Obama's Failed Russia Policy

In recent days, a new topic has been burning up the newswires in the land of Vladimir Putin: Russia will save the world. That's right, save the world.

The chairman of the Valdai Club, the malignant propaganda tool which Russia uses to ply greedy Western scholars and journalists with caviar and siren songs in order to enlist their aid in de-democratization and imperialist conquest, writes that America cannot conduct successful foreign policy without Russia and that Russia is going to block evil American efforts to "weaken the entire community of Euro-Atlantic nations" with its "unfinished Cold War" of aggression against Russia.

And the head of the Russian Space Agency declares that Russia will, all alone if necessary, ward off a deadly asteroid on a collision course with the Earth, destined otherwise to wipe out a big chunk of its population. Never mind that Russia can't even get one of its Bulava nuclear missiles to fly a few miles after a submarine launch, it still thinks it can fire one into deep space and hit a tiny rock. Pay no attention to that (American) man behind the curtain who says there is a three-in-a-million chance the rock will strike the Earth.

What's scary, though, isn't that Russians can say this stuff with a straight face. After all, compared to the nonsense they used to jabber in the USSR, it's just par for the course. What's scary is that maybe, just maybe, our president actually believes it.

There is a lot of talk these days about a Republican resurgence in the upcoming congressional elections. Some say the Democrats could lose their ability to block the Republican filibuster in the Senate, which could turn the entire relationship between Barack Obama and the Congress on its head.

But in fact, as Ariel Cohen (Russia expert for the Heritage Foundation) pointed out in a recent New York Times op-ed, where strategic policy is concerned the Democrats have already lost that battle.

Cohen writes:

The Obama administration has failed to complete the negotiation of a treaty to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), which expired on Dec. 5. The two superpowers are now in unchartered waters. The Russians already kicked out U.S. inspectors.

Everyone knows how the Obama administration has been humiliated by being rejected on Start renewal and Iranian sanctions after offering unilateral concessions to Vladimir Putin on European missile defense and human rights and democracy in an effort to buy those results.

But what they may not know is that, as Cohen notes but the mainstream media has not properly reported, Obama has been humiliated by his own Senate, too.  He writes:  "On Dec. 16, 41 senators signed a letter to President Obama, saying that they will oppose the new treaty if the United States gives up nuclear modernization. Thus, the 67 vote supermajority necessary for ratification is far from secure."

As I've previously described, Putin has demanded more unilateral concessions from the U.S., insisting that we abandon modernization (including ballistic missile defense) so that Russia will not be left behind. The Senate isn't having any of that and can block the treaty with just 33 votes. It already has 41 in writing.

This means that not only doesn't Obama have the Russians on board with the centerpiece of his foreign policy; he doesn't even have his own country any more.

And well he should not. Even if Obama had secured both a new Start agreement and Russian participation in aggressive sanctions against Iran, the price he would have paid to do so would have been exorbitant. It would have been to allow Putin a free hand not only to wipe out democracy within his nation's borders, but to continue lashing out beyond them against former Soviet slave states like Georgia, Ukraine, and Estonia, and on top of that, to begin menacing Eastern Europe so as to drive it back within Russia's "sphere of influence" particularly through the use of energy warfare.

But in fact, Obama secured neither goal. This spectacular failure has America, in Cohen's words, "looking like a loser" in the eyes of both the Russians and the U.S. Senate. One can, of course, ascribe this failure to simple incompetence on Obama's part.  But serious people must begin to wonder if something more sinister is going on.

For more on that, ask Dilip Hiro, who they say over at Robert Amsterdam's blog should be thought of "as Fareed Zakaria and Slavoj Žižek's twisted love child." Hiro's new book, a seething anti-American diatribe called After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World, posits that Russia was, as the Economist's review puts it, "simply the victim of Georgian aggression when it went to war in 2008." Hiro is on Putin's side in believing that Georgia, backed by the malignant forces of the CIA, was engaged in a nefarious effort to subjugate the freedom-loving people of Ossetia, and that Russia, that beacon light of democracy, saved the day. Never mind the facts, of course, such as that a major independent review of the war repudiated Russia's actions and scathingly attacked Russia's barbaric flouting of international law.

It's easy to dismiss someone like Hiro as an extremist, a moonbat, even a charlatan. But is he whispering in Barack Obama's ear nonetheless? Is his tome on Obama's nightstand?

In other words, is Obama engaged in a concerted effort to dismantle American power because he believes, as the Russians do, that it's a bad thing for the planet? Is Obama actually happy that the Russians are pressing him for even more unilateral concessions, and perturbed only that the Senate may stand in his way? Is naked Russian greed and aggression, sufficient to motivate Senate opposition, the only thing that stands between us and unilateral disarmament, such as that admired by the likes of Nicholas Kristof?

Obama could be to foreign policy what FDR and LBJ were to domestic policy, specifically to capitalism -- even as Obama continues their assault on capitalism by championing national health care.