New “red line”: Obama vows there’ll be consequences if people “step over the line” in Ukraine

posted at 3:21 pm on February 19, 2014 by Allahpundit

This is so meaningless, both on its own merits and in light of his Syria fiasco last fall, that I’d be inclined not to blog it if I had any better content to give you. In no meaningful sense is it “news” when O issues some pro forma “stern warning,” especially when Putin’s on the other side of it.

But a slow day content-wise has its price.

President Barack Obama condemned the violence in Ukraine on Wednesday, saying that the U.S. holds the government “primarily responsible for ensuring they are handling protesters peacefully” and that “there will be consequences if people step over the line.”

“We expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence,” Obama said in Mexico. “We expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful.”

Your guess is as good as mine what “consequences” means. Presumably he’s referring to sanctions — McCain, naturally, is busily drafting a bill right now — but it’s vague enough that Obama will have an easy out if he backs away later and is challenged on it by the press. Ditto for “stepping over the line.” Does that mean violence, which has already occurred, or a certain hazily defined amount of violence that the White House would deem intolerable? If Syria is any indication, the bar for bloodshed that’s so unacceptable that the U.S. would feel obliged to get involved is really, really high. So reluctant is O to get sucked into this, in fact, that it fell to Joe Biden, not Obama himself, to call Putin’s buddy Yanukovych last night to express the White House’s displeasure.

And yes, this is all familiar. Here’s a quickie refresher on the evolution of O’s “red line” for Syria, which began with him warning that he wouldn’t tolerate Assad using or transporting chemical weapons. Once Assad started using chemical weapons, the White House dutifully looked the other way to avoid enforcing the red line for as long as it could, until an attack in August forced O to do something. At that point he (a) falsely claimed that it was the world that set the red line, not him; (b) announced that he intended to strike Syria, before adding that he’d do it only if Congress approved; (c) halfheartedly tried to round up congressional support for an attack before failing at that too; and then (d) accepted Putin’s lame “compromise” to have Assad voluntarily disarm in the interest of saving face. That’s worked out exactly as well in practice as everyone expected it to. That’s the sort of steely resolve and sharp-eyed strategic prowess the Euromaidan protesters in Kiev can count on now.

Here’s the vid via NRO. Putin went easy on him last fall, but after that hockey disappointment today, watch out.


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This guy is as phony as a $3 bill and is an absolute, inert failure. Enough!

rplat on February 20, 2014 at 6:19 AM

Good morning, all. Pasionaria – new troll? Watched responses from the pros on this blog to her/him/it. Like a pit bull playing with a rag doll. Looking forward to watching/reading again today! :)

HomeoftheBrave on February 20, 2014 at 7:56 AM

I’m laughing. Do you think the rest of the world is too? What an empty threat!

She Walks In Beauty on February 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Same as the old red line. HT pcrdds.

Bmore on February 20, 2014 at 9:13 AM

It’d be better if he just shut up. When he opens his mouth, he just looks pathetic.

Hey Barry, you know you don’t have any clothes, everyone else knows you don’t have any clothes, so let’s just leave it at that, mmmkay?

Dumb all over, and maybe even a little ugly on the side…

dinahmoehumm on February 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Princess Backnine here clocked out at 33 “uhs” and “ums” in a 3 and a half minute video.

As ever- take away her two bestest buddies, telebinky left and telebinky right- and she shows as the spluttering stuttering imbecile she truly is.

Somebody get her a breathalyzer…er..ah…an Inhalator!

(available in all 57 states)

GrassMudHorsey on February 20, 2014 at 10:31 AM

I was disgusted with this comment from Obama.

Hasn’t Iraq taught people anything?
Stop trying to be the policeman of the world.

We can’t afford it. The empire is broke.

liberalrules on February 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

It’d be better if he just shut up. When he opens his mouth, he just looks pathetic.

Hey Barry, you know you don’t have any clothes, everyone else knows you don’t have any clothes, so let’s just leave it at that, mmmkay?

Dumb all over, and maybe even a little ugly on the side…

dinahmoehumm on February 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

I know right? The hardest thing with his presidency has been this running gag about not being able to criticize even the most obvious flaw in this man’s character or intellect for fear of being called a racist. After it builds and events pass again and again with this moron like Ground Hog Day, you end up thinking this man, is the stupidest guy in the room. He parrots liberal dogma incoherently and that passes in the main Stream Media as too brilliant for us to begin to understand. obama is a walking, talking billboard advertisement for being a moron.

hawkdriver on February 20, 2014 at 10:37 AM

I was disgusted with this comment from Obama.

Just that one?

Hasn’t Iraq taught people anything?

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to ask if Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Syria have taught us anything. Those are rightly all his failures. Iraq was a war that started under President Bush and obama can really only be rightly blamed for telegraphing the withdrawal timetable that incited the rise in ISIS and the new insurrection.

Stop trying to be the policeman of the world.

We can’t afford it. The empire is broke.

liberalrules on February 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Hard to argue with that. Let’s also talk about entitlements.

hawkdriver on February 20, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Hard to argue with that. Let’s also talk about entitlements.

hawkdriver on February 20, 2014 at 10:44 AM

No let’s talk bout using money to protect people who don’t like Americans.

The Iraq war should have never happened.
let’s also talk about ending military occupations in the world.

We cannot afford the policeman business anymore…

Do you know how much money could have been saved if the Iraq war was never started by BUSH?

6 TRILLION

liberalrules on February 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM

LOL, he is so brave, so strong ( I can smell him from here ) he has such great follow through ( on Golf course ) what a joke he is and the whole world knows it.

J Vance on February 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM

liberalrules on February 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM

damn, you is dumb.

HumpBot Salvation on February 20, 2014 at 11:19 AM

We can’t afford it. The empire is broke.

liberalrules on February 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Get a Clue…

We can’t afford Obama

workingclass artist on February 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Consequences probably means some sternly worded letter. Perhaps from Joe Biden.

COgirl on February 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM

What do you think Obama will do when he realizes the whole world is laughing at him?

Mollymaloo on February 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

We can’t afford it. The empire is broke.

liberalrules on February 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Hate to break this to you, genius, but we aren’t an empire.

zoyclem on February 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Things at which Obama is not so good:
- Domestic Policy
- Foreign Policy
- Creating Jobs
- Obeying, defending, protecting the Constitution
- Enforcing the Rule of Law
- Budgets / Keeping the economy in the ‘Black’
- ‘Red Lines’
- ‘Friend’/'Enemy’Recognition
- HONESTY
- Integrity
- Morals
- Ethics
- Democracy
- Freedom…

easyt65 on February 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Hate to break this to you, genius, but we aren’t an empire.
zoyclem on February 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Apparently, the minions of Emperor 0barky disagree…..

dentarthurdent on February 20, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Tough guy will only give them 90 million instead of 100 million if they cross his imaginary line.

lonestar1 on February 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

WELL, COWARDLY BACKING DOWN FROM THIS ‘RED LINE’ DIDN’T TAKE LONG….

“President Barack Obama courted ridicule on Wednesday when he warned that there would be “consequences if people step over the line” in Ukraine. No one believed him, least of all Russian President Vladimir Putin, who saw through Obama’s “red line” on chemical weapons in Syria, most of which remain in regime hands after a Russian-brokered agreement. On Thursday, the fragile Ukranian truce was broken and 22 died in new clashes. NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN, OR IS EXPECTED TO BE, BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

Then again, did Obama ever really ‘DEFINE what he meant by “if people step over the line” in Ukraine? For all we know, his definition of ‘over the line’ could be ’1 million Ukranians murdered’, which means no one has ‘stepped over the line’ yet…

easyt65 on February 20, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Our President is…and he deserves all the accolades in the world here…the best campaigner in the world. All Time best, no question. Not even FDR or JFK in his fondest moments came close.

Fortunately for our country, FDR, JFK and all the others had other traits to recommend them for the Presidency, all involving the ability to administer and run the business of government. President Obama may be the smartest person in the room, but he has no idea of how to get anything done…right! He may be a thinker, but he is a truly bad “Boss” and CEO. He gets an “F” in “works well with others,” and “Organizes well.” And, in this case, he ranks an “F” in “follows through on commitments.”

After Syria…after his handling of the Egyptian situation and Libya, just his apparent expectation that a warning to those in the Ukraine not to cross some imaginary line would be taken seriously strains credulity. I so want to respect the office of the Presidency, but this guy is making it almost an impossibility.

I would laugh along with the rest of the world, including Putin, as-Assad, Rouhani, and Karzai, if it weren’t so sad a case. Besides, as a voting citizen, this makes me just as much at fault for this disgusting situation. No, I didn’t vote for him, but maybe I could have made the case of his not being experienced enough for the job to more people.

TKPedersen42 on February 20, 2014 at 6:50 PM

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