Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today's Reading Assignment: The "Hot Mic" Moment

Retired Army Colonel (turned syndicated columnist) Austin Bay, on that illuminating exchange earlier this week between President Obama and his outgoing Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. Not realizing his microphone was already on, Obama reassured Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" on missile defense "after his election."

Since then, the administration has tried to play down Mr. Obama's comments. Colonel Bay isn't buying it--and we aren't, either:

Obama and his press apologists dismiss "The Missile Message," spinning it as a minor gaffe. Balderdash. Obama and Medvedev are their nations' top diplomats as well as leaders, so the personal diplomatic exchange, though arrogant, flamingly stupid and brazenly conniving, isn't minor. The apologists' agitprop disregards the men's privileged positions and insults common sense. But then a fair inference drawn from Obama's request for "space" is he believes he can tell the American people any jit and jot, and the rubes will believe. When he ran against Hillary Clinton, Obama opposed the individual mandate. In office, it became the cornerstone of his health care legislation.


Missile defense is [incoming Russian President Vladimir] Putin's favorite Cold War ember. In the last decade, the U.S. and NATO have built the diplomatic and technological framework to deploy an anti-missile defense designed to stop an Iranian missile volley. Turkey agreed to host a key radar site. The multilayered shield is actually rather robust, though Obama weakened it in September 2009 when he eliminated ground-based interceptors (GBI) deployment. GBIs have anti-ICBM capabilities but were no counter-force to Russian strategic missiles.

Still, Russia objected. Obama dumped the GBIs, despite howls from U.S. ally Poland.

Would Khomeinist Iran try to politically blackmail Europe with a nuclear-armed ballistic missile? Japan and South Korea decided missile defense was a sane response to North Korea's nuclear extortion racket. Exposing London and Paris to the nuclear whims of millenarian religious nuts is utterly stupid diplomacy. Countering NATO's shield thus puts Iran's ayatollahs in political debt to Russia. Putin's Moscow prefers sphere of influence to a sphere of shared security.

So, with that brief comment, Mr. Obama essentially sold our allies down the river, while enhancing Russia's geopolitical position. And Colonel Bay forgot the President's plans to share technical data on missile defense with our "partners" in Moscow. Russian scientists, engineers and defense planners must be doing cart-wheels over that one. With one brazen promise, Obama saved the Russians billions of rubles that would be devoted to R&D on counter-measures for missile re-entry vehicles, decoys and related systems.

Meanwhile, there has been nary a peep on this issue from the various GOP presidential contenders. It's a ready-made campaign issue, but we haven't heard much on this from Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. One reason is that the first three have no military experience; Dr. Paul served as an Air Force physician in the early 1960s, and he would probably argue that we invited this situation by "antagonizing" the Russians, Iranians and the rest of our adversaries. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is already planning for his second term, and more "agreements" with our friends in Moscow.

1 comment:

F said...

The words "treason" and "impeachment" spring to mind as I read this. There is really no other explanation for the President's words than that he is dangling a very attractive offer in front of the Russians and the message was received quite clearly. Harry Reid, of course, will protect Obama. Who will protect America?