October 22, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Seth is taking a necessary hiatus (agaaaiiiin!?, you ask, but this one has something to do with his getting his present and ongoing setbacks eliminated, the ones that’ve been plaguing his life for nearly a year).

To hear him tell it, for awhile he’ll be busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, so I’ll try and cover up what could otherwise be a lengthy period of blog-vacuum.

Ahem, now it’s time for my opinions to be registered, the boss being gone and all.

This evening, however, I want to bring your attention to an article Seth asked me to post on, a column by Tony Blankley titled The World Won’t Wait On Washington Indecision

On three fronts — South Korean trade, Ukrainian/Russian diplomacy and Afghan war fighting — the Obama administration is being increasingly pressured by unfolding events to shed ideology and rationalizations and come quickly to a realistic analysis of world events and their consequences. In each of these cases, in the absence of very prompt United States policy decisions and actions, we shall incur long-term irreversible economic, geopolitical or national security harm. I will discuss the Afghan war decision in a future column.

That’s okay, Tony. B. Hussein’s got enough on his plate with just the other two issues, and he doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal even to give either of them the proverbial “old college try”.

In the case of South Korea, last week the European Union completed a bilateral trade deal (requiring approval by the European Parliament) with South Korea. While the 2006 U.S. deal with South Korea languishes unratified by both a Congress and White House controlled by the evidently protectionist wing of the Democratic Party, the Europeans cannot believe their luck. They basically copied our hard-negotiated tentative agreement, and if they soon ratify it, they will be able to take economic advantages over the United States.

European officials are “ecstatic” about the access they have gained. Catherine Ashton, the EU trade commissioner, told the Financial Times, “I think the package is the best we’ll ever get and I think it’s a fantastic package for Europe.” “There is no doubt the Korea-US agreement was used as a benchmark or even a model from the Korean side,” Christopher Dent, professor of East Asian political economy at the University of Leeds, told the Financial Times last week.

The pact would increase trade for South Korea-EU by about 20 percent — surging past current U.S.-South Korean trade levels if the U.S. fails to ratify our treaty first. Indecision by the U.S. government will in fact be a decision to lose up to $25 billion per annum of trade and jobs to the Europeans.

Truth to tell, I ain’t what you’d call surprised. I mean, with Cap ‘n Trade raring to go, it’s pretty obvious that keeping Americans working at all, let alone decreasing our current high unemployment numbers, is not real high on the priority list for the president and our lefty congress, nor do those liberal elitists give a flying whatchamacallit whether or not the U.S. middle class maintains a standard of living that surpasses the poor in a third world shithole.

I hate to say it, but I’m kind of wondering whether Obama and Kongress actually have an agenda, any real plans, or whether they’re just wingin’ it, fingers crossed. You know, like a “just ignore it and it will go ‘way” type attitude.

On the Ukrainian front, Russia is ratcheting up heavy pressure on the country to vote for the pro-Russia candidate in the January election, while ambiguous American policy and actions are undercutting pro-Western forces in Ukraine.

Last week, The Guardian — a prestigious leftist British newspaper — headlined an article thus: “Ukraine fears for its future as Moscow muscles in on Crimea. As Ukraine prepares for its first presidential election since the Orange Revolution, there are signs that its giant neighbour to the east will not tolerate a pro-western outcome.”

The crunch may come over Crimea, currently part of Ukraine but sought by Russia as in olden days. It was, of course, at Yalta, in Crimea, that the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union drew spheres of influence that deeply shaped the Cold War that followed.

Today, as The Guardian ruefully notes, “almost 65 years after the ‘big three’ met in the Crimean seaside resort of Yalta — now in Ukraine — the question of zones of influence has come back to haunt Europe. Russia has made it clear that it sees Ukraine as crucial to its bold claim that it is entitled to a zone of influence in its post-Soviet backyard.”

This follows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s August letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, seen by diplomats as an “unprecedented diplomatic mugging … a seething letter,” which said not only that Yushchenko is a “nonperson” but also that Russia was reviewing Russia and Ukraine’s 1997 friendship treaty, a reference that The Guardian characterized as “a hint that Moscow may no longer respect Ukraine’s sovereign borders.”

“Diplomatic mugging.”

Where I come from, Yushchenko would’ve said “Them’s fightin’ words” and meant it, but what’s the friggin’ Ukraine gonna do against Russia? Bring a knife to a gunfight?

I mean, are we looking at the beginnings of an attempt to restore the former republics, one at a time, to the Cold War status quo, while the Obama Administration and the Kommie Kongress sit watching with a digit, the one beside the thumb or the next one over, stuck up the place in the back, there?

When The One made a liar out of himself by folding under the glare of Medvedev and his strongman mentor Vladimir Putin, reneging on the antiballistic missile system (remember that one?), he certainly showed Moscow who’s boss (hint: not Obama).

Like I said, but Tony Blankley puts so much better (but then, he’s a pro, I’m just a pajamas ‘bathing trunks and deck shoes in the saloon of my boat’ guy):

These disturbing events are being seen explicitly by Europe and Ukraine in the context of President Barack Obama’s recent decision to reverse our policy to place anti-missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Again, as even the leftist Guardian explains:

“‘A lot of people in this part of the world are seriously s——ing themselves,’ one analyst in Yalta admitted bluntly. ‘We don’t know what Obama’s deal (with Moscow) was. They think that Russia will take it as a green light,’ he added. Washington insists it dropped the shield following a new assessment of Iran’s nuclear threat. But many in Ukraine believe the White House sacrificed its commitments to eastern Europe in order to ‘reset’ relations with Moscow.”

President Obama’s refusal to meet with Yushchenko when they were both in New York for the recent United Nations conference is taken by some as further evidence that Washington is abandoning to Russian suzerainty the former Soviet-controlled states of eastern Europe.

Well, I’ve thought, at least since Obama started his campaign for his current job (yeah, he’s doing a job on us, alright) and since Pelosi and the rest of the lefty crowd took over and transformed Congress into Kongress, that the helm of government was going to hard left rudder.

The Europeans strongly oppose Moscow’s imperial assertions but seem unable to speak out, let alone act, without American leadership. In fact, Brussels has indicated that Ukraine has no hope of joining the EU in the foreseeable future.

Hah! I seem to recall that during the bulk of the Bush 2 Administration, all we heard was criticism from the rest of the world. According to the leftist mainstream media, we were hated because of Dubya, you know, one of those POTUSes who was more concerned with what he perceived as America’s interests than what other countries perceived as the way he should do his job. That’s called leadership.

This European passivity comes in the face of President Obama’s idealistic call at the U.N. last month that “those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone.”

It seems that Europe, in fact, will stand by. The world may say it disapproves of bold American leadership, but it fears — and is powerless in — its absence. Except, of course, to nibble at our economic ankles while we are inattentive.

What’s this? Now that we have a leader who can’t lead, all those other countries are sort of quiet in their criticism, at least the kind that they once used to blast Bush for taking a leadership role in global affairs. Now they’re in a quandary! Where’s America’s leadership!? We need it!

Well, Europe, your politically motivated lefty asswipes of the Nobel Kommittee spoke your piece for you when they issued B. Hussein the prize they’ve relegated, in their choices of recipients over the last couple of decades, to the value of something out of a Cracker Jack box.

The big problem with The One’s antics, or, more to the point, lack thereof, is that his inaction/indecision of today will leave future Presidents with crises that will make anything happening now look pretty pedestrian.

by @ 9:01 pm. Filed under The President
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