Why Obama’s “hot mic” diplomacy is endangering America.
BY MITT ROMNEY
Sometimes it’s the unguarded moments that are the most revealing of all. President Obama just had such a moment at the summit in South Korea. “This is my last election,” Obama told Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, in an exchange that was inadvertently picked up by microphones. “After my election I have more flexibility.”
But flexibility to do what? The president mentioned missile defense to Medvedev as one area where the Kremlin should expect more flexibility. This is alarming.
It is not an accident that Mr. Medvedev is now busy attacking me. The Russians clearly prefer to do business with the current incumbent of the White House.
And it is not hard to understand why. The record shows that President Obama has already been pliant on missile defense and other areas of nuclear security. Without extracting meaningful concessions from Russia, he abandoned our missile defense sites in Poland. He granted Russia new limits on our nuclear arsenal. He capitulated to Russia’s demand that a United Nations resolution on the Iranian nuclear-weapons program exclude crippling sanctions.
Moscow has rewarded these gifts with nothing but obstructionism at the United Nations on a whole raft of issues. It has continued to arm the regime of Syria’s vicious dictator and blocked multilateral efforts to stop the ongoing carnage there. Across the board, it has been a thorn in our side on questions vital to America’s national security. For three years, the sum total of President Obama’s policy toward Russia has been: “We give, Russia gets.” [CONTINUE READING AT FOREIGNPOLICY.COM]
For complete coverage on the “live mic” story check out Jayde’s post from earlier today.
WHY THE hurry, Mr. President? It’s a question we’ve asked twice before. There was a rush to pass his $787 billion “stimulus’’ to hold unemployment below 8 percent. Congress obliged, and now we are saddled with higher unemployment and crushing debt. Then there was his health care assault: no time for our representatives to even read the bill. As ObamaCare has been revealed, it has frightened business into retreating from hiring. Now the president is in a hurry again: affirm the New START treaty right away, he insists, during the lame duck session. Fall for his rush once, shame on him; twice, shame on Congress; a third time, shame all around.
A treaty so critical to our national security deserves a careful, deliberative look by the men and women America has just elected. The president is in a hurry for the same reason he has been in a hurry before: he knows that if his vaunted treaty is given a thorough review by the Senate, it will likely be rejected. And well it should be.
Those who oppose New START are troubled by the answers to the following questions:
■Does New START limit America’s options for missile defense? Yes. For the first time, we would agree to an interrelationship between strategic offensive weapons and missile defense. Moreover, Russia already asserts that the document would constitute a binding limit on our missile defense program. But the WikiLeaks revelation last weekend that North Korea has supplied Iran with long-range Russian missiles confirms that robust missile defense is urgent and indispensable.
Given President Obama’s glaring domestic policy missteps, it is understandable that the public has largely been blinded to his foreign policy failings. In fact, these may have been even more damaging to America’s future. He fought to reinstate Honduras’s pro-Chávez president while stalling Colombia’s favored-trade status. He castigated Israel at the United Nations but was silent about Hamas having launched 7,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip. His policy of “engagement” with rogue nations has been met with North Korean nuclear tests, missile launches and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, while Iran has accelerated its nuclear program, funded terrorists and armed Hezbollah with long-range missiles. He acceded to Russia’s No. 1 foreign policy objective, the abandonment of our Europe-based missile defense program, and obtained nothing whatsoever in return.
Despite all of this, the president’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New-START) with Russia could be his worst foreign policy mistake yet. The treaty as submitted to the Senate should not be ratified.