Barack Obama has rescued the nation -- verily, the world -- from economic collapse. He stands on the cusp of achieving higher quality health care at lower cost -- for every American. Now he's moving to extend his magic to matters foreign.
-- At his direction, his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is doing her best to compel the new leaders of Honduras to violate their own constitution, under which the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court have removed the Castro and Chavez acolyte who was about to impose Fidelism on the Honduran people. Secretary Clinton et al. wants the deposed president restored to power -- after the fashion of American practice in, for instance, Haiti.
-- At the UN this week, Obama once again pressured Israel to work with the Palestinians -- this time by freezing West Bank settlements (a Palestinian demand) -- so negotiations can begin on creating a Palestinian state. He also has warned Israel against any rash behavior regarding Iran's developing (now developed?) nuclear capacity.
YET THE particular genius of this presidential messiah shone most brilliantly in two actions during the past 10 days. The reasoning behind each is so stunning it defies the comprehension of mere mortals.
First, the president unilaterally broke treaties to place missile-defense batteries in Poland and the Czech Republic. The missile shield was intended by the dread Bush II administration to protect Europe from Iranian missiles carrying nuclear warheads. By extension, they were intended to enhance the security of the United States.
The missile shield incensed especially Iran and its benefactor Russia -- the latter, which still bristles over its loss of influence in Eastern Europe, deeming the shield not only a threat to Russia and Russian interests, but also a personal affront. Iran's ayatollahs probably gave a rip, yet did not publicly let on.
Questions abound, of course. Why did the White House announce Obama's decision on September 17 -- the equivalent of Poland's 9/11, marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's takeover of the Polish landmass? Why did Obama snub two allies -- the Poles notably having fought loyally with us in both Iraq and Afghanistan? How do our other European allies now regard America's dependability?
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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