Thursday, April 2, 2009

Disarmament, etc.

As far as I'm concerned, what has just happened is very bad for so-called "Russian-U.S. relations":
The United States and Russia set a newly ambitious course for global cooperation Wednesday as presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev ordered negotiators into immediate action on a treaty to further reduce nuclear weapons.
This is, of course, what Obama promised he would do. There is no negotiation here; it is mere surrender. Obama and his foreign policy people naively believe that the only way we can "improve relations" with Russia is by admitting fault and negotiating on their terms.

John Bolton has a good article on this in the latest issue of National Review. Basically he makes the point that one side can't unilaterally "push the reset button" on relations without completely acquiescing to the desires of the other country. But this is the naive, peacenik foreign policy. This is what it amounts to.

The justification, absurd as it is, is accepted by many Americans, stupefied as they are by their indoctrinating education. It's this simple: Bush's attitude has caused all of our problems with Russia. Now that he is gone, our attitude is different, and so everything is different. The naivete of this is astounding.

Meanwhile, the Russian government continues to murder journalists in the street:
A newspaper employee in a Moscow suburb has died after being beaten near his home in the latest of a string of attacks on journalists in Russia, his editor said Wednesday.
But the problem was Bush's attitude? These people are children.

They don't remember that nuclear disarmament was a policy of Soviet Russia in the latter half of the 20th century-- a strategy for gaining the upper hand against the West by using its own peaceful inclinations and liberalizing influences against us. This is not Golitsyn-conspiracy stuff. This is basic reality. And the neo-Soviet regime in Russia today is pursuing this same path. But the people in charge in America are the kind of people who thought in the 70s and 80s that all we needed to due was disarm our nuclear weapons and all the world's problems would be solved.

What we have here is shocking in its scope: They set a date for "a substitute treaty for START." Obama pledged "to work for the U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty." The article happily notes that "Moscow has ratified the test ban pact, but the United States has not." Well, why not? Because we have known (until the leadership of our country was assumed by morons) that Moscow would not comply with the terms of the treaty, and we would.
The new U.S. president also said he would put his shoulder behind Russia's bid for World Trade Organization membership, a key to Moscow's integration into the global trading system.

In return, the Russians put Iran on notice that it "needs to restore confidence in its exclusively peaceful nature."
Restore confidence? When was there any notion of Iran's "peaceful nature"? Never! And yet we are making all these concessions to the belligerent Russians, whom we know are helping the Iranians with weapon and energy technology, in exchange for them to "put Iran on notice"? This is a joke.
Going into the new nuclear talks, the United States had 2,200 strategic nuclear warheads deployed; Russia has 2,800. Under the subsequent 2002 Treaty of Moscow, a plan negotiated under the Bush administration, the two sides committed to reducing their nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200.
Wait, I thought "Obama's engagement with the Russians marks a stunning reversal from policies of the Bush administration, which was disinclined to take up deep arms control negotiations..."? No? They actually agreed to something, the Americans complied and the Russians didn't? Then why the hell are we making agreements with them now?
Obama has declared his belief that the United States and Russia should take the lead in ridding the world of nuclear weapons altogether.
President Obama is either a useful idiot or a Soviet plant. There is no way he could possibly think that what he is doing is in the best interests of American safety, security, and sovereignty. Unfortunately, he is a naive transnationalist who thinks that the future of world relations lies in international bodies. Thus American security means little to him; America as such means little. That's why he is incredibly dangerous. First he leaves our crucial NATO allies, Poland and Czechoslovakia, out in the cold on the missile defense systems for which their leaders worked hard on our behalf-- for nothing, for a word. And now he is committing to American disarmament, always a long-term Russian goal-- for nothing, for word.

Together, Presidents Obama and Medvedev released a statement. It is a shameful day for American strength. Our liberal commentators are calling it a "foreign policy coup." They are idiots. It is a coup only for the Russians.
We, the leaders of Russia and the United States, are ready to move beyond Cold War mentalities and chart a fresh start in relations between our two countries. In just a few months we have worked hard to establish a new tone in our relations. Now it is time to get down to business and translate our warm words into actual achievements of benefit to Russia, the United States, and all those around the world interested in peace and prosperity.
The cynicism of the Russians knows no bounds.

Answer this, if you doubt. Why, nearly twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, are we still using phrases such as the "need to move beyond Cold War mentalities"? If we really had moved past that, there would be no need to say so. Instead, every indication from the Russian domestic front is that they have returned to the Cold War mentality, if they had even left it at all.

So why, now, do we pretend that they are our strategic partners? It is extremely disheartening.

Finally, a word from Iran that is telling about where we, and they, are coming from:
Iran dismissed American government reports that senior U.S. and Iran envoys had a cordial—and promising—face-to-face exchange at an international conference, saying Wednesday that no "talks" took place. The competing accounts of Tuesday's encounter in the Netherlands appeared to reflect the different approaches to overtures to end the United States' and Iran's nearly 30-year diplomat standoff.
Indeed. The purpose of the Obama administration's foreign policy doesn't seem to be to pursue the best course for the future strength and stability of the United States, but to make it seem to the American people that they are achieving all sorts of concessions and friendships with countries that only disliked us before because of the belligerence of George W. Bush. Irrational Bush-hatred will win them much esteem for a long time in America, but their actions will do us great harm. After all, our enemies are actually trying themselves to win an advantage. And Obama's weakness and naivete is already a coup for them.

I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC and she mentioned this exchange, speaking of how much of a breakthrough this was. She said that this hadn't happened in 30 years, that-- she said in her youth culture, hip, chic, disgustingly ignorant way-- it was like a happy song from Radiohead.

In fact, the Bush administration had 28 separate meetings with Iran. But reality, to these people, is nothing but appearance.