“Last guys rarely finish nice.”-Saul Alinsky.
I can comprehend the temptation that tugs at both President Obama and Senator Rand Paul when they contemplate the difficult issues associated with foreign policy in the Post-modern world. The simple, old maxim goes “Don’t be a d—!” In many of the things we do in our daily life this is pretty solid advice to live and work by. People hate deliberate, nasty aggression. They take notes and store names in their memories. The aggressor today is the one that gets punked tomorrow. That works up to a point. That point is reached when an aggressor decides that you are unable or unwilling to vigorously defend your own self-interest. They then decide that crossing your boundaries and looting your stuff is akin to taking candy from a baby. As a result of President Barack Obama’s weak posture, Russian President Vladimir Putin may have reached that point of delusion with respect to the martial will of The United States of America. This is a very, very dangerous place for the world. World Wars happen when aggressors underestimate other nations they view as potential prey.
The Russians have now essentially decided they can fly nuclear strike bombers in NORAD airspace any time they feel like it. They recently felt like it on 9 June 2014. They flew 2 Tu-95 “Bear”-H Bombers over the Aleutians and 2 others within 50 miles of Northern California. US fighter jets intercepted the incoming planes and returned them to sender. Then the battle began over how to interpret the incident. NORAD Capt. Jeff Davis spoke for the Inner Party and assured us all was normal.
“They typically do long range aviation training in the summer and it is not unusual for them to be more active during this time,” he said. “We assess this was part of training. And they did not enter territorial airspace.”
Others such as Congressman Mike Conway (R-Texas) were not buying the Officially Official Version™.
“Putin is doing this specifically to try to taunt the U.S. and exercise, at least in the reported world, some sort of saber-rattling, muscle-flexing kind of nonsense,” Conaway said in an interview. “Truth of the matter is we would have squashed either one of those [bombers] like baby seals. It’s a provocation and it’s unnecessary. But it fits in with [Putin’s] macho kind of saber-rattling,” he said, adding that he expects Russia will carry out more of these kinds of incidents in the future.
Russia reiterated the threat on 4 September 2014. NATO gathered in Wales to discuss Russian activities in the Ukraine. Russia apparently didn’t appreciate not being invited to share.
The aircraft, Tu-95 strategic bombers code-named Bear by NATO, flew northwest, skirting Iceland, Greenland, and Canada. Once beyond Canada, the two lumbering, propeller-driven bombers settled on a heading straight toward the United States. Their goal was a “launch box” off the coast of the U.S. from which, during wartime, they would fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles towards American cities and military bases. The provocative flights were timed to a NATO summit, attended by President Obama, then taking place in Wales. On the agenda in Wales: what to do about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
All of this is reminiscent to a certain extent of the pre-WWI saber-rattling that went ignored until the Germans actually crossed into Belgium in August of 2014. As History.com put it. “To many people, the Great War—as it was known at the time—seemed to come out of the blue, as the European continent was enjoying a long stretch of unparalleled peace and prosperity.” Much of what made European nations so willing to jump into a major conflict in 1914 was the chronic misperception of their preferred enemy as weak. Von Schlieffan expected to lay siege to Paris within 40 days.
Logic rebels against the two Russian Ambassadors in the YouTube atop the post actually believing they would conquer Miami. It was geopolitical locker-room banter. It’s akin to the old joke that German Generals probably used to share.
Q: Why did the French plant such nice trees along the Champs Elysees?
A: So that German armies could march in the shade.
Now Moltke probably didn’t take that too seriously in his conscious mind, however he did need to harbor a certain delusional contempt for his enemy to believe he would really invade Belgium in August of 1914 and besiege Paris before the chill winds of October. Has Barack Obama become such a figure of ridicule on the international stage that the world no longer respects the United States at all? If so, could this errant misperception trigger a grave error in judgment that leads to a major conflagration of war? I believe our weakness has already earned us a grim and hideous future war against ISIS. If Russia or China were to decide we were ripe for the plucking; just how bad of a place could our world become?