Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0

We’re seeing the fruits of Obama’s weakness in Russian adventurism in Ukraine.  This isn’t the first time a weak Democrat president has led our enemies to believe that they can conquer without consequences.

Few people remember that while the US won a public relations victory in the Cuban missile crisis we lost the actual fight.

Quietly after the press moved on to other issues the US removed its nuclear-armed missiles from Turkey as the Soviets wanted us to do.  Further Kennedy agreed to commit the US to not invade Cuba, another Soviet demand.

Additionally it’s mostly forgotten that Kennedy’s weakness at his Vienna meeting with Khrushchev led Khrushchev to believe that Kennedy wouldn’t do anything significant in response to the placing of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba.

Kennedy’s weakness led the US to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union because Khruschchev believed that Kennedy would not stand up to the Kremlins missiles in Cuba.

We’re seeing a repeat of that now with the Ukraine situation.

By all accounts Obama fails to project an image of strength when meeting with foreign leaders.  Certainly his laughable bowing to the leaders of third rate countries didn’t give Putin any reason to think Obama has the guts to go toe to toe in defense of liberty.

Obama saves his heroic and confrontational rhetoric for his American political opponents and the governments of allies such as Israel.

Obama’s actions reinforce the image of his weakness. Obama made a big deal of his “red line” on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and when confronted with Assad calling his bluff Obama let Putin waltz in and set up a deal that turned the tide of the war against the democratic resistance.

Similarly an American ambassador was killed in Libya and Obama blamed a US produced movie rather than sending in troops to find and prosecute the terrorists.

The problem with Obama’s weakness is that it is combined with a typical liberal desire to do whatever it takes to be elected; or in this case make sure that Democrats don’t lose the Senate in the 2014 elections.  As a result if Obama’s polling data indicates that he has to be “tough” on Ukraine Putin may get more pushback than he expected.

While that may sound good-- after all it’s better for Obama to do the right thing even if it’s for the wrong reason than to do the wrong thing right?—the reality is that presidential unpredictability can lead the US into a major war.

If Khrushchev had known how Kennedy would react there would have been no near nuclear war.  Similarly if Kennedy had rolled over and publically agreed to what he privately promised Khrushchev without the naval blockade of Cuba and the related military show there also would not have been millions of Americans wondering if they would be obliterated in a nuclear holocaust.  It was Kennedy suddenly developing a spine that lead the world to the edge of a nuclear precipice.

Obama’s weakness has placed the US in a similarly dangerous situation today.

Putin, like Khrushchev, is not a nice person but he is not a fool.  Putin invaded Ukraine knowing that it could lead to war only when he thought that Obama would not do anything that would make Russian actions too costly.

While all out nuclear war is not as likely over the Ukraine as it was over Cuba no matter what Obama does America faces the very real threat of involving America in a war with either Russia or China.

If Obama can manage to get NATO to agree to use military force-- an unlikely event given the basically liberal, ie cowardly, nature of most European governments—we may end up in a land war with Russia.

If however Obama only uses words and some mostly for show economic “punishments” he risks getting us in a war with China.

China has been making increasingly aggressive claims to the ocean hundreds of miles from China but very near to countries such as the Philippines. In fact the head of US naval intelligence in the Pacific has said that the Chinese military is training to be able to rapidly seize the Japanese Senkaku islands.  If Chinas leadership believes that Obama is a paper tiger then they will be more likely to make aggressive moves to seize islands claimed by other countries that could lead to a war with China.

Would Obama be willing to risk a nuclear Japan and Taiwan by letting the Chinese use military force to claim huge swaths of the ocean? Because if Obama fails to respond to Chinese aggression both Japan and Taiwan would see that they couldn’t count on the US nuclear umbrella and develop their own nuclear deterrents.

But if Obama calls the Chinese bluff and commits US military forces we’ll be in a war with China.

The only thing that prevents countries like China and Russia from using their military power to grab whatever they want is the fear that the US will stand against them.

Obama’s public weakness, his obvious lack of concern or knowledge about foreign affairs, and his continual support of American enemies—ranging from Iran to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt—make it easy for the leaders of America’s enemies to assume that America under Obama can be pushed around.

When Obama acts like a weakling and then turns around and becomes unpredictably aggressive when he thinks his political interests are threatened by foreign actions it sets the stage for an unintentional slide into war.

Obama is following in Clintons footsteps in making America unsafe. Remember that bin Laden thought that he could get away with 9/11 because of how Clinton ran from Somalia.

Democrat presidents who are more concerned with buying votes with food stamps than with defending America inevitably increase the risk that foreign miscalculation will lead to the US being involved in a war.

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