Thursday, July 09, 2009

Obama In Moscow: Yalta Redux

President Obama once again has proved himself a foreign policy novice and a dangerous one at that.

This time, it was exhibited in a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his surrogate, President Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow.

Aside from the glitz and the photo-ops, America simply got hosed. Ralph Peters has it right:

We got nothing of real importance. But the government of puppet-master Vladimir Putin (nominally just prime minister) got virtually all it wanted. In Moscow, this was Christmas in July.{...}

(Obama) agreed to trim our nuclear-warhead arsenal by one-third and -- even more dangerously -- to cut the systems that deliver the nuclear payloads. In fact, the Russians don't care much about our warhead numbers (which will be chopped to a figure "between 1,500 and 1,675"). What they really wanted -- and got -- was a US cave-in regarding limits on our nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles that could leave us with as few as 500 such systems, if the Russians continue to get their way as the final details are negotiated.

Moscow knows we aren't going to start a nuclear war with Russia. Putin (forget poor "President" Dmitry Medvedev) wants to gut our conventional capabilities to stage globe-spanning military operations. He wants to cut us down to Russia's size.

Our problem is that many nuclear-delivery systems -- such as bombers or subs -- are "dual-use": A B-2 bomber can launch nukes, but it's employed more frequently to deliver conventional ordnance.

Putin sought to cripple our ability to respond to international crises. (..)
We just agreed to the disarmament position of the American Communist Party of the 1950s.

Obama's cave in extended to Eastern Europe, where as I predicted he essentially acknowledged Russia's 'rights' to the old Soviet Empire in exchange for generalities( but no commitments whatsoever) on Iran and North Korea and allowing us a second route through Russian territory to Afghanistan. Our pledged agreements on missile defense with Poland and the Czech Republic are pretty much going to be written off.

And that 'offer' of a second route to Afghanistan has a vicious sting. Peters again:

This ploy is utterly transparent: Putin intends to lull us into dependency on a trans-Russia supply route -- giving him a free hand in Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

By Putin's calculus, we'll complain about further aggression on Russia's frontiers, but take no action that would jeopardize our new supply line. Meanwhile, we serve as the Kremlin's proxies, protecting its sphere of influence in Central Asia against Islamist influence from the south and working on the Russians' Afghan heroin problem.

Few Americans these days remember Yalta, the conference between FDR and Stalin near the end of WWII designed to promote world peace and coexistence as an extension of our wartime alliance..even if it was an alliance of convenience. President Roosevelt, ailing and near death had high hopes for his relationship with Stalin:

I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.

Of course, as it turned out, Stalin ended up by breaking every agreement he made at Yalta and created what Ronald Reagan aptly referred to many years later as 'the evil empire' out of the territory Russia seized in Eastern Europe.

Roosevelt at least had fatigue, infirmity and the poisonous counsel of his chief State Department adviser Soviet agent Alger Hiss as something of an alibi.I can't even imagine what Obama's excuse is.

The full measure of exactly how radical our president is can be seen in this astonishing gem of historical revisionism from his speech at the New Economic School in Moscow:

And then, within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Now, make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful.

That's how the Cold War ended? The Soviets just decided the time had come to sing Kumbayah and ring down the Iron Curtain? Nothing to do with the generations of Americans in our military and FBI and CIA who battled the monster up close and personal for decades, deterring Soviet expansionism? Nothing to do with the dissidents who risked the gulags and worst,nothing to do with Solidarity,Afghanistan, or the Israelis kicking the Soviets out of the Middle East?

In Obama's view, I suppose Reagan, The Pope and Thatcher were just a trio of bystanders who had nothing to do with destroying the Soviet Empire....instead of strong leaders who defied the conventional wisdom that Soviet rule was here to stay, defeated it on their own terms and freed millions.

This is of a piece with Obama's whacked-out version of the history of the Muslim world as portrayed in his Cairo Speech. The truly sad thing is that I'm certain it's not mere flattery, and even if it was, those kind of lies eventually come back to haunt you. No, I'm sure Obama - portrayed by his synchopants in the media as a brilliant intellectual - actually believes his fantasy version of history.

The Russians, of course loved it. What they want is to be a world power equal to the US again. As Peters said, Putin wanted to cut us down to Russia's size.

Obama went a pretty far way towards giving him that, while getting nothing tangible in return.

Robert Avrech over at Seraphic Secrets also has some great commentary on this.


Reaganite Republican said...

And the worst is yet to come- In '78 Jimmy Carter met with Brezhnev, extending his hand in friendship much as Obama is doing in Russia today. After seeing what kind of a zero they were dealing with firsthand, the Soviet Union promptly invaded Afghanistan- in direct violation of promises made to Carter in Moscow six months earlier.

It is hard to imagine today's Kremlin being cowed or intimidated after meeting with a smiley plastic mannequin like Obama, putting his arm around them and schmoozing all the time- they know he's not going to do anything.

Yes We Can invade Ukraine... and what are you going to do about it?

louielouie said...

ff previously said:
He is not so much a committed communist so much as a committed narcissist.

after reading this essay, and reading ff own words, i would say.........
if it walks like a duck......
if it sounds like a duck.......
if it makes little ducks.......'s a duck!


B.Poster said...

This agreement is problematic on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin. Any agreement with Russia is going to be problematic becuase there currently exists no goood way to ensure Russian compliance. With the intense media scrutiny that the United States and its leaders face in the international arean the Americans will have no choice but to comply no whether they wish to or not and regardless of whether the other party chooses to honor the agreement or not. Russia does not face this kind of scrutiny. Even if they do, the international media generally fawns over Mr. Putin. Also, the American intellegence services are generally quite poor. As such, Russia has ample opportunity to cheat on any agreementa nnd by the actions of the Russian leadership they have demonstrated a certain ruthlessness and a willingness to undermine the United States in any way possible.

Reducing nuclear weapons and the vehilces to deliver them is especially problematic. Russia already possess a qualitative edge over the United States with its nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver such weapons. Also, the Russian forces are generally better led and better trained than their American counterparts. Russia already had a lop sided edge over America and it appears it will get even bigger.

IF we were going to reach an agreement with Russia, a better deal would have been for America to withdraw from all areas that Russia considers its interests and agrees not to challenge Russia in the future. In exchange for this, America would get to retain its entire nuclear arsenal as well as the means to deliver it. At least, this way America would retain some ability to defend itself. Even before this agreement, America was not in a position to challenge Russia on the battlefield. Surely the active military leaders on both sides know this. As a retired military man, perhaps Col. Peters is simply not informed about such matters.

Negotiations with Russia were going to be problematic regardless of who conducted them. They always are when the adversary, in this case Russia, is in a superior position, as Russia is.

Again, a better deal would have been a complete American withdrawl from all areas that Russia considers its interests. In exchange for this America would get to retain its entire nuclear arsenal and the full means to deliver them.

I'm not sure what Mr. Roosevelt's reasons were at Yalta. As you suggest, he was ill. Also, the liberal/leftist mind seems to implicitly trust any thing the Russians/USSR leaders say.

In the case of Mr. Obama, I think he implicitly trusts the Russians. This is a huge mistake in my opinion!! Also, unlike Mr. Roosevelt Mr. Obama is facing another party in the negotiations who is far stronger than he is or America is.

Overall this appears to be a bad performance here by Obama. At least he could have insisted America maintain its nuclear deterrent. Of course to defend someething, in this case America, one must actually believe in it and believe it is worth protecting. I'm not convinced Obama does believe in America or believe it is worth protecting.

This is a truly sad situation indeed. I pray God has mercy on us and that the nation will survive the Obama Administration.