Harsh or not harsh enough?
On another one of his #SmartPower/vacation tours, President Obama in early June went to Poland to promise that he would send aidto address tensions in the region.
U.S. President Barack Obama promised …to beef up military support for eastern European members of the NATO alliance who fear they could be next in the firing line after the Kremlin’s intervention in Ukraine.
Under attack from critics at home who say his leadership on the world stage has not been muscular enough, Obama unveiled plans to spend up to $1 billion in supporting and training the armed forces of NATO states on Russia’s borders.
The White House also said it would review permanent troop deployments in Europe in the light of the Ukraine crisis — though that fell short of a firm commitment to put troops on the ground that Poland and some of its neighbors had sought.
This is in addition to the U.S. Army paratroopers who were sent to Poland in April for a series of military exercises in four countries across Eastern Europe to counter the crisis in Ukraine.
However, it seems that in some quarters of that country, Polish opinion of our assistance is on par with the substantially decreased popularity of our Commander-in-Chief. A Polish news magazine provided excerpts of a secretly recorded conversation with Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, during which he called his country’s ties with the US “worthless”.
According to a transcript of excerpts of the conversation that was published by Wprost on its Internet site, Sikorski told Rostowski: “You know that the Polish-US alliance isn’t worth anything.”
“It is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security … Complete bullshit. We’ll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we’ll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers.”
My friend, Rik (Sulima-Suligowski) Fox, is the former Vice-President of the Polish-American Congress So. Cal. Division and the creator of the first officially-recognized Polish Winged Hussar movement in the U.S. Sadly, he concurs with Sikorski’s assessment.
In some regards, In my observation, I may be inclined to agree with him. In my opinion (and that of many other Polish Diaspora here in the U.S.), Poland has been used as sort of a ‘shortstop’ in the affairs of the world; covering the holes of necessity when and where they are needed but not really given the equal reciprocation and due respect that should go along with that due credit and respect. Whenever the U.S. needs Poland, then they come, hat in hand full of promises.
[For example,] President Obama clearly stated from the beginning of his term of office, that he would make removing the Visa Waiver program one of his priorities, and, like most of everything else he’s promised, it’s all been hot air and pipe dreams, with absolutely no concrete results whatsoever. Meanwhile, on the surface, for the public display, it’s all smiles and handshakes.
In other regional news, the European Union has just enacted a ban on imports from Crimea as part of its nonrecognition policy toward the “illegally” annexed region.
A press release from the EU Council of Ministers on Monday stated that, “As of June 25, goods originating in Crimea and Sevastopol may no longer be imported into the European Union. In addition, it will be prohibited to provide financial and insurance services related to the import of such goods.”
Meanwhile, our SmartPower Secretary of State is in Cairo working his charm on the newly elected Egyptian President.
Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Sunday and met with the country’s newest president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
NPR’s Jackie Northam, who is traveling with Kerry, reports officials said Kerry would address the government’s heavy-handed tactics against political opponents, mass trials and death sentences, as well as broader security questions.
Yes…telling Egypt’s new head of state who managed to get a terror organization on-the-run in his own country is a great way to kick off an international friendship!
It looks like it just a matter of time before even more world leaders come to the same conclusion Sikorski did.
Featured Image: Newsloop Top News video.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.