Thursday, March 20, 2014
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Obama Shows His Cards, Turns His Back
Everybody knows that in poker, you don’t reveal your hand. A good foreign policy utilizes the same strategy.
When confronting aggression by a hostile power, one of the first principles of foreign policy is never to take options off the table. We hear it all the time whenever Iran’s nuclear program is in the news: “All options are on the table.”
Evidently Barack Obama was too busy filling out his NCAA bracket to consult his foreign policy training manual. During a series of local news interviews yesterday, Obama was asked what steps he might take next in the Crimean crisis. Incredibly, Obama showed Putin and every other tyrant his cards.
Obama said, “We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine.” In a separate interview, Obama said, “ we do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia. The Ukrainians don’t want that. Nobody would want that.”
Of course we do not want a war, but the decision might not be ours. (Ron and Rand Paul supporters: Please do not waste my time accusing me of supporting war in Ukraine — I don’t.)
The proper answer was, “I’m not going to discuss hypotheticals. The United States wants an end to aggression in Eastern Europe, and we are going to work with our allies to come up with ways to make sure it does end.”
It has been humorous to watch our media establishment describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as crazy, unbalanced and unpredictable. What the left sees as bizarre behavior is precisely how one might expect a former KGB officer to act. Especially one who called the collapse of the Soviet Union“the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”
Let me remind you of Obama’s history in Ukraine. In 2005, Barack Obama made his first overseas trip as a United States senator to Ukraine in an effort to convince that country to destroy massive stockpiles of conventional weapons. “Vast stocks of conventional munitions and military supplies have accumulated in Ukraine,” Obama said. “We need to eliminate these stockpiles for the safety of the Ukrainian people ”
The thrust of the argument Obama and that Senate delegation made to Ukraine was, “We’ve got your back.” Well, not so much. To many Ukrainians, it must seem like Obama has turned his back on them. Crimea is under Russian control now. The rest of Ukraine is facing military intimidation and a possible invasion.
I mention the phrase “I’ve got your back,” because it is one of the president’s favorites. No doubt the White House polled it and found it scored well with the public. He has used it in appeals to various voting blocs and even with respect to Israel’s existential threat from Iran’s nuclear weapons program. During a 2012 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama said, “I have Israel’s back.”
Remember, too, that the United States, Britain and Russia signed a treaty in 1994 guaranteeing Ukraine’s sovereignty. Putin just shredded that treaty. How safe do you think Israelis feel today with Obama’s claim that he has “Israel’s back”?
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon fears Israel is on its own. Ya’alon is in hot water for suggesting that the United States is “broadcasting weakness” across the globe. Ya’alon added, “This is a war of civilizations. If you are perceived to be weak, that certainly does not pay in the world. I hope the U.S. will reassert itself.”
My Bracket Pick
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher worked tirelessly to bring down the Iron Curtain and free Eastern Europe from the Soviet evil empire. It’s disturbing to see today just how radically things have changed.
Given the president’s obsession with brackets, I took a few seconds to consider what the European nation “finals” might look like today. Since the U.S. team doesn’t have an effective ball handler, the results seem obvious. Check out my Facebook page for my “bracket picks.”
George Will wrote an extraordinary column reminding us of the history of Russian genocide in Ukraine. In the 1930s, Joseph Stalin intentionally caused a famine in Ukraine that killed millions of people. In many cases, the survivors resorted to cannibalism.
Stalin’s goal was to murder as many Ukrainians as possible and replace them with ethnic Russians. Their descendants are siding with Vladimir Putin today as he claims the right to protect ethnic minorities in bordering countries.
Of course in the 1930s the Soviets denied any responsibility for the famine, and blamed it on a lack of rain. But I know something about this. In 1985 Congress authorized the creation of a Commission on the Ukraine Famine. There were 15 members on the commission, including six members of Congress.
I was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as his representative on this commission. It was a tremendous undertaking. The commission took testimony from scores of eyewitnesses and interviewed more than 200 survivors.
The famine was manmade and the goal was to destroy the Ukrainian people. As the saying goes, history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Ukraine is in the crosshairs again and neither the administration nor Europe knows what to do.
Al Qaeda Threatens Jihad In America
As the country approaches the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, Al Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine has issued a new call for jihad in America. This same magazine reportedly inspired the Tsarnaev brothers.
The latest edition instructs wannabe martyrs to conduct car bombings in major American cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., targeting sporting events, election rallies and year-end holidays.
This is just one more reminder that while the headlines may be dominated by vanishing planes and Vladimir Putin, and despite assurances that Al Qaeda has been decimated, radical Islamists remain committed to bringing more death and destruction to our shores.
Fighting For Our Values
As you know, I am deeply concerned by efforts within the Beltway establishment to surrender on values issues. Earlier this week I challenged Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) when he tried to resurrect the notion of a truce on values issues. As he must know, the left is relentlessly attacking life, marriage and religious liberty. Paul’s suggestion that we “agree to disagree” is really a slow-motion surrender.
In my latest opinion piece, I give some advice to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Walker has been very bold in confronting Big Labor, but it appears, even though he is clearly pro-life, that he has bought into the establishment’s advice to run away from values issues. You can read more at The Daily Caller.
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