It is interesting to contrast the administration's "wise" diplomacy abroad with
its willingness to go nuclear at home. If you go to a "town hall" meeting and
express misgivings about the effectiveness of the stimulus, you're a "racist"
"angry" "Nazi" "evilmonger" "right-wing domestic terrorist." It's perhaps no
surprise that that doesn't leave a lot left over in the rhetorical arsenal for
Putin, Chavez and Ahmadinejad. But you've got to figure that by now the world's
strongmen are getting the measure of the new Washington. Diplomacy used to be,
as Canada's Lester Pearson liked to say, the art of letting the other fellow
have your way. Today, it's more of a discreet cover for letting the other fellow
have his way with you. The Europeans "negotiate" with Iran over its nukes for
years, and, in the end, Iran gets the nukes, and Europe gets to feel good about
itself for having sat across the table talking to no good purpose for the best
part of a decade. In Moscow, there was a palpable triumphalism in the news that
the Russians had succeeded in letting the Obama fellow have their way. "This is
a recognition by the Americans of the rightness of our arguments about the
reality of the threat or, rather, the lack of one," said Konstantin Kosachev,
chairman of the Duma's international affairs committee. "Finally the Americans
have agreed with us."
Yes, well, the wheels on the bus go Thump, thump, thump. Are you part of the of the American public that doesn’t hang on the CameraHog and Chief’s every word? Thump. Are you our longstanding and chief ally in the mid-east, Israel? Thump. Are you a former member of the Soviet Republic that has embraced the United States? Thump.
So far, the administration’s “smart diplomacy” has consisted of “ask for an inch and we will give you a mile.” If you are Iran, and in return for our capitulation you smack talk the United States, we will give you two miles.
Steyn points out that it was only April, of this year, five that Obama said:
"The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a
defense against these missiles," he declared. "As long as the threat from Iran
persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is
cost-effective and proven."
What has changed in five months? Well, we’ve learned from a leaked IAEA memo that Iran is much closer the realizing its nuclear ambitions then we had previously believed. For the president to announce now, with absolutely nothing in return, that we are pulling down the missile shield makes no sense and is a slap to the Czech Republic and Poland.
One gets the feeling that the Obama administration is in the process of a giant ally swap. I can’t help wonder what the administration’s long term goal is.