President Bush was continuously castigated by the left in this country and by leftists around the world for endangering our relationships with key allies. To the extent that this was true with France and Germany when socialists were in charge of both countries, we developed excellent relations with them when the socialists were thrown out.
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama constantly derided Bush on this point and promised to restore relationships. Let’s examine what has happened in a little over a month:
1. The Prime Minister of Great Britain was insulted by the way he was treated when he came to Washington, DC for a summit meeting of two key allies. Shortly before that, the Obamas returned to Great Britain a special gift (a bronze bust of Winston Churchill) that had been presented by them to us after 9/11 as a token of their solidarity with us. The Brits were not pleased.
2. Statements by Obama and Clinton about the Palestinians and Gaza and the pledge of many hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have badly shaken the Israelis.
3. President Bush painstakingly developed an agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic to place missile sites in their countries aimed at shooting down the Iranian missiles everyone with any sense expects eventually to come if their nuclear weapons program is not stopped. The missiles would protect European countries who could be blackmailed or destroyed by these missiles – as well as protect American soldiers stationed in various European countries.
Bush nursed these relationships and got both Poland and the Czechs to agree to station the missiles in their countries even in the face of direct threats against both countries by the Russians.
Now, a supposedly secret letter from Obama to the Russian president has been revealed – a letter which offers to withdraw from the missile pact with Poland and the Czech Republic if Russia will help with negotiations with Iran for Iran to give up its nuclear weapons’ ambitions. The naivete that this move reveals is astonishing. The stab in the back that Poland and the Czech Republic have received will not be forgotten by them or by their children or by their grandchildren.
As far as the Russians are concerned, they may have shown their disdain for the new American president by sending a bomber to probe Canada’s airspace the day before Obama arrived there. It was certainly a message of some sort – a return to a game played during the Soviet-American standoff called the Cold War.
Russian bomber neared Canada before Obama visit
Feb 27, 2009 Reuters (Excerpt)
OTTAWA (Reuters) – “Canadian fighters planes scrambled to intercept an approaching Russian bomber less than 24 hours before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa last week, Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay said on Friday.
The long-range Bear bomber did not enter Canada's Arctic airspace but the two CF-18 fighters had to order the plane to "back off", MacKay told a news conference.
He also told reporters that Russia had not warned Canada that the flight was coming, a statement that a Russian government source in Moscow dismissed as farcical.
The Russian government source said Canada had been informed about the flight before it took off.
"So the statements from Canada's defense ministry are perplexing to say the least and cannot be called anything other than a farce," Interfax news agency quoted the source as saying.
Canada quickly denied receiving any advance notice.
Obama spent a few hours in the Canadian capital on February 19 on his first foreign trip since becoming president.
"I'm not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of having deliberately done this during the presidential visit but it was a strong coincidence, which we met with the presence, as we always do, of F-18 fighter planes ... and sent a strong signal that they should back off and stay out of our air space," MacKay said.
He also said Russia had stepped up its bomber flights toward the Canadian Arctic in the last few years, reviving a practice that was common during the Cold War.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was very concerned by the incident.”
Yesterday, Mrs. Clinton embarrassed us with a series of gaffs involving relationships with Russia and insulting references that ignored the history of democracy in Europe, drawing guffaws, and an early viewer has reminded me that the Indians have already objected to Obama's attempt to interject himself into their long-standing Kashmir problem. This is really the way to restore relations with allies; this is change you can believe in.
Labels: Liberals and Conservatives