Джон Керри признает поражение - и правильно делает!

Судя по всему, до США дошло, что на Украине они несколько заигрались. Лучше взглянуть в лицо реальности поздно, чем никогда, - рассуждает знаменитый американский журналист Патрик Смит.

И правильно, что встреча Джона Керри с российским руководством состоялась в Сочи – подальше от глаз прессы и общественности. Так проще признавать ошибки. Переговоры Керри с министром иностранных дел РФ продолжались 3 часа, а с президентом Путиным – 4. 7 часов в общей сложности, возможно, самых важных в карьере Керри, если речь шла о том, что США дают задний ход в отношениях с Россией.

Удивительно, что администрация Обамы, которая из-за Украины довела мир до самой опасной ситуации со времен «холодной войны», теперь излучает сердечность, готовность к сотрудничеству и ведет разговор об общих целях. А ведь, действительно, порой серьзным людям начинало казаться, что США на полном серьезе готовы развязать войну с Россией из-за Украины.

Автор напоминает, что он давно предсказывал, что администрации Обамы рано или поздно придется отступить, признав, что она заигралась. Визит Керри в Сочи – это попытка сделать хорошую мину при плохой игре. Уперевшись в стену, вы можете стоять так до бесконечности, а можете развернуться и пойти в другом направлении.

При этом удивительно, что в США до сих пор так и не раздались обвинения администрации в «умиротворении Путина», что само по себе удивительно, учитывая степень антироссийской истерики в американском истеблишменте.

Патрик Смит отмечает, что по оценке его источников, до 80% времени на переговорах в Сочи было уделено ядерным проблемам Ирана.

В более широкой перспективе, возможно, администрация осознала, что за все время ее правления единственный ее бесспорный успех – это налаживание отношений с Кубой. Все остальное – череда поражений, либо таких побед (типа восстановления диктатуры в Египте), которые лучше было бы не одерживать.

В силу этих причин отступление США по Украине и попытка наладить отношения с Россией воспринимается журналистом как правильное явление. 

 


This article originally appeared in The Salon


John Kerry Admits Defeat: Why US Retreat on Ukraine Crisis Is a Good Thing

The U.S. seems to admit it overplayed its hand over Ukraine. Facing reality is actually the best possible policy

<figcaption>Kerry sought Thursday to ease Gulf Arab concerns about an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and explore ways to calm instability in Yemen and other troubled nations in the Middle East | Photo: AP, Evan Vucci, Pool</figcaption>
Kerry sought Thursday to ease Gulf Arab concerns about an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and explore ways to calm instability in Yemen and other troubled nations in the Middle East | Photo: AP, Evan Vucci, Pool

It is just as well Secretary of State John Kerry’s momentous meetings with Russian leaders last week took place in Sochi, the Black Sea resort where President Putin keeps a holiday home. When you have to acknowledge that two years’ worth of pointless hostility in the bilateral relationship has proven none other than pointless, it is best to do so in a far-away place.

Arriving in the morning and leaving in the afternoon, Kerry spent three hours with Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s very competent foreign minister, and then four with Putin. After struggling with the math, these look to me like the most significant seven hours the former senator will spend as this nation’s face abroad.

Who cannot be surprised that the Obama administration, having turned the Ukraine question into the most dangerous showdown since the Cold War’s worst, now declares cordiality, cooperation and common goals the heart of the matter?

The question is not quite as simple as one may think.

On the one hand, the policy cliques’ long swoon into demonization has been scandalously juvenile, and there has been no sign until now of sense to come. Grown men and women advancing the Putin-is-Hitler bit with straight faces. Getting the Poles, paranoids for understandable reasons on all questions to with Russia, to stage ostentatious displays of teenagers in after-school military exercises. American soldiers in those silly berets they affect drilling Ukrainian Beetle Baileys in “war-making functions,” as the officer in charge put it.

When the last of these theatrics got under way in mid-April, it was time for paying-attention people to sit up. As noted in this space, it seemed to indicate that we Americans were prepared to go to war with another nuclear power to rip Ukraine from its past and replant it in the neoliberals’ hothouse of client states—doomed to weakness precisely because corrupt leaders were enticed with baubles to sever their people from history.

On the other hand, it took no genius to see what would eventually come. This column predicted long back—within weeks of the American-cultivated coup that deposed President Yanukovych in February of last year—that the Obama administration would one day be forced to retreat before it all came to resolution.

It was hard then to see how anyone could anticipate any other outcome, and so it has remained. You cannot turn basic miscalculation, indifference to history and diplomatic insensitivity into a winning hand. You turn it into an overplayed hand. And that is what sent Kerry to Sochi last week.

Surprise and no surprise, then.

What does the Sochi visit make Kerry? Is he Neville Chamberlain just back from Munich? The appeasement paranoids are not in evidence yet, which is curious. But the question is interesting nonetheless.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” Hillary Clinton said of Putin’s Ukraine policy a month after the Yanukovych coup. Given the corner Clinton has painted herself into, can you wait to hear how she fields questions about Kerry’s new démarche? To hear her explain how she would, if elected, address Putin? I have trouble keeping my seat.

Emphatically, let us forget Clinton’s problems and dismiss any argument that Kerry is an appeaser before one is even made. There is no question of appeasement—a loaded word implying a false equivalence. Kerry is caving to realities, a very different thing.

As I have argued, the best thing American diplomats can do now is admit the failure of our long-expired strategies abroad. Implicitly, at least, Kerry has just done so in one of the most important theaters of American foreign policy. This is a sensible, productive thing to do. When you hit a wall, you can either sit there indefinitely or turn around.

What are these realities Kerry has caved to? I count five, two more than the State Department listed when it outlined Kerry’s agenda in Sochi:

* My sources in Moscow tell me that 80 percent of the exchange concerned the pending deal governing Iran’s nuclear program. Look back: Kerry and Obama have one significant foreign policy success to their credit—the opening to Cuba the exception—and a string of messy failures and successes (the restored dictatorship in Egypt, for instance) that would have been better had they failed.


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