Having an Estonian background, I sincerely worry at Obama’s foreign policy naiveté.
While I may be wrong (and sincerely hope I am), Obama has already hinted with the Georgia crisis that he is one of those dewy-eyed, peace-at-any-price types who make the perfect foil for an unprincipled predator like Vladimir Putin. When Putin tested the West with the invasion of Georgia on the opening day of the Beijing Olympics, Barack Obama’s first response was to talk about the need for both sides to get together to settle their misunderstandings. What a fool!
To the participants in this event, there were no misunderstandings. Russia wanted to get as much as it could from Georgia and Georgia wanted to keep as much as it could. The issue could not be more crystal clear to them. On a larger scale, Russia is testing the West to see what it can get away with. Putin has made perfectly clear his desire to restore the Russian Imperium. The only person who failed to understand what was going on was Barack Obama.
It was only when John McCain came to the spirited and uncompromising defence of Georgia that Obama was shamed into standing up for Georgia. In this crisis, Barack Obama’s conduct reminded me of nobody more than Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier in the Munich Crisis, who in their zeal to appease Hitler at the Munich Conference and so avoid war, treated the Czechoslovakian Prime Minster as almost more of a troublemaker than the Fuhrer. The same process of vilifying the victim (which Barack started out participating in) could be seen operating in the Georgia crisis.
Barack Obama clearly believes in the moral-equivalence theory, that is, that the use of violence is deplorable no matter who does it. In other words, his morality does not distinguish between the violence perpetrated by a victim defending himself and the violence of an aggressor attacking the victim. The only people who could believe something this silly are those who have grown up in such luxury that they have never been mugged by reality. There are many such people in North America and Western Europe. The conditions in places like Hawaii have been so good for so long that many people who grew up there simply cannot imagine anything bad happening to themselves.
The people of Eastern Europe have never had this luxury.
According to this news item, the Soviet Union, er, I mean the Russian Federation, didn’t wait too long after Obama’s victory to act.