The US-Russia Summit, by Patrick Lawrence
The only way the summit is going to work is if the US rejects its own notions of unipolarity, a tall order. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:
Two recent moves on Moscow’s side suggest that the encounter in Geneva will mark the start of a long and welcome process.
Curious it was to read that the Russian judiciary ruled last Wednesday that Alexei Navalny’s political network is an extremist movement. Its members should be grateful that the courts recognized it as a movement, given Navalny’s nationwide support has never exceeded 3 percent or so, but on paper they are now liable to arrest and prosecution and, if convicted of one or another charge, could be fined or imprisoned.
There have been no arrests, so far as has been reported. But think of all those chances Western intel agencies and their clerks in the press may now have to lionize a new cohort of oppositionists as Navalny’s heroic followers. Let us not forget, a kooky poseur journalist named Oleg Kashin had the nerve to call Navalny “Russia’s true leader” in a recent New York Times opinion piece.
There is no limit to the silliness in all matters Russian, it seems. At least not at the Times.
I say “curious” because, in the ordinary conduct of statecraft as we have had it for the past seven decades, the Moscow’s court’s ruling, exactly a week prior to President Joe Biden’s first summit with President Vladimir Putin, would have to be counted obtuse. Wouldn’t minding one’s manners — especially given that the Navalny network’s significance resides solely in the minds and news pages of Western propagandists — be the wise course?
I don’t think so. I have no clue as to the independence or otherwise of the Russian judiciary, but it is unthinkable the Russian leader did not know in advance of what the courts were about to determine. I think Russia was indeed minding its manners — a different and altogether more honorable set of manners than American pols and diplomats have exhibited lo these many decades.