Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pragmatic talk about the Russian hacking issue

I saw a couple of items from yesterday that enunciate the real issue with Russian hacking and related issues without going beyond what we know from what's in the public record. One was this Tweetstorm from Paul Krugman:

Then there's this from outgoing UN Ambassador Samantha Power, UN Ambassador Power warns against ‘historical amnesia’ in future Russian relations PBS Newshour 01/172017:

She says in surveying the major issues in US-Russia relations, "All of that plus, of course, the most recent and most egregious example that hits close to home for us, which is interfering in our elections through hacking, through fake news, and with an eye to trying to help one candidate win."

And she talks in a pragmatic vein about both the common interests and the points of difference between the two countries:

I think we do have an interest in combating states that try to cross borders and steal parts of other people’s country. We have an interest in combating tactics in war that are abhorrent and that only fuel terrorism because they incite people on the ground.

And we, as Americans, have an interest in ensuring that the only people who get to vote for our elected leaders are our citizens, and not some foreign people who think that they have an interest in skewing our election in one direction or another.

Look, I think the point that we all agree upon is that we have to engage with Russia. I have spent, you know, as much time with my Russian counterpart as I have probably with anybody else, including close family members, over the course of the last four years. And we have done really important work together.

At the same time we’re at each other on Aleppo, on Ukraine, we’re authorizing peacekeeping missions, putting sanctions in place on North Korea for its nuclear tests. We need to find means for cooperation.

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