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Obama Feeds U.S. Allies to the Bear

By Ralph Peters, New York Post - September 18, 2009

Still determined to "push the reset button with Russia," President Obama hit the delete key on our allies in Eastern Europe. Obama's decision to abandon missile defense as we know it, cutting the throats of Poland and the Czech Republic, handed Moscow's hard-liners their biggest win since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STILL determined to "push the reset button with Rus sia," President Obama hit the delete key on our allies in Eastern Europe.

Obama's decision to abandon missile defense as we know it, cutting the throats of Poland and the Czech Republic, handed Moscow's hard-liners their biggest win since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin insisted all along that we'd never be permitted to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in the former Soviet empire. He was right.

And Obama got nothing in return. No Russian commitments on Iran's nuclear program. No sovereignty guarantees for Georgia. No restrictions on arms sales to Venezuela. Not even a bearhug.

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Yesterday, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates explained the rationale for ending our plan to deploy a high-tech radar system and anti-missile interceptors to Eastern Europe, every military argument he advanced was absolutely correct. But, in strategic terms, the decision's a disaster.

The move to kill this program was a White House attempt to toss a bone to the extreme left, which has always hated missile defense. (Why defend ourselves, when we're the enemy?) For that, Obama betrayed the trust of allies who'd done all they could to please us.

The Poles spent enormous political capital to convince their citizens to risk this deployment. They've backed us consistently in NATO and the UN. They sent combat troops to support us in Iraq.

The Czechs also fought our political battles for us, supporting our foreign wars and siding with us in international forums -- angering West European powers.

Now add Poland and the Czech Republic to the list of allies, such as Israel and Honduras, that we've thrown to the wolves. Obama's foreign policy embodies a line from "Animal House": "You [screwed] up -- you trusted us!"

But the worst thing is how this decision's read in Moscow. Putin, Russia's new czar, sees this as a triumph of his will over Obama's weak, retreating US. And he's right.

Thus it came to pass that, 70 years to the day after the Red Army invaded Poland, Warsaw's residents heard the news of this US betrayal and the implicit message that, yes, Eastern Europe still belongs in Moscow's sphere of influence.

If you're a citizen of Ukraine, Georgia or even the NATO-member Baltic states, you must be shuddering. You thought NATO and the US were serious about your right to live in freedom?

Better dig that Latvian-Russian dictionary out of the attic.

The last thing we needed to do was to further encourage Putin to believe he's all-knowing and invincible. But that's just what we've done.

To be fair, the entire debacle has been a bipartisan mess.

I, for one, never believed this was the right system at the right place and time. The technology was immature, and Iran's a regional, not an intercontinental, problem. But conservatives who believe that any hyperexpensive weapon system deserves automatic support shoved it down our throats and those of our allies. (It's not just the left that damages our defense.)

Once the Bush administration committed to the deployment, I grudgingly supported it: We couldn't hang the East Europeans out to dry after strong-arming them for commitments.

Now the Obama administration's made the mess immeasurably worse. It's a lose-lose situation for us -- and for our allies.

Moscow believes we just signed over a new lease on Eastern Europe. And we didn't even get a tin of caviar. Will the Obama-Putin Act go down in history as the post-modern Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?

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PatriceLumumba

09/18/2009 5:51 AM

The reaction to the president's action is predictable, since the cowards need a threat of a cold war to keep the misguided in their corner. Lowry, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Malkin, Peters, the sky is not falling.

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