Late yesterday, Joseph Russo first posted on the rumor that Obama was about to renege on a promise by America to provide missile defense to Poland and The Czech Republic. This morning the rumor of Obama’s Carteresque defense policy was confirmed.
Poland and The Czech Republic have been two of our staunchest allies in the war on terror and Obama’s decision is, to me, not qualitatively different from what Neville Chamberlain did at Munich in 1938 when he appeased Hitler, thus exposing Czechoslovakia to a most unfortunate fate. In a particularly appalling sense of timing, Obama’s decision comes on the 70th anniversary of Stalin’s invasion of Poland in 1939.
Obama’s decision can’t be interpreted in any other way than a complete capitulation to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and betrayal of our allies. Joe Biden, in yet another demonstration of his lack of foreign policy understanding, made the ridiculous claim today that Iran is not a threat, and therefore missile defense is not necessary in Eastern Europe.
Even if true, which it isn’t, Biden completely misses the point. The fledgling democracies in Eastern Europe have more to fear from a renewal of Russian antagonism than Iran. The missile defense, in addition to providing a real American military presence, also would have provided a psychological reminder to eastern and central Europe that America was not going to allow Russian dreams of reconstituting the Soviet Empire to encroach on the hard won freedom that eastern and central Europeans struggled for so long to achieve. There are already reports of Putin being emboldened by Obama’s decision to back down.
Obama’s flagrant appeasement of Putin, in yet another sign of his dangerously naïve world view, illustrates to our allies that American cannot be counted on to stand up to Russian belligerence. When push comes to shove, Obama will do whatever Putin wants in order to avoid uncomfortable decisions: decisions that the leader of the free world is expected to make. It is difficult to imagine how or why these countries will ever trust America’s word as long as Obama is president.
As the Obama presidency continues to unfold, Americans who were around in the 1970s are feeling a sense of déjà vu as we increasingly appear to be following policies, both foreign and domestic, that characterized Jimmy Carter’s disastrous presidency. Greg Mueller, in an article in HumanEvents.com, wrote:
Many conservatives have started to invoke President Carter when describing Obama’s domestic agenda. Then he appeared to come to Obama’s aid suggesting that the “you lie” comments made by Representative Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) were race based, igniting a national debate over racism after the country just elected the first African American president. Not so presidential from a former President. On the heels of Carter’s Obama defense, President Obama seems to be headed more and more in a Jimmy Carter direction. The President’s announcement that he will walk back support for a defense shield in Europe for Poland and Czechoslovakia has shocked the world. Reports suggest that the President is weaning the free world’s defenses to appease Russia so that they can help pressure Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I do not understand the logic — appease Russia because the administration’s appeasement of Iran is not working? Is President Obama becoming Jimmy Carter on steroids? Is the President’s foreign policy amounting to an Obama Appeasement Doctrine?
The Obama administration is doing a tremendous job of bringing about a resurgence of the old Reagan coalition that so many political pundits have proclaimed dead and buried. By pushing farther and farther left on both domestic and foreign policy, the President has opened up himself and his party to a position as big government, deficit spending out of touch politicians at home and weak on national defense and national security abroad, positions that have not been very successful in mid-term or Presidential year elections in past history. Rather than making history, Obama might be on track to repeat it.
During the 2008 campaign, much was made by the media of Governor Palin’s supposed lack of foreign policy experience, despite the fact that she had at least as much, if not more, than Obama. Governor Palin would never travel the globe apologizing for America. She would never appease Putin and throw staunch allies like Poland and the Czech Republic under the bus. She would not ignore Russian territorial claims in the oil-rich Arctic to go unanswered, as Obama is doing. Governor Palin would fully resource the US war effort in Afghanistan, unlike Obama who is equivocating as he forestalls his general’s request for more troops.
In the real world, a leader is judged not on words, but on actions. Obama is a master at telling people what they want to hear, and that may work well with ACORN and the rest of his devotees. But in the real world, our friends and enemies are watching Obama, and they are quickly coming to the realization that he is nothing more than a weak apologist on foreign policy: an empty suit who can easily be manipulated by those who don’t have America’s best interests at heart.
This feeble approach to leadership, as we saw in the 1970s, will inevitably lead to failure. Jimmy Carter followed the route of weakness and appeasement which, ultimately, paved the way for American resurgence in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan. Assuming Obama continues down this current path, there is nothing that can possibly stop Governor Palin from becoming President Palin in 2012, should she decide to run.
Update: Reaction from Poland and the Czech Republic. Vanessa Gera, in an article for the AP, wrote:
Poles and Czechs voiced deep concern Friday at President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap a Bush-era missile defense shield planned for their countries.
“Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back,” the Polish tabloid Fakt declared on its front page.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he was concerned that Obama’s new strategy leaves Poland in a dangerous “gray zone” between Western Europe and the old Soviet sphere.
Recent events in the region have rattled nerves throughout central and eastern Europe, a region controlled by Moscow during the Cold War, including the war last summer between Russia and Georgia and ongoing efforts by Russia to regain influence in Ukraine. A Russian cutoff of gas to Ukraine last winter left many Europeans without heat.
An editorial in Hospodarske Novine, a respected pro-business Czech newspaper, said: “an ally we rely on has betrayed us, and exchanged us for its own, better relations with Russia, of which we are rightly afraid.”
The move has raised fears in the two nations they are being marginalized by Washington even as a resurgent Russia leaves them longing for added American protection.
“No Radar. Russia won,” the largest Czech daily, Mlada Fronta Dnes, declared in a front-page headline.