Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- Regarding our community activist's present imbroglio with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, I stand with Donald Trump who said recently: "The thing I have the most concern about is that he's being so lambasted for not being respected, and for being a joke, that he'll do something really stupid to show that he's a man."

We are now about where we were with Jimmy Carter after he lectured his fellow citizens about their so-called "inordinate fear of communism" even as the Soviet Union was spreading its tentacles over the Third World. His sudden turnaround -- caused by Soviet aggression in Afghanistan -- from a position of sweet reason to the pose of a hawk alarmed me and doubtless alarmed the Russians. Jimmy began the military build-up that a more gifted statesman, President Ronald Reagan, consummated in pursuit of a peaceful ending of the Cold War. Yet while Jimmy resided in the White House, I was uneasy with the sudden anti-communism of this moralistic twerp. Most probably Donald was, too. Now we have to worry about the intolerable greenhorn Barack Obama. What will he do next?

He came into the White House promising to turn his back on some forty years of history. To him the Cold War was a foolish waste of resources that could have been better spent on the kind of things community activists spend government resources on: in the main, booty for their friends.

He famously "reset" the administration's policy with Russia, to use Secretary of State's Hillary Clinton's pert term for their demarche. He abandoned a missile-defense agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic. He abruptly pulled out of Iraq and began planning his withdrawal from Afghanistan. Continuing his imbecilic "reset" project with Russia, he was embarrassingly overheard -- by the whole wide world -- confiding to the then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" on missile defense after his re-election. "I'll transmit this information to Vladimir," Medvedev replied. Did Jimmy Carter ever make such a faux pas?

More recently he has frivoled as Iran approaches achieving the atomic bomb. He backed down on his "red line" with Syria, and, of course, he announced scaling down our military to pre-World War II size. All of this he did because, in the ideological world of community activists, American foreign policy has for two generations been such a disaster. That was until just last week when a former KGB officer by the name of Putin ordered Russian troops into Crimea, possibly beginning another Cold War, certainly beginning again an era of hostilities between Russia and the West, with China mulling over its opportunities. Now, who knows what a community activist thinks?

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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