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Foreign Policy as Hockey

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThe world is paying a heavy price for President Obama being a basketball fan, because had he followed hockey he would have learned that the best way to deal with instigators and thugs is to demonstrate that you have superior strength. It is for this reason that professional hockey teams use enforcers as a way of protecting their best players.

Historically, the best enforcers have had the privilege of sharing the ice with some of hockey’s greatest players. Marty McSorley played most of his career with Wayne Gretzky. Bob Probert was another enforcer who had a long career playing beside Detroit Red Wings star, Steve Yzerman.

What holds true for Hockey also holds true in other areas of life, like our foreign policy. Many would argue that this approach when dealing with our enemies makes matters worse. But what we have seen in the last few months in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria, is nothing more than the product of this President’s failed foreign policy. Totalitarians like Putin are emboldened by weakness, especially when that weakness comes from the United Sates, which is the only power on earth that can restrain them.

Obama made it very clear from the beginning of his presidency that he was going to take a softer approach with our adversaries. In his first-inauguration speech he said:

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history (like these guys care) but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Every time he extended “a hand” to our enemies only affirmed our weakness. For example, one of the first things  the Obama administration did was announce they were pushing “the reset button” with the Russians.  They did this in part by removing all sanctions imposed on them by the Bush administration for the invasion of Georgia in 2008. This kind of approach works with your estranged sibling, but not with a former KGB agent.

To further appease the Russians, Obama canceled the “missile-defense agreement” the Bush administration made with Poland and the Czech Republic. Anyone familiar with their history would understand why the Poles and Czechs would want a missile DEFENSE shield. The cancellation was announced 70 years to the day that the Soviet Union invaded Poland as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany.

Let’s not forget that President Obama was caught on a hot mic telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, that once the election was over (2012), he would be “more flexible with Putin on missile defense.” Then, there was the Presidents failure to follow through with his threat to the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, that the U.S. would get involved in that countries civil war if he used chemical weapons.

Putin had made it clear that he wants to see Russia return to what it was before the Soviet Union broke apart, which means the reclaiming of land that once belonged to them as the Ukraine. Knowing what motivates Putin helps us understand why he has invaded Ukraine. It’s like the 1930’s all over again in the fact that the west is just standing by and does nothing. We won’t even give the Ukraine’s weapons so they can fight the Russian rebels.  Consider for a moment the message Sent to Putin in how the west has responded the Russians shooting down the Malaysian flight.

The New York Times ran a story two weeks ago titled, Despite Anger over Downed Airliner, Europe Shies Away From Sanctions on Russia. It laid out how spineless and impotent the West has become in confronting real evil. The article reported that the nations of Europe, with the exception of Britain, have all but conceded the fact that the Russians will pay no price for blowing up a passenger jet. Europe fears the potential consequences that Putin would impose on those countries dependent on the Russians for their energy. Thus “harming the Continent’s economic growth.”

How can the west sit by and do nothing after 290 innocent civilians were blown out of the sky, of which 40% were children? If the west is not willing to act now, what kind of event would force them to take military action. It’s actually a scary thought when you put it into perspective. I fear the world will pay a mighty price for the decision to do nothing while Putin has his way with Ukraine. I hope I am wrong, but what indication do we have that he will stop?

 

 

 

For your entertainment value, here are a couple fights by the two enforcers mentioned in the post. The first video features Bob Probert, number 24 in white. At the 1:00 mark you will see a player in blue going after Yzermen (19 in white). At the 2:04 mark is when Probert finally gets the guy.

Below is a heavyweight fight between Bob Probert and Marty Mcsorley, enjoy!

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Comments

  1. Theodore says:

    That is a great artickle Shaunmaher

  2. Theodore says:

    article

  3. Thanks for the support theo 😉

  4. How many wars would you like to have the US military in, and what mechanism do you propose to use in conscripting the enormous force needed for them.

    • You don’t need to go to engage in war every at every opportunity. But there are simple things we can do to fight evil, like arm the Ukrainians with the weapons they need to fight the Russian rebels. Obama won’t do something as simple as that. He won’t even provide them defensive equipment like night vision goggles. When Assad crossed the “red line,” we could have bombed his airfields, or enforce a no fly zone. This would have hindered Assads ability to fight the Surian rebels. That’s just two of the many examples where Obama could have done more to show that the U.S. is seriouse about standing against tyrants. Thank you for taking the time to my post.

      • You are right that the current administration has not done as much distribution of arms to people who it seems like it might be “on our side” at the moment, but that we have no control over after their delivery. The hubris of thinking that we can change what is happening in a way we want, simply by bombing an area or sending weapons to a country, ignores history and the experiences of the last 40+ years of potential lessons that could come from it. (I say potential, because the OP shows a frightening lack of understanding of the period in history we live in, as does the response to my question.)

        Providing Ukraine with weapons and missile defense systems would not have solved the underlying political concerns in the region. This is not about the leader making the decision, since Bush wasn’t able to get Russia to stop military crackdowns and incursions in its border regions, any more than the rest of the world was able to stop it. Romney wouldn’t have had an advantage, and would have started out with the disadvantages that come with his choice to pick fights with European Union countries. Certainly his European campaign tour was a disaster.

        I personally don’t have a problem with having the country decide to intervene in military action, with Syria being the place I think our troops would have the most clearly accepted humanitarian mission, and support of the most allies for such an action. Still, bombing runways will not stop the most deadly part of the war. It would take boots and tanks on the ground, Navy subs and ships patrolling the waters, and Air Force fighters in the sky for the military side of the operation, while field hospitals and protection for refugee aid workers would be an equally important part of helping to stabilize Syria.

        Even with the potential good we could do, the bigger question, that is much more important to me, is whether we will make the world a bett better place, by supplying even more weapons to a region, already saturated in them. Isis is a powerful example of how easy it is for things to go wrong, and in those instances, we do not have the option of simply taking the weapons back, because they have new owners who plans are to use them to hurt their own people, and to use them on our military, when or if, we try to restore order.

        It seems that you want your cake, and to blame Obama that it isn’t the flavor you wanted. If all you think it takes to stop a conflict is to drop a few bombs and sell more arms to the sides of a conflict we currently like, then I don’t think history will support your theory, and if you don’t want to have boots on the ground, with a clear mission and open ended withdrawal date, I don’t understand why you think that would change what is currently happening in the world.

        • I wanted to let you know I see your response and its obvious you put some time into it. I should have some time tomorrow to respond. I look forward to continuing the discussion. Thank you!

        • One thing for sure is that no one knows what might have happened had Obama been tougher with Putin, Assad, and the Iranians. For all we know it would have had zero impact. That being said, what we do know for sure is that totalitarian minded leaders will act when they know they can. I think the hubris in all of this has been Obamas assumption that he could have done what no one else has been able to do, and that is create working relationships with both the Russians and Iranians.

          At no time in my article did I say we could control what happens, rather, we cannot be afraid to act in an authoritative way when we need to. This may or may not deter guys like Putin, but one this is for sure, if we do nothing, then i guarantee you that he will act aggressively.
          I am not sure what History you are referring to when you wrote, “..Ignores history and the experiences of the last 40+ years…frightening lack of understanding of the period in history we live in, as does the response to my question.”

          “Providing Ukraine with weapons and missile defense systems would not have solved the underlying political concerns in the region.”
          Providing the Ukrainians has nothing to do with solving political issues, it has everything to do with defending themselves and their homeland. Political issues are irrelevant to the Ukrainians; their very lives are at stake.

          “This is not about the leader making the decision, since Bush wasn’t able to get Russia to stop military crackdowns and incursions in its border regions, any more than the rest of the world was able to stop it.”
          You are correct that Bush was not able to deter Putin from moving in Georgia in 2008, this is just my opinion but I think Putin moved in because he knew the U.S. would do nothing to stop him. The U.S. has war fatigue and Obama was coming into office, that’s just my opinion.

          “Romney wouldn’t have had an advantage, and would have started out with the disadvantages that come with his choice to pick fights with European Union countries. Certainly his European campaign tour was a disaster.”
          I do remember hearing Romney say that Russia was our number one geopolitical enemy and Obama mocking him about this, talk about Hubris. But of course the media would never show Obama being wrong.

          “bombing runways will not stop the most deadly part of the war. It would take boots and tanks on the ground, Navy subs and ships patrolling the waters, and Air Force fighters in the sky for the military side of the operation, while field hospitals and protection for refugee aid workers would be an equally important part of helping to stabilize Syria.”
          Bombing runways was just one of the many examples that the U.S. could have done without placing any troops on the ground. Your suggestions are also valid and would have been 1000x more effective then Obama saying he was going to do something then not acting.

          “Even with the potential good we could do, the bigger question, which is much more important to me, is whether we will make the world a better place, by supplying even more weapons to a region, already saturated in them.”
          I am sure as you know; weapons are not the problem but who has them. If the bad guys do, then we need to arm the good guys with better weapon. As to ISIS, they would be a non-issue had Obama not pulled out troops out. That’s just a fact. If you are in favor of pulling out of Iraq then you need to be accountable to the consequences. We were the stabilizing force in that region and now that we are gone, ISIS filled that vacuum. Now we have to go back in and clean up the mess that we made.

          “It seems that you want your cake, and to blame Obama that it isn’t the flavor you wanted.”
          I am not sure what you mean by this, how so I want my cake then blame Obama?

          “If all you think it takes to stop a conflict is to drop a few bombs.”
          What did I say that would give you the impression that all I think you need to do to stop a conflict is drop a few bombs and sell some arms to people?

          “Then I don’t think history will support your theory.”
          What example from history did you have in mind?

          “Open ended withdrawal date.”
          I want to say something about a withdrawal date. Can you think of any war in the history of war where a “withdrawal date” was set? We are still in Germany and Japan from WWII, We are still in Korea from the Korean War. This idea of withdrawal date is absurd.

  5. Odessa springs to mind foremost, then the Catherine Ashton tapes revealing snipers belonging to the Washington imposed, Yatzi coup junta, were actually operating upon their behalf at the time of the violent usurpation of power in Kiev,(Feb 2014) and, of course, MH17 that looks very much like it was downed by air assets of the Washington puppet govt in Kiev… Not to mention a nine month, anti-civilian directed military campaign, by the very same Washington imposed junta,(that has neoNazi elements operating within its depts) against a million plus people of the south eastern Ukraine, that looks to all intents and purposes like an attempt at ethnic cleansing within the Donbass region!

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