Larry, Moe, and Curley

Bill Neinast

Moe, Larry, and Curley are familiar names to senior citizens.  They were the Three Stooges of slapstick comedy fame on the vaudeville stage and in film during the first part of the last century.

Today, when Barack, Joe, and John are mentioned, the Three Stooges come to mind.  This modern day, real life version, however, is much too real to be laughed off

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John Kerry are the foreign affairs team of the U.S.  Although they are the laughing stock of the world, particularly of Russia and Iran, the consequences of their actions and utterances are too serious to be regarded as vaudeville.

The best description of this country’s current foreign relations is that it is abysmal.  No one in the triumvirate exhibits any awareness of geography, history, or geopolitics.  

Unfortunately, this view of the world as you wish it were rather than the real world is prevalent among the lackeys and stooges in the ranks of media commentators.  They are the ones who harrumphed or shook their heads in disbelief when Mitt Romney stated during a debate with Obama that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe.”

Romney recently restated that belief.  On March 17, he wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

“Able leaders anticipate events, prepare for them, and act in time to shape them. My career in business and politics has exposed me to scores of people in leadership positions, only a few of whom actually have these qualities. Some simply cannot envision the future and are thus unpleasantly surprised when it arrives. Some simply hope for the best. Others succumb to analysis paralysis, weighing trends and forecasts and choices beyond the time of opportunity.

“President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident: It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure, I submit, is due to their failure to act when action was possible, and needed.”

The current debacle of Russia expanding its borders, Iran moving full speed ahead on developing nuclear weapons, Syria maintaining its stockpile of chemical weapons (which are Saddam Hussein’s cache that some claim he never had), Iraq and Afghanistan refusing to allow American service personnel to remain in country under U.S. jurisdiction, is the sole responsibility of Barack, Joe, John, and, as noted by Romney, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

That may be an unfair criticism of Joe, John, and Hillary.  The basic cause is Barack.  He naively believes that the sheer force of his intellect and suave personality will cow any world leader into adoring agreement or submission.  His words, in his opinion, are more powerful than any weapons made by man.  In reality, however, as Romney noted, “We give.  Russia Gets.”

The way the rest of the world now views us, the former leaders of the free world, proves Barack’s belief in his invincibility is as erroneous as his repeated promise that, “You can keep the insurance and doctors you have if you like them.”

If he had the understanding of world affairs of Mitt Romney and knew American history, he could have taken a page from President John F. Kennedy’s history and gotten serious attention from Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.

JFK told Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev to keep his missiles out of Cuba.  To make sure the Soviets knew that we meant business, JFK quarantined Cuba with the U.S. Navy and began moving combat troops into Florida.  Very quickly, the Soviet ships carrying missiles to Cuba reversed course and the missile sites being built were abandoned.

Obama could have replicated that strategy in Ukraine. A replay of meaning what you say, would have been to quickly arrange for joint military maneuvers with the Ukrainian military.  Several U.S. Army and Marine battalions could have been airlifted to the Ukrainian military bases in Crimea.  The troops would have raised American flags to fly beside the Ukrainian flags in their new encampments.

As those flags were unfurled, the applause and nods of approval from the heads of various NATO nations might have gotten Putin’s attention as quickly as the JFK’s troop movements gave Khrushchev second thoughts.

Instead of acting JFK tough, however, Obama talked softly to the bully.  He said, “We are going to impose economic and travel sanctions like we are so effectively doing in Iran.”  The Russians’ reaction, when they got through laughing, was to impose similar sanctions on Americans like Speaker of the House John Boehner and other congressional personnel.

So here’s the perspective.

Comparing President Obama to one of The Three Stooges was not the best comparison to make.  A much better comparison might be to call him “Neville” after a former Prime Minister of Great Britain.

An appreciation of this comparison requires a review of the history of the Sudetenland, a German speaking province of France in the 1930s.  That history reads like a screen play for the Ukraine of 2014.   

When reading the chapter on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain meeting Hitler in Munich in 1938 and agreeing not to oppose Hitler’s absorption of the Sudetenland into Germany, visions of Ukraine dance over the pages.

On 30 September 1938, Chamberlain returned to London with the Munich Agreement in hand and announced that he was, “bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.”  Instead of peace, however, the world exploded into WWII.

Sound familiar?  So is it Barack, Mo, or Neville?


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