from Russia with bias


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My instinct always tells me to avoid meeting mean people. But journalism is about meeting exactly them, and so is diplomacy. They might give you insights that you won’t get otherwise or they might ally with you against meaner and more dangerous people. It’s always good to talk, which is why I am glad that Obama is talking to Putin.

That said, the Russian president is unlikely to offer a feasible solution for Syria or concessions on Ukraine. It is highly probable that his only goal is to get the handshake footage, which he can show to Russian TV viewers lest they are starting to realize that Russia has turned into a bit of a pariah state. As I said before, Russian foreign policy is serving just one goal – keeping popularity ratings at the current mind-bogglingly high level.

But Putin is interesting, and he is not someone you can summon at a whim. He might have ideas on the future of Assad or crucial intelligence on ISIL obtained from Chechens and Tajiks fighting on its side. He might hint at a possible change of tack on Ukraine.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s fascinating to watch his body language and his slips of tongue. Is he scared? Is he feeling cornered? Is he losing his grip? How will he try to dupe and manipulate the Americans this time? Obama should really approach this meeting as an interviewer rather than mentor or policeman talking to repeated offender.

It will also help if the US president comes late by an hour or two – just to watch the reaction and spoil the rosy TV picture Putin is hoping to bring home.

Written by fullofbias

September 25, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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