Who benefits from America's infighting?
There are several important things missing inn this article. When it is already mentioned that he was born in Tajikistan, it should be also mentioned that he is of Ukrainian desent.
Second whole Griner. I am sorry, but what she did is illegal in Russia, full stop, end of discussion. What ever we think about Russia, is not applicable in this case. because "When in Rome do as Romans do".
She knew that drugs are illegal in Russia(she played basketball for years there) and that punishments are harsh. This is where US responsibility ends. US is not responsible for people knowing laws of other countries and still acting like they don't apply on Americans.
During this Griner thing, MSM has been trumpeting that she had only small amounts for medical purposes. No, she had illegal amount in foreign country.
I live currently in China, and before Covid used to travel across Asia. One thing I know, dont mess with drugs (even Marijuana) in this part of the world. Drug related crimes are considered only secondary to murder, in many cases people can get decades in prison or even death. I am always annoyed when something similar happens in Asia, when some Westerner acts like local laws dont apply on them. We are guest in these countries, follow their laws, if you dont like it dont come.
Of course we are going to trade an arms dealer for a WNBA player...this administration has no strategy for literally, anything, aside from what aligns with their woke base.
Thanks, Peter for this exceptional piece. The white noise from the Griner camp is insufferable. You didn't mention, however, that the nadir of the stomach-wrenching irony is that Griner is often and frequently quoted as deriding America (in general). Once she flew to Russia to get paid, and brought drugs with her, her tune changed. Now we will trade an avowed American killer to fluff up the midterms. I suppose the Citgo execs in Venezuela - having committed no crime - aren't the right color to deserve such personal attention. But given that this Sec of State has made clear that service in the State Dept. will now be linked to skin color, I can't say my dismay is a surprise. I hope this gets pushed to other outlets. I don't know if many Americans are aware that someone who celebrated killing their sons and daughters is being given his freedom in order to free someone who - I might add - flew to Russia to get paid AFTER they invaded Ukraine and starting zip tying people and executing them.
What's especially abhorrent to me - and, I suspect, many other Americans - is the utterly politicization of absolutely everything. Even worse that it continues to suck the air out of the room. No disrespect to Mr. Savodnik, but why does Brittney Griner merit so much attention whereas the Americans left behind in the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal merited almost none? Why is so little attention being paid to continuing and possibly worsening problem of Fentanyl addiction, which has been a problem for years before the Minneapolis incident that lit so many fires? I read recently that the yearly death toll for that horrific drug now matches the same number of deaths suffered annually by American soldiers during World War II - the addiction problem in the country has indeed reached that magnitude. Indeed, people were raising the subject before Trump first ran for office.
And yet, Pete Buttigieg persists in alleging that racism in the nation's highway system is a major problem. A recent Tucker Carlson segment unflinchingly and honestly addressed the most recent tragedy in Memphis, honest conversation about the realties of the situation. Defund the police? That idea should been strangled in its crib fifteen nanoseconds after birth. Who suffered worst? The very people that the initiative was alleged to help. And it should have been obvious from the very beginning - I mean, why on earth do we have a police force in the first place?
This has been around for awhile. A few years ago, the mass murder of dozens by a lone gunman in Las Vegas quickly disappeared from the pages of the nation's newspapers - as if those lives weren't worthy of attention. And yet, a single tragic death in Minneapolis continued on and on.
Reality bites. And it will continue to bite harder until enough of us take notice and start acting accordingly.
"a point made by Griner’s wife on ESPN, ... if only women’s basketball paid its players better, they wouldn’t have to play in awful places like Russia." - Hmmm, Ms. Griner has an estimated net worth of $5 million. I wonder how much "better" she would have to be paid to not pursue money in geopolitically unstable places?
I'm curious if once freed, which seems inevitable given the proclivities of this administration, Ms. Griner will be thankful for her freedom and everything she has, or will treat the whole episode as an inconvenient disruption of her privilege.
When I first heard the news of Ms. Griner it made my heart feel heavy. A big price to pay for what seems to be some very stupid choices and mistakes. Had to go play because WNBA isn’t paid enough? I looked up average salary. Just over 120,000 a year. Yes much less than male counterparts but we all know they don’t have much of a paying audience.
How many Americans make this much, not to play their favorite game, but to sit in a cubicle, grind away, day after day, feeling uninspired? But they do it to provide for themselves, their families, contribute in a small way and for most it’s enough. They complain very little. They follow the rules
She did not HAVE to go there to play.
She didn’t realize she had packed it? It was just tiny amount?
Sounds like stuff my kid would say in middle school.
As far as other US citizens who have been trying to get out for years, it seems Ms. Griner should have to wait her turn.
If not -I really do not want to ever again hear about white privilege, male privilege or cis heteronormative privilege.
But won’t hold my breath.
Does anyone have a talk with people like Griner who choose to go to a hostile country, and tell them they could be used as a pawn? Was it necessary to play for a Russian basketball team? Or was this about publicity?
Ms Griner has no right to be bumped to the front of the line.
The optics of the Griner case are truly awful. She’s on record as despising the United States, opposes singing the Anthem and displaying the flag. The chatter on conservative forums boils down to a single thought: if she hates us so much, let her rot in Russia.
For the Biden Administration to compromise U.S. security to get her home merely feeds the anger and disgust that people on the Right have for a government that many of them already believe is not legitimate.
The talk of civil war is still just talk, but it seems as if it’s moved from the realm of the ridiculous fringe to the realm of the conceivable. This pathetic woman is not going to be the catalyst to war, but she certainly embodies a lot of what is wrong with the country, at least in the eyes of the conservatives. How many more Brittney Griners will it take?
Leftist anti-white demagogues like Joy Hill, the late night “comedians” like Colbert, hyper-opinionated virtue signalers like Don Lemon, and hyper-partisan opportunists like Ocasio-Cortes all have made lucrative careers out of bashing white conservatives on a daily basis. Sooner or later, the bills will come due.
Could we trade Lebron for her? Neither likes the US. But both enjoy working for countries that hate the US and truth be told, hate them. But it's about each of them making money and they are then surprised by the snake that strikes.
They are reflective of the lack of pride and opportunity that comes from living in the US. Yet will cry when they run into trouble. Help me, I am special. Yet as Barri points out, it's worse when you have an administration that is so bad and is driven by the voices of the few. Bidens hole in the wall gang should be who we trade not a guy who will be selling even more weapons to people who want to kill Americans.
So much for "America doesn't negotiate with terrorists."
Griner foolishly took Russian money and made herself vulnerable in a country notoriously inhospitable to her race and sexual orientation. On the other hand, it isn't as if there aren't plenty of top quality Russian players in our professional sports leagues, particularly the NHL. As they say, "two can play."
As far as Savodnik's tiresome equivalence of the left and right.....please spare me. What nonsense. The left is 24/7 gay, black and trans bs all the time. We are soaked in race, gender and sexual orientation. They even hector our little children with their propaganda. And most of us are getting quite sick of it. The pendulum is swinging back for a very good reason. The left simply cannot leave us alone. To live our lives with tolerance, dignity and independence of speech and thought. As the insanity of their worldview becomes ever more apparent by the minute.
Of course she is being used, that is what world governments do: use people, namely women for political gain. Here and in Russia and everywhere. Hell, 40% of the women crossing our southern non-border are raped/trafficked and the US government doesn't give a shit. Same with Griner.
You are going to laugh or yawn.... If Donald Trump were still in office none of this would be happening because a) he actually did use our energy exportation to affect Russia and Iran, and b) He actually cares about women. Biden uses them as a tool and in this case he doesn't care at all or she would already be home. It isn't hard to negotiate when you are in a position of strength, unfortunately Biden has squandered every strength we have earned.
Reagan was excoriated for trading 'arms for hostages.' This is worse, much worse.
It is a good piece. The Biden Administration is a virtue signaling organization to the highest degree because those sects make large noise if they don't get what they want. Doesn't change the fact that she got 9 years for a small time crime. Disproportionate sentence to the extreme. I would hope they could get her released after a very short sentence without trading the arms dealer. Unfortunately, no reason for Putin to be reasonable. Sanctions beget sanctions.
I seem to recall McCain saying that if Blinken was given high office it would be a disaster for the American people. Seems he was right.
Dictatorial Russia is a big problem, but our culture is easy to exploit. China does it too, and so does Iran. BG deserves our support but with a few limits. Her value derives from the fact that she is an American, not from being black or gay or a basketball player. She is wrongfully detained, but went to Russia voluntarily and made herself vulnerable to their dictatorship. Trading her for an international arms dealer is not in anyone’s, even her best interest. She would come home to an America weakened for all of her fellow citizens because of the trade. We need to find another, lower level Russian spy to exchange for her. That would send the right message to everyone, not just progressives.