Irony: George H. Bush Reset Relations With Russia, Obama Set Them Back


President Obama has been incapable of establishing a relationship with Russia. Upon assuming office, he claimed he would reset relations with Russia despite the fact that George W. Bush worked well with Russia for most of the eight years he was in office. Mr. Obama wanted to embarrass Bush over Russia’s invasion of Georgia. He saw a chance to capitalize on it to enhance his own image.

Ironically, it was George H. Bush who did reset Russian relations using diplomacy under trying times.

President Obama sent Hillary to press the reset button. She went off with her mislabeled reset button and made us look rather amateurish.

Mr. Obama gave away the Missile Defense system in Eastern Europe for nothing in return.

Russia was violating the US-Russia nuclear arms treaty by firing medium-range missiles and we knew about it since 2008. Yet, Mr. Obama begged Mr. Putin to sign a new nuclear arms agreement.

There were many other missteps. There were only missteps.

Mr. Obama has been incapable of establishing a working relationship with foreign leaders but perhaps Russia is the most glaring as Putin taunts him over Ukraine.

Mr. Obama should have spoken with either of the Bush’s who got along quite well with Russian leaders before he pontificated about his planned reset.

George H. Bush could have shown him how it’s done. He was able to convince Soviet president Michail Gorbachev to not only go along with him but to also issue a joint statement condemning Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

On September 9, 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev held a summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, to discuss the Persian Gulf crisis, the Soviet economy, and arms control agreements. The two men released a joint statement on the Persian Gulf crisis in which they both harshly condemned the actions of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. The unified front that the United States and the Soviet Union presented against Hussein played a vital role in the quick resolution of the Persian Gulf War.

In an effort to ease fears and suspicions during the Cold War in 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed an open skies plan that would allow joint missions and training with Russia. It was probably not a serious proposal until Reagan’s “trust but verify” and until George H. W. Bush put it into practice in 1992 for the purpose of building confidence between the two countries. A treaty was enacted in 2002 that involved much of the world.

George H.W. Bush didn’t cower or give away the store.

That was diplomacy. That’s how it’s done.

Gloriously arrogant but empty speeches do not substitute for effective diplomacy and negotiations.