Skip to comments.Woe to Our Allies America’s new policy of retreat is leaving our friends exposed.
Posted on 12/06/2013 8:43:14 AM PST by Netz
Three crises, one president, many bewildered friends.
The first crisis, barely noticed here, is Ukraines sudden turn away from Europe and back to the Russian embrace.
After years of negotiations for a major trading agreement with the European Union, Ukraine succumbed to characteristically blunt and brutal economic threats from Russia and abruptly walked away. Ukraine is instead considering joining the Moscow-centered Customs Union with Russias fellow dictatorships Belarus and Kazakhstan.
This is no trivial matter. Ukraine is not just the largest country in Europe, its the linchpin for Vladimir Putins dream of a renewed imperial Russia, hegemonic in its neighborhood and rolling back the quarter-century advancement of the Europe whole and free bequeathed by Americas victory in the Cold War.
The U.S. response? Almost imperceptible. As with Irans ruthlessly crushed Green Revolution of 2009, the hundreds of thousands of protesters whove turned out to reverse this betrayal of Ukrainian independence have found no voice in Washington. Cant this administration even rhetorically support those seeking a democratic future, as we did during Ukraines Orange Revolution of 2004?
A Washington Post headline explains: With Russia in mind, U.S. takes cautious approach on Ukraine unrest. We must not offend Putin. We must not jeopardize Obamas precious reset, a farce that has yielded nothing but the well-earned distrust of allies like Poland and the Czech Republic whom we wantonly undercut in a vain effort to appease Russia on missile defense.
The second crisis is the Middle East the collapse of confidence of U.S. allies as America romances Iran.
The Gulf Arabs are stunned at their double abandonment. In the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the U.S. has overthrown seven years of Security Council resolutions prohibiting uranium enrichment and effectively recognized Iran as a threshold nuclear state. This follows our near-abandonment of the Syrian revolution and de facto recognition of both the Assad regime and Irans Shiite Crescent of client states stretching to the Mediterranean.
Equally dumbfounded are the Israelis, now trapped by an agreement designed less to stop the Iranian nuclear program than to prevent the Israeli Air Force from stopping the Iranian nuclear program.
Neither Arab nor Israeli can quite fathom Obamas naïveté in imagining some strategic condominium with a regime that defines its very purpose as overthrowing American power and expelling it from the region.
Better diplomacy than war, say Obamas apologists, an adolescent response implying that all diplomacy is the same, as if a diplomacy of capitulation is no different from a diplomacy of pressure.
What to do? Apply pressure. Congress should immediately pass punishing new sanctions to be implemented exactly six months hence when the current interim accord is supposed to end if the Iranians have not lived up to the agreement and refuse to negotiate a final deal that fully liquidates their nuclear-weapons program.
The third crisis is unfolding over the East China Sea, where, in open challenge to Obamas pivot to Asia, China has brazenly declared a huge expansion of its airspace into waters claimed by Japan and South Korea.
Obamas first response sending B-52s through that airspace without acknowledging the Chinese was quick and firm. Japan and South Korea followed suit. But when Japan then told its civilian carriers not to comply with Chinese demands for identification, Washington told U.S. air carriers to submit.
Which, of course, left the Japanese hanging. It got worse. During Vice President Bidens visit to China, the administration buckled. Rather than insisting on a withdrawal of Chinas outrageous claim, we began urging mere nonenforcement.
Again leaving our friends stunned. They need an ally, not an intermediary. Here is the U.S. again going over the heads of allies to accommodate a common adversary. We should be declaring the Chinese claim null and void, ordering our commercial airlines to join Japan in acting accordingly, and supplying them with joint military escorts if necessary.
This would not be an exercise in belligerence but a demonstration that if other countries unilaterally overturn the status quo, they will meet a firm, united, multilateral response from the West.
Led by us. From in front.
No ones asking for a JFK-like commitment to bear any burden to assure the . . . success of liberty. Or a Reaganesque tearing down of walls. Or even a Clintonian assertion of America as the indispensable nation. Americas allies are seeking simply a reconsideration of the policy of retreat that marks this administrations response to red-line challenges all over the world and leaves them naked.
“No ones asking for a JFK-like commitment to bear any burden to assure the . . . success of liberty.
The crises president a Nero indeed.
The EU blew it with Ukraine. They kept insisting Tymoshenko be freed as a precondition. But they must have known the current regime would never do that. Now they are acting astonished like they didn’t see this coming.
Your use of the word “hegemony” is curious. It’s the language Maoists and other sorts of communists use. In fact, it was first applied to the U.S. by Mao Tse-tung himself. Why have you subconciously adopted communist thinking?
I’m not accusing you of being a communist, steelhead. I’m only saying that it appears that you may have adopted the communist point-of-view when it comes to this aspect of U.S. national security. Have a nice day.
“Why have you subconciously adopted communist thinking?”
Red-baiting don’t impress me much. And Patrick J. Buchanan uses “hegemony” all the time in essays where he rightfully disparages neocon thinking regarding foreign policy. So if he is some kind of bolshevik, then I’m in good company.
Welcome to FR
I explicitly said I didn’t think that you were a communist only that you had adopted their point-of-view when it comes to U.S. national security. The interests of Red China would be served very well if everyone in the U.S. adopted your line of thinking. Perhaps the most appropriate phrase would be “useful tool”.
Allies, like children, must sooner or later be allowed to fight their own battles. It’s good for their character.
I agree. But I also believe that strong diplomatic action coupled with a B-52 flight over the Senkaku Islands every now and then can prevent war, and prevent the U.S. from getting dragged into a war. Have a nice day, steelhead.
And I apologize for the use of the phrase “useful tool.”. Cheers.
Do we still have friends?
Obama’s more or less told them all to f*ck off.
You are mentioned herein and thought it only polite to tip you off. But I must say I didn't know you were Chinese.
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