A Trump-Era Cabinet Member Stands Out in Biden's Bumbling Administration for Helping Avoid War with Russia
While the Biden White House is sending tens of billions of dollars and planeloads of weapons to help Ukraine fight off a Russian invasion the administration did little to prevent, a Trump-era Cabinet member is diligently working to prevent the conflict from turning into World War III.
John J. Sullivan, the current U.S. ambassador to Russia who served as acting secretary of state in 2018 during the Trump administration, said it is imperative for the United States to keep the lines of communication open with the Kremlin instead of escalating a new Cold War.
“We can’t just cut diplomatic relations really, and just not talk,” Sullivan told Russian state news agency Tass on Monday. “At a minimum, we sit near each other at the UN Security Council in New York every day.”
“No matter what, we are better talking to each other at the UN, at the Security Council. And we should have embassies. This is the bare minimum. This is basic,” he added.
As a reminder, Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world, so it is in our self-interest to maintain diplomatic ties, instead of alienating the Slavic superpower.
#SaudiArabia is on the verge of completing construction on their first #nuclear reactor site and many are suspicious of the world’s top oil exporters intentions. Crown Prince Salman has said the kingdom would only develop nuclear arms if #Iran did. https://t.co/1ULFSfV3BM pic.twitter.com/0vNP5IT5dq
— Statista (@StatistaCharts) April 9, 2020
If the world’s two largest nuclear powers stop talking completely, this dramatically increases the risk of World War III.
Sullivan’s pragmatic suggestion contrasts sharply with the frivolous saber-rattling of White House officials such as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Last month, Blinken joked that he wanted to dedicate Taylor Swift’s hit song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The alarming tone-deafness of the secretary of state — who is fourth in line to the presidency should Joe Biden die or become incapacitated — is mind-boggling when people are being killed every day in the Ukraine-Russia war.
Delivering a commencement address for Georgetown University, Sec. Blinken jokes about NYU getting Taylor Swift: “My staff did not let me bring my guitar up here to dedicate a performance of ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,’ to President Putin.” https://t.co/1yNOqWkEVA pic.twitter.com/LTbsieuMcl
— ABC News (@ABC) May 21, 2022
Unlike Blinken — who amuses himself by tweaking the nose of our biggest nuclear threat — Sullivan underscored that Russia and the United States should continue talking and keep their embassies open.
“We should have embassies in Moscow and in Washington, not just the Russian mission to the UN,” he told Tass.
That’s tough to argue with.
Has Biden never watched “The Godfather?”
“As I understand it, the Russian government has mentioned the variant of severing diplomatic relations,” Sullivan said, according to a Reuters account of the same interview. “We can’t just break off diplomatic relations and stop talking to each other.”
Sullivan pointed out that it makes no sense to cut diplomatic ties because both Russia and the U.S. are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and therefore are obligated to work together to foster international peace and security.
“I just think factually we’ll never be able to get to that level of complete separation because we are joined as permanent members of the Security Council,” Sullivan told Tass.
“And having been joined in that way, we do need to continue to engage with each other despite many contested issues that we have. We see each other, speak and present on a daily basis in New York. That’s a bare minimum,” he reiterated.
Sullivan’s approach should have some credibility. Russia, after all, didn’t invade Ukraine when Donald Trump was in the White House. That’s a clear foreign policy success compared to the failure of Biden, who effectively gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a green light for military action against his neighbor, then watched the Russian military continue its buildup on the border until invasion became reality.
Still, Sullivan acknowledged the deep strains between the two nations. According to Reuters, he said he hoped there would be some rapprochement, though not one any time soon.
“If I were to make a bet, I would say perhaps not in my lifetime,” he said.
Sullivan’s approach is logical and mutually beneficial, while the Biden administration’s reckless rhetoric on Russia is dangerous and foolish. But then again, this is par for the course for this bumbling White House.
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