First, let’s celebrate the fact that Mark Mardell has actually linked to two conservative publications in one blog post! Must be a new record, and probably takes care of his quota for the next six months. In any case, as usual, Mardell is wrong about most of what he writes, and pushes White House propaganda instead of the truth. Although, there’s actually one – very rare – criticism of the President from the US President editor.
Whatever happened to the reset button?
Mardell reminisces about the pathetic “Reset Button” incident where Hillary Clinton was sent to Russia as part of the President’s attempts to prove to everyone that He’s not George Bush. He actually pokes fun at the translation fiasco, calling the whole display “cheesy”. It’s nice to hear him actually criticize something about The Obamessiah Administration, even if it’s nearly three years after the fact. He was still Europe editor at the time, so no record of his opinion then, although curiously his predecessor, Justin Webb, didn’t bother to comment on his blog. Actually, the first BBC report about it, from Paul Reynolds, censored news of the error, and it was only later after Hillary caught some heat in the US media for it that the BBC dared discuss it.
Obviously things are not going well these days between the US and Russia, so the BBC US President editor has to explain why it’s not really the President’s fault.
The first excuse is actually valid: Sec. of State Hillary correctly criticized Russia for the rigged election. There’s a hint of disappointment from the US President editor as well, which is pretty rare, about how His Administration spoke out against Russia much faster than against Iran or Bahrain. This is where Mardell links to the non-Left Washington Times (I had to look out my window to check for airborne pigs) for a negative opinion on the President’s reluctance to speak out against those governments.
It’s not really His fault that relations are bad right now, you see, because both Russia and the US have been in the middle of an election cycle. So naturally the rhetoric spikes up on both sides, ruffling feathers everywhere. This, of course, excuses the President for not having His Administration speak up sooner about Iran and Bahrain. It also kind of gives the idea that Hillary’s criticism wasn’t that serious, in part just a bit of noise to please the home crowd in an election cycle. An unintentional error by Mardell there, I think.
Then Mardell tries to prove that the President really has had some successes in dealing with Russia. First, he tells us that Dmitry Medvedev is the President’s best friend among world leaders. That’s a really, really bad sign of His priorities and diplomacy if true. What’s funny is that this apparent fact makes Mardell and his Beltway buddies utterly confused about why Russia is reacting so strongly to Hillary’s scolding. Maybe Medvedev is actually useless and has no real influence and does not speak for Russia except as a figurehead to sign treaties? Anyone ever thought of that?
Now the spin really starts. Sensing that there’s concern about the President’s apparent lack of success in negotiating with Russia, Mardell points out what he claims are three successes.
First is the START Treaty. Mardell shamelessly links to the White House’s own propaganda page on it. He must be hoping that nobody has any idea that in reality the President caved in to Russia and told our allies in Eastern Europe that we were going to ditch the plans for a missile defense system there in exchange for Russia signing on to…um…agreeing to think about considering not making more nuclear weapons for a while. When even the BBC’s favorite rent-a-Leftoid from the US, Michael Goldfarb, says it’s not cool, you know it’s pretty bad.
Basically, we got schooled. Yet the person the BBC tells you to trust for an insight into US issues denies it and shoves actual White House propaganda down your throats instead. Couldn’t he find a nice JournoLista article about how it was a triumph?
Next up is the trumpeting of a joint-military action against some Taliban heroin traders. Here Mardell links to the second conservative publication (miraculous), the Telegraph, except instead of an “important agreement”, it’s apparently one operation and not much else. Grasping at straws there.
Lastly, Mardell portrays Russia agreeing to let yet another NATO country move military equipment (really just a step-up of a pre-existing agreement) through its territory into Afghanistan (a country they have an interest in keeping to heel) as a special success for the President.
Assuming that nobody bothered to look any of this up and his readers believe the propaganda, Mardell continues to defend the President. It’s also not His fault because He really is pushing that missile defense set-up in Europe against Iran. Russia feels threatened and is behaving badly. Wait: isn’t this the missile defense system the President caved on already? Anybody think Russia is really scared this time?
Another sad effort from the BBC US President editor.