September 21, 2009
Obama cedes Eastern Europe to Putin and A'jadBy James Lewis
Last week Obama canceled American missile defense plans for Poland and the Czech Republic, leaving Eastern Europe at the tender mercies of Putin and Ahmadinejad. Tehran's missiles can already strike that part of the world, and when they get nukes in a year or so nobody knows whose finger will be on Allah's Mercy Button; it's either Ahmadinejad and his guru, Yazdi, the Maddest of the Mad Mullahs; or maybe it will be Khamenei, the Supreme Guide of the Armageddon Republic. Yazdi is A'jad's imam, who just announced in public that his interpretation of Islam allows for the rape of women and boys who are destined for execution.
None of those profoundly spiritual folk are beacons of sanity over there. They have been chanting "Death to America! Death to Israel!" every day since the Khomeinist Revolution in 1979.
But they don't really mean it.
Or do they?
Welcome, Mr. Obama, to your First Spectacular Foreign Policy Failure. Compared to this one, ObamaCare is a work of genius. Firing the CEO of General Motors didn't do our economy any good, but it won't end up killing whole cities. Blowing up the budget by a couple of trillion bucks is just a small accounting error. Even TARP only looks like humongo-corruption, Chicago style, but not an invitation to Armageddon. There is a difference.
Cancelling our promised missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic makes no sense at all. If we can provide even partial protection against Iran's expanding collection of missiles, why not just do it? Do our defenses threaten Moscow? The Russians know better than that. They just hollered good and loud to see if Obama could be rolled. Well, now they know he's as tough as a banana cream pie. Score one for the KGB thugs. Next time, why not hire some Chicago mobsters to talk to them? At least the ground rules would be clear.
The Left keeps telling us there is no perfect missile defense. So what? The crumple barrier in my car only gives partial protection in a crash. But I still picked a car with the best crash protection. Wouldn't you?
It's amazing how the Europeans have finally understood that elementary fact. They are now getting very cold feet because the Poles and Czechs have faced Russian aggression not just once, but many times in the four centuries since Ivan the Terrible.
The Russians have a very predictable record of imperial aggression, and they've just forced the Americans to retreat again. That's how it looks in Warsaw and Prague. The rest of Europe can't be trusted to defend Poland or the Czechs, as they well remember from 1938, 1968 and 1989.
So where's George W. Bush now that they need him? Before Obama is over the Euros will be yearning for the good old days of the Big Bad Bush.
Obama's retreat is also a gift to his base on the Hard Left. For decades the Left has worked to sabotage missile defense, the only technology that can protect us from nuclear attack. Now we are almost at the point where we can knock down Iranian missiles -- and Obama pulls the plug where they are most needed. That is perverse and dangerous.
The White House sent out SecDef Robert Gates and National Security Advisor General James Jones to kick some sand into our eyes on missile defenses.
Their spin comes down to this.
(a). SM3 anti-missile missiles are on the way. But this is not news. For the Poles and Czechs the biggest question has always been whether they would have defensive systems on their territory, as a tripwire against Russian aggression. That's what Obama has just conceded to Putin, who is playing Bobby Fisher chess against O's flabby checkers.
(b) The technology that was anticipated in the last year of the Bush administration has now changed. By gum, that was a mighty quick technological revolution. Who couldaknown just a year ago that anti-missile tech would advance so quickly? The answer is: Nobody, because they're blowing pure smoke.
The fact is that the US retreat in Poland and the Czech Republic is nothing but a sop to the Russians, who made the symbolic gesture of pulling back their truck-mounted missiles near the Polish border. Any time Putin feels like it he can tell those trucks to turn around again and drive back to the border, and that "concession" will be cancelled. Those trucks carry offensive missiles, but Russia has had overwhelming offensive WMD systems in place for half a century or more. There's nothing new about that, and it doesn't matter much if you drive the trucks closer to the border. It makes about three minutes' difference in their flight times. Where they happen to be parked is pure symbolism.
Under the MAD doctrine that everybody accepts -- except the Iranians -- offensive missiles are meaningless, because no sane country would use them. They are a mutual suicide weapons. Only a martyrdom ideology would contemplate using offensive nukes -- and Tehran is the only consistent, long-term absolutist martyrdom ideology since Hitler and Tojo went out of business sixty years ago.
So the Russians have now successfully defended their clients in Tehran, by moving purely symbolic chess pieces back and forth. Obama just flinched to a blatant head fake.
The final reason why Obama gave in on missile defense is that he wants to look good at the UN this week. It's a PR stunt. Obama looooooves PR.
The hard men around the world have just learned this: Obama will concede actual ground against international aggressors to look good to the Hard Left, here and abroad; to parade his gargantuan ego at the UN; and to soften Western defenses against known cut-throats like Putin and Ahmadinejad.
Obama may trot out SecDef Gates and General Jones to cover up his pusillanimity. But the reality is that the Poles, the Czechs, the Israelis, and the Sunni Arabs (who are right next door to Tehran) are now feeling a lot more exposed. There is a bottom line in international politics when you're dealing with recidivist aggressors. Obama has ceded that bottom line for no gain except PR. The irony is of course that this will force our allies and the rogue regimes to accelerate the spread of nukes and missiles. When the cop leaves your neighborhood to the robbers, you have to arm up. You have no choice.
So watch for a spectacular PR Proposal at the UN, for Love and Peace Forever and Ever, which will never get anywhere. It will temporarily boost Obama's starving ego, and it will raise his standing on the Left, here and in Europe. That's the top goal of this administration. Reality takes a distant second place.