The Washington Free Beacon…
House Speaker John Boehner joined a growing chorus of critics concerned over President Obama’s secret promise of concessions to Russia on missile defense after the November elections.
The administration came under fire from an independent, and a senior Pentagon official was sharply questioned at a House hearing.
In a letter to the president, House Speaker John Boehner said he was “alarmed” by the message sent to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin through Medvedev.
SEOUL, South Korea — At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
Related: RUSSIAN TROOPS ENTER SYRIA
Joel C. Rosenberg…
I’m heading to southern California today to speak at the upcoming “Israel, The Church and the Middle East Crisis” conference at Biola University and Talbot Seminary.
Last night, I was on an afternoon drive-time radio show in Los Angeles. The host and I spent about an hour discussing the latest tensions in the epicenter and previewing some of the points I’m planning to raise at the conference.
Related: Obama mulls giving Moscow data on missile defense
Washington Free Beacon…
CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted Friday that President Obama called Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin from Air Force One to congratulate him on his victory in the 2012 Russian presidential race. According to Knoller at 11:26 AM:
Pres. Obama phoning congratulations from AF-1 to Pres-elect Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Putin’s political opponents have accused the Russian prime minister and president-elect of engaging in voter fraud to win the 2012 race, leading to protests this week in Moscow. Putin himself acknowledged “irregularities” suggesting voter fraud in the election, but claimed that they were too small to influence the election results.
Related: Putin praises Cold War moles for stealing U.S. nuclear secrets
(Reuters) – The Obama administration disclosed on Tuesday that it is considering sharing some classified U.S. data as part of an effort to allay Russian concerns about a controversial antimissile shield.
The administration is continuing negotiations begun under former President George W. Bush on a defense technical cooperation agreement with Moscow that could include limited classified data, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Brad Roberts told a House of Representatives’ Armed Services subcommittee.
He gave no details on the sort of data that might be shared under such an agreement.
From Joel C. Rosenberg…
The media is fixated on the GOP primaries and the American presidential campaign and giving scant attention to Russia’s upcoming election on Sunday, March 4th. But the Russian vote may prove to be a bigger deal than our own. Here’s why:
- Though protests movements against Vladimir Putin throughout Russia in recent months suggest a growing number of Russians finally see the former KGB chief for what he is — a thug and a bully – polls still suggest he is expected to win handily. If those polls are right and Putin does, in fact, reemerge as president then let’s be clear: we will be watching a new Czar rising, a tyrant who will rule with an iron hand over his own people, and look to project Russian power elsewhere in the world. Putin has, for example, drawn sharp criticism from Mikhail Gorbachev who says Putin’s political party is a bad copy of the Soviet Communist Party: anti-freedom and corrupt.
From Joel C. Rosenberg…
Make no mistake: the Russian-Iranian strategic alliance that I’ve been writing about for the last several years has deepened to the point where Moscow is now unequivocally and quite openly backing the mullahs in Iran. “Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a U.N. nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic programme,” reports Reuters. “‘Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations,’ Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference. It was one of Russia’s starkest warnings against resorting to force, an option Israel and the United States have not ruled out if they conclude that diplomacy and increasing sanctions will not stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. ’I hope Israel understands all these consequences … and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves,’ Gatilov said. ‘I hope a realistic approach will prevail, along with a sensible assessment.’”
For anyone wondering how the abandonment of the dollar reserve status would look like we have a Hollow Men reference: not with a bang, but a whimper… Or in this case a whole series of bilateral agreements that quietly seeks to remove the US currency as an intermediate. Such as these: “World’s Second (China) And Third Largest (Japan) Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade“, “China, Russia Drop Dollar In Bilateral Trade“, “China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System“, “India and Japan sign new $15bn currency swap agreement“, and now this: “Iran, Russia Replace Dollar With Rial, Ruble in Trade, Fars Says.” And ironically, the proposal to dump the greenback did not come from Iran. Per Bloomberg: “Iran and Russia replaced the U.S. dollar with their national currencies in bilateral trade, Iran’s state-run Fars news agency reported, citing Seyed Reza Sajjadi, the Iranian ambassador in Moscow. The proposal to switch to the ruble and the rial was raised by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Astana, Kazakhstan, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the ambassador said.” Is Iran gradually becoming the poster child of an energy rich country that just says no to the dollar: “Iran has replaced the dollar in its oil trade with India, China and Japan, Fars reported.” Next thing you know China, Russia and Japan will engage in bilateral trade agreements with the Eurozone in exchange for purchasing European or EFSF (which at last check are now forced to give 30% guaranatees) bonds, and bypassing dollars completely. But yes, aside from everyone else, virtually everyone (footnote 1) is still using the dollar as currency of global exchange.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, who seems set to become president in March. Photograph: Reuters
As prime minister for the past four years, Vladimir Putin never really went away. But his looming reincarnation as the all-powerful, executive president of Russia – the country’s “paramount leader” in Chinese parlance – poses a stark challenge for which the US, Britain and other beleaguered western powers seem ill-prepared. As president, potentially until 2024, Putin has one overriding objective: the creation of a third, post-tsarist, post-Soviet Russian empire.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at an award ceremony in the Gorki residence …
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will deploy new missiles aimed at U.S. missile defense sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with the planned shield despite Russia’s concerns, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.