Bandaging the Bruised Bear
Every baby boomer remembers the 1964 Goldwater campaign ad, which juxtaposed innocent children, pledging allegiance to the flag, with an impassioned Nikita Khrushchev waving his finger in the air vowing, “We will bury you…your children will be Communists!” Khrushchev’s warning was the impetus for American teachers to hustle students into hallways instructing them to close their eyes or go blind from the blue flash. The reality of the “Cold War” made anxious, impressionable children shiver at the sound of civil defense warnings with the delayed announcement “This is a test,” leaving a few horror-struck seconds to wonder if “duck and cover” was in order.
The Cold War ended in the 1980’s and was brought about by the policies of President Ronald Reagan whose actions mirrored the sentiment Goldwater expressed in his ad when saying, “I want American kids to grow up as Americans and they will, if we have the guts to make our intentions clear, so clear they don’t need translation or interpretation just respect for a country prepared as no country in all history ever was.”
Reagan had a hawkish stance, intense understanding of evil, unmatched diplomatic skill and an insightful ability to understand the devastating effect rigid, centralized governmental had in fostering Russia’s economic troubles. That, coupled with the Soviet Union’s obsessive-compulsive desire to build an immense military machine to support a dictatorial regime, was the disastrous combination that shook the foundation of an oppressive system. Reagan accurately assessed that if he engaged the economically strapped Soviet Union in an arms race there was no way they could prevail and total collapse followed.
Presently, the “sick Russian bear” is being reconstituted into the “evil empire” Reagan worked hard to eradicate. Barack Obama seems ignorant to the fact that,” Putin is, first and last, a Russian nationalist, utterly pragmatic (or ruthless) in the tools he will use to strengthen the Russian state…and is slowly and systematically changing Russia’s direction. When Russia changes direction, the rest of Europe should indeed be nervous.”
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is currently in the process of accomplishing this goal with the help of American President Obama. Rather than staring down the Bear like Reagan did at Reykjavik by rejecting missile defense conditions, Obama acquiesced to demands and shelved U.S. plans to position nuclear-missile shields in the Poland and the Czech Republic to protect Eastern Europe and U.S. interests from the Iranian nuclear threat. Unlike Obama, Gorbachev did the adjusting to Reagan at Reykjavik after a immovable Reagan told him point blank, “There was no way he could tell his people that their government would not protect them against nuclear destruction.” Thus, forcing Gorbachev to comply.
Even General Secretary Yuri Andropov recognized Reagan’s SDI program was “a bid to disarm the Soviet Union” and understood Reagan’s calculation that, “…the USSR would exhaust its material resources and therefore be forced to surrender.” Today Eastern Europe, as well as astute Russian diplomats easily identifies Obama’s willingness to back down to the Russian threat to station missiles in an enclave near Poland as an implication of U.S. weakness. Obama’s pacifism is“…fueling fears of resurgent Kremlin influence.” Reagan held the line; Barack Obama surrendered time-tested principles.
Gorbachev abided by Reagan’s firm appeal to “Tear down this wall!” Yet, the defeat of Communism doesn’t seem to be enough for President Obama. As always, his is the better way. Utilizing conciliation and placation Obama is tenderly removing the Bear’s foot from a trap that has safely held it in check for almost thirty years.
Obama’s actions have shocked many and “…represent the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defense installations send a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.”
According to Glyn Davies, U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran is moving; “…closer to a dangerous and destabilizing possible breakout capacity,” which is the reason the Bush Administration initiated plans for a missile defense system in the first place. Russia disagrees, and is fiercely defensive of Iran. Obama, unlike Bush, is obviously unaware that a Persian cat and a wounded bear would make short work of a mollifying dove.
Obama’s anemic argument for dropping the plans at Russia’s behest for the controversial missile defense shield program is that presently, Iran is not a threat. His Administration contends “They have no potential at this moment; they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America.” This is a position that exhibits a shocking lack of foresight, especially from those who vigorously criticized the Bush Administration for failing to strengthen the New Orleans levees in order to avoid impending catastrophe.
Obama failed to flinch when Russia welcomed the news of the U.S.’s agreement to dispose of missile defense in Eastern Europe by saying, “…it saw no reason to offer concessions in return.” His immature conviction that the United States should participate in, “…constructive, honest engagement with Iran to resolve the issue” of nuclear proliferation in hopes that Tehran will, “take immediate steps to restore international trust and confidence,” is as naïve and misguided as his assurance of Medvedev’s liberal, pro-Western stand.
President Reagan was acutely in touch with the moral duty to protect this nation. Unlike Reagan, Barack Obama, seemingly void of a moral core, would have willingly submitted to Gorbachev’s demands if it were he and not Reagan attending the Summit in Iceland. Giving in to a “…Third World nation with First World nuclear weapons” is Barack Obama nursing Reagan’s “sick bear” back to health.
Dmitry Medvedev said, “Russia’s democracy is weak, its economy is ailing and the country faces long-term problems with the health of its population.” Ronald Reagan touted America’s strength and superiority, recognized and exploited to the world’s benefit the immorality and incompetence of Soviet Communism. Obama, on the other hand, chides the U.S. at every turn and lauds the former Soviet Union as a “great power, vowing that while crafting U.S. policy he’ll, “…keep Russia’s interests in mind.” An astonishing statement from an American president giving Khrushchev’s prophesies chilling potential for fulfillment.
Appeasing sentiments that shelving the missile defense system will encourage the Russian bear to extend an olive branch is tantamount to national security psychosis. Obama is deluded if he thinks our future with Russia “…has to be more than just security or dismantling weapons.” If America refuses to deal with the Soviet mindset, in the same manner, as Ronald Reagan deemed crucial, we might as well crawl back under our school desks and anticipate a flash of blue light.