President Obama, in his first visit to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, made progress Wednesday on two key issues, wringing a concession from Russia to consider tough new sanctions against Iran and securing support from Moscow and Beijing for a Security Council resolution to curb nuclear weapons.
Okay, I have to admit - that sounds pretty good. One speech to the UN and Obama has all the countries tingling to the point of submission to The One. But wait -
Dmitri A. Medvedev agreed to "consider" the new sanctions after Obama "decided to replace Mr. Bush's missile defense program in Eastern Europe with a version less threatening to Moscow." Poland and the Czech Republic had based a lot of their security policy on this missile defense program from the United States. Their chief concern? Russia. On September 17th, after it was announced that the U.S. would no longer be providing this security, a spokeswoman at the Polish Ministry of Defense said, "This is catastrophic for Poland."
One might wonder why we would care so much about Poland... I mean, what are they to us, right? Remember back when we were leading up to the invasion of Iraq? Tensions were high around the world, and then-president Bush was traveling the globe, meeting with leaders and mounting a "coalition of the willing." This coalition referred to any country who was supportive of the United States' efforts, whether their support consisted of just "go get 'em, tiger" or actually adding their troops to ours. There were, when all was said and done, 49 countries willing to add their names to the coalition, but only four decided to join us with their own blood. Those four? The United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, and Denmark. I would say this action makes them our friend -- and that helping them out might be something we could do.
Of course, now our mainstream press (which is becoming less and less "mainstream" the more of this garbage they pull out of their collective derrieres) is trying to make the case that "Poland and the Czech Republic never really wanted the missile defense installations." For real?
Last February, Obama sent Medvedev a "secret" letter offering the Kremlin a deal. The Obama administration would scrap their plan to deploy antimissile capabilities in Europe in exchange for Russian cooperation on Iran. And now we get to read:
With a beaming Mr. Obama standing next to him, Mr. Medvedev signaled for the first time that Russia would be amenable to longstanding American requests to toughen sanctions against Iran significantly if, as expected, nuclear talks scheduled for next month failed to make progress. "I told His Excellency Mr. President that we believe we need to help Iran to take a right decision," Mr. Medvedev said, adding that "sanctions rarely lead to productive results, but in some cases, sanctions are inevitable."
White House officials could barely hide their glee. "I couldn't have said it any better myself," a delighted Michael McFaul, Mr. Obama's senior adviser for democracy and Russia, told reporters after the meeting. He insisted nonetheless that the administration had not tried to buy Russia's cooperation with its decision to scrap the missile shield in Europe in favor of a reconfigured system.
Uh-huh. And the emperor has a beautiful and fine robe... nothing to see here, folks. And really, even if we did sell out Poland in order to gain ground with Russia -- look at what we gained! Their word (whoopee) that they would back sanctions - while saying at the very same time that sanctions don't work. Oh, I'm so glad we got this done!
But that's not all His Excellency Mr. President accomplished, remember. The rest? Well, that stuff had REALLY sounded good, right? I mean, he broke serious ground in strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty!! This means we are well on our way to a nukeless world, right? Can you hear the angels singing? ... no? You can't? Well, maybe that's because this "tougher" treaty is a new "resolution" that "urges" countries to put conditions on their nuclear exports. Ooooo... sounds - well, largely non-effective and irrelevant to me. But what do I know? Apparently it's a "significant step forward," right?
The Obama administration hailed the pending resolution as a significant step forward. But it would not be binding and would become so only if the Security Council required countries to make their nuclear exports subject to such restrictions. Many countries balked at that requirement...
So - basically, the headline screaming "Obama Makes Gains" is disingenuous at best. Downright deceitful at worst. He didn't make any gains -- and instead he has appeared in recent days to take significant steps backwards in supporting our friends and has attempted to make friends with enemies. Or... maybe my enemies are his friends.
One thing Obama did manage to accomplish while speaking at the UN, however, is something he manages to do quite well everywhere he goes. He said things he didn't mean and meant things he didn't say. For example, "if the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they put the pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of regional stability and the security and opportunity of their own people; if they are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East -- then they must be held accountable."
Sounds strong -- sounds good. Sounds almost great. Until you realize that Obama's advisers are telling him to shoot down Israeli jets if they fly over Iraq to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
What a bunch of garbage.