Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Nyet

President Obama’s secret offer to Russia on scrapping an Eastern European missile defense shield is a debacle. Obama sent a letter to Dmitri Mevedev last month suggesting the U.S. would abandon its plan to deploy a missile intercept system in Poland and the Czech Republic if Moscow got Iran to halt its nuclear program. The worst part of the offer is not that the U.S. president was willing to turn his back on our Eastern European allies (that’s just a dangerous and depressing long-term side-effect); it’s that the offer was flatly rejected by Moscow. This is called diplomatic failure. The New York Times buries the lede five paragraphs in:

When asked about the letter on Tuesday, according to the Interfax news service, Mr. Medvedev said that the Kremlin had ruled out the notion of a deal in which the United States would shelve its planned missile defense system in exchange for Russia’s help with preventing Iran from developing weapons.

“No one links these issues to any exchange, especially on the Iran issue,” Mr. Medvedev said at a news conference in Madrid, where he was visiting to boost economic and political ties. “We are working very closely with our U.S. colleagues on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Barack Obama is turning into a bizarro Don Corleone: He makes offers you can’t not refuse. Here are the fruits of “smart power” so far: Iran responds to President Obama’s “extended hand” by demanding apologies for a litany of American crimes; China has been given an American green-light to ramp up undisguised human rights abuses; the Russian president brushed off Obama’s appeal for help like so much dandruff; and Eastern Europe, where George W. Bush had successfully built up a spate of American allies, has been cut loose.

Next stop on the Smart Power ’09 Tour: Syria, where the Assad regime is undoubtedly astounded by its own good fortune.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.