Warning: This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy for one sort of unpleasantness or another. It is not intended to change anyone’s beliefs or actions. If you quote from this post or link to it, which you are welcome to do, please take responsibility for whatever happens if you mismatch the audience and the content.
The New York Times reports that negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program have been productive. The article makes a point of noting that Russia is playing nice. Here’s the full quote. “There is no doubt that the negotiations between the major powers and Iran over its nuclear program have been productive. All the nations involved – the United States, Britain, France, China, Germany, Iran, even Russia – appear committed to reaching a deal that will go beyond November’s interim agreement and produce a permanent one.”
Meanwhile, the United States is offering only token resistance to Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine. And while the economy of Russia will take a temporary hit because of recent events, Putin’s approval rating in his own country is way up. That’s the sort of tradeoff Putin would take any day of the week.
Perhaps it is a coincidence that the United States is getting what it wants most (a less-nuclear Iran) at the same time Russia is getting what it wants most (token financial resistance while absorbing its neighbors).
If you don’t believe in coincidences you might imagine that Obama and Putin made a deal that is best for both countries so long as it is never made public.
Obama and Putin both strike me as pragmatists. If an Iran-for-Ukraine deal were on the table, I believe both leaders would take it. The big question for me is whether Russia has the leverage to reign in Iran.
Obviously Israel would be happy with an Iran-for-Ukraine deal. And Israel has clout in American politics. So that has to be factored in.
Vice President Biden said recently about Ukraine (and I can’t find the quote now) that he never tells people what their interests are. He says people know their interests. And here he’s talking about Russian-speaking people who may or may not prefer being part of Russia. The writer in me calls that foreshadowing.
I’ll close with a reminder that everything I write in this blog is wrong and ridiculous. I just love a good conspiracy theory.
Co-founder of CalendarTree.com
I’m one step closer to getting my Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences