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Ron Paul – The True and Essential Choice For U.S. Secretary of State

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] T [/yt_dropcap]he Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “Statesman” as “a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader.” There can be no doubt that Ron Paul, hero of the Libertarian movement and follower of Thomas Jefferson, is at once unusually wise, skilled and respected throughout all of the world.

The dictionary goes on to further break the term down as “one versed in the principles or art of government; especially one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies.”

Ron Paul is also equally well-versed in this regard, having had a career in the US House of Representatives spanning nearly 40 years.

Paul is also a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, and has been an active writer, publishing on the topics of political and economic theory, as well as publicizing the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns.

Paul has written many books on Austrian economics and classical liberal philosophy, beginning with The Case for Gold (1982) and including A Foreign Policy of Freedom (2007), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), End the Fed (2009) and Liberty Defined (2011).

While a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which caused him to read other publications by Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand.

He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics.

When President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window” by ending American participation in the Bretton Woods System, thus ending the U.S. dollar’s loose association with gold on August 15, 1971, Paul decided to enter politics and became a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.

Wikipedia describes a statesman alternatively as “usually a politician, diplomat or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career at the national or international level.”

The Statesman (Greek – Politikos), also known by its Latin title, Politicus, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato.

The text describes a conversation between Socrates, the mathematician Theodorus, another person named Socrates (referred to as “Young Socrates”), and an unnamed philosopher from Elea referred to as “the Stranger” (Xénos).

It is ostensibly an attempt to arrive at a definition of “statesman,” as opposed to “sophist” or “philosopher” and is presented as following the action of the Sophist.

According to John M. Cooper in the seminal treatise “Introduction to Politikos,” Cooper and Hutchinson (1997), the dialogue’s intention was to clarify that, to rule or have political power, called for a “specialized knowledge.”

The statesman was one who possesses this special knowledge of how to rule justly and well and to have the best interests of the citizens at heart.

In each and every thing that Ron Paul has ever said, or done, in his career both inside and outside of government service, he has always, without fail or missing a beat, acted at all times both “justly,” avoiding war and conflict, and while “having the best interests of the citizens at heart.”

His nemesis enemies have been the warmongering Neo-Conservatives, who have consistently misused the good will and heavy coffers of the US Treasury owned by its hard working industrious American taxpayers to conquer, destroy, invade, rape, pillage and extort other nations around the world, only for the benefit of its Imperial/Plutocrat Deep State Elite.

Paul has been described as a conservative and libertarian.

According to University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress from 1937 to 2002, and is the most conservative of the candidates that had sought the 2012 Republican nomination for president, on a scale primarily measuring positions on the role of government in managing the economy – not positions on social issues or foreign policy matters.

Other analyses, in which key votes on domestic social issues and foreign policy factor more heavily, have judged Paul much more moderate.

The National Journal, for instance, rated Paul only the 145th most conservative member of the House of Representatives (out of 435) based on votes cast in 2010.

The foundation of Paul’s political philosophy is the conviction that “the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.”

He has been nicknamed “Dr. No,” reflecting both his medical degree and his insistence that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”

The “statesman” is presented that politics should be run by this “specialized knowledge,” or gnosis.

Those that rule merely give the appearance of such knowledge, but in the end are really sophists or imitators.

The Neo-Cons are great examples of “rulers,” and not “statesmen.”

Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.

He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty, completely in line with President-Elect Donald Trump’s philosophy.

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America heading the U.S. Department of State, principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government’s equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Secretary of State is appointed by the President of the United States and is confirmed by the United States Senate.

The first American Secretary of State was Thomas Jefferson, who took office in March 22, 1790, and left office in December 31, 1793.

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson lived and governed by one of his most notable statements of ““Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations…entangling alliances with none” that he delivered at his inaugural address on March 4, 1801.

Ron Paul has consistently embodied and legislated with this fundamental precept, guiding his every word and act for as long as anyone can remember during his entire career, both public an private.

There has never been a better analysis and breakdown of the terms “peace,’ “commerce,” honest friendship,” and “entangling alliances with none” than that appearing in Laurence M. Vance’s “Jeffersonian Principles” dated September 1, 2004 and appearing at https://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/09/laurence-m-vance/peace-commerce-and-honest-friendship/

This methodical breakdown, using quotations from Thomas Jefferson’s and other notables of politics and literature, clearly reveals that the best candidate and who typifies the true and essential nature for United States Secretary of State, is none other than Ron Paul.

The Secretary of State, along with the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General are generally regarded as the four most important Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments.

Secretary of State is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level.

The current Secretary of State is 2004 presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the 68th person to hold the office since its creation in 1789.

The specific duties of the Secretary of State include:

(1) Organizes and supervises the whole community United States Department of State and the United States Foreign Service; (2) Advises the President on matters relating to U.S. foreign policy, including the appointment of diplomatic representatives to other nations, and on the acceptance or dismissal of representatives from other nations; (3) Participates in high-level negotiations with other countries, either bilaterally or as part of an international conference or organization, or appoints representatives to do so – this includes the negotiation of international treaties and other agreements; (4) Responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas; (5) Providing information and services to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad, including providing credentials in the form of passports and visas; (6) Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries; (7) Supervises the United States immigration policy abroad; and (8) Communicates issues relating the United States foreign policy to Congress and to U.S. citizens.

The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties, such as:

(1) Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States; (2) Preparation, sealing, and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees; (3) Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department’s seal; (4) Custody of the Great Seal of the United States; and (5) Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments.

As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the Secretary of State is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the President and Vice President and is fourth in line to succeed the Presidency, coming after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Six Secretaries of State have gone on to be elected President.

Others, including John Kerry, William Seward, Henry Clay and Hillary Clinton have been unsuccessful presidential candidates, either before or after their term of office as Secretary of State.

Former Secretaries of State retain the right to add the title “Secretary” to their surnames.

As the head of the United States Foreign Service, the Secretary of State is responsible for management of the diplomatic service of the United States.

The foreign service employs about 12,000 people domestically and internationally, and supports 265 United States diplomatic missions around the world, including ambassadors to various nations.

The nature of the position means that Secretaries of State engage in travel around the world.

The record for most countries visited in a secretary’s tenure is 112, by Hillary Clinton.

Second is Madeleine Albright with 96.

The record for most air miles traveled in a secretary’s tenure is 1.06 million miles, by John Kerry.

Second is Rice’s 1.059 million miles and third is Clinton’s 956,733 miles.

When there is a vacancy in the office of Secretary of State, the duties are exercised either by another member of the cabinet, or, in more recent times, by a high-ranking official of the State Department until the President appoints, and the United States Senate confirms, a new Secretary.

In the Washington Post in an article by Philip Rucker November 19, 2016, recently declared in one of their headlines located at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-mulls-a-secretary-of-state-clone-crusader-statesman-or-clean-slate/2016/11/18/59669270-acee-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html “Trump mulls a secretary of state: Clone, crusader, statesman or clean slate?”

Ironically enough they throw around names such as Rudolph W. Giuliani, John Bolton, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, but nowhere do they even mention the ultimate statesman, who meets all of the classic requirements, as Ron Paul.

This should be of no surprise considering that many would argue that the Washington Post, like the New York Times, is simply a mouthpiece of the Neo-Conservative movement of aggressive, war-mongering government style, beating, threatening and intimidating other nations, countries, and foreign leaders into submission (“Washington Post Editorial Board Goes Full Neocon,” by Spandan Chakrabarti of May 28, 2014 at http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2014/5/28/washington-post-goes-full-neocon or “The Washington Post: The Most Reckless Editorial Page in America” by James Carden and Jacob Heilbrunn of December 15, 2014 at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-washington-post-the-most-reckless-editorial-page-america-11857).

Ron Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees.

He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft.

Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”

Sometime within the same month but much after the event of authorities executing a lock-down in sequence to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Paul commented on the tactics used by governing forces into a harsh criticism that he has written as a “military-style occupation of an American city.”

It is time to return to the basics and foundations of what made this nation great, in line with President-Elect Donald Trump’s vision – and this means returning to what the Founding Fathers truly meant when they created these Cabinet Positions in the first place – and what better way to start than by installing a man into this position of Secretary of State than Ron Paul, who literally embodies the spirit and essence of the man who first held the position – Thomas Jefferson himself.

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The liberal international order has not crumbled yet

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Since 2017 when Donald Trump took office, the “liberal international order” erected in 1991 has been under serious challenges raised by the United States’ relative decline, the Trump administration’s isolationist policy, and on top of that, the outbreak of COVID-19. Indeed, this order is greatly plagued, which is evidenced by its dysfunction. Against this backdrop, its endurance in the upcoming time is questionable. Nevertheless, the liberal international order has not collapsed yet. It will even revive, and endure in the post-pandemic era.

The victory of Biden 

Notwithstanding facing great threats, the liberal international order is far from crumbling. On the contrary, it is gradually reviving. In the Western world, countries are making effort to reform their order that is on the verge of collapse. This is true in the US – the world democracy’s leader. Joe Biden’s victory against Donald Trump may be a positive signal for the US and the global democracy. As a strong advocate for values including democracy, multilateralism and international trade, at no doubt, President Biden will be opposite to Trump in his policy, both domestic and foreign ones. Indeed, during his first 100 days, Mr.Biden has implemented some meaningful things. Regarding the pandemic, he has a stricter approach than his predecessor’s: Mandatory mask wearing, a $1.9-trillions bill, historical vaccination campaign, to name a few. All of Biden’s actions have been so far effective, when the new cases and deaths are steadily declining, and the number of vaccinated people is substantially high. This lays a foundation for Biden to reinvigorate his country’s ruined democracy and governance system, as his efficiency in countering COVID-19 may help him regain American people’s trust on the future of American democracy.

In terms of foreign policy, President Biden has some radical changes compared to that of Trump, which might be favorable to the Western world. At first glance, Biden embraces multilateralism much more than his predecessor, with the hope of saving the American global leadership. He supports Washington’s participation in international institutions, which is illustrated by the rejoining of WHO, Paris Agreement and several multilateral commitments. In tandem with this, Biden values the US’ alliances and strategic partnership as vital instruments for the US’ hegemony. Unlike Trump’s transactional approach, Biden prioritizes early and effective engagement with allies to tackle regional and global issues, especially major ones like NATO, G7. In Asia, he also seeks for further cooperation with traditional allies such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and deepening partnership with Vietnam, Singapore, India and ASEAN countries.

More importantly, President Biden’s policies towards the US’ competitors and “rogue states” are far different from Trump’s. Granted, despite seeing China as the biggest threat to the American global leadership, Biden adopts a more flexible and multilateral policy. His administration looks to cooperate and compete with China, which implies a different trajectory of the US-China relationship in the upcoming time. Additionally, as noted above, instead of unilaterally escalating tensions with China as Trump did, Biden has been forging relations with traditional and potential Asian allies to contain China together, given China’s increasing assertiveness. With regard to Iran, Washington is now working on the Iran Nuclear Deal with other six parties, promising a potentially positive future on the relations of Iran with the US and the West. The bottom line is, a radical change in Biden’s foreign policy will be a clear message to the world that the US will still try to save the liberal international order and make this world safer for democracy.

The European Union is recovering 

Things are happening in the same pattern in Europe. European leaders are also closely cooperating, both inside and outside the bloc, to defeat COVID-19. That said, they are ardently supporting multilateralism. So far, the EU has spent billions of dollars in vaccine development as well as humanitarian support, demonstrating its solidarity in the battle against COVID-19. As such, if EU leaders can successfully lead their bloc out of the current crisis, they can reform this currently plagued institution in the post-pandemic era. Not only seeking further intra-bloc cooperation, but also European leaders are working with other major actors around the world to substantiate the global battlefront against COVID-19. Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her country and China to jointly develop COVID’s vaccine in an open, transparent way, and to a further extent, maintain good and stable bilateral partnership, regardless of two sides’ differences.

Similarly, the EU has been putting the Transatlantic relationship among the priorities of its foreign policy agenda. After Biden’s election, the European Commission has proposed refreshing the US-EU alliance and establishing a Transatlantic Trade and Technology Council, being seen as an informal tech alliance with the US to prevent China from dominating this critical sector. The Transatlantic relationship is perhaps one of the pillars for the liberal international order, given its long history and its contribution to maintain the global stability. In the last decades, this axis has been damaged by numerous issues, from economic to security, which is one of the main causes for the decline of liberal international order. Thus, a fresh Transatlantic relationship is conducive to the re-emergence of this order. In this respect, the EU’s effort to strengthen the Transatlantic alliance, despite being questionable in terms of feasibility and outcome, is still paving the way for reinvigorating of liberal international order. More notably, the most recent G7 Summit has illustrated the Western’s solidarity, when there is a convergence in most issues related to global governance and maintaining the Western-based order. This may be a harbinger of the liberal international order’s revival, at least in a foreseeable future.

Non-Western world is struggling 

The dynamics outside the Western world is also changing in a more favorable direction. Many non-Western countries, once were effective in combating against the pandemic, are now struggling with a greater threat. Taiwan, in spite of being praised as one of the most successful states in the battle against COVID-19, is currently facing another wave of pandemic when the new cases in this island are surging recently. Other successful stories, let us say Thailand, Japan or South Korea, are questionable of maintaining their momentum in preventing the virus, showcased by their relatively inefficiency during this new wave, in implementing strong measures and getting their people vaccinated. This raises question about these countries’ model of governance, which was used to be praised as a better alternative for a plagued, dysfunctional Western one, thanks to its merits in helping those above-mentioned states contain COVID-19.

Major non-Western blocs are in the midst of COVID-19 crisis as well. The clearest example is the BRICS. Except China, all other countries in this bloc have been tremendously suffering from the pandemic. Due to this, they are far from being recovered quickly. This failure in dealing with the virus undermines the bloc’s previous effort in establishing its position as a major, effective one, not to mention building a new, non-Western international order. This is also the case with ASEAN, as the organization was sharply divided by COVID-19. There are countries doing well with controlling the pandemic such as Vietnam, Singapore, but the Philippines and Indonesia are unable to do so, making this bloc suffering from institutional sclerosis without having any coherent COVID-19 policy. Therefore, non-Western blocs and countries are far from being more efficient than Western ones, implying they are unable to come up with any better international orders than the current liberal international one.

More importantly, Western values underpinning the liberal international order are universal. This is noteworthy when arguing for the long-lasting of Western order, as its existence and endurance mainly hinge on the universality of Western values. These values have been embraced by many countries for a very long time. Hence, despite being deteriorated in recent years, they cannot be easily changed. On the other hand, non-Western values are also not as highly embraced as Western ones. China, desiring to topple the US, is initiating numerous projects and agreements to spread its values around the world, making the world less Western and more Chinese/Asian. Nonetheless, Beijing has yet achieved any remarkable achievements in making their values more widespread and embraced by the rest of the world. Even worse, its image has been tarnished due to its rising assertiveness. Its projects in developing countries, especially BRI-related projects, have been notorious for a large number of problems related to environment or local corruption, and it is raising strategic uncertainty in the region by its increasing militarization, particularly on the South China Sea. These movements have turned China into a “malevolent” major power, hindering its process of disseminating and socializing its values to the world.

It is also worth noting that although Western values have declined, they have been proven to be benevolent for this world. Most recently, it is Western countries that have successfully developed good COVID-19 vaccines to save themselves and save the world from this unprecedented health crisis. Non-Western countries, for instance China and Russia, have their own vaccines, but they are not as welcome as other developed countries in the West in the vaccine race, because their vaccines are relatively less effective than Western-produced ones. Democracy, liberty, lassaiz faire are values that help Western countries or ones embrace such things able to produce massive amount of effective vaccines, and more broadly to develop a strong science and technology foundation. Producing and distributing vaccine for the rest of the world would make the West become a savior, which is good for saving the liberal international order.

Without doubt, the liberal international order has been in its worst time since 1991 when it reached its heyday. However, thanks to its merits, the liberal international order will not die. Instead, most countries will jointly save it, because they have been benefitting from this order for a long time, and will be so in the future. The order’s founding members are recovering, and cooperating closely to reform it, as well as there are no better international orders that can replace the existing one. Given these circumstances, the liberal international order would re-emerge as a dominant form of ordering this world after the pandemic, and would be perpetuated.

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Who benefits more from the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva?

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With the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva around the corner, the question is who actually benefits more from the meeting in the small Swiss town.

Mainstream media and right-wing foreign policy thinkers alike have argued that a joint press conference would “elevate” President Putin to the level of the American President.

Ivana Strander, the Jeane Kirkpatrick fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, argued that the upcoming Geneva summit is actually “a gift” to Putin.

In a CNN story, Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak mention that “officials who have been involved in arranging past US meetings with Putin say the Russian side often pushes for a joint press conference, hoping to elevate Putin’s stature by having him appear alongside the American leader”.

Whether as a subconscious bias or an actual reflection of attitudes, prevalent is the idea that coming close to the US President is a privilege that other leaders can only dream about. But who gains more from the upcoming summit?

In fact, it is the American President who is vying for other leaders’ approval and acceptance once again after a humiliating period – not the other way around. American is emerging from Trumpism, which revealed the other, ugly face of America. Trumpism is not gone and the other face of America is still there.

This week, US President Joe Biden is eager to show the world that America is “back”. In meetings with the G7, NATO countries’ top leaders, the NATO Secretary General, the Queen of England, and President Putin in the same week, Biden is asking the world to forget the last four years. And he is not doing this from the position of power or superiority. That’s why assuming that other heads of state, be it Putin or anyone else really, can only gain by coming close to the superiority of the American President is a misplaced and misguided. The US President is asking the international community to take America back – not the other way around.

President Putin doesn’t need the US President’s acceptance – Putin already got that. That happened back in 2018, in Helsinki, when President Trump sided with Putin over the US government’s own intelligence agencies, by rejecting the idea of Russia’s meddling in the US presidential elections. Trump slapped across the face and humiliated the US intelligence community in front of the whole world. Ever since, the US intelligence community has tried to figure out ways to prove Trump wrong and show him otherwise. And they have gone to incredible lengths, only so that they can get their pay pack of a sort, and prove Trump wrong. So, Putin already got what he wanted. He doesn’t need more “elevation”.

What’s also striking is that in Geneva, the UN is absolutely missing from the action. Geneva is the home of numerous UN agencies and international organizations, and not one is actually involved, which speaks volumes to questions of relevance. It is the Swiss government from Bern which is organizing the Summit. The UN is nowhere to be seen which is also indicative of the current Biden priorities.

If Trump was about “America First”, then Biden is about “America is still number one, right?”. But as the United Kingdom learned the hard way recently, it is sometimes best for a declining power to perhaps elegantly realize that the rest of the world no longer wants to dance to its tune, or at least not to its tune only. Discussions about how much Putin gains from coming close to the presence of the US President are misguided. In trying to climb back on the international stage on crotches and covered up in bruises, America is not in a position to look down on other big powers. And as regards who benefits more from the Summit, it seems like one side is there with a clear request asking for something. My understanding is that it is Biden who wants Putin to hand cyber criminals over to him. Putin still hasn’t said what he wants from Biden, in return.

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Trump’s legacy hangs over human rights talk at upcoming Biden-Putin Geneva summit

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Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Two days after the NATO Summit in Brussels on Monday, US President Joe Biden will be in Geneva to hold a much anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders are meeting at the shores of Lake Geneva at a villa in Parc la Grange – a place I know very well and actually called home for a long time. The park itself will be closed to the public for 10 days until Friday.

A big chunk of the lakeside part of the city will be closed off, too. Barb wire and beefed up security measures have already been put in place to secure the historic summit. The otherwise small city will be buzzing with media, delegations and curious onlookers.

I will be there too, keeping the readers of Modern Diplomacy updated with what’s taking place on the ground with photos, videos and regular dispatches from the Biden-Putin meeting.

The two Presidents will first and foremost touch on nuclear security. As an interlude to their meeting, the NATO Summit on Monday will tackle, among other things “Russian aggression”, in the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Last week, Stoltenberg said that he “told President Biden that Allies welcome the US decision, together with Russia, to extend the New START Treaty, limiting strategic weapons, and long-range nuclear weapons”. To extend the treaty is an important first step for Stoltenberg. This will be the obvious link between the two summits.

But Biden also has to bring up human rights issues, such as the poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny and Putin’s support for the jailing of Belarusian activists by Lukashenko. Human rights have to be high on the agenda at the Geneva Summit. And indeed, Biden has confirmed officially that pressing Putin on human rights will be a priority for the American side.

Biden and Putin are not fans of each other, to say the least. Both have made that clear in unusually tough rhetoric in the past. Over the years, Biden has said on numerous occasions that he has told Putin to his face that he doesn’t “have a soul”. Putin’s retort was that the men “understand each other”.

Right at the beginning of his Presidency, earlier this year, Biden also dropped the bomb calling President Putin a “killer” for ordering the assassination of political opponents. The Russian president responded to the “killer” comment on Russian television by saying that “it takes one to know one”. Putin also wished Biden good health, alluding to the US President’s age and mental condition which becomes a subject of criticism from time to time.

Understandably, Putin and Biden are not expected to hold a joint press conference next week. But we weren’t expecting that, anyways.

For me, this Summit has a special meaning. In the context of repression against political opponents and critical media voices, President Biden needs to demonstrate that the US President and the US government are actually different from Putin – if they are any different from Putin.

This week, we were reminded of Trump’s legacy and the damage he left behind. One of Trump’s lasting imprints was revealed: Trump had the Department of Justice put under surveillance Trump’s political opponents. Among them House Democrats, including Congressman Adam Shiff, who was one of the key figures that led Trump’s first impeachment that showed that Trump exerted pressure on Ukrainian authorities to go after Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

In the context of Trump’s impact, President Biden needs to show that there has to be zero tolerance towards the cover up by the US government of politically motivated attacks against voices critical of the US government. If President Biden wants to demonstrate that the US government is any different from Putin’s Russia, Secretary of State Blinken and FBI director Chris Wray have to go. Biden has to show that he won’t tolerate the cover up of attacks on political critics and the media, and won’t spare those that stand in the way of criminal justice in such instances.

Biden is stuck in the 2000s when it comes to Eastern Europe, as I argued last week but he needs to wake up. President Biden and the US government still haven’t dealt effectively with Trump’s harmful impact on things that the US really likes to toot its horn about, such as human rights and freedom. Whether the upcoming Geneva Summit will shed light on that remains to be seen.

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