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Friday, November 07, 2008

Dem Congressman to Russia: We Won’t Expand NATO If You Cooperate With Us on Iran

When I said Obama should avoid the trap of a Moscowcentric “Chicken Kiev” foreign policy, I meant this (3:46):


Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): Now, we have not been willing, we have not been willing to put our priorities properly. We have not been willing to say to the Russians or the Europeans: "Hey Russia, we won't expand NATO into...into Ukraine and...uh-uh-uh...Georgia, right next to your borders, if you cooperate with us on Iran." We said the opposite. We said, in effect, that expanding NATO into Ukraine and Russia is more important to us than getting Russia’s cooperation on Iran. I think it’s the opposite way around. I think Iran and Israel are a hell of a lot more important than expanding NATO to Russia's borders. Why should we? What do we need it for? We've not been willing to say that.

Female voice: Because they invade Georgia.
Nadler: So let them invade Georgia! It’s right next to them. Would we tolerate a foreign…a uh-uh-uh…a Russian army in Mexico? Which is more important to us: Georgia or Israel, frankly?

Male voice: What is more important to us: Czechoslovakia or Austria?
Nadler: That’s a completely separate iss…completely different kind of question…

Male voice: Sorry about that.
Nadler: …completely separate kind of question. You have to try to engage and you have to try to avoid war.


So what's the priority: appeasement or engagement?

The next time Rep. Nadler revels in illusions of zero-casualty appeasement and compares Mexico to South Ossetia, there’s something he should know.

Unlike Georgia, Ukraine possesses long-range missile technology that may fall into terrorists’ hands in case Russia invades Ukraine.


Nadler should know that the SS-18 “Satan” and the SS-24 “Scalpel” were designed and manufactured in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

After relinquishing the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal in exchange for non-aggression commitments from the U.S. and Russia, Ukraine joined the Missile Technology Control Regime in 1998.

Now, will Ukraine be able to control its missile technology in a state of war with Russia?

So when Nadler exudes tolerance of Russia’s hypothetical aggression against its neighbors, whose lives does he want to make miserable? Is ignorance always bliss?

Sources:
http://cybercossack.com/?p=1128
http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/11/dem_congressman_let_russia_inv.asp

6 comments:

elmer said...

Nadler is a Jewish Congressman from New York, and here he was speaking in Florida.

He has only one interest - Israel.

Fortunately,there are others in Congress who have a wider view.

Wide enough to see past Nadler's wide stomach and butt.

Nadler is also a Democrat blowhard, who spouts off constantly.

He is not to be taken seriously.

Taras said...

He might be a political lightweight, but the foreign policy he advocates should not be taken lightly.

The guys who will run State should know the stakes.

If Obama outsources State to quid-pro-Kremlin ignoranti, it will be lose-lose for the U.S. and Ukraine and win-win for the Kremlin and its partners.

Michelle said...

Not only will Ukraine not be able to control missile technology in a war with Russia, but if Russia wins a war, then they will have that technology and what will be the next step???

Taras said...

Thank you for commenting on this important issue, Michelle!

A conventional Russian attack on Ukraine would take a heavy toll on both sides. It would be anything but a blitzkrieg. It would be a big mistake, much bigger than the war in Yugoslavia.

Not only would this war have devastating consequences for the region but it would also disrupt energy supplies and send ripples through the world economy.

The bottom line militarily: a major arms race between the U.S. and Russia plus proliferation of weapons to third parties. So which is the better deal: appeasement or engagement? Can Obama and his foreign policy team learn from Chamberlain?

Russia has its own missile technology, although it does rely on Ukraine for air-to-air missiles, avionics, helicopter engines, ICBM maintenance, etc.

Thus, the U.S. has a key role to play in promoting peaceful coexistence and cooperation between Russia and Ukraine.

As for the NATO issue, Russia’s waning demographic and vast borders make it a likely applicant for membership a decade from now.

Leopolis said...

Taras,

I wish we could discuss this over a cold Obolon...not enough time or space to talk over the blogs!

In my personal experience, many U.S. congressmen are 100% clueless about international affairs. At a recent conference, one former Congressman kept referring to an oil-rich country on the Caspian "Azaba John." Like politicians everywhere, he was more concerned about lining their pockets with lobbyist money. No need to pronounce it right when they have oil.

To be fair, there are some smart people out there. Don't let this one guy discourage you.

What Nadler is suggesting is a "grand bargain" with Russia. Read Sestanovich's recent piece in Foreign Affairs, where he says that this is not really a good approach with Russia. http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20081001faessay87602/stephen-sestanovich/what-has-moscow-done.html

You say:

"If Obama outsources State to quid-pro-Kremlin ignoranti, it will be lose-lose for the U.S. and Ukraine and win-win for the Kremlin and its partners ... Thus, the U.S. has a key role to play in promoting peaceful coexistence and cooperation between Russia and Ukraine ... As for the NATO issue, Russia’s waning demographic and vast borders make it a likely applicant for membership a decade from now."

You are very correct on this. I am afraid, however, that many in Washington, Warsaw and Kyiv make the mistake of confusing "engagement" with "appeasement." Our relations with Russia are in desperate need of repair.

If Washington decides to focus on Russia, the hawks and Russophobes must not mistake this for "appeasement." Likewise, engagement with Russia does not mean abandoning Ukraine or any "grand bargain" to trade Ukraine's sovereignty for Russia's cooperation on Iran. Ultimately, this won't work with Moscow anyway.

The fact that you recognize that Ukraine's NATO time may not be now, but later is key. NATO, Ukraine and the U.S. must be in it for the long-haul, not for short-term gain. We cannot mistake "patience" for "appeasement" either.

Taras said...

You have a great idea there! And btw, Obolon tastes best in Obolon, my native district:)

Azaba John? That sounds Boratish! To do better in foreign affairs, countries should know better than Borat. In this regard, I believe in several things.

I believe that engagement should neither be confused for, nor substituted by, appeasement. I also believe that being in peace with Russia should not require being a province of Russia.

Of course, our electionmania will preclude us from getting a MAP in December. This, in turn, will prolong the window of vulnerability we have.

The “grand bargain” with Russia would only widen that window, becoming a remake of the Munich Agreement and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It would contain incentives for the Kremlin to act irresponsibly and aggressively toward its neighbors, not without far-reaching consequences for the international community.

With that in mind, I hope Obama’s foreign policy team will do its homework and keep the NATO door open as promised.