Earlier this week, President Obama received endorsements from the leaders of three nations whose management styles are very similar.
The endorsements are as telling as they are troubling, for each of the endorsers are U.S. rivals.
Two of them – Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul Castro, who rules Cuba – are significant because they signal a political kinship; two leftist leaders endorsing an American president whom they perceive as like-minded.
But it is the third endorsement – that of Russian President Vladimir Putin – which should alarm voters the most.
Putin has spent years attempting to return Russia to first-nation status, both economically and militarily. In large part he has been successful; as oil prices have skyrocketed, Russia’s chief source of income has given Putin the resources to solidify domestic power while rebuilding a shattered military infrastructure.
With renewed capability, Putin has overseen a resurgence of Cold War assertiveness, especially this past year; Russian bombers are once again regularly testing U.S. air defenses; Russian ballistic missile submarines have once more begun loitering off U.S. coastlines; Moscow has now withdrawn from a longstanding U.S.-sponsored nuclear aid program.
Would Putin’s Russia be so aggressive toward the U.S. if someone other than Obama were sitting in the Oval Office?
Let’s look at some events that likely led to this renewed belligerence.
In September 2009, just months after taking his oath, Obama decided to scrap a Bush administration initiative to place upgraded missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, as a bulwark against Iran.
At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported, the administration claimed it had decided to scrap the plan because of supposed intelligence indicating Iran had not made much progress on the development of long-range ballistic missiles (though Tehran test-fired a 1,500-plus mile missile the previous May).
Russia had opposed the Bush plan from the get-go so, clearly, his decision to scrap the system was viewed as victory by Moscow (not so much for Polish and the Czech governments, who vowed not to trust the U.S. in the future).
That initial act of appeasement was bookended with another in March of this year, when Obama assured then-President Dmitry Medvedev that if Russia gave simply gave him more “space” to deal with Moscow’s missile defense demands until after the November election, he would have “more flexibility” to compromise even further (Note to White House: Russia wants us to back off missile defense because Moscow has yet to build the capability to defeat it).
“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama told Medvedev.
With appeasement like that, who needs (more) enemies?
It’s no secret within foreign policy circles that Obama’s much-vaunted “reset” policy with Moscow has not worked. From his earliest days in office this policy objective has served to portray the U.S. leader as weak overall and too prone to compromise in order to fulfill what many have viewed as an amateurish political agenda.
Only time – and a Mitt Romney victory – will tell whether Russia continues its Cold War-like posture against the U.S., but one thing is clear: there has been no “reset” in relations between Moscow and Washington under Obama, only more antagonism from the former.
In America, many may view the upcoming election as a choice between the lesser of two evils. But on a global scale, our “competitors” are basing their decision on the lesser of two rivals.
It’s no coincidence that aspiring authoritarians choose Obama.
The Moral Liberal Contributing Editor Jon E. Dougherty is a former news editor and columnist for WND.com, Newsmax.com, & contributor at CNSNews.com. He has served as a policy analyst for Citizens United & Freedom Alliance, & is the author of the books, Election 2000: How the Military Vote Was Suppressed & Illegals. Jon has a bachelors of arts in political science.
The Moral Liberal recommends Jon E. Dougherty’s Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed by Our Unsecured U.S.-Mexico Border.