Обама, нет! [Updated]
Your Volgi is having trouble rousing himself to write about the Obama Administration‘s apparent, asinine gambit of writing to the Russian government and offering to remove the missile-defense systems we’ve worked so hard to get installed in Poland and the Czech Republic—and those countries’ behest and with the explicit purpose of intercepting Iranian missiles aimed at European cities—if they’d just play ball on the whole Iranian nuclear program.
This is so crashingly stupid and egocentric—you only conduct your foreign policy based on what we do—not to mention petty and stupid—hey, we’re not like that jackass Bush, we’ll be cool, baby—that it‘s hard to even list the facts that militate so stubbornly against its ever even possibly working. But, ok, fine, here goes.
- First, the Russian objection of the ‘provocation’ of missile defense was an aggressive maneuver by the Russians in the first place. The defense is so feeble compared to the massive and sophisticated arsenal of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (being modernized as we speak) that, even given deep-rooted Russian paranoia about encirclement, it’s an insult to the (very, very smart) people who develop Russia’s missiles to even claim the deployment was directed against Russia.
- Second, Russia is heavily invested in the Iranian nuclear program for strategic reasons of its own.
- The idea that we could trade the Russians a bargaining chip that they’d invented out of whole cloth for a strategic asset of theirs is naïve, foolish, or uninformed to a degree that boggles the mind.
- The fact that they didn’t foresee the Russians’ reaction—both reveal our coming to them, hat in hand, then smack us down publicly—shows a profound misunderstanding of the malevolence and cunning of the Putinshchina and a blithe, breezy approach to a very dangerous world, which bodes ill for all facets of our foreign policy.
Confucius says: I could go on. But I won’t. I’m too tired. And we’re a month and a half into the Administration. It‘s going to be a very long four years. Obama seems to have little interest in the world beyond the U.S. other than as a mirror to reflect his superiority to George Bush.
At least China’s reacting to the love-filled peaceful vibes Age of Obama. Oh, wait, they’re boosting their military spending by 15%? But I’m sure the Administration understands that, as Li Chao-Hsing* says, China’s military is for self-protection and does not pose a threat to any country. (“Taiwan is not a country,” he continued…) But wait, who’s the Main Enemy again?
At this point, your despairing Volgi is tempted by the awful thought that our best hope is that our emboldened enemies will feel their oats upon more proximate, softer targets, and that our shriveled rump of a military is still enough to deter them from acting against us. But he’s not betting on it. While we’re pursuing a “humbler” foreign policy, the world is full of countries that want to see us not humble but humbled. Let’s hope we don’t give them hope—or aid.
*Wade-Giles is the official Chinese transliteration of the Gormogons.
Update: Your Volgi used to get paid for making graphs, so here’s an exercise in nostalgia for him. Before you object that U.S. defense spending is eight times higher (it is), note the trend—absent any threats to China (which has been conspicuously absent from radical Islam’s hitlist) and a distinct U.S. deprioritization of East Asia. (Also, this number is almost certainly low, despite the claims of our friend Mr. Li.) There are a number of possible reasons for this rise, but the most parsimonious one appears to be that Chinese strategic thinking is increasingly emphasizing the threat or use of force.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.