Otter: Flounder, you can't spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You f-cked up - you trusted us! . . .
Bluto: [thrusting six-pack into Flounder's hands] My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
-- Animal House, 1978.
I predicted this over a year and a half ago. It gives me no solace to see that I was right. After the Peters' article be sure and read Brian Faughnan's comments over at RedState.com.
Obama feeds allies to bear
By Ralph Peters
New York Post, September 18, 2009
STILL determined to "push the reset button with Rus sia," President Obama hit the delete key on our allies in Eastern Europe.
Obama's decision to abandon missile defense as we know it, cutting the throats of Poland and the Czech Republic, handed Moscow's hard-liners their biggest win since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russian strongman Vladimir Putin insisted all along that we'd never be permitted to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in the former Soviet empire. He was right.
And Obama got nothing in return. No Russian commitments on Iran's nuclear program. No sovereignty guarantees for Georgia. No restrictions on arms sales to Venezuela. Not even a bearhug.
Yesterday, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates explained the rationale for ending our plan to deploy a high-tech radar system and anti-missile interceptors to Eastern Europe, every military argument he advanced was absolutely correct. But, in strategic terms, the decision's a disaster.
The move to kill this program was a White House attempt to toss a bone to the extreme left, which has always hated missile defense. (Why defend ourselves, when we're the enemy?) For that, Obama betrayed the trust of allies who'd done all they could to please us.
The Poles spent enormous political capital to convince their citizens to risk this deployment. They've backed us consistently in NATO and the UN. They sent combat troops to support us in Iraq.
The Czechs also fought our political battles for us, supporting our foreign wars and siding with us in international forums -- angering West European powers.
Now add Poland and the Czech Republic to the list of allies, such as Israel and Honduras, that we've thrown to the wolves. Obama's foreign policy embodies a line from "Animal House": "You [screwed] up -- you trusted us!"
But the worst thing is how this decision's read in Moscow. Putin, Russia's new czar, sees this as a triumph of his will over Obama's weak, retreating US. And he's right.
Thus it came to pass that, 70 years to the day after the Red Army invaded Poland, Warsaw's residents heard the news of this US betrayal and the implicit message that, yes, Eastern Europe still belongs in Moscow's sphere of influence.
If you're a citizen of Ukraine, Georgia or even the NATO-member Baltic states, you must be shuddering. You thought NATO and the US were serious about your right to live in freedom?
Better dig that Latvian-Russian dictionary out of the attic.
The last thing we needed to do was to further encourage Putin to believe he's all-knowing and invincible. But that's just what we've done.
To be fair, the entire debacle has been a bipartisan mess.
I, for one, never believed this was the right system at the right place and time.
The technology was immature, and Iran's a regional, not an intercontinental, problem. But conservatives who believe that any hyperexpensive weapon system deserves automatic support shoved it down our throats and those of our allies. (It's not just the left that damages our defense.)
Once the Bush administration committed to the deployment, I grudgingly supported it: We couldn't hang the East Europeans out to dry after strong-arming them for commitments.
Now the Obama administration's made the mess immeasurably worse. It's a lose-lose situation for us -- and for our allies.
Moscow believes we just signed over a new lease on Eastern Europe. And we didn't even get a tin of caviar. Will the Obama-Putin Act go down in history as the post-modern Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?
And here are Brian's comments.
Obama Loses Poland
Posted by Brian Faughnan
Thursday, September 17th at 12:15PM EDT
No commentary necessary:
Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lech Walesa, has spoken out about media reports that the US has scrapped plans to install a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“Americans have always cared only about their interests, and all other [countries] have been used for their purposes. This is another example,” Mr Walesa told TVN24. “[Poles] need to review our view of America, we must first of all take care of our business,” he added.
“I could tell from what I saw, what kind of policies President Obama cultivates,” the former president added. “I simply don’t like this policy, not because this shield was required [in Poland], but [because of] the way we were treated,” he concluded.
Why can’t Lech Walesa get a little perspective? After all, Poland isn’t the first US ally to go under the Obamabus. As one friend of mine said:
Honduras, Colombia, Poland, Czech Republic - If you’re a small country menaced by a big tyrant, we’ll kick you right in the teeth.
I suspect Taiwan, South Korea, and Israel are taking note.