Separating New Europe From Old Europe.
Warsaw, Poland 26 February, 2009 - Obama has said that his presidency will be judged by the performance of the American economy. In the process he is moving away from Former President George W. Bush's focus on freedom.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments that the United States will not let human rights gave the way of good relations with the country should be sending shockwaves through the former Warsaw Pact countries.
The signals being sent out by the Government that she represents may not be clear to all, but some see the change in priorities and what the long term effect will be.
Everything "unacceptable" about the last 8 years is now "acceptable." Except, of course, the "wiser countries" led by tyrants and despots are our new friends, and our old friends are either being sacrificed or left to precede us to implosion.
Oh, and human rights - an issue for which Bush's commitment was never much discussed in his own country Ah, well, these days human rights are less important than money, honey
The people of new Europe, unlike those in Western Europe, have personal experience with living under a dictatorial regime that has no respect for human rights. They know it was US persistence that lead to the destruction of the Berlin wall and gave them the opportunity to remove themselves from Soviet domination. So the former Warsaw Pact countries, most notably Poland, have been very strong allies of the United States.
The proposed missile shield to be built in East Europe, with components in the Czech Republic and Poland, is more a statement of a committment to freedom than a realistic defense against a rogue regime. Both North Korea and Iran, often voiced as possible sources of nuclear threats, will be able to launch nuclear weapons well before the missile bases will be built. But starting construction will guarantee Poland that it is not being given up to the Russian sphere of influence.
With the Obama administrations signaling that it might give up the missile defense system in return for some unspecified help by Russia in solving the US dilemma with Iran, the signal goes out loud and clear to Russia that the US is willing to give Russia a free hand in dominating those countries that it considers in its near abroad.
The countries of Eastern Europe has to look at the US economy realistically. Since they really have no significant effect on the American economy they probably do not rank high on the priority list in Obama's economic plans and the legacy that he intends to develop.
In short, the countries of new Europe should be concerned that they may be used as little more than a commodity to be bartered with Russia in Obama's attempt to control Iran.
And given Obama's response to the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgian territory, countries such as Georgia and Ukraine may just be considered not important enough to defend.