April 7, 2010
Russia Moving Fast Before 'Arms Control' with U.S.By Jane Jamison
The New York Times says that President Obama's nuclear arms reduction agreement, to be signed within a few days, will significantly alter U.S. defense policy to "substantially narrow the conditions under which nuclear weapons could be used, even in self-defense."
Is anyone in the Obama administration paying any attention to Vladimir Putin?
The Russian prime minister has just returned from his first-ever trip to Venezuela, with bear hugs for dictator-"presidente" Hugo Chávez.
Russia and Venezuela signed no fewer than 31 agreements in twelve hours. Russia has already sold Chávez $4 billion in military armaments, and now he has signed on for at least $5 billion more.
Besides weapons, Venezuela wants nuclear power ("just for domestic purposes," of course). Sadly, due to NASA budget cuts under Obama, it appears that Venezuela may have astronauts before America does in the future. Russia needs oil, and Putin came back with a $20-billion contract to partner with Venezuela in the Orinoco belt. Vladimir and Hugo. It's all good.
While Putin was in Venezuela, China was taking delivery of weapons from Russia on Friday.
Russia has been conducting quite a business by selling the same S-300 "Favorit" ("the world's most powerful and efficient air defense system") to many countries hostile to the U.S. and Israel: Syria, India, Algeria, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. Russia is also well underway with even more advanced versions, the S-400 and S-500 series, the latter of which can repel attacks in space. The systems began marketing on YouTube videos and news releases dated in late February of this year.
A nagging concern is the fact that Russia signed a deal in 2005 to deliver anti-aircraft, anti-missile S-300s to Iran...with delivery originally set for 2009. It is not clear if they ever were delivered. Why don't we know?
Obviously, this has presented a huge security concern to Israel.
Netanyahu's government began stepping up its pressure on Putin not to go forward with the arms deliveries to Iran last summer. While Russia was taking meetings with the Israelis, Putin also said that his country's economic crisis makes the lucrative armaments business very attractive.
A Russian ship, which may have been delivering S-300s to Iran last August, mysteriously "disappeared" between Finland and Algeria. It is believed that the ship was destroyed by the Israeli Mossad security service, which was acting on a tip. There is speculation that the arms deal was brokered with Iran by rogue Russian military "black marketeers" rather than with the Russian government.
Heritage Foundation's Dr. Ariel Cohen warned last year that the shipments to Iran must be thwarted:
In mid-February this year, after another eyeball-to-eyeball session with Putin in Moscow, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that there was an agreement to hold off on the S-300 deliveries to Iran...for now.
The Russians, however say that the delay is due only to "technical difficulties." It wasn't made clear when those "difficulties" might be cleared up and the shipments might proceed.
It may not make a whit of difference. While Obama and Secretary of State Clinton dither over sanctions and partnering countries, Iran sneers at the lack of foreign policy fortitude and races to a finish line of its own making.
It appears that while Vladimir Putin is allowing himself "official deniability" of any deal to directly arm Iran, the technology has nonetheless somehow made its way to Tehran. Just a few days ago, Free Republic's sources quoted Iranian military officials who say they have developed their own "indigenous" versions of the S-300.
Investor's Business Daily now calls Secretary of State Clinton the "Bull in the China Shop Diplomat." She seems overly preoccupied with micro-managing Israel's apartment-building plans and picking fights with Canada over abortion health care policy, while ignoring such elephants in the room as Iran building nuclear weapons and Russia arming America's enemies.
The Wall Street Journal opines that "Obama Seems Unserious about a Nuclear Iran." If the Obama administration has accepted the inevitability of nuclear weapons in the hands of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, why would it cringe at Iran also being militarily able to demolish the Israeli fighter jets which come to destroy the nukes?
Take it a step further, and what assurance does Israel have at all anymore that the United States of Barack Obama will defend her if the worst comes from Iran?
Former Mayor of New York Ed Koch, a Democrat and a Jew who supported Barack Obama's campaign, recently wrote an editorial in an Israeli newspaper, saying "The Trust is Gone."
Vladmir Putin has already proven once to Israel that he cannot be trusted. Kim Zigfeld wrote in American Thinker of Russia's criss-cross hypocrisies of human rights violations, terrorism, and military aggression, while selling weapons of mass destruction to every enemy of this country.
In the meantime, Iran's nuclear negotiator has just come back from a meeting on "energy" with China. China still refuses to join the U.S. in sanctions against Iran.
While Russians and Iranians are taking intercontinental flights cementing deals with our enemies, President Obama is rolling Easter eggs and playing baseball. Still feeling a headwind from passage of the health care bill, no doubt.
Obama is scheduled April 8 to sign a treaty with Russian president Medvedev to reduce nuclear weapons of the two countries "by 30 percent."
Barack Obama presented his tepidly-received nuclear disarmament plan exactly one year ago today in Prague. It would appear, confirming our worst fears, that the only place in the "world with no nuclear weapons" will be the United States if we stay on the bobble-headed foreign policy course of Barack Obama.
Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog UNCOVERAGE.net.