September 17th, 2009

Obama’s second Polish joke: the Obama Doctrine

Obama’s first Polish joke was snubbing the September 1st ceremonies in Gdansk marking the seventieth anniversary of the German invasion of Poland. Let’s review:

The lack of understanding of European history and sensitivities was not lost on the Polish chattering classes. They have been in a justifiable uproar over this mother of all snubs, feeling a mixture of humiliation and neglect. For an administration that pledged to prioritize public diplomacy, this treatment of an ally was appalling. Unsurprisingly, popular opinion of the United States took a serious nose dive in Poland.

Already, the Obama administration’s warm embrace of the relationship with Russia has been a cause for concern among Central and East European governments…Also, the Obama administration’s apparent attempts to use plans for “the third site” for U.S. missile defense (in Poland and the Czech Republic) as a bargaining chip to win Russian support for sanctions on Iran have gone down very poorly in Poland.

Those plans may have “gone down very poorly” in Poland, but who cares about a little Polish disappointment when Russia’s butt can be kissed? In his second Polish (and Czech Republic) joke, the scrapping of the missile shield negotiated by President Bush, Obama has offered the excuse of saying his decision was based on intelligence and strategy rather than the desire to court Russia and wink at Iran at Poland and Czech expense. And perhaps it was, but the Poles and Czechs don’t appear to think so, and I can’t really blame them.

Here’s the Obama rationale:

The Bush administration proposed the European-based system to counter the perceived threat of Iran’s developing a nuclear weapon that could be placed atop its increasingly sophisticated missiles…The Bush plan infuriated the Kremlin, which argued the system was a potential threat to its own intercontinental ballistic missiles…The Obama administration’s assessment concludes that U.S. allies in Europe, including NATO members, face a more immediate threat from Iran’s short- and medium-range missiles and is ordering a shift toward the development of regional missile defenses for the Continent, according to people familiar with the matter.

As the WSJ article goes says, “There is widespread disagreement over the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.” Ya think?

Obama is counting on Iran taking a long time to develop a nuclear capacity. Whether Obama actually believes this or not (or whether we even have the capability to correctly predict such a timetable), it suits him to underestimate Iran’s nuclear program in his continuing efforts to appease enemies (Iran) and hostile potential enemies (Russia) while simultaneously doublecrossing friends.

How did the Russians return Obama’s favor? The answer is: why should they return the favor? Maybe I don’t get the intricacies of the famous three-dimensional chess Obama is supposed to be playing these days, but it seems to me that he’s given a freebie to Iran and the Russians in exchange for nothing except the opportunity for them to view him as a weakling and a pushover. Here’s Russia’s response to Obama’s “chess” move (that statement about “dialogue” at the end seems a sly dig at Obama’s love of empty verbiage):

Russia on Thursday welcomed the news but said it saw no reason to offer concessions in return. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called the plan a “responsible move.” He threatened last year to station tactical Iskander missiles on Poland’s border if the U.S. system was deployed.

“We appreciate this responsible move by the U.S. president toward realizing our agreement,” Mr. Medvedev said Thursday. “I am prepared to continue the dialogue.”

And what is this “dialogue” that Obama so greatly desires? Apparently he believes that, if he throws this fish to them, the Russians will cooperate in imposing sanctions against Iran. That remains to be seen. But if this is Obama’s goal, then why throw the previously planned defense system out now, before talks on the subject of what to do about Iran begin in early October?

As the WSJ article says, “[T]he decision is likely to be seen in Russia as a victory for the Kremlin.” I would add that it seems to be not only an error, but an unforced error at that. Poland is apprehensive and disturbed, and the Czech Republic can’t be all that happy either:

A Czech official said his government was concerned an announcement by the White House on the missile-defense program could influence coming elections and has urged a delay. But the Obama administration has decided to keep to its original timetable.

European analysts said the administration would be forced to work hard to convince both sides the decision wasn’t made to curry favor with Moscow and, instead, relied only on the program’s technical merits and analysis of Iran’s missile capabilities.

I half expect some Polish or Czech official to stand up and yell “You lie!” to Obama (or his representatives) if that tack is tried. But this is diplomacy and not Parliament (or even a joint session of the US Congress), so any response will probably be veiled in exquisite politeness.

But the Poles and the Czechs know the score: in the future they must count on being betrayed by the Obama administration, or at the very least shut out of “dialogue” on issues that affect them mightily.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, one of the few Obama holdovers from the Bush administration, is not a diplomat; he’s a military man. But he seems to approve of the decision in strategic terms, “saying that the new configuration ‘provides a better missile defense capability’ for Europe and American forces.”

Perhaps so, perhaps not. It really depends on which of the predictions about Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities is correct. But aside from the military calculations, the diplomatic ones seems to be dreadful, especially for allies Poland and the Czech Republic. The NY Times lets us in on some of the details of how they were treated by the sensitive Obama adminstration:

As details began to leak, the White House arranged for a post-midnight call from Mr. Obama to the Czech prime minister and a call in the morning to Poland’s prime minister. It also dispatched top officials to Prague and Warsaw to explain the decision and calm any anxieties…But it made for unfortunate timing, as Thursday was the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland at the start of World War II, a date fraught with sensitivity for Poles who viewed the Bush missile defense system as a political security blanket against Russia. Poland and many other countries in the former Soviet sphere worry that Mr. Obama is less willing than Mr. Bush was to stand up to Russia.

While the Americans always described missile defense as a hedge against Iran, the Polish and Czech governments saw the presence of American military personnel based permanently in their countries as protection against Russia. Moscow strongly opposed the shield and claimed it was aimed against Russia and undermined its national security.

The Times article goes on to say that the Obama plan will puts defenses for Eastern Europe in place earlier than the Bush plan would have. That’s good; it’s just that those defenses are not against nuclear weapons. In addition, however, there is some talk of placing a nuclear defense system against Iran somewhere else, for example in Turkey or the Balkans.

So perhaps it all makes a certain amount of strategic sense; I suppose time will eventually tell on that. But even if it turns out to have been a good decision in the military sense, the way it was handled was not. It sends a larger signal to all the parties involved, one that is completely consistent with the one I previously stated here: offend our allies and friends, and cozy up to our enemies.

The Obama Doctrine.

[ADDENDUM: More here on the subject from Fausta. Also from Dr. Sanity.]

65 Responses to “Obama’s second Polish joke: the Obama Doctrine”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    Dangerous to be a friend of America these days.

  2. Number9 Says:

    Now we wait to see how Obama’s message is interpreted. Hope it is not interpreted the same way Clinton’s inactions were.

  3. huxley Says:

    Marc Ambinder offers a sort of guide to the art of 3-D chess in his current article: Or Maybe Obama Is An Appeaser…:

    For Obama, strength is projected through the exercise of a larger set of values. He does not believe that a humble country — and here he shares a view with George W. Bush pre-Iraq — is necessarily a weak country; he does not believe in projecting military strength for the sake of projecting military strength. He does not believe that the cultivation or fear, or brinkmanship, ought to be the basis for policy. And though he doesn’t quite admit this, I don’t think Obama subscribes to a providential view of America’s role in the world — one that exists prior to policy, or prior to history. So Russia’s interests can be reconciled with America’s interests. And if, in the furthering of America’s interests, decisions are seen as concessions under the old metaphor, so be it.

    American interests are no less concrete: in this case, Obama believes than Iran is a much larger threat than Russia; it believes that money ought to be spent to deter Iran’s likely capabilities; it believes that overmatching deterrence technology would encourage Iran to get up to speed more quickly; it assumes that, by locating a radar station and missile battery up north, tensions with Russia will increase; and that, if anything, removing the missiles gives the Russians one less way to avoid the pressure for them to act against Iran. From the standpoint of security, the U.S. and NATO actually have a freer hand to respond to any provocation by Russia.

    That’s a pretty smooth and fancy explanation. It probably bears some relationship to Obama’s thinking. Obviously I disagree with much of it. Nonetheless it is good to see some sort of rationale.

    At the beginning of the article Ambinder notes that “When it comes down to it, Barack Obama and conservatives operate from fundamentally different cognitive [assumptions]….” He is right about that.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    huxley: I haven’t yet had a chance to read the article you linked, but I would submit that it’s not really all that important whether Obama sees his moves as concessions or not, or even whether people on the Right see them that way. What matters is how our allies and enemies and those countries in-between see them, and what it means for their future moves.

    They are sizing Obama up, and they will act accordingly based on that calculation in the future. And if Obama doesn’t realize that, then he’s both profoundly stupid and profoundly naive—as well as profoundly narcissistic. It isn’t really about what he thinks. Despite all of Obama’s chatter about the importance of “dialogue,” he doesn’t seem to understand that dialogue isn’t just about words. It’s also very much about what those words signify to both parties about strength, will, and intention, in the series of power plays that constitutes international relations.

  5. Good Ole Charlie Says:

    In an earlier comment, I called Obama stupid. I wish to modify that statement. To wit:

    EITHER Obama is just plain stupid OR is criminally insane.

    Your pick…

  6. Pat Casey Says:

    I think the first few words in the Obama rationale give the whole gist of it and the rest is fluff to him to hide behind.

    The Bush Administration proposed it. Therefore, he’s against it. Perhaps it really is that simple? That seems to be the way he’s dealt with anything else President Bush did. He’s on a mission to undo the Bush years because to his mind, those eight years were a total nightmare. Whether he or President Bush had the right estimation of the way the world works, I’m afraid (very afraid), time will tell.

  7. Helen Says:

    Let’s not forget an important part of the joke. Today is the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. Well, why aren’t you guys laughing?

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Helen: that’s referenced in one of the quotes in my post:

    As details began to leak, the White House arranged for a post-midnight call from Mr. Obama to the Czech prime minister and a call in the morning to Poland’s prime minister. It also dispatched top officials to Prague and Warsaw to explain the decision and calm any anxieties…But it made for unfortunate timing, as Thursday was the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland at the start of World War II, a date fraught with sensitivity for Poles who viewed the Bush missile defense system as a political security blanket against Russia.

    I’m not sure whether Obama was ignorant of the anniversary (he certainly knows little or nothing of history, so that’s possible), or aware and purposely planning it for that date in order to increase the delicious irony.

  9. armchair pessimist Says:

    There’s an even bigger payoff for the Russians just around the corner. It will not go unnoticed by the EU powers that America is just a big blowhard and not to be depended on. Russia, on the other hand, has the oil and gas Europe needs. Obama-the-Brilliant has just helped realize Russia’s dream of severing the Western alliance. Carter will go down as a Bismarck compared to this fool.

  10. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    I think he enjoys insulting our traditional allies. There is some inner need that perhaps has to do with cozying up to the non western world his father came from. Only that could account for the insults to Gordon Brown (a fellow lefty).

    He is supposed to be urbane and sophisticated, and I think he knows what he is doing. It’s still insane.

  11. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I have a relation who is absolutely convinced that zero is getting the rest of the world to like us again.
    Of course, if I point out who likes us and who is getting the shaft, the response is our enemies are our own fault.

  12. huxley Says:

    I would submit that it’s not really all that important whether Obama sees his moves as concessions or not, or even whether people on the Right see them that way. What matters is how our allies and enemies and those countries in-between see them, and what it means for their future moves.

    neo: I would agree.

    However, as the resident Obamologist, I am always looking for hints and clues at to what might really be going on behind the bland mocha facade.

    It’s fun to write off Obama’s thinking to “offend our allies and friends, and cozy up to our enemies.” It does seem to net out that way, doesn’t it?

    Nonetheless, here at the Institute of Obamology, we prefer a more detailed … uh … nuanced approach. We wish to provide cognitive reconstruction of the mental processes, epistemology, and the interior subvocalizations of the subject.

    It is daunting project, given how little direct information is available, yet we soldier onward in our quest, hoping that perhaps we may shed a few shafts of light into the dimly lit area of Obama’s skull, or failing that, have a few laughs.

  13. E Says:

    I am distressed but unsurprised by Obama’s latest move. It’s the sort of thing he WOULD do. I’ve always found it especially creepy that Obama’s educational record has been withheld from the American people; what could such a man have possibly studied at Occidental and Columbia? And why aren’t we allowed to know?

    Based on his performance since January, here are a few subjects I’m sure he never took:

    – History
    – Economics
    – Political Science
    – Logic
    – Environmental Studies
    – World Religions
    – Mathematics

    Of course, we’ll never know, unless he decides to release his transcripts. Whatever they show has to be either deeply shameful (terrible grades) or thoroughly Marxist and subversive.

    My bet is that it’s a combination of the two. Anybody who’s supposed to be as smart as the Wonderful O should have made it into Columbia on the first try – the fact that he didn’t suggests that his slot there came from patronage and push, not natural scholastic merit. The result? A loose cannon who feels annointed by fate, who offends and imperils our allies, and who emboldens our enemies.

    A waste is a terrible mind in the White House.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama is counting on Iran taking a long time to develop a nuclear capacity.

    They already have it. Given all the years and the fact that the technology to make it was invented in the 1950s, and that a student in NY made one (sans nuclear material), they have had enough to make one for quite a while using the gun method.

    For them DELIVERY is more of a problem, as they would prefer an ability to direct it for defense. Offense is not really an issue of delivery, since there are many ways to do that without a rocket of some sort.

    Also… They want enough material so that there is a question of how many they have if they test one. Once they test, they can no longer be invaded by normal war. Which is why all these countries want it. however then like us, will move into replacing the wall one brick at a time so that no one disturbs the boom booms.

    hostile potential enemies (Russia)

    Obama and the left doesn’t see them as that. They have the revolutionaries fantasy of a grateful other. What Obama is trying to do is ingratiate himself to his Soviet others, because he and they are now on the same side. His first time with them, they weren’t nice and such, so he thinks they need some sort of overture, some gift, and then they will realize that they are on the same team.

    Problem is that world revolutionaries are being played, so there is no grateful other, there is no friend, there are only acts of convenience and pragmatism towards one goal, unchanged, uncompromised (with a belief that there can be no co-existence, even though there has been).

    it seems to me that he’s given a freebie to Iran and the Russians in exchange for nothing, except the opportunity for them to view him as a weakling and a pushover

    Bingo!

    After all, isn’t that what happens when someone is ingratiating themselves to you?

    that statement about “dialogue” at the end seems a sly dig at Obama’s love of empty verbiage

    I disagree. What he is saying is the last time we talked it was an impasse and now you have come to your senses, and are acting responsibly. JUST the same way that Obama and Pelosi and others are saying that the responsible thing to do is abandon our life plans and do what they thing is right, replacing ours with theirs.

    Message to the left, right, middle and so forth:
    They are playing for keeps, they intend to actually take everything, they have never stopped that course since they were created, and as long as they are alive and can organize that is their goal.

    Détente and Treaties is another form of warfare for them. They have said so. So I don’t know what book Obama gets his socialism from, or ideas of them, but it sure isn’t from reading them, understanding them, and most importantly, believe them (as they have never wavered unlike us).

    When you believe your enemy is your friend, then what?

    Right now the world knows that the US government has the weakest and most incapable government in modern history. One who would not react correctly in a REAL crisis outside of their capacity to understand due to their belief system and framework.

    If last time you talked to someone you were able to convince them to do something in your favor for nothing, wouldn’t you welcome more talks?

    “[T]he decision is likely to be seen in Russia as a victory for the Kremlin.”

    Whoa would it. To have what you want at no cost on the anniversary of your invasion into that country, is like icing. Right now they are burning the midnight oil in the different FSB GRU schools and places saying, we did better than we thought, how can we take advantage of this?

    If you remembered way back I said it was going to get real hot. Then everything went wacko. Almost a bombing in turkey, assassination in several countries, etc.

    Well, if you think its hot now, you aint seen nothing yet since lighting up all the crap would just be a freebie. Obama won’t move decisively. In fact he aint paying attention to outside he is too busy working on his image internally.

    Even worse. They wrote Obama’s playbook and that was the old edition!
    They know how he will interpret events reflexively, and Obama doesn’t even have to know or be doing what he is doing on purpose, as he is forced by the ideology he serves mentally to choose based on its rules.

    He is up against a system that has unbroken leaderships since during WWII.
    Some of those guys are still there!

    All of this is seeming to converge on 2012… if it heats up in many places we don’t have enough troops. The population is unskilled and unfriendly to their own defense. Manufacturing is not capable of ramping up to replace and make what’s needed in many areas. Our petrol reserves are not in shape for a large mess. Depending on how tangled we are, they may be able to just take Poland and Czechs again.

    Once they have had something, they never consider it anything but theirs.
    Even if it’s out of their hands, it’s still theirs in their minds.

  15. csimon Says:

    Obama……..is just a schmuck. It is a sad day for Eastern Europe, and all the newest of our NATO allies. Under the bus for them!
    (I wish there was some way of reaching out to those countries, once again left to live in fear until Russia comes to re-annex them, and let them know how many Americans are NOT in agreement with this latest moronic action by our….ugh! I can’t even say “President” anymore, because he does not represent this country.
    (And I thought his take on the Honduras situation was so off-base. Today’s announcement makes that like a blip — at least on the world stage. As far as I am concerned, he’s doing his best to disprove all those who praise his intelligence.)

    (Boy, I sure miss FredHjr right about now. I’m sure he would have plenty to say about this latest move).

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    csimon: I continue to miss FredHjr as well. His voice is much missed here.

    Maybe Poland, the Czechs, and Honduras can form some sort of alliance.

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    here at the Institute of Obamology, we prefer a more detailed … uh … nuanced approach. We wish to provide cognitive reconstruction of the mental processes, epistemology, and the interior subvocalizations of the subject.

    as long as we can weed out all the ideological stuff from the soviet union he is so fond of, and just think its plain old dumb american leftism.

    lets see… mom and ‘pop’ meet in a russian language class. His uncle facilitated the overthrow of kenya and turning it into a communist state. He names his daughter a russian name, and the other daughter just happens to have the name of the biographer of who had sis name. Ayers was a stalinist. he has surrounded himself with true believers of extreme social manipulation and servituded (forced abortions, stuff in the water, redistribution of wealth to other countries, and a whole host of stuff). then there is the fact that mr clinton was a fulbright scholar to the soviet union when it was the soviet union.

    but we cant let all that (and more) spoil the analysis…

  18. Artfldgr Says:

    he dont have to study economics to break an economy, and he dont have to know things if he is fed what to do.

  19. reg Says:

    the thing is you americans aren’t getting, is that by electing a guy like Obama who is happy to piss in your allies wheaties,even if he gets tossed in 2012, who can trust the US?everybody around the world can see him in action, he sees things in terms of domestic politics, him vs bush,whereas people around the world see an unreliable partner who switches alliegences every 4 or 8 years.Saigon 1975, Poland 2009.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    Oh, i get it… i have been saying all that is negative about this all the time. its just few are listing out all the things so they conveniently leave out whole areas (like implications beyond).

  21. Artfldgr Says:

    hhow about the state cutting off water and making farms into dustbowls… 45% unemployment…
    it used to provide 12% of our food…

    keep the water off, to safe a small fish…

    meanwhile, extinction is natural, and stagnating reality to preserve everything is completely unnatural.

  22. E Says:

    Art, slow down! Are you okay?

  23. Cappy Says:

    Y’know, liberals for all they claim to hate Schickelgruber, are sure eager to sell his victims (Poland, Czech) down the river.

  24. zfredz Says:

    One word comes to mind: “Munich”.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    Breaking news on Fox..
    that iran can make a nuclear weapon and that there was a secret annex.

    whoops…

  26. Artfldgr Says:

    best definition tonight:
    “Unilateral preemptive concession”

  27. Paul Gordon Says:

    It sends a larger signal to all the parties involved, one that is completely consistent with the one I previously stated here: offend our allies and friends, and cozy up to our enemies.

    I think “sell out” would be an accurate addition to the things we now do to allies and friends.

  28. Vieux Charles Says:

    On September 17, 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Poland.

    Three score and 10 years later TO THE DAY Obama formally announces that he is going to pull our anti-missile shield out of Poland and the Czech Republic.

    WTF!!!

    You can argue that there are better, cheaper ways. You can even suggest that a deal was cut with the Russians – but you cannot argue a justification for making such an announcement on the anniversary of THAT date.

    This is a clear slap in the face to our Polish allies (allies that have supported us with combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan) and yet another indefensible move by Obama.

  29. Oblio Says:

    Yes, Paul Gordon, you have it right. The Obama Doctrine is to appease predator states and sell out allies. You can bet that Denmark, Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and even Saudi Arabia took notice. So did Egypt and Iraq. It is the way to war.

    I am thinking about the assets and allies that must be maintained if we are to prevent the worst. Diego Garcia, I think. Australia as an ally. Hawaii. Bermuda and St. Helena(?).

    We will need to consider the position of Canada, if worst comes to worst.

  30. Beverly Says:

    Well, the announcement by the IAEA today that the Iranians are certainly developing nukes must be viewed by Hussein Quisling Obama as unfortunate timing.

    Oh, and IAEA? Thanks, pals. For getting this news to us before the Second Coming.

  31. Beverly Says:

    Also, Bozo had thrown Poland and the Czechs to the wolves supposedly in hopes that they’d help with Iranian sanctions — But the Russians have, as you noted, ALREADY SAID that we’ll get bupkus outta the “deal.”

    Like George said, “this cat has no idea how dangerous this world is.”

  32. Beverly Says:

    Another version of the Obama Doctrine:

    “No better enemy; no worse friend.”

    We are so screwed. Poles, Czechs, if any of you read this blog, know that we’re against this maneuver!

  33. Perfected democrat Says:

    “It isn’t really about what he thinks.”

    Of course, and it’s quite obvious that he’s only playing 3-D chess with himself (similar to having sex, alone), everybody else is playing hardball and hide and seek. Everybody but Honduras gets visas for the coming U.N. meeting, even Israel, but then, like Annapolis, Israel has the special privilege of getting the visas and the shaft. History ala Carter is repeating, it will take the next Reagan, if there ever again is one who can be elected in a predominately europeanized America, to undo Obungler’s errors. The silver lining may be that people never trust America again, and become self-reliant. Someone pointed out that the various (former) allies who have been thrown under the bus should themselves ally. But this is a deadly game of aggressive group behaviour, in which the human species has a propensity for rationalizing almost any kind of self-serving response; fight or flight…

  34. Obloodyhell Says:

    Who will be the next victim of the Obama Mass Transit System?

    And I freely accept the mantle of “racist” for daring to ask that.

  35. Obloodyhell Says:

    Who will be the next victim of the Obama Mass Transit System?

    BTW, in case it wasn’t obvious: More than one is needed when the body count gets this high…

  36. Obloodyhell Says:

    As the WSJ article goes says, “There is widespread disagreement over the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.” Ya think?

    Obama is counting on Iran taking a long time to develop a nuclear capacity.

    Well then… As Dr. Sanity notes in an update —

    According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (the chief watchdog for such things):

    He’s F***ed.

    Or rather, pretty much everyone else is.

    According to them, Iran CAN do it NOW.

    =====

    Obama’s Foreign Policy: Is there ANYTHING he can’t do wrong?

  37. Helen Says:

    Neo, sorry. Yes, of course, I should have made it clear that I saw your reference to that invasion.

    But the word that comes to mind is not Munich. Please, disabuse yourselves at last of the idea that there was nothing worse in the history of the twentieth century. Munich would have required Britain and France to fight for a part of Czechoslovakia that the Czechs themselves were not prepared to defend. There is no question of American troops fighting Russia now. No, the words that come to mind are Teheran and Yalta – the two places where the Western allies sold out Eastern Europe, specifically Poland to Stalin.

  38. armchair pessimist Says:

    Let’s not overlook another bee in the One’s bonnet: nuclear disarmament. He’ll give away everything for that, Poland, East Europe, NATO, all of Europe. The Russians will smile, give him his moment to preen and keep their nukes well oiled. And well they should. Nukes are the one demographic battle they can win.

  39. Danny Lemieux Says:

    OK, OK, OK…I agree with most that is being said.

    However, I can assure you that most of the Poles that I have encountered here in heavily Polish Chicagoland absolutely despised GW Bush and viewed Obama as the Great Patootie himself. My understanding is that the majority of Poles in Poland shared those same sentiments. I know that most of my European relations share that sentiment to this day.

    So, my message to the Poles is this…next time, be very, very careful for what you wish for and take comfort in the fact that Obama is doing to you what he is in the process of doing to all of our would-be allies and his own countrymen. Obama is simply acting true to form.

    And, maybe they can take some time to reappraise why exactly they hated “cowboy” Bush so much for standing firm in their defense.

  40. Number9 Says:

    2010 is approaching and somehow we have to take back either the House or Senate. We need a 1994 revolution. The question is how to bring Independents back. The GOP has serious issues and cannot be depended on.

    How can this be done?

  41. Artfldgr Says:

    Poles, Czechs: US missile defense shift a betrayal
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090918/ap_on_re_eu/eu_eastern_europe_missile_defense_22

    thats ok. lets be reasonable. lets not jump to conclusions here, he probably has a great reason (that he isnt going to tell us). and his followers probably have dozens of great reasons which will stick with different people depending on whom reads them. so just give it a bit more time to make up something reasonable.

    How’s being reasonable in unreasonable circumstances working out? still waiting for barry to come round to the reasonable way to be?

    only 3 more years of this and then some.

    MAYBE just MAYBE they keep getting itchy cause we are too distracted with domestic shenanigans to even pay half as much attention to the outside world.

    Anyone else notice how our friends have been building up their military, making runs at world powers, and so forth lately? i mean we gave them all this manufacturing and technological expertise to make an economy, and instead they have been making military stuff to match ours (with a much higher focus on using nuclear materials than we have).

    lodoga 2009, sapad 2009, and a strategivce missile forces command drill..

    “A total of over 2,000 servicemen and 150 theater- and tactical-level command-and-control centers will take part in the drills,” a spokesentity for the SMF disclosed.

    en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20090907/156052331.html
    the SMF maintains 538 ICBMs on combat duty, including 306 SS-25 Topol (NATO designation Sickle) and 56 SS-27 Topol-M missiles. Silo-based ICBMs constitute 45 percent of Russia’s total ballistic missile arsenal and carry about 85 percent of the SMF’s nuclear warheads.

    so not only did he cut this on the anniversary of russias invasion and occupation and annexation.

    but right now there are military exercises with large numbers of troops playing games at the polish border!

    one should be paying attention since russia and germany are making lots of deals like in the past.

    REMEMBER russia gave up on the treaty that limits how much miliarty equipment they can have and bring near borders…

    “During the Zapad (West) exercises on September 8-29, Russia will deploy two full-sized armies in Belarus.”

    “On September 29, Medvedev will travel to Belarus where, together with Lukashenka, he will watch the bilateral military exercise “Zapad 2009,” which will simulate a conflict between the armed forces of the Russia-Belarus Union and NATO (Belorusy i Rynok, Aug 24-29).”

    does this behavior sound familiar?
    Chief of the Russian General Staff, indicated that two Russian army groups, consisting of 150,000 soldiers, would be deployed to Belarus for the maneuver. This news greatly alarmed Belarusians, as well as EU and NATO leaders. If this plan really existed, then it was quickly shelved and a more “modest” one involving only 6,000 Russian soldiers substituted under the direction of Makarov and Belarusian comrade in arms, General Syarhey Huruleu.

    sounds like obama too… try it, if too much outrage, back down, do it light, and claim that it neve was that way in the first place.

    the Belarusian military has shipped some of its S-300 air defense systems to the Ashuluk training grounds in southern Russia to participate in that phase of Zapad 2009. Overall, the exercise will “rehearse interoperability” within the Russian-Belarusian integrated air defense system, which the two “former” Soviets states formed last February. S-300s are considered one of the world’s most effective all-altitude air defense systems, comparable to the US MiM-104 Patriot system. Minsk intends to purchase the more advanced S-400 system from Moscow in 2010.

    yeah… chavez just bought a bunch of these and their top tanks too.

    the idea is to spread our military out so that their force to space ratio makes them completely ineffective – if something happens.

  42. Artfldgr Says:

    Putin..
    nice nice lap dog…

    want to see how much trouble he caused?

    Russia’s Putin says U.S. shield decision positive
    http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE58H1O320090918

    “I expect that after this correct and brave decision, others will follow, including the complete removal of all restrictions on the transfer of high technology to Russia and activity to widen the membership of the World Trade Organisation to (include) Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus,” Putin said.”

    so they will give us nothing in return, and now expect everything to be presented forthwith.

    will obama do it and prove to them he loves them?

    here comes the OTHER SHOE!!!

    “It is ironic that the president told the American people that illegal immigrants should not be covered by the health care bill, but now just days later he’s talking about letting them in the back door,” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

    “If the American people do not want to provide government health care for illegal immigrants, why would they support giving them citizenship, the highest honor America can bestow?” Mr. Smith said.

    see how he keeps his promises?

    like an evil Djinn grants wishes… 🙂
    or a monkeys paw

  43. Artfldgr Says:

    that wasnt all supposed to be bold… sorry

  44. Artfldgr Says:

    oh.. if he makes em all citizens who do you think will get that extra 25 or so million votes plus?

  45. Nolanimrod Says:

    This guy is so full of it he’s going to have to start using ear plugs to keep from soiling the carpet.

    If he didn’t do this missile deal to keep Putin happy why did he send Putin a letter offering to do this exact deal in return for the Ruskis supporting us on Iran?

    Which Putin responded to by telling Obama to bite it.

    So he did it anyway.

    I’d love to run into Obama at a swap meet.

  46. Nolanimrod Says:

    Playing “Go Fish” with Obama –

    “Do you have any threes?”

    “No, but I have lots of Jacks.”

  47. br549 Says:

    Well, Obama just secured his nect election, eh? Like I said last week, he wasn’t lying about not insuring illegal aliens. There simply won’t be any by the time the bill passes. 20 million new democrat voters secures his next election. No border fence guarantees another 20 million influx before the bill passes.

    Change the entire face, ethos, population mix of the USA rather then risk relinquishing power for the foreseeable future? We will have two official languages soon like Canada. Look for the Amero soon, in a cash register near you. Remind me again what I-35 is all about?

    Bye-bye miss Americam pie……………..

  48. br549 Says:

    By the way, Jesse and Al, he just threw you guys under the bus, too.

  49. SAB Says:

    Obama is like a dog that wants to be liked. He allows the other big dogs to sniff his butt and then he flops over on his back and shows his genitals. It’s pathetic.

  50. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Neo:

    Thanks for pointing out that bit about ‘dialogue’. The irony is delicious, at least from the Russian point of view: “If you keep granting me unilateral concessions, I will gladly continue to give you nothing, and encourage you to continue.”

    As someone pointed out, it does not matter what Obama thinks; but what the Czechs and Poles think, and what the Russians think, matters a great deal. I vaguely recall reading, years ago, of a Sri Lankan battle that was lost because of miscommunications. The leader’s war elephant turned aside to avoid a patch of marshy ground; the troops thought it was a retreat, and scattered from a fight they should have won.

    This may very well be a reasonable strategic move, as Secretary Gates says. But if it’s perceived as a retreat, it will be handled accordingly, regardless of what the Obama Administration calls it.

    The sense of timing, both for the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion AND of upcoming elections, is uncanny… and macabre. If President Obama did want to appease Russia and sell out Poland, could he have done it any more effectively?

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  51. Paul Gordon Says:

    Shortly after Obama’s election, I posted this comment on many blogs…

    On Election Day, the Ace of Spades website posted a picture of two Iraqi women, with purple-stained fingers showing they had voted in an election.

    It was a “Get Out The Vote” message, noting that whatever inconveniences YOU may experience by voting, “These women literally risked their lives to vote”.

    My first reaction was, “And THE ONE can hardly wait to sell them out”.

    Obama’s rhetoric on Iraq, and comments about Israel, showed a casual willingness to sell out allies when convenient.

    A commenter asked, “Who appointed us to be their guardians? Why is it America’s job to make sure they are safe?”

    Perhaps we’d rather not have the entire world as a nuclear-armed camp, figuring that the more countries with these things, the more risk that some will eventually be used.

    Our alliances with these countries ain’t out of the goodness of our heart, but for our own best interests. Sell one out, and I’ll bet you the others will sure take notice.

    The commenter seemed to be saying, “To hell with them; let them take care of themselves!”

    Ok! But, they might do exactly that, and we might be less than thrilled with the results.

    If countries under threat (Taiwan, South Korea, Japan) think that our word is no longer any good, they’ll almost certainly feel the need for nuclear arms as the only real deterrent to someone like China. And note, those countries ALL have the necessary economic, industrial and technical wherewithal to go nuclear. All they need do is make the decision.

    Others, in the Middle East, will want them to deter Iran. How about Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Maybe Libya decides that abandoning their efforts was a mistake. THOSE countries may lack the technology, but they can certainly afford to finance it.

    It could just go on and on.

    THAT could be a very likely consequence of us deciding to just disengage ourselves from these countries.

    We’ve tried, for a long time, to convince others that they didn’t need them, because WE would provide the nuclear umbrella.

    When they figure they can’t count on us, the whole thing unravels.

    If the commenter gets his wish, and they DO take care of themselves, it could get real interesting for us as well.

    As we also reside on the same planet, I think it almost impossible we would remain unaffected.

    So, standing up for our allies is not just a nice thing to do; it makes the hardest kind of common sense.

    Simply put, we protect others in order to protect ourselves.

    Abandoning them, selling them out, would be an unbelievably short-sighted (as in STUPID) thing to do, and would hurt us more in the long run. No one would trust an agreement with us; and why should they, given such a record?

    Instead of being worth a damn, our word would only be noise.

    And that would be tragic, because WE set its’ value, by our actions.

    Sadly, I see nothing in that comment that needs amending.
    🙁

  52. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Poles and Czechs don’t vote in our elections.

    If you pretend a certain reality is true, it will become true.

    Game over.

  53. neo-neocon Says:

    Danny Lemieux: I don’t have a poll handy, but I remember that Poland and other Eastern countries were quite pro-Bush, as opposed to Western European countries (“new Europe” vs. old—remember?) I am pretty sure the pro-Bush sentiment in Poland extended to the Polish people—not Americans of Polish descent in Chicago, but actual Poles in Poland.

  54. expat Says:

    neo,

    I suspect that the Poles are somewhat torn. On one hand they want the integration into and the economic advantages of the EU, so they may tend to follow the prevailing EU pacifism line, especially if they see themselves in the line of fire. On the other hand, they remember life in the USSR. I also think they don’t feel they are taken seriously by old Europe, and ties to the US gave them a little more heft. They were rightly distrustful of the Schroeder/Gazprom Baltic pipeline deal; they aren’t comfortable with the EU’s imposition of its abortion policies on them; and they have experienced a bit of Polish plumber nationalism when they try to compete with old Europe. Today’s WSJ had a piece on Merkel’s manuevering to keep German Opel plants open, even though a Polish plant is more efficient. (Of course, the situation would be even worse should Merkel lose this election.)

    Even if there are legitimate grounds for changing missile defense plans (which I suspect might involve Obama defense budget cuts more than technical issues), the style and timing of the announcement was disgusting. The Poles have every right to be PO’d, and I have every right to be ashamed of what Obama has done to the reputation of our country. We have always had to make hard choices between our principles and our limitations, but I don’t think anyone else has so needlessly given up the former.

  55. Danny Lemieux Says:

    Neo-neocon:

    See page 10 here: http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/263.pdf

    Whereas Poland’s attitude toward Bush was better than the rest of Europe’s, it was not good! I propose that for Poles living in ObamaChicagoland, anti-GW Bush feelings were accentuated just from osmosis.

  56. Danny Lemieux Says:

    Oooops! It looks like I overdid the “strike” tag.

    [from neo-neocon: I was able to fix it.]

  57. Baklava Says:

    Danny,

    Look at Page 4.

    I suggest you are reading this stuff wrong.

    Page 4 and 10 look pretty good.

    It’s not negative and not as negative as the rest of Europe .

  58. neo-neocon Says:

    Danny Lemieux: I wrote “pro-Bush” but I didn’t exactly mean that; I wasn’t really talking about some personal liking for Bush. I meant “pro-US during the Bush administration years.” I think the chart on p. 3 of the link you gave (great link, by the way; thanks!) is a good indication. It shows that Poland is one of the most pro-American countries in the world. Pro-American sentiment did drop during the Bush years, but it remained quite high. 68% of Poles still had a favorable view of the US in 2008.

  59. Danny Lemieux Says:

    I don’t deny that Poland is (was?) one of the most pro-American countries in the world. But the average Pole, too, fell into the morass of Bush-hatred while Bush (like Reagan in his time) was trying to protect the EUros from their own misguided pacifist, “see no evil” view of the world. The Poles, more than other EUros, got it…to a point!

    Furthermore, I can understand how all the Bush-hate developed, given the absolute, non-stop anti-American drivel to which the EUros are subjected from Hollywood, CNN and their own media (which recycles our own Left-wing MSM nonsense). Except for the U.K., there is very little opposition journalism of note in the EU.

    That being said, the Poles and Czechs should not feel that they have been unfairly shafted by the Obama administration. Shafted, yes…unfairly, no: I’m sure that the Poles will soon feel in very good company, splayed like Flat Alberts under the bus with our other (former) allies and a good portion of the American voting public.

  60. Danny Lemieux Says:

    During the Bush administration, much of the world (India and large swaths of Africa excepted) wanted U.S. influence to go away. What most of the people in the world have not appreciated is how many fingers the U.S. has kept in the dike of world affairs to keep the world from crumbling.

    Right on cue, here is the latest Pew Global Opinion Poll:
    http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=264

    If it is to be believed, the world (Poland included) loves Obama as much as it despised Bush. U.S. influence in the world is certainly disappearing. So, let them live with with the consequences!

  61. armchair pessimist Says:

    That the people of Poland and the C. Republic never wanted the missles only makes our sin the blacker. Those governments who agreed to help us at some political cost have been made to look like fools. Once again, as we have shown so many times before, America is frivolous, unreliable and best avoided.

  62. » American Diplomacy Failed Obama in Poland - Blogger News Network Says:

    […] Obama’s second Polish joke: the Obama Doctrine […]

  63. Baklava Says:

    Danny wrote, “wanted U.S. influence to go away.

    I used to work with a guy who came from France. He was so immature in every and I think this attitude is immature also.

    “Just go away!”

    Reminds me of a 2 year old who talks back to his/her mommy…

    Relationships are hard work. Many people seem to choose judgmentalism and laziness.

    I’m not saying America is perfect. I’m saying that everybody’s view of America is somewhat irrelevant in that as long as America is protecting national security, continues to be GENEROUS (giving more than all other countries combined charity wise) and for the most part does the right thing …. my conscience is clear

    As for your last post Danny – I see where you are coming from – but there is one thing you aren’t considering…..

    Our national security.

    What will be the result to us national security wise of these decisions?

  64. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    What about the counterclaim that this current system in place in Czechloslovakia is not even needed, only works in some half-assed way (or not at all) and that regardless of whatever assumed concessions the Russians might have made (purportedly to lean on Iran about nukes), the fact is that Iran is:

    A) no where close to having ICBM range of Europe, which is supposedly what the whole bruha is about, and….to claim such abilities for the Iranians is sheer fantasy to the Nth power…

    B) The sea-based Aegis system is more than capable of handling whatever puny “missles” than Iran might conjure up, if at all…

    In other words, John Bolton and the conservatives in the media might be howling about this, but it is only a false perception of weakness, even if the Russians are snickering over something that didn’t even have the ability to knock out anything they might have shot–much less a worry about the Iranians.

  65. Wakefield Tolbert Says:

    Oooppppsss

    now the link is corrected.

    Yipes…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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