OULIPOST: Day 21 (confabulation)


Google image search: he said she said

He said. She said.

He said, “You don’t get to pick your partners in the world. The Russians had their hands in a range of things that mattered to us. So the reset was an honest recognition that there are some things we needed to work with them on.”

She said, “I don’t think it was ever done at the expense of human rights, although there were a number of people, both in the White House and the State Department, who wanted to downplay human rights because they thought it made everything else more complicated.”

He said, “I’ll tell you frankly that because Putin was prime minister…I had assumed that he would be supportive of what Medvedev was doing in terms of his policy toward us.”

She said, “There were some hints that are clearer in retrospect than they were at the time.”

He said, “I don’t think there was any naiveté or belief that (a) Putin wasn’t in charge even when Medvedev was technically in charge, or (b) that their interests and our interests were the same.”

She said, “You had people analytically, including myself first and foremost, saying let’s realize that we can’t aspire to what we were aspiring to before. Secretary Clinton, everybody, understood that to be true.”

He said, “Being too closely associated with Putin was becoming too costly.”

She said, “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

He said, “I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir.”

She said, “You seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s.”

He said, “If Ukraine had happened in 2013, that would have been very jarring, but we saw what Putin was like for a while.”

She said, “Some of this stuff was already on ice. Now more of it is.”

He said, “The more Russia was treated as irrelevant, the more Putin was treated as illegitimate, the more the Kremlin was trying to demonstrate their legitimacy and relevance.”

She said, “There was a general understanding between Russia and the outside world that while there were always going to be tensions and conflicting interests, the bedrock of the relationship was going to be cooperation and partnership. Putin has basically said, ‘To hell with that,’ and upended the proposition.”

He said, “I don’t think any amount of accommodation of soft-speaking or friendly cuddling of Putin would have changed the way that he responded to his domestic situation.”


* Mauldin, William; Lee, Carol E.; Solomon, Jay, “U.S.-Russia Relations Come Full Circle After Ukraine,” The Wall Street Journal, 21 April 2014: MIDDLE EAST NEWS (online)

* http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-21-confabulation/

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