It seems a little precipitous to gloat, especially given the lack definitive confirmation that the plan has been scrapped in President Obama’s official statement. But hey, the whole entire global media has run with the story, and they’re never wrong about anything, right?
Nevertheless, I simply CANNOT pass by the opportunity to post this, originally published prior to Obama’s visit to Russia in July of this year. You know, a few months ago.
In advance of Pres. Obama’s first trip to Russia next week, the White House is serving notice on the Kremlin that he won’t be making any concessions to win its approval of a U.S. missile shield in Europe or membership in NATO for Russian neighbors Ukraine and Georgia.
“We don’t need the Russians,” says Michael McFaul, special assistant to the president and senior director for Russian affairs on the National Security Council staff.
In a conference call with reporters, McFaul responded with unusually tough talk when asked what reassurances Pres. Obama is prepared to give in his talks starting Monday with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
“We’re definitely not going to use the word reassure in the way that we talk about these things,” said McFaul. “We’re not going to reassure or give or trade anything with the Russians regarding NATO expansion or missile defense.”
Ok, Mikey still has a job advising the President on Russia (so far as I know) and I’m sure Mikey likes it. I would too. He gets to sit down to breakfast with VVP after talking smack about him. How many people can say that? Not I. And yet, and yet… The headline today is:
Has McFaul suddenly decided he does need the Russians? Needy much, Mike? Did we axe the plan not expecting any concessions from the Russians in return? Out of charity? Maybe the plan has not been scrapped. But it was never initiated either. The history of this entire debacle is one of words, not of actions. And today’s words could hardly be less in line with McFaul’s undiplomatic hawkish July swagger.
Hopefully this will all shed some long needed light on the New Cold War crowd. It’s a transparent tough guy act enjoyed by people who have little appreciation for what is at stake but something to prove. Maybe it wouldn’t even be worth our concern if it remained nothing more than a role-playing game for bored Russia experts in D.C. whose job description has been downgraded from “Save civilization from Red threat!” to “Play well with others.” The hitch, you see, is that war isn’t a stupid parlor game in Russia. Ask your bff’s over in Georgia. Those tanks are real. Morons.
I’d like to say that perhaps today’s news in a sign that the game of New Cold War is over. I live for the day I can say that. But reading the comments of many Republican (R-Poland) lawmakers, it’s clear that they’re still spending far too much time in front of the computer playing WWII video games and far too little time in front of their international counterparts. Listening.
Oh who cares?
I’m still doing a little happy dance!
Next stop, scrap NATO.