Friday, May 12, 2017

.45 Conducted Grown Folks Bidnis Free From "Ideological" Bias


theatlantic |  The Russians clearly understood what the visit and its timing meant, which is why it was so prominently covered by the Kremlin media. The man investigating Russian meddling in the election had just been fired by the man whose campaign was under investigation. Which to the Russians meant Trump essentially agreed with their reaction to the alleged election interference—as Lavrov put it in his American press conference: “Guys, you cannot be serious.” It is why he praised this administration for being “business-like” and for “wanting to make deals,” which in Russian has a few other shades of meaning. The word Lavrov used was dogovarivatsya, meaning to come to an understanding and come to agreements; it’s a key word both in Russian business and politics. At its heart is ruthless pragmatic compromise. There is no room for feelings and values, and certainly not for law. Only for interests and nebulous, subjective notions of fairness. “For us, fairness is above the law, including international law,” one Russian close to the Kremlin told me. “When it’s advantageous for us to appeal to the law, we do it. When it’s not, we ignore it.” It is why Lavrov said that he welcomed these talks with an administration who wanted to dogovarivatsya, people “who were free of the dogmatism of the Obama administration.”  

It was all too perfect, starting with the idea of having Tillerson meet with Putin in the Kremlin—which created an obvious opportunity for Lavrov to reciprocate by meeting Trump in the White House—and ending with the choice of music piped in to the American journalists waiting for Lavrov’s presser (“All I’m asking is for a little respect.”)