Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mixed Message

I don't know if this is by design, a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, or just plain old-fashioned incompetence. I suspect the latter. In any event, here's two news stories that highlight the bipolar nature of obama's stance towards Vladimir Putin.
The United States imposed new sanctions on allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday...

The new round of U.S. sanctions, following those imposed last month when Russia annexed Crimea, barely registered in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow rebels were holding a group of German and other OSCE military observers for a fourth day.

One reason the sanctions "barely registered" is that the obama administration is sending a mixed message to Russia. One the on hand, it loudly showcases a collection of feel-good sanctions that bounce off the russkies like bugs off my windshield. On the other hand, it quietly buys Russian military hardware for the Afghanistan army.
While President Barack Obama is busy announcing new sanctions against Russia for its continued hostilities in Ukraine, the U.S. government is secretly emboldening the Russian economy through a military contract, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra says.

"As we're leaving, the Afghan military, they're looking for helicopters," Hoekstra explained. "They want about 90 attack helicopters. All right. You say, 'Hey, great! They're going to be buying 90 helicopters, that's going to be putting a lot of Americans to work.'

"Wrong. They're buying Russian helicopters for the Afghan military, and the interesting thing about helicopters is that they're high-maintenance. So, not only are we buying about a billion dollars' worth of Russian helicopters, but we're also providing the Russian military industrial complex, the people that build these helicopters, we're providing them with maintenance contracts that are multiple numbers of this one billion," he said Monday.

According to Hoekstra, the deal to purchase helicopters from Russia has been in place for some time, and Congress even attempted to stop the deal through the appropriations process because of Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. But Hoekstra said, "Obama just forgot about those restrictions and went beyond them."

"So now we've got the Russians in Syria, we've got them in Ukraine, they're creating mischief all over the place," Hoekstra said, "and we're buying Russian helicopters to give to the Afghans and the biggest promoter of this is the U.S. Pentagon."

Additionally, since Obama shut down NASA's space shuttle and Constellation programs, every time the U.S. needs to send an astronaut or satellite to space, Hoekstra says they are being launched on Russian rockets, providing an additional financial boon to the country.

"Are we sanctioning those companies?" he asked, incredulously. "Canceling these purchases? Did we cancel the purchase of these helicopters? Absolutely not.

"You just wonder why wouldn't the Pentagon go out right now and say, 'We're sorry, the balance of the helicopter contract is cancelled'? On one hand, we're saying sanctions, on the other hand we're buying lots of Russian products that are fueling and enriching the very people that we're trying to sanction, it makes no sense."
"It makes no sense." Boy howdy, that's just about the perfect summary of obama's entire term in office.


Old NFO said...

The problem is the pushback WILL impact us... No rides on Soyuz, no astronauts to the space station...

CenTexTim said...

I used to be a big supporter of the space program - when we had one. Now NASA's mission has been redefined as muslim outreach. I'm not so sure what benefit we're getting out of having people on the space station, especially since they have to hitch rides to get there.