Give me Liberty, or Give me Space…
In 2012, President Obama was caught in a live mic gaffe with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stating, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved – but it’s important for him to give me space.” At the time, Obama was under pressure at home, from the left and the right, and he was looking for a foreign policy victory to help prop up his Presidency. He had already alienated a key American ally, Poland, by delaying the deployment of a missile shield to Poland. Keep in mind, Poland deployed with us in Iraq 1 & 2, and Afghanistan. They have been staunch supporters of the US, and even when Britain was complaining about the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Poles said nary a word. Poland just stuck by us, like the good friend and ally it is .
In the current context of the Ukraine Crisis, the “gaffe” has taken on a whole new meaning. Now that President Obama has “space”, his ability to negotiate a non-response to Russia’s overt aggressive actions in Ukraine highlights what President Obama meant. He meant, “Tell Vladimir I’d be happy to help him rebuild the Russian Empire and subjugate a billion or more people to Communism again.” After all, according to the UN, Communism is the best way to combat Climate Change. Do you really think that Putin, a KGB mastermind, is going to care about sanctions the Americans will level? We barely do business with them. They buy and sell from Europe, Africa, and Asia. The only significant import the US receives are floods of Russian brides. Besides, the Russians let 32 million Ukrainians starve from 1930-1932, and the Ukrainians knew it! So if you think Putin is going to change anything because Obama is going to make the sanctions “severe”, then think again.
Obama has never explained his foreign policy. It isn’t that he doesn’t have a policy. He does. Wait and see. Promise, promise, promise; talk, talk, talk; and in the end, go along with the Europeans, especially if it helps the Russians. And have no doubt, the only time he ordered American bombers to bomb something helped the Russians cripple a deal the Ukrainians had struck with Qaddafy in Libya in a land for oil exchange. If Ukraine had been able to follow up on that deal, they would have been much less dependent on Russia for energy. But Obama then has to tell his liberal political base that the US lives in a harsh world of reality, and I haven’t met a Left Wing Loon yet that understands that. They would rather attack the Koch Brothers and sip champagne in their limos. So Obama is stuck in his foreign policy, since it’s ideology driven, and not political-reality driven. And sometimes, he has to swallow hard, and do the thing that helps America.
And guess what? When Obama finally sees what Russia has planned, it isn’t nice, it isn’t pretty, and there’s nothing close to the fanciful thoughts of a naive President. Socialism is great! The dreams of my father aren’t all that grand. Real people die. Real people starve. Real journalists go missing, and get assassinated. Countries go to war. And that’s deadly, messy, and expensive. And unless the US takes a strong stance against naked Soviet aggression, it won’t stop. The reality is Russia is not a world power like the US. It never really has been. But the Russians are the neighborhood bully taking Europe’s lunch money. If they decide they’d like Poland back, there isn’t much to stop them. Don’t get me wrong, I have deep admiration and respect for Poland, but their military is too small and would be overrun, just like in WWII. Keep in mind, back then, they fought the Russians to a virtual standstill with horse cavalry versus tanks.
The Poles have real reasons to be afraid of Russia, especially when the tactical terror genius Putin is at the helm. Putin reigned over a KGB that had been terribly embarrassed by the Farewell incident. He unleashed a reign of Putsches and crackdown on the citizens that would have made Heydrich proud. Keep in mind, Poland had one of the few ports the Russians had access to then, so they got the brunt of the crackdown, especially when Lech Walesa started his protests. Even knowing this history, Obama still denied the Poles a missile defense shield, hoping to “reset” relations with the Russians.
The Russians are not going to stop until the US stops them. It’s that simple. Ukraine doesn’t have any strategic worth to the US. The Europeans don’t have the wherewithal to stand up to them, and the Chinese won’t, and that just leaves the US. Russia will keep trying to split up Ukraine, (federalization) and will attempt another breech in Ukraine’s borders soon. Keep in mind the Russians are doing EXACTLY what the Germans did from 1933 to 1939. Europe did nothing, the US did nothing, and we got WWII out of the deal. If even Hillary Clinton can see what’s going on, you know we’re in real trouble.
Do you have enough space now, Mr. President?
Patrick J. Bertroche