Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Obama's peace through perceived weakness a formula for disaster
First of all, there is little if anything that the U.S. can do in the (or any foreign crisis) situation between Russia and Ukraine because of President Obama. I guess there aren't any chapters in the Handbook for Radicals on how to prevent tyrannical foreign heads of state from making you look like an incompetent fool.
This entire situation reminds everyone of Obama's leadership impotence when it comes to those areas that don't fit his ideological Utopian playbook. Nobody likes being played for a fool or lied to (Obamacare) or to watch an incompetent "leader" force a nation down a primrose path laced with narcissism and hubris, especially when his supporters bill him as the smartest person in the room.
Obama allowed this situation with Russia to get bad. He wrote verbal checks that he was unable or unwilling to cash. Do that a few times and it emboldens your enemies.
Members of the Russian parliament are now openly saying that Putin can do what he wants because Obama and his friends will talk, talk, talk and nothing will come of it. Obama is losing the game of international chess, and rather badly I might add.
In my world, you choose your battles in life, and you win the ones you choose to take on. You say very little, but mean what you say. You work hard to get along, but make it very clear that there will be a severe consequence for behaving inappropriately. And that consequence must come with 100% certainty.
Obama fails my class. He's a great orator when he stays on the script others prepare for him. But by any objective measure, he isn't a leader. He has been tested, and shown to be a paper tiger. And now there will be irreversible consequences.
Obama's foreign policy is quite simple, he has no policy. That's why there are no answers to crises and why there may be crisis situations in the first place.
In a world of many tyrants Obama's Rodney King diplomacy (Can't we all just get along) isn't going anywhere fast. Maybe it fooled the Nobel Prize Committee, and those who voted for him, but after 5+ years of stumbling along and telling some huge whoppers in the process, even some of the latter people are beginning to see the light and are nurturing misgivings about Obama.
At this point despite the lack of any strategic foreign policy, even if Obama were to invent some bold new initiative to confront the Russians, who would really believe or trust that he could bring it off? His problem is that he has effectively painted himself into a corner with his lack of credibility in any number of issues, foreign and domestic.
President Obama is simply not that credible as a leader, because after 6 years more people are beginning to see through the rhetoric. All the nice talk means nothing if you don't have the intestinal fortitude and conviction from life experience to back it up.
Unfortunately, Obama is mis-matched for the leadership task at hand and that is the shame for us as a country.
Aside from playing golf and jetting around the world in permanent campaign mode, what has Obama been doing for the last 6 years? Certainly not his job in so far as to develop and employ a workable foreign policy to oversee America's strategic assets in the rest of the world. A workable plan and presence might have engendered some respect instead of the obvious disdain on the part of foreign leaders.
But, that said, what this and all of Obama's previous foreign affair blunders indicate is that sadly, once again, the guy in the White House is in way, way over his head. He's been in office for over 6 years and has obviously yet to fashion a coherent strategic foreign policy so that crisis situations might be avoided or at least minimized. Once you get to a crisis level, there is little you can do strategically to make a difference.
Anyone with half a brain can see that Obama made a bad chess move with the Russians when he withdrew the missile defense shield. He allowed his hubris and narcissism to get the better of him since he actually thought that his unilateral withdraw of this valuable defensive chip would somehow enhance his standing with the Russians. Wrong, again! Putin probably couldn't believe how easy it was to run over Obama.
Apparently, it hasn't bolstered relations with Russia like the Utopian Obama thought it would. In fact, a case can be made that in addition to his other feckless behavior in foreign affairs, it has actually worsened our standing with the Soviets, Iran, Syria, al Qaeda and a host of others undesirables.
President Obama does not understand that peace through perceived weakness is a formula for disaster. Bullies prey on weakness and in foreign affairs nothing broadcasts weakness better than indecisiveness, inexperience and incompetence, for which the last three items Obama has earned an A++.
The issue for the U.S. is not so much Ukraine as it is the low degree to which our world influence has dropped to under Obama's incompetent stewardship. The fact that this and maybe other conflicts can erupt so easily only confirms the perception of fecklessness that appears to infect the Obama White House.
It is also an indication of the total lack of respect Obama has cultivated for America's principles of freedom and our willingness to support those principles (Jack Kennedy's "bear any burden" in his inaugural) that evolved so dearly from involvement in two World Wars and a number of regional conflicts. World leaders recognize all too easily that under Obama, those principles have been put on a shelf to collect dust because as the elected steward over them and America's reputation. Obama is clueless in how to defend them.
It is really scary to think that the President believes that Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice and Obama's other Utopia Land sycophants have a clue about foreign affairs. Of course we all remember that Joe Biden was put on the ticket to balance Obama's total inexperience in foreign affairs. Obviously along with John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, that's not working out too well on the strategic thinking front either.
What a joke and Putin and those tyrants on his side of the equation know it all too well. They don't need Snowden or their own spy apparatus to tell them what can plainly be seen by anyone with eyes.
Moreover, here's another example of a green light for Iran. Do you think the Mullahs really think that Obama will do anything to stop them other than talk, talk and then talk some more?
Earth to Obama, rhetoric means absolutely nothing when the world knows there is an empty suit behind the bravado. Peacocks strutting around in fancy words are not considered birds of prey or something to be feared or respected.
Obama spent 90 minutes talking to Putin on the phone and, as the White House likes to spin it, really took a strong stand. He told Putin he was violating international law.
Well, I'm sure that has Putin shaking in his shoes. I mean, that has to be at least #99 on Putin's list of his 100 most worrisome things. Obama hasn't even told Putin he's canceling his appearance at the G8 summit, probably because he likes flying in that fancy jet all over the world. Might as well pack in as much tax payer travel time as you can while you can.
Obama's policies are not policies in which events, consequences and results alter the policy; be it Obamacare or foreign affairs. It is an ideological policy mind and the policy is always right as long as it fits the intent, because as long as "we" ("they" to the rest of us) can keep control, we can ignore the results and in time make the people believe the results are not as important as the "achievement" of having the right policy.
President Obama seems to believe the right foreign policy? is that the U.S. should not be a superpower, because it's "bad" for the world.
And what does that policy lead to, in terms of geopolitical "balance of power" conditions? It leads to other powers and power centers (Russia, China, Iran, etc.) chosing that they will exercise all of their powers to influence the "balance of power" in their interest.These countries are happy to see that no "superpower" is going to counter that even when that behavior is not in our interest or the interest of our friends and allies.
Putin saw clearly that Obama had the deer in the headlights when the deer announced he was hitting the "reset" button. Putin knew he had not blinked.
Red lines do not affect this Red Bear. Russia has already pushed over red lines in Syria. They have already pushed against "consequences" by pouring troops into Ukraine.
Ukraine my be lost - at least the eastern half. An effort to reinvigorate NATO for its original purpose - with eyes wide open - is warranted. Is there a Cold War? Well, one side thinks so.
In 2012, candidate Mitt Romney said Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?