The gathering storm, part 168

The Obama administration must be setting some kind of record for comprehensive error in foreign policy. Today comes word that it will abandon plans to build the missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. An announcement from the White House is expected about 10:30 a.m. (Eastern). Nile Gardiner comments:

This is bad news for all who care about the US commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defence of Europe as well as the United States. It represents the appalling appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel missile defence installations sends a clear message that even Washington can be intimidated by the Russian bear.
What signal does this send to Ukraine, Georgia and a host of other former Soviet satellites who look to America and NATO for protection from their powerful neighbour? The impending cancellation of Third Site is a shameful abandonment of America’s friends in eastern and central Europe, and a slap in the face for those who actually believed a key agreement with Washington was worth the paper it was written on.

Gardiner could go further. What signal does this send to the mullahs in Iran? The impending cancellation tells them nothing they didn’t already know, but it confirms their perception of Obama as a clueless doofus who has done much to merit their utmost contempt? What signal does this send to our ally Israel? You are on your own, buddy, and you’d better get cracking.
To be charitable one might say that the Obama administration does not know how to help friends or to hurt enemies. Yet this seems to be the way they like it.
Via RealClearPolitics and Kathryn Lopez.
UPDATE: Reader Don Eyres adds:

The White House announcement about abandoning the missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic will take place on September 17, 2009. Thus Obama seeks to appease the Russian bear. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded the eastern half of Poland. The western half already was largely under Nazi control. The Obama Administration has managed to sell out the Poles on the 70th anniversary — to the day — of the Soviet attack. In September 1938, Neville Chamberlain surrendered Czechoslovakia’s Sudentenland to Germany. His act of appeasement gained “peace in his time.” Obama has just sold out the two countries in Europe that spent more time than any other under foreign occupation and dictatorship.

“Peace in our time,” of course, lasted less than a year. And Jay Nordlinger does a good job of summarizing Obama’s eight-month month reign of error:

I thought Barack Obama would be a poor and troublesome president. Did I think he would yuk it up with Hugo Chávez, smirk with Daniel Ortega about the Bay of Pigs, turn his wrath on a Central American country trying to follow its constitution, denounce President Bush abroad, bow to the king of Saudi Arabia, endorse a radical Middle Eastern view of how Israel came into being, knock Western countries that try to protect Muslim girls from unwanted shrouding, invite the Iranian regime to our Fourth of July parties, stay essentially mute in the face of counterrevolution in Iran, squeeze and panic Israel, cold-shoulder the Cuban democrats in order to warm to the Cuban dictatorship, scrap missile defense in Eastern Europe, and refuse to meet with the Dalai Lama — in addition to his attempts to have government eat great portions of American society? No, I did not. You?

Jay adds: “I think the main point may be not to upset regimes in power: and therefore show that America can ‘get along’ with the world, unlike under that crude, narrow, swaggering, simplistic rancher from Texas.
“Get along or go along.”

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