his swanky hotel penthouse, pushing a meeting with Putin to breakfast the next morning.

NBC's coverage was blunt: "A White House advisor said that the nearly two-hour private meeting between Obama and Putin was dominated by a 50-minute soliloquy from Putin on the state of U.S.-Russia relations. If Obama didn't get it before he got to Russia, he gets it now: Russia wants respect. By the way, our sources also made it clear they didn't view Putin's monologue to Obama as a lecture or a rant."

Lyndon LaRouche commented today that Obama is insane, but sanity still reigns in Russia.

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