Exclusive: FSM Security Symposium- National Security Implication of Obama’s Letter to Russia

by THE EDITORS March 5, 2009


Alex Alexiev 
Obama's unilateral offer to Moscow to renege on Washington's commitment to build a missile defense system for the Eastern Europeans in return for cooperation on Iran cannot be interpreted by them other than as a stab in the back, or, as some have already argued, a new Yalta betrayal. Perhaps anticipating this turn of events, a few days ago, the Polish prime minister remarked pointedly, "When we agree something with our ally, we keep our promise." Evidently, the president of the United States feels no such compunction.
To believe that Russia is willing, interested or able to assist the United States in Iran is so foolishly unrealistic that the gesture must be seen for what it is: a preemptive appeasement of a belligerent adversary and a sign of the new mindset in Washington. Following the appointment of a paid Saudi shill and anti-Israeli zealot (Chas Freeman), as the chair of the National Intelligence Council, this step sends a loud message to America's allies: with respect to solemn commitments “it's change we believe in.”
- Alex Alexiev is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute Washington, D.C.
John Armor
Presidents throughout history have used private letters for strategic purposes with adversaries. The problem is not the letter, but its contents. If Obama has offered Russia a deal, to end the U.S. missile defense in Europe in return for the Russians "talking" to Iran, this will be a serious blow to the future safety of all Americans. Talk is not a substitute for action, especially when dealing with murderous dictatorships.
- John Armor practiced in the U.S. Supreme Court for 33 years. He is counsel to the American Civil Rights Union.
Alan Caruba
The request for Russia's cooperation as regards Iran demonstrates the naivety of the Obama White House since Russia has long been the contractor for the Iranian nuclear plant. They will act in their own interest and offering to, in a sense, sacrifice Poland's security is craven.
 - Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.
Peter Feaman
Two generations ago, circa 1938, the world saw Neville Chamberlin appease Hitler and promise "peace in our time." The result was disastrous.
Today, Obama's naïve quest for peace at any price will embolden our enemies and actually bring us closer to war, the opposite result of his misguided attempt to deal with the Iranian threat.
- Peter Feaman is the Author of Wake Up America!
Jim Kouri, CPP
This appears to be a return to the days of the Carter Administration when our leaders in Washington were gullible to the point of being dangerous.
- Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance.
Rita Kramer
It sent a message to the world – and our Islamic Jihadist enemies in particular – that we are now led by a group of naive planners who neither understand the way the real world works or are prepared to deal with it. Our new president has been humiliated by Russia's condescending rebuff, leaving the U.S. with egg on its face. Even worse than the message this fiasco sent to our enemies is the one it sent to our friends: we are willing to abandon you if we deem it expedient. It's hardly the first time Poland and Czechoslovakia have been betrayed, but the bitter irony of this case of history repeating itself should be evident to anyone who remembers the genesis of World War II. 
- Rita Kramer is an author and freelance writer. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Partisan Review, Commentary, City Journal, and numerous other publications.
Adrian Morgan
According to Hillary Clinton, placing US missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic "has always been intended to deter any missile that might come from Iran... That's been our stated position. It remains our position." With US weaponry already in Germany and with US nuclear missiles in Incirlik, Turkey, placing missiles in Polish or Czech territory will not dramatically increase US security. The proposed missiles should not be used as a bargaining chip, as the issues of Russia's support for Iran need to be faced down on their own terms. Despite Putin's 2005 moves to build closer ties with Israel, Russia's links with Israel's sworn enemies have stoked tension. Last year's conflict between Russia and Georgia exacerbated those tensions, as Israel had previously assisted the Georgian military. Iran must be made to open its doors to IAEA inspectors, and Russia (as a member of the Quartet on the Middle East and also the UN Security Council) has a diplomatic duty to ensure this. Russia believes Iranian civilians have a right to peaceful atomic power, but has stood silent while Ahmadinejad vowed to "wipe Israel off the map" and boasted about refining weapons-grade uranium in banks of centrifuges in Natanz. Obama is offering some concessions to appease Russian sensibilities, but Russia also has a duty to fulfill its obligations to the Quartet and the UN. Tehran currently poses the greatest threat to world peace. It funds terrorism in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel while its own populace is impoverished. Striking Iran after it has fired long-range missiles would be easy, but too late. Obama should now be encouraging the Russians to engage with the reality of the threat that Iran poses, and making Medvedev aware that if Russia will not actively thwart Iran's plans to produce long-range missiles and nuclear weaponry, then America will. Global security depends upon Iran's strategic nuclear plans being neutered, by whatever means necessary.
- Adrian Morgan is a British-based writer and artist who has written for Western Resistance since its inception. He also writes for Spero News.
Ben Shapiro
Barack Obama is demonstrating that he's no JFK. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK offered to take our Jupiter missiles out of Turkey in exchange for a Soviet removal of missiles from Cuba. The Soviets agreed, because JFK demonstrated credibility in his commitment to bomb Cuba if such missiles were not removed. In this case, Obama is offering to remove our missile defense system in Eastern Europe in exchange for Russian opposition to the Iranian nuclear program. Because the Russians understand that Obama has no intention of actually placing a missile defense system in Eastern Europe or taking any action against Iran, they dismissed his "trade" out of hand. The Russians support both the Iranian nuclear program and their own expansionism in Eastern Europe. Why give up either when there's no chance that there will be consequences to such rogue actions?
- Ben Shapiro is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is also the author of the recently published Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House.
Paul Hollrah
Although the sale of Russian nuclear technology and hardware to the Iranians could not begin to fill the cash shortfall the Russians are now experiencing due to relaxed world oil prices, that does not mean that the Russians will not proceed to provide critical nuclear technology and hardware to their Iranian neighbors. The Russians know, and we know that they know, that the missile defense facilities planned for Poland and the Czech Republic are not a threat to their national security, so it is unclear what Obama feels the Russians would have to gain by agreeing to his offer. The Russians bluster a great deal about the eastern European missile defense facilities only to create an additional bargaining chip which they can be expected to use to great advantage against the Obama Administration. However, the effectiveness of our missile defense system demands the widest possible deployent. Obama's offer to blithely trade away our long standing plans for the deployment of missile defense facilities in eastern Europe represents a serious misunderstanding of the threat that is posed by nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. Obama's offer to the Russians is a very dangerous gamble.
- FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Paul Hollrah is a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute
Nancy Salvato
I believe this is a mistake. President obama needs to deter aggression by showing we are prepared to defend ourselves. We cannot be certain who our allies are and ultimately must take precautions to protect and defend our sovereignty. We cannot rely on iran or russia to respect an agreement if they decide its not in their best interest. Also I don't want to see either of those countries expand their sphere of influence should we yield our own.
- Nancy Salvato is the President of The Basics Project. She is also a Staff Writer, for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3)coalitionof writers and grass-roots media outlets, where she contributes on matters of education policy.
 Tom McLaughlin
Offering to lower defenses as an opening in any negotiation makes no sense, especially with the thugocracy Russia has become. The only possible rationale for bargaining away a missile defense system might be that it would undermine a policy of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) which existed between the old Soviet Union and the USA for decades. If what Obama said the other day is true - that the missile system was intended to intercept Iranian missiles - then MAD is inoperative. Iran is ready to precipitate a nuclear conflict to bring the 12th Imam - or Mahdi - out of the well he's been hiding in for a millennia, so he will rule the world for a thousand years of justice and peace. We'd have to be mad to even think about negotiating with Iran. 
- Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin Tom is a history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam. E-mail him at tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net
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