Russian Opposition, Senate GOP Hammer Obama's Reset Policy
12:47 PM, Nov 17, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
Eli Lake reports in this morning's Washington Times:
In a statement this morning, Ohio's Republican senator George Voinovich blasted the administration for unofficially ceding to Russia's dominant role in the so-called Near Abroad:
So let's quickly evaluate how badly the administration has miscalculated here. Obama annoys a necessary partner (congressional Republicans) by looking the other way on the Putin government's egregious human rights' violations and the continued, illegal occupation of Georgia, while simultaneously irritating Moscow by artificially inflating expectations on the treaty's ratification. Meanwhile Eastern Europe is still swinging in the wind after Obama unilaterally pulled Polish and Czech missile defense to curry favor with the Putin regime, advancing the perception that the administration will sell out allies to push legislation that they can't pass. And the actors who do deserve American backing, the Boris Nemstovs and Iranian revolutionaries of the world, aren't even paid the courtesy of lip service in support of their plight, because it might compromise deals (START, Iranian nuclear program) that have little chance of surviving past initial stages of negotiation.
The folly of driving the whole of our Russia policy with new START was made apparent after Senator Jon Kyl effectively put the kibosh on ratification during the lame duck session of Congress. This is the president's own fault. He promised Moscow that he'd deliver on a treaty without first establishing how many "aye" votes he had in Congress, and completely tangled up the issue by placing new START at the center of his "reset" policy toward Russia.