July 14, 2009
Obama is Russia's New Useful IdiotBy John Griffing
When the US President is openly being compared to Miikhail Gorbachev, it's time to reevaluate national policy toward historic enemies. Russia may now have a parliament, an elected President, and a free-market economy, but its global aspirations remain the same. President Obama's response in the face of Russia's saber rattling is to offer unilateral strategic concessions.
Let's review recent events:
This dangerous increase in Russian bellicosity, described by many as a reheating of the Cold War, stems less from some new destructive capability on Russia's part than it does from a lack of resistance on the part of the American government. The United States has for the last two decades engaged in an unnecessary experiment in "multilateralism" which has cost us critical strategic position with a weakened but potentially dangerous enemy. A dying bear can still inflict fatal wounds on the unwary.
Peace through strength, a tried and tested policy, has been replaced with the less potent "peace through lots and lots of talk." It's the UN way: "If you don't stop manufacturing WMDs, we'll send you a letter telling you how very angry we are, and then we'll give you more time. If you're smart you'll ship the weapons to Syria."
Russia is weak militarily, and current UN population projections reveal that Russia will implode by the year 2050. Yet they have proven willing to threaten, invade, and attack whenever our willingness to fight appears to be waning. They're testing us to see if we have any moral indignation left or instead just a lot of hot air about international justice. America's credibility as a world power depends in part on our response to Russian brinkmanship. Instead, President Obama seems determined to help Russia regain its superpower status.
President Obama's line on Russia has sounded eerily similar to the defeatism that pervaded US strategic thinking for most of the Cold War era. Talking with Medvedev has not altered Russia's strategic ambitions or made the United States safer. It's simply talk. Nevertheless, this reality has eluded leftist bastions like Pravda, which has likened Obama's efforts at dialogue to "perestroika," proclaiming Obama the new Gorbachev.
The American media seems to interpret this comparison as a compliment. But do we really want to model American foreign policy on the man whose actions brought down his own government?
As for our dealings with Medvedev and Putin, multilateral discussions or "peacekeeping forces" won't get Russia to back down. Yet these are exactly what Obama wants. As he said in August during the campaign, "The current escalation of military conflict resulted in part from the lack of a neutral and effective peacekeeping force operating under an appropriate UN mandate." Is this a joke? A UN mandate would be decided in the Security Council, giving Russia a veto on its own disciplinary action. This is rather like telling a child that he will only receive a spanking if he wants one. When in fifty years of Cold War conflict did a UN mandate alter Russian behavior?
And then there's President Obama's unilateral pledge to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles by 80 percent. We haven't even been able to verify Russian compliance with previous arms reduction agreements, and yet President Obama is deliberately sabotaging US defenses at a time of resurgent Russian imperialism, even placing the US missile defense system begun in the Reagan era and further developed in the Bush years -- successful in 38 out of 48 tests -- on the chopping-block.
In fact, the current chess game with Russia is merely a reversal of Reagan's show of force at the Reykjavik Summit where he refused to surrender his Strategic Defense Initiative, the contemporary version of today's National Missile Defense. It was this act, as later acknowledged by members of the Soviet government itself, which brought down the Soviet Union.
The United States now has the capability of hitting a missile with a missile, potentially rendering every nuclear arsenal "obsolete". In fact, US anti-missile technology is so sophisticated that it can distinguish between dummy warheads and the real thing, important if ICBMs equipped with Multiple Reentry Vehicles are launched. Predictably, some countries don't like this, especially countries like Russia, China, or North Korea who have offensive weapons pointed at the United States and its allies.
But the missile shield is a defensive measure, aimed at protecting the American people from annihilation. Even so, our establishment has never endorsed this measure, since it upsets the "balance of terror" that they say lowers the risk of nuclear war. Our president seems to echo these sentiments, and is inexplicably willing to sacrifice this critical strategic advantage.
In the meantime, Russia has been working overtime to gain a naval edge, launching new Kirov-class warships. Its flagship, Peter the Great, is 823 ft., and is now the world's largest active warship. Its mission? To defend Russia's ballistic missile submarines, which are ever more deadly thanks to recent modernization. In fact, as we are abandoning our posts, Russia is developing new destroyers bigger and more powerful than any in the US fleet. It has begun work on advanced new-age nuclear weapons, and it has rebuilt Cold-War era bases throughout the world. Russia has based several of its nuclear-powered submarines in Syria, and has signed a mutual-defense pact with Iran, China, and India.
The American response has been to retire our comparable Iowa-class destroyers with no explanation. Suicide is now considered strategy.
To make matters worse, President Obama journeys hat-in-hand to Russia to remind Putin that "the Cold War is over," offering arms reduction agreements as an olive branch. Instead of exploiting our position of strength, we're allowing Russia to issue ultimatums.
Russia is weaker now than it was at the end of the Cold War, and is running a very transparent bluff to test the state of American will-power. If we listen to President Obama and the defeatist elites that still dominate American government, we will do the very thing that would have spelled our defeat in the Cold War. Putin knows this. This time he's Reagan and Obama is Gorbachev. If we give ground now, it will without a doubt have disastrous consequences for American influence and power.
Russia understands strength; therefore we must be strong. As a great American once said,
Let's make sure the "evil empire" knows we're still alive.