Skip to comments.Alienating Poland
Posted on 09/17/2009 5:48:16 PM PDT by Sockdologer
President Bush was often criticized by his detractors for alienating America's allies. Yet Obama seems to be getting a pass for doing the same thing. In an earlier post, I mentioned Obama's poor treatment of the UK's Gordon Brown. Apparently, the UK is not the only ally that the president has chosen to snub.
Today, on the anniversary of the soviet's attack on Poland, Obama announced his intention to scrap plans to build a missile shield based in Poland and the Czech Republic. According to Reuters writer Gabriela Baczynska, Obama means to shelve the plans in order to improve ties with Russia. If so, that is quite a blow to a nation that was one of America's strongest allies against communism.
Some have suggested that Obama means to improve relations with Russia to enlist its help in fighting Iran's nuclear development. I do not think such a move will help. Unless Russia has already agreed to put pressure on Iran in exchange for this favor, I can think of no reason that it would bother to do anything other than what it pleases and by doing this without securing any sort of agreement, we lose a bargaining chip in negotiations with Moscow, while alienating those who are already our allies.
Indeed, according to The Wall Street Journal, "Russia, on Thursday welcomed the news but said it saw no reason to offer concessions in return."
Yet, according to the WSJ, The Obama administration justifies the move by saying the following because it believes that "a redesigned defensive system would be cheaper, quicker and more effective against the threat from Iranian missiles." Maybe so. But I hope the new design isn't as convoluted and difficult for the administration to explain as the new design for healthcare. The Obama administration gives one more reason for scrapping the Bush administration's plans. According to the WSJ:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the decision to abandon the Bush administration's plans came about because of a change in the U.S. perception of the threat posed by Iran. Mr. Gates said intelligence experts concluded the short- and medium-range missiles were "developing more rapidly than previously projected" in Iran.
But, says the WSJ, Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the following:
We believed that the emergence of the intercontinental ballistic missile would come much faster than it did. The reality is, it has not come as fast as we thought it would come.
There is, therefore, some debate over whether or not Obama's assumption is correct. Were he Bush, I suspect this would have been enough to cause quite a bit of howling from the American left. But Iran clearly is a threat to the United States and I would not object to the president taking measures against Iran's nuclear program.
Still, it would have been nice if he could have waited a week or two, rather than springing this change on Poland during such a solemn day or found a way to include the missile shield in his plans.
This afternoon, I called both the Czech and Polish embassies and told them how sorry I was that the current president had chosen to appease the Russians and betray the friendship we’d shared with the two countries since they gained their freedom in 1989-90. I told them they deserved better and that I stood with them on this issue. Finally, I expressed my hope to them that God willing, in the reasonably near future, we’d have a president who would honor the commitments we’d made to them.
Israel, Honduras, Colombia, Poland, Czech Republic: BAD
Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, China: GOOD
Anyone see a pattern to Bambi’s foreign policy?
This kind of action is going to drive some countries to build the bomb themselves. I couldn’t blame Poland at all.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.