Calling President Obama’s Bluff

The American Thinker posted an article today about President Obama’s latest assurances that NATO would protect the Baltic states. The President has a habit of drawing red lines and then stepping over them. Unfortunately, we have passed the point where the rest of the world takes him seriously.

The article reminds us that as soon as President Obama drew his red line in Syria, Putin made a move that left Russia as the dominant player in Syria. Now Putin is reacting to President Obama’s statement that NATO would protect the Baltic republics.

On September 5, the Wall Street Journal reported:

The apparent abduction and detention of an Estonian security officer raised tensions between Estonia and Russia just two days after President Barack Obama came to the country and vowed to defend it as a NATO member.

Estonia’s Internal Security Service, known as KAPO, said its officer Eston Kohver was “illegally detained” at gunpoint early Friday while on duty in southeastern Estonia. It said his abductors had come from Russia and had jammed radio communications and used a smoke grenade in the incident.

“It is unacceptable that people who have crossed the Estonian border kidnap an Estonian citizen from Estonian territory,” President Toomas Hendrik Ilves tweeted on Friday. “I expect the case to be solved quickly.”

The article at America Thinker concludes:

We are in very dangerous territory now. Russia will be encouraged to escalate its provocations, having seen that Obama’s threats are empty. Putin as already mentioned that Russia is a nuclear power, a not so veiled threat to start World War Three should his future aggression meet a response. The risk is that having shown he can be bullied, Obama will respond too late and too strongly, thereby setting off Armageddon.

Weakness is provocative. Obama believes the opposite, and he is as wrong as Neville Chamberlain was.

The Little Engine That Could

Most of us grew up hearing the story of the little engine that could–the train that made it up the incredibly steep mountain despite being small and seemingly insignificant. In today’s economic news we have another little engine that could.

Investor’s Business Daily posted a story yesterday about the economic success story of the small country of Estonia. Paul Krugman posted a short article in the New York Times on Friday stating:

Jörg Asmussen is Germany’s man at the ECB, which means that what he says matters. Here’s his speech in Riga earlier this week, asserting that the Baltic experience shows that austerity and internal devaluation actually do work. Notice that his evidence comes entirely from one year of fairly fast growth after an incredible decline. So it’s important to say that this proves very little.

One of the things to note about many liberals is that when the facts disagree with their theories, they dismiss the facts as irrelevant. Anyway, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves responded to Mr. Krugman’s comments with a number of tweets (follow the above link to Investor’s Business Daily to read some of them), but the facts tell the true story.

The article reports:

Estonia did the opposite of what Krugman prescribed over three years, and as a result shook off recession and returned to high economic growth. It now stands like a colossus disproving Krugman’s policy prescriptions.

America, on the other hand, has been following Mr. Krugman’s advice for three years. What have we got to show for it? Results matter.

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