Well, at least he made good on the last part of it, the portion about cutting down our nuclear arsenal (and Russia’s, too). Perhaps I’m a little bit naive, but I’ve never really understood why we need thousands of missiles at the ready, anyway; surely, the first hundred or so from both sides would do the trick, right?
All that aside, it was a brand new agreement between the United States and Russia which made news yesterday morning and, frankly, so long as it is scoured for language that would hinder our ability to construct and man missile defense systems, I’m relatively fine with it for the redundancy issues mentioned above. On its face, cutting down nuclear arsenals as the U.S. and Russia plan to do is just fine — it’s the other language in any agreement, as well as the nature of Russia and the tendencies of this American president which have me worried.
We should remember that Russia has never been thrilled with the prospect of fixed missile defenses in Eastern Europe. Former President George W. Bush had to work on the Polish government for a while, and when they finally agreed to allow sites on the eastern side of that nation, Russia moved missiles and other related equipment to its western border as a show of displeasure.
In abandoning Poland and leaving that fierce ally twisting in the wind by halting the land-based missile defense system promised by President Bush, Barack Obama showed his hand with regard to his feeling toward–oh, the horror!!–showing strength and commitment to defense — it makes me wonder whether, if there were indeed unfortunate language in any new agreement adversely affecting our capacity for missile defense, if the president would even have a problem with it.
Another consideration is that antagonists across the world, from Kim Jong Il in North Korea to Mahmoud Ahmadinnerjacket in Iran to the Dmitri Medvedev-Vladimir Putin puppeteering act in Russia, have felt more than comfortable testing the mettle of Barack Obama.
North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and missile tests and boasts of missiles which could reach the West Coast of America.
Iran has time and time again promised to “wipe Israel off the map” while laughing in the face of sanctions and strong language–Oh, no! Not strong language!–from the United States and United Nations and continued to develop a nuclear program.
And Russia? Well, there’s this, from CNN, released one day before Obama announced the new agreement:
London, England (CNN) — Rare photos of Russian strategic bomber jets purportedly intercepted in British airspace show Moscow’s war machine is becoming increasingly bold, analysts said Thursday as Russia denied any territorial violations.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence released images it said were taken earlier this month of two Russian Tu-160 bombers — known as Blackjacks by NATO forces — as they entered UK airspace near the Outer Hebrides islands off Scotland’s northwest coast.
It said the March 10 incident, which resulted in crystal clear images of the planes against clear blue skies and a dramatic sunset, was one of many intercepts carried out by British Royal Air Force crews in just over 12 months.
“This is not an unusual incident, and many people may be surprised to know that our crews have successfully scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft on more than 20 occasions since the start of 2009,” Wing Cdr. Mark Gorringe, of the RAF’s 111 Squadron, said in a statement.
Be sure to check out the photos at the CNN site. Scary stuff.
See, these nations are doing this stuff because they can, because the United States of America is already bogged down in two wars, because the American president has already proven to be more lamb than lion, and because the world’s greatest superpower is headed on a road to financial ruin.
I have little doubt that what Vladimir Putin sees in America right now is reminiscent of what he saw in his own country in the 1990s, as the former Soviet Union’s insolvency manifested itself in ways many could see happening here. Heck, at the World Economic Forum in January 2009, Putin warned the United States against against making “simple and popular decisions in times of crisis,” against “excessive intervention in economic activity,” and against “blind faith in the state’s omnipotence.” And what, instead, did we go on to do during Barack Obama’s first year in office? Exactly.
So it’s no wonder that Putin and others see an opportunity to take America down a notch. Certainly, if any American president welcomes it, it’s this one. It’s for that reason that I worry not so much about taking a few thousand nuclear weapons off-line, but more about the fine print in any agreement signed by Barack Obama.
Incidentally, over the past week or so the most frequent question I’m asked via e-mail and in everyday conversation is, simply: “Where do we go from here?” People see what was just signed into law, they read the writing on the wall with regard to our unsustainable fiscal track, and they have a difficult time remaining positive about the future of our nation.
Well, while much of the answer to how to reclaim America and maintain our spot in the global pecking order lies in a return to conservative values and a renewed understanding of the merits of a limited federal government and has been discussed ad nauseum here at America’s Right, another giant facet of how we can restore America was hinted at in my two favorite sentences from the CNN piece on the intercepted Russian bombers:
Experts say regardless of the exact flight paths, the increased sorties by Russian aircrafts in international airspace show Moscow is flexing its muscles as it re-emerges as a global military player.
“Russia is now an oil exporting state so they’ve got more money to spend on their armed forces after the 1990s when they were bankrupt,” defense analyst Tim Ripley told CNN.
Almost an afterthought, wasn’t it? Yet the answer is simple. Restoring America, in financial terms, will involve not only a massive decrease in government spending–there’s that whole “limited federal government” thing, and a great place to plug Congressman Mike Pence’s “spending limit amendment”–but an increase in revenue as well.
We don’t build anything in America anymore. We haven’t made America attractive for business. The way to boost revenue and foster growth is to look at the way we’re doing things now and then remember that great episode of Seinfeld in which George Costanza’s every wish was coming true because he considered his natural tendencies and did the exact opposite.
Instead of penalizing American companies and individuals for finding financial and tax loopholes overseas, let’s make our own system attractive enough to attract companies and individuals from abroad looking for places to shelter money.
Instead of forcing American companies to do more and more business overseas, let’s give American companies reason to stay and foreign companies reason to come. A good start would be to repeal the health care reform which will cost John Deere and Caterpillar $250 million and AT&T a cool $1 billion dollars over the first quarter alone. Another good idea would be to decrease the corporate tax rate to 12 percent — that tax burden (like the newly incurred health care costs will be) is just passed down to the consumer anyway.
And instead of being a consumer with regard to energy, let’s become a dealer. Instead of placing a three-year moratorium on offshore drilling as this administration has done, let’s drill for our own oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s extract oil shale and build nuclear plants and harness coal energy and do everything necessary to become an exporter. You see what it did for Russia; let’s do the same here.
Folks, I started this little piece with campaign promises made by Barack Obama about how he wished to disarm America. In the video it’s clear that he meant for the disarming to be in a military sense, but after 14 months of this presidency it’s fairly easy to see that the disarmament reaches much further into the fabric of our nation.
The good news, though, is that the solutions are there for us to see and use. The Russian Bear isn’t hibernating, by any means, and neither should we.