The anti-Russia brigade in Washington come in many stripes from the supremely stupid like Maxine Waters to the dangerously fanatical like John McCain. But they have one thing in common, they are not hurting Russia, they are embarrassing and reducing the geopolitical weight of the United States.
Barack Obama’s failed wars, the ideologically based aggression with which his administration dealt with conflicts in other nations and the puffed-up schoolboy attitudes of his diplomatic corps, meant that any new US administration would have to pursue a policy of damage control if things were going to improve in respect of foreign relations.
In terms of Russia at least, Donald Trump repeats time and time again, his intention to at least attempt to right some of Obama’s wrongs, but he is constantly being delayed by the anti-Russian sentiments in Congress, the mainstream media, deep state and members of his own team.
I wonder if these people know the deep disservice they are doing to American prestige abroad? Russia’s response both in public and almost certainly in private has been, “We’re ready when you are”. But Russia isn’t sitting around waiting for that phone call from Washington like a bored western woman waiting for an eBay delivery.
Russia is busy forging ever closer ties to the rising and risen powers of the multi-polar world. What’s more is that, if anyone in the US thinks that Russia will give up on its allies in China or Iran because America comes begging, they have to think again, but not necessarily for the reasons that some have offered.
If Russia can be friends with India and China and now increasingly also with Pakistan, if Russia can bring both Iran and Turkey to the same peace table over Syria, if Russia can have strong ties with Serbia but also to engage in meaningful relations with Croatia, it means that Russia doesn’t subscribe to the ‘us and them’ school of diplomacy.
Russia is willing to foster good relations with virtually every state in the world whether historical enemies like Turkey, Iran, and China (during post-Stalin times) or historical enemies of close friends, like Pakistan vis-a-vis India.
Frankly, between the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Eurasian Economic Union and BRICS, Russia actually has partners and allies in most quarters of the world.
The only places hostile to Russia are the EU (and their childish client state in Kiev), who can’t even cooperate with each other and the US, although Trump wants to change this.
The US will always be an important partner to Russia if the US is willing to come to Russia with respect and good intentions, but increasingly the US is for Russia, just one of many nations. The paraphrase what Barack Obama said about UK-US relations after Brexit, if the US continues to delay any meaningful dialogue with Russia, America will have to go to the ‘back of the queue’, when it comes to waiting for Russia to answer the phone.
Unlike Barack Obama talking to Britain, I do not say this in a mean spirited way, it is simply that Russia has many large important states as partners and the US under Trump would simply be one of an important handful.
The US could actually learn a great deal from Russia about how to conduct diplomacy.
Russia doesn’t have a litmus test for which countries it can and cannot talk to. Russia just takes each country for what it is and ascertains where the two states can and cannot cooperate. It’s actually very businesslike. I’m sure Donald Trump would understand this more than the arrogant community organizer that preceded him.
The problem is not Trump, but the ideologues who continue to fill the D.C. Swamp. Until this is drained, Trump cannot get on with business (in both a broad and specific sense) with Moscow. Russia will always have a spot at the table for the US, but China, India, Iran and even Pakistan, Turkey, South Africa and Brazil have already grabbed the most comfortable chairs.