Obama: We’re not going to war with Russia over Crimea

posted at 8:41 am on March 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Was this option on the table? Supporters and critics alike of the President had plenty of suggestions about what the US could do in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea three weeks ago and its annexation this week. No one of note suggested that the US should attack Russia to reclaim Crimea for Ukraine. However, Barack Obama made two appearances on local television to assure Americans that the suggestion that no one suggested would not become policy, or something:

“We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine,” the president said in an interview with NBC’s San Diego affiliate, KNSD, one of several he did Wednesday. “What we are going to do is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message, which is that Ukraine should decide their destiny.” …

Obama said that he sees Russian President Vladimir Putin acting “out of weakness, not out of strength” in attempting to take control of Crimea. Putin, the president said, is “not comfortable” with former members of the Soviet Union making moves to align themselves with the West.

In another interview, with St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK, Obama also said that a military option is not on the table.

“Obviously, you know, we do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia,” he said. “The Ukrainians don’t want that. Nobody would want that.”

Politifact would rate this as true, because literally no one wants that. That’s not a Bidenesque literally, but a literal literally. No one wants it, no one would approve it, and for a couple of really good reasons — we have no national interest in who governs Crimea, and an attempt to start a war there would make Dieppe look well-considered. It’s in the Russian’s back yard.

So why bother saying it at all? That’s the curious aspect of this. Obama has an annoying habit of attempting to present his critics’ arguments in his own fantasy reductio ad absurdum constructs that end up bearing no resemblance to the actual criticisms, all to paint himself as the voice of centrist reason. This, however, just makes him look as out of touch as the rest of his foreign policy — with an extra added dollop of weakness as the a la mode touch.

Paul Mirengoff calls this a “false choice,” and a bad signal to send:

In ruling out military action, Obama explained that “the Ukrainians don’t want [an actual war with Russia], nobody would want that.” But if Russia continues to devour their country, the Ukrainians are no less likely to want a war than any of Russia’s other neighbors or former client states would be under similar circumstances.

Accordingly, Obama’s statement can be read by Russia as ruling out any U.S. military to stop any future aggression within the former Soviet Union and perhaps within its entire former sphere of influence. Perhaps Obama would have been better advised not to have made this statement.

The other problem with the statement is that, to use Obama’s former pet phrase, it presents us with a false choice. America’s options aren’t limited to taking military action and “mobilizing diplomatic resources to send a clear message.”

We could, for example, provide weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. Ukraine could then decide whether to use them in the event of further Russian aggression. Ukraine has, in fact, requested weapons and ammunition, but Obama turned down the request.

I suspect we have not supplied Ukraine with weapons because we want to diminish the prospect of Ukrainian resistance in the event Russia moves into Eastern Ukraine (which Russia seems at least as likely as not to do). Ukrainian resistance is not in Obama’s interest, as he likely sees it, because the resulting bloodbath would further embarrass his administration.

And that question may become acute quickly. NATO’s top concern at the moment is that Vladimir Putin won’t stop at Crimea, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Foreign Policy’s Yochi Dreazen:

NATO’s top official acknowledged in an interview that Russia’s annexation of Crimea had “established certain facts on the ground” that would be difficult to change and said the military alliance was increasingly concerned that Moscow might also invade eastern Ukraine.

In the interview, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen toldForeign Policy that Russia’s sudden conquest of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula was a “wake-up call” for the 28-member alliance, which had been established to counter potential Soviet aggression during the Cold War. Rasmussen said NATO was committed to protecting Poland and other Baltic members of the alliance from what he described as an increasingly aggressive and land-hungry Russian government. …

“Our concern is that Russia won’t stop here,” Rasmussen said. “There is a clear risk that Russia will go beyond Crimea and the next goal will be the eastern provinces of Ukraine.”

A Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine, he added, “would have severe consequences.”

At this point, it is more important to send signals of strength rather than offer nonsense statements about demands that no one is making. This administration won’t even make an explicit threat to kick Russia out of the G-8, as the UK finally did yesterday, or even permanently cancel its June meeting in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea. It’s certain that Putin’s not worried about military action or of much of anything else in a coordinated Western response.  It’s time that Obama left the “fantasy” world described by the Washington Post earlier this month and start dealing with the reality of global power.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The Feckless Wonder strikes again.

Obama wouldn’t go to war with Russia if Russia nuked Texas. In fact, he’d probably congratulate them.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Last time we ignored a fascist dictator swallowing European territory we ended up having to spill American blood and treasure to put France back on the map of Europe.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM

It’s time that Obama left the “fantasy” world described by the Washington Post earlier this month and start dealing with the reality of global power.

You have to understand it before you deal with it. Obama is clueless.

Walter L. Newton on March 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM

In other news, Jimmuh Carter and the ghost of Neville Chamberlain are seen smiling broadly.

dreadnought62 on March 20, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Obama wouldn’t go to war with Lilliput if they shelled the entire east coast.

rplat on March 20, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Was this option on the table?

No but that doesn’t mean you immediately take it off the table. The filthy lazy stupid rat-eared coward, once again, proves that electing people because of race is a lousy indicator of ability, competence, morality, or decency.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:51 AM

So, about that “guarantee” of Ukranian sovereignty contained in the Budapest Memorandum…we get a better guarantee from Timex.

Blaise on March 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Saying this makes it More likely to happen.

Mord on March 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Not that we should ever go to war over the Ukraine, but didn’t they used to have a word for this just before WWII?

Appee-something .. peasement … appeasement – yeah, that’s it!

Lance Corvette on March 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

And BTW two questions for this morning…..

Why in the hell is the rat-eared traitor going on local televion and not speaking to the American people.

Secondly, where in the hell is John Kerry?

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Putin is doing what our national media refuses to do, expose Obama for fraud that he is.

phatfawzi on March 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

It’s time that Obama left the “fantasy” world described by the Washington Post earlier this month and start dealing with the reality of global power.

They didn’t teach that in community agitatin’ skoo.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Weaksauce commentary. What Obama is saying is that we are not going to do anything that would trigger a war with Russia over Crimea. The losers McCain et al want America to act like it is still Big Dawg – even if it means accidentally starting a needless war.

Republicans just want tougher messaging and a chance to spend on some military waste. Meanwhile, they will act like this proves Obama is weak because he didn’t stop Putin.

It is all a show, all a farce. Best not to act like this is of any real consequence. Crimea was always de facto Russia.

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Putin is doing what our national media refuses to do, expose Obama for fraud that he is.

phatfawzi on March 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Obama has made the United States less than the SHADOW of a paper tiger.

Even if you don’t intend to use military force you don’t DECLARE it. Obama is the dumbest “genius” I have ever seen.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Only way out of this is to stick it to Gazprom and allow LNG exports to Europe. Isolate Russia economically NOW.

blammm on March 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Only tangentially related:
Ex-CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Has a Website

whatcat on March 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Not that Putin was in any doubt.

Walter L. Newton on March 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

They didn’t teach that in community agitatin’ skoo.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

The only thing they teach there is chooming and how to use the RAAAAACE CARD!!! (hint: every play).

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

When it comes to acting like a leader, Obama acts if he still believes he’s a community organizer… not the President of the United States.

Now, instead of greasing the palms of Chicago Politicians to get crooked judges to issue injunctions against his enemies, Obama believes that he can defeat Putin by issuing sanctions with no intestinal fortitude (or allies) to back them up.

I’ve got some news for ya, Scooter: Wearing Moms Jeans and a girlish bicycle helmet does not exactly strike fear into the hearts of our nation’s enemies. Nor does it command respect.

kingsjester on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

And BTW two questions for this morning…..

Why in the hell is the rat-eared traitor going on local televion and not speaking to the American people.

Secondly, where in the hell is John Kerry?

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

1. He’s too busy at fundraisers and picking out basketball things for that kind of crap.

2. On a yacht. Just like before.

Seriously, NO ONE thought that military intervention was a good idea. NO ONE. It would start all manner of badness everywhere. But I can’t figure out what all these government folks mean by “diplomatic options”. Meaningless sanctions? UN or NATO condemnation? Scolding at the next cocktail party? I suspect a combination of all manner of fury signifying nothing.

mjk on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Only tangentially related:
Ex-CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Has a Website

whatcat on March 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Saw that. I’m sure Sharyl is about to get her front door blown down by a “no knock” IRS audit.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

We can see what Putin is getting out of the deal, what is Obama getting?

Murphy9 on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Only way out of this is to stick it to Gazprom and allow LNG exports to Europe. Isolate Russia economically NOW.

blammm on March 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

This. It isn’t all or nothing, Obama. You could wage an economic war and Putin would back down.

Occams Stubble on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Well that’s a load off.

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM

When it comes to acting like a leader, Obama acts if he still believes he’s a community organizer… not the President of the United States.

Now, instead of greasing the palms of Chicago Politicians to get crooked judges to issue injunctions against his enemies, Obama believes that he can defeat Putin by issuing sanctions with no intestinal fortitude (or allies) to back them up.

I’ve got some news for ya, Scooter: Wearing Moms Jeans and a girlish bicycle helmet does not exactly strike fear into the hearts of our nation’s enemies. Nor does it command respect.

kingsjester on March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Obama still thinks the solution to every problem is to give a speech. The SAME speech that he’s been giving for the last 5 years. He’s so damn lazy I wouldn’t be surprised if he has his video editors just chop something together and play it from tape.

The only person left who thinks Obama has the ability to shrink oceans with a speech is Obama…

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Straw man arguments… You see this idiocy and lies in every Obama speech… Anyway, no one give a f*** about this incompetent fool anymore..

mnjg on March 20, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Only way out of this is to stick it to Gazprom and allow LNG exports to Europe. Isolate Russia economically NOW.

blammm on March 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

This. It isn’t all or nothing, Obama. You could wage an economic war and Putin would back down.

Occams Stubble on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

The only way to do that is to do something Obama is adamantly against: Expanding American energy production so that WE can supply Europe, so Europe has the luxury of telling Comrade Putin to pound sand.

Obama is not going to take any course that leads to American strength or shows our exceptionalism.

ConstantineXI on March 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM

This all fits into Obama’s vision of making the US weaker, less important in the world.

albill on March 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM

the real problem is he says this while kerry says all options are on the table.
they have no foreign policy let alone a good one.

dmacleo on March 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

This. It isn’t all or nothing, Obama. You could wage an economic war and Putin would back down.

Occams Stubble on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

The only economic war obama knows how to wage is against Americans. That’s what he learned in community agitating skoo.

/This guy needs to be PUNTED out of office… not thrown – PUNTED

Key West Reader on March 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

This. It isn’t all or nothing, Obama. You could wage an economic war and Putin would back down.

Occams Stubble on March 20, 2014 at 9:03 AM

It’s not just an economic offensive weapon. It also shields all of Eastern Europe from the extortion that Russia wages during the winter time.

blammm on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

the real problem is he says this while kerry says all options are on the table.
they have no foreign policy let alone a good one.

dmacleo on March 20, 2014 at 9:07 AM

You’ve seen/heard John Kerry? Because I think he’s AWOL.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Best not to act like this is of any real consequence. Crimea was always de facto Russia.

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

And the ghost of Neville Chamberlain bestows his benediction upon you, too. Blessed be the cowardly. They shall inherit the swift kick in the ass that comes to all who are smugly self-satisfied.

dreadnought62 on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

You’ve seen/heard John Kerry? Because I think he’s AWOL.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Ter AZE-a tied him up to the bed last night last night and forgot to let him loose before she passed out in the basement from too many vodka shots. He’s wearing her bikini.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2014 at 9:11 AM

They didn’t teach that in community agitatin’ skoo.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

I know this is OT, but KWR, please know that
you and yours have been in everyone’s prayers here…

..I am extremely upset by what you have gone thru.

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

The Prime Minister of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick bests President Obama at checkers again …

M240H on March 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t laying all your cards on the table a poor strategy? and a worse tactic?

Lolo on March 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Except for 23 years, Crimea has been part of Russia since 1783. At that time, ownership of North America was being hotly contested.

That was of course before the US took what is now all or part of eight US states from Mexico, which Henry David Thoreau protested so vigorously.

It’s funny how some mock the claims of the Aztlan morons yet want war with Russia over Crimea. Of course, in the interest of charity, I must say that they don’t really want war, they just want to sound like people who do.

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

At this point, it is more important to send signals of strength rather than offer nonsense statements about demands that no one is making.

Would sending a signal of strength be a selfie with Ellen on her show today?

And the left used to go on, ad nauseum, about Bush being an embarrassment.

tru2tx on March 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

It’s time that Obama left the “fantasy” world described by the Washington Post earlier this month and start dealing with the reality of global power.

Heh. He has…he invaded ESPN and has laser-like focus on that March Madness foozeball nonsense, whilst Moochelle acts as special envoy in China.

Brat on March 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

He went full retard. You never go full retard.

Jeff Weimer on March 20, 2014 at 9:19 AM

If Russia wants Crimea they should be forced to take Barky, too.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Republicans just want tougher messaging and a chance to spend on some military waste. Meanwhile, they will act like this proves Obama is weak because he didn’t stop Putin.

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 8:58 AM

It’s pretty well-known around the international community that Obama is pantywaist gasbag. Under Bush, our adversaries really did have to consider if their bad behavior would trigger a response of force from the USA. They have no such concerns anymore.

You see, when you hire a president who promises to surge a war just to sound like a toughguy, and then announces a withdrawal date at the same time he sends half the troop levels his generals ask for, he looks weak. Equally, when he draws dopey red lines on the reelect campaign trail for the same effect and then doesn’t back them up, he looks even more like a candyass. And, when he announces enormous military scale-backs at the same time our #1 geopolitical foe is invading another country, they know that Neville Obama will let them get away with anything.

Russia has nothing to fear from Obama. They know he’s a chump. He halted the missile defense shield in Poland for nothing, hit some stupid reset button like world leaders are a bunch of 3-year-olds and promised Russia flexibility after his reelection to disarm the USA. Obama is a naive moron, just like you.

crrr6 on March 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Not much clarity there.

It’s funny how some mock the claims of the Aztlan morons yet want war with Russia over Crimea

It’s funny how this is the same sort of dishonest, strawman argument that President “There-are-some-who-say” uses.

reaganaut on March 20, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t laying all your cards on the table a poor strategy? and a worse tactic?

Lolo on March 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Par for the course with the rat-eared bastard. Remember this is the lazy stupid coward who- IN THE SAME SPEECH- announced a surge in military personnel into the Afghan combat zone and a timetable for surrender. It isn’t by chance that 75% of the combat deaths in Afghanistan was under this worthless bastard’s watch.

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 9:25 AM

It’s pretty well-known around the international community that Obama is pantywaist gasbag. Under Bush, our adversaries really did have to consider if their bad behavior would trigger a response of force from the USA. They have no such concerns anymore.

You see, when you hire a president who promises to surge a war just to sound like a toughguy, and then announces a withdrawal date at the same time he sends half the troop levels his generals ask for, he looks weak. Equally, when he draws dopey red lines on the reelect campaign trail for the same effect and then doesn’t back them up, he looks even more like a candyass. And, when he announces enormous military scale-backs at the same time our #1 geopolitical foe is invading another country, they know that Neville Obama will let them get away with anything.

Russia has nothing to fear from Obama. They know he’s a chump. He halted the missile defense shield in Poland for nothing, hit some stupid reset button like world leaders are a bunch of 3-year-olds and promised Russia flexibility after his reelection to disarm the USA. Obama is a naive moron, just like you.

crrr6 on March 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Huh — shows how much you know. That was an overcharge button.

/

Lolo on March 20, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Ron Paul’s isolationism (don’t quibble over semantics) and the Left’s “oh. let’s be nice to them” strategy both assume nations are inherently peaceful and rational. If that were true, they’d have a point. Unfortunately, as history continues to teach, both approaches are considered signs of weakness by belligerent nations. Most national leaders in the world got there by force. They are not inherently peaceful.

It’s unfortunate that we have to be involved around the globe, but it is essential. What we need to decide is to what degree. However, shows of strength here and there are often the better long-term strategy.

Extreme example (for purposes of demonstrating the concept)… The West’s decision to appease Hitler (and Stalin) only made the long-term costs in terms of blood and treasure horribly worse. A “Peace Through Strength” strategy can accomplish what retreat or kid gloves believe they will accomplish (but rarely do).

mankai on March 20, 2014 at 9:28 AM

No one of note suggested that the US should attack Russia to reclaim Crimea for Ukraine.

In ruling out military action, Obama explained that “the Ukrainians don’t want [an actual war with Russia], nobody would want that.” But if Russia continues to devour their country, the Ukrainians are no less likely to want a war than any of Russia’s other neighbors or former client states would be under similar circumstances.

So nobody of note is suggesting that we go to war with Russia to save Crimea…except the guy you quote!

See you in Kyiv!

Joseph K on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Kerry Makes It Official: ‘Era of Monroe Doctrine Is Over’

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/11/18/kerry-makes-it-official-era-of-monroe-doctrine-is-over/

The country is in the very best of hands…or something….

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Russia has nothing to fear from Obama. They know he’s a chump. He halted the missile defense shield in Poland for nothing, hit some stupid reset button like world leaders are a bunch of 3-year-olds and promised Russia flexibility after his reelection to disarm the USA. Obama is a naive moron, just like you.

crrr6 on March 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Yes, Obama did not do a good job with this. I do not care about him and my position does not have to do with scoring political points over his ineptitude in messaging.

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM

It’s funny how this is the same sort of dishonest, strawman argument that President “There-are-some-who-say” uses. reaganaut on March 20, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Look up “straw man,” see what it really means.

Do you think that one can mock La Raza’s claim that they didn’t cross the border, it crossed them, while seriously criticizing Russia for taking back Russian territory?

Do you want the US to (try to) kick Russia out of Crimea militarily? If not, why not?

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Secondly, where in the hell is John Kerry?

Happy Nomad on March 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Telling the President of Uganda that he is wrong about Teh Gheys and should embrace SSM. In fact, he is so concerned about this serious international issue that he is sending ‘our experts’ over to meet President Museveni.

“I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue as to why what he did could not be based on any kind of science or fact, which is what he was alleging,” Kerry said during a University Town Hall meeting at the U.S. Department of State. “He welcomed that and said that he was happy to receive them and we can engage in that kind of conversation… maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration.”


Huff Post: John Kerry To Send Homosexuality ‘Experts’ To Tackle Uganda Anti-Gay Law

(scare quotes are Huff Po’s)

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Because in Kumbya Foreign Policy Circles….The US has no enemies who would seek to infiltrate our borders for nefarious reasons….That’s 19th century thinking or something…

“At a time when the Middle East, Afghanistan and China monopolize U.S. foreign-policy, Latin America hasn’t received much attention. Until today, that is, when Secretary of State John Kerry declared the expiration of the nearly 200-year old lodestar of U.S. diplomacy in the Americas.

“The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” Mr. Kerry said in a speech at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

That prompted some tepid applause, which Mr. Kerry encouraged: “That’s worth applauding. That’s not a bad thing.”

Although mainly a statement of the obvious, Mr. Kerry’s declaration was welcomed at home and abroad, prompting a social media eruption.

The Monroe Doctrine was meant to keep Europeans out of Latin America in the wake of regional independence movements from Spain. It was later amplified by President Theodore Roosevelt with an eye toward making the U.S. the dominant player in the whole region.

The doctrine underpinned the first century of U.S. involvement overseas. Until World War 1, U.S. foreign-policy interests were overwhelmingly found in Latin America—for good (such as the Panama Canal) and bad (such as the U.S.-supported Panamanian revolution that made the canal possible.)

From a Latin American perspective, the Monroe Doctrine was often seen as a license for the U.S. to intervene at will in countries’ internal affairs. As 19th century Mexican strongman Porfirio Diaz put it: “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”

Mr. Kerry expanded upon his remarks, making clear that for the Obama administration, the old paradigm of a Washington-dominated hemisphere is passe.

“The relationship that we seek and that we have worked hard to foster is not about a United States declaration about how and when it will intervene in the affairs of other American states. It’s about all of our countries viewing one another as equals, sharing responsibilities, cooperating on security issues, and adhering not to doctrine, but to the decisions that we make as partners to advance the values and the interests that we share,” he said….”

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/11/18/kerry-makes-it-official-era-of-monroe-doctrine-is-over/

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 AM

his ineptitude in messaging.

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 AM

LOL. Barky is inept and incompetent at everything. There is nothing that the Dog-Eating Retard can do – other than destroy everything he touches, of course, since destruction is something that even the most talentless moron can accomplish. The “messaging” was supposed to be the one thing he was good at, but even his supporters can’t hold that obvious lie up.

Too funny.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Russia is not interested in Crimea solely for cultural purposes, they have economic and military interests. That’s fine. I wish we made decisions in our best financial interests (Keystone Pipeline, etc.). In this case, however, they are doing it at the expense of an ally.

If we don’t care about the military and economic interests of our allies, then no nation has any reason to ally itself with the US. I know the wide-eyed idealists believe we should exists with no alliances, but such talk ignores history. It is in the interest of the US to be allied with nations that share its values and goals. For this is in the economic interests of the US.

Would I go to war over Crimea? Probably not, but I’d consider arming Ukraine to defend eastern Ukraine. I’d also move missiles into the Czech Republic, Poland, etc. This is the time to do it. Russia has given us cause. That is where strength needs to be displayed.

mankai on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Huff Post: John Kerry To Send Homosexuality ‘Experts’ To Tackle Uganda Anti-Gay Law

(scare quotes are Huff Po’s)

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Priorities…

*Notice the US isn’t sending any experts to Muslim Countries….or India….*

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 9:37 AM

So why bother saying it at all? That’s the curious aspect of this. Obama has an annoying habit of attempting to present his critics’ arguments in his own fantasy reductio ad absurdum constructs that end up bearing no resemblance to the actual criticisms, all to paint himself as the voice of centrist reason.

Yep.

And;

At this point, it is more important to send signals of strength rather than offer nonsense statements about demands that no one is making.

Double yep.

KMC1 on March 20, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Whats hilarious is that most of the so-called actions Obama could take to install fear back into Russia are economic. That is entirely my point. We project strength by having genuine strength, economic, cultural, military.

Yet most criticisms of how the government is handling Russia is totally on messaging. That is sends the impression of weakness. Perhaps that is the truth – we are genuinely weak economically.

Spain had at one point the most feared navy in the world. Yet other economies grew and left it in the dust. A top-heavy American foreign policy dominated by military action will eventually leave us weakened as more and more wealth is spent on debt, military, and entitlements to fix the corrupt system and win votes.

We need to refocus and have genuine growth and strength.

Until then we will jump at every opportunity to try and “prove” our strength. That our hegemony is still intact. The thing is, eventually we will be unable to respond. At that time the more perceptive will realize there is blood in the water. Defeat the big military over a protracted engagement or series of engagements, and then America will no longer be able to raise an army from a broken economic base.

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Since Putin wants to rebuild Czarist Russia, where do we stop him? Alaska? If he does, we do know who will be standing on the shoreline, gun in hand, don’t we.

polarglen on March 20, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

So, you keep track of everyone who mocked La Raza for their claims, kept that info in a database and then cross referenced the data with those who criticized Russia?

Of course, previously you stated those who mock the claims and want war with Russia, now it has changed to “seriously criticize” Russia. So, which is it?

And what does 23 years have to do with anything? At the time of the Mexican War, except for 25 years, Mexico was part of Spain. Does that mean Spain has a claim on the American southwest? Oh wait, they conquered the Hopis and Yuman, etc…

reaganaut on March 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM

About those ‘all but 23 years’…

Imagine the Crimea is yours,” wrote the Russian statesman Grigory Potemkin to his imperial mistress Catherine II late in the autumn of 1782, “and the wart on your nose is no more.” The annexation of the Crimean peninsula had become Potemkin’s cause célèbre in recent years, as the Romanovs locked horns with the Ottomans and as rival European powers made colonial inroads all across the world. “There are no powers in Europe that have not distributed among themselves Asia, Africa, and America,” but in the Black Sea basin Potemkin saw an opening. “Believe me,” the imperial advisor continued, “that doing this will win you immortal glory greater than any other Russian sovereign ever,” and though “the conquest of the Crimea will neither strengthen nor enrich you… it will bring tranquility.”

Russia, Potemkin insisted, “needs paradise,” and Crimea represented his country’s longed-for Garden of Eden. Vasily Petrov, Count Potemkin’s in-house bard, had in a 1778 ode urged his patron to

Be known as the adopter
Of tribes from the entire world.
Plants of foreign countries
Are transported to the north: regenerate foreign people
Into Russians; Toil hard: your garden
Is the whole of Russia.

The starting point for this civilizing project would be the fertile peninsula of Crimea, though Potemkin would reject the Tatar word Krym in favor of the Greek place-name Tauris, said to be derived from the Greek taphros, or “a ditch dug by human hands.” Time would tell whether that ditch’s true purpose was for irrigation or for mass interment.

Convinced by her consort’s audacious proposal, Catherine issued a “most secret” rescript to prepare Russian forces for an intervention in Crimea, then a Turkic khanate in the grip of civil unrest, and it was a matter of months before the Russians had raised their flag over the newly-minted Taurida Governorate. The indigenous Tatars, led by their berobed and bemused murzas and mullahs, were soon gathering in open fields, swearing oaths on the Koran to their new suzerain in Saint Petersburg. Potemkin could hardly contain himself, writing again to his czarina: “Tauric Kherson — the origin of our Christianity and hence of our humanness — is already in the arms of its daughter. There is something mystical in this.” There were, of course, geopolitical as well as spiritual dimensions to Russia’s conquests, for “today’s new border promises peace to Russia, jealousy to Europe, and fear to the Ottoman Porte. So write down this annexation, empurpled with blood, and order your historians to prepare much ink and paper.” France, Britain, Austria, and Prussia might have looked askance at Russia’s drive to the Black Sea but, as the British Foreign Secretary Lord Grantham cursorily noted, “Why should we meddle? Not time to begin a fresh broil.”

The broiling would come regardless, and if Potemkin imagined that the conquest of Crimea would bring peace and tranquility to Russia’s borders, he was profoundly mistaken. After all, Russia is constitutionally incapable of geopolitical repose, and seems destined to be, as the Marquis de Custine put it a few decades later, a “tightly sealed boiler on a mounting fire.” Tranquility would not be found in the Russian colonization of Tauris, a failure by any measure, at least at that historical juncture. By 1810, the Briton J.C. Loudon would find that “no Russians are allowed to inhabit the town [of Bakhchisarai]; and in fact, the Crimea in general may be said to be given up to the Tatars and their goats.” Neither would Russian advances in the Black Sea region provide for diplomatic equanimity either, with the vicious Crimean War following naturally and immediately from Potemkin’s conquests, caking the peninsula and the region as a whole with Russian, European, and Tatar gore.

Continue reading: Crimea on the Brink

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Does ANYONE even bother to watch or listen to this feckless tool? I’d rather watch a year’s worth of Fox’s speculative, continuously running loop of The Plane’s status (while tied, upside down from a rafter) than be subjected to another MINUTE of this tool’s drooling.

vnvet on March 20, 2014 at 10:04 AM

If we don’t care about the military and economic interests of our allies, then no nation has any reason to ally itself with the US.

What makes Ukraine out ally? It opted out of NATO.

Would I go to war over Crimea? Probably not, but I’d consider arming Ukraine to defend eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military is a shambles, which is Ukraine’s fault. It seems disinterested in defense, which is not our problem.

I’d also move missiles into the Czech Republic, Poland, etc. This is the time to do it. Russia has given us cause. That is where strength needs to be displayed. mankai on March 20, 2014 at 9:35 AM

The time to do that was when we were in process of doing it. That ship has sailed thanks to 0jaggazz. But if those anti-missile missiles had been put in place, how might they have been employed in the current crisis?

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Yet ‘Bambi will enable the muslim brotherhood in Egypt, invade Libya and help Al-Qaida take over Syria.

TerryW on March 20, 2014 at 10:06 AM

A lawless anarchist is running his imperial policies dismantling our system of governance.

Recently King Preezy Choom the Maginficent I just promised families with illegal aliens at home he would protect them if they or their relatives signup for Obamacare.

“President Obama on Tuesday sought to assure legal immigrants that they can sign up for ObamaCare without worrying that “the immigration people” will come for family members who are in the country illegally.

In an interview with Univision Deportes, a Spanish-language sports radio show, Obama said immigration officials won’t have access to the personal information that consumers provide when signing up for healthcare on the new exchanges.

“Well, the main thing for people to know is that any information you get, you know, asked with respect to buying insurance, does not have anything to do with … the rules governing immigration,” Obama said. “And you know, you can qualify if you’re a legal resident, if you are … legally present in the United States.

“You know, if you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information.”

Adolf Falcon, the senior vice president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, told The Hill that Hispanic families are wary of Obama’s assurances because of his record on deportations.

“It is a big concern of mixed status families — they hear [the president’s] assurance, but because of the level of deportations that have happened, there’s a lot of families that don’t know whether they can trust that assurance,” he said. “It creates an atmosphere of concern.”

In Obama’s first four years in office, his administration deported people at a faster rate than any of the four previous administrations.

Falcon said his group fields about 4,000 calls a week from potential Hispanic consumers seeking information about the exchanges. He said that a good deal of the callers are asking about mixed-status families, seeking to make sure their applications can’t be used against family members.

For example, a family with a parent who is in the country illegally, and thus not eligible for ObamaCare, will still have to enroll his or her child who is eligible. This provokes fears in the parent that they are leaving themselves exposed.

Obama on Tuesday sought to allay those fears…”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/201076-obama-makes-o-care-pitch-to-hispanics-the#ixzz2wVp5suBP

workingclass artist on March 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Obama has a very typical liberal response: “Play nice and they’ll leave us alone.” (Whoops! That’s also a very typical Libertarian response, isn’t it??)

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM

ToddPA on March 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Thank you so much, Todd. We’re doing okay and as a person of Faith we will be okay. Praying for America more than anything else at this point!

Key West Reader on March 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Obama has a very typical liberal response: “Play nice and they’ll leave us alone.” (Whoops! That’s also a very typical Libertarian response, isn’t it??)

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM

I’m a libertarian. I am more realistic than that. We aren’t all (Ron)Paulistinians.

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Obaka has no time for foreign policy. He has a domestic crisis to resolve…

Planning begins for another Obama vacation

Brat on March 20, 2014 at 10:27 AM

So, you keep track of everyone who mocked La Raza for their claims, kept that info in a database and then cross referenced the data with those who criticized Russia?

I’d be curious to know what drove her to join La Raza (THE RACE!)

Perhaps the same impulse that caused her to refer to the U.S. Congress as the “North American Congress” in her college thesis.
AZCoyote on June 4, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Putin cares almost as much about adhering to international law as Barry Obama cares about adhering to the U.S. Constitution. AZCoyote on March 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

The takeaway: When a man suggests that he can cut an ace out of a deck, don’t bet him he can’t do it.

Of course, previously you stated those who mock the claims and want war with Russia, now it has changed to “seriously criticize” Russia. So, which is it?

Uh, both genius. Unless you think those two notions are contradictory.

And what does 23 years have to do with anything?

Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1953, which amounted to little more than paper shuffling given the circumstances. After the USSR collapsed in 1991, Ukraine became an independent state, meaning that Russia was suddenly bereft of Crimea and its strategic and trade advantages. Putin solved that problem, for which he’ll take some heat in the US press for a few weeks making it well worth his effort.

At the time of the Mexican War, except for 25 years, Mexico was part of Spain. Does that mean Spain has a claim on the American southwest? Oh wait, they conquered the Hopis and Yuman, etc… reaganaut on March 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM

I guess if Spain wanted to take back part of the US they could try, and the US would ensure that Spain 1.) regretted the effort, and 2.) would serve as an example of what happens to nations that attack the US mainland.

Akzed on March 20, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Since Putin wants to rebuild Czarist Russia, where do we stop him? Alaska? If he does, we do know who will be standing on the shoreline, gun in hand, don’t we.

polarglen on March 20, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Eskimos?

antisense on March 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I’m thinkin’ maybe it would be a good idea to ‘vet’ the next POTUS.

bimmcorp on March 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Who would we go to war with? The new transgendered Marines? I can see the slogans now .. Semper Bi .. Bung Ho! .. Feathernecks .. First to Bite .. A Few Gucci Men .. Goodnight RuPaul, Wherever You Are .. From the Halls of Folies Bergere, To the Stalls of Plato’s Bathhouse
Or the Army .. Army Of Fun .. I Want YOU girls over there, yoohoo .. Army Sarong .. As the Army keeps trolling along ..
Or the Wingwipers .. Off we go into the wild goo yonder, Kicking high all just for fun!
You know, I can’t seem to make fun of my Navy!! hehehe … srsly guys .. love you all!

GKChesterton99 on March 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM

GKChesterton99 on March 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Not cool. The military personnel have no say in this matter. They are the ones that have to take the extra risks that mentally flawed people with an excess representation of suicide and a typical chip on their shoulder making them want to take others with them on the front lines will cause along with the extra burden of the PC police that comes along with these sorts of policies. People like Bradley Manning come to mind.

astonerii on March 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM

All options are on the table, well almost all.

rjoco1 on March 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM

He’s deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine….the man is living in an alternate universe and has no clue about the real world! He makes Jimmuh Carter look like Churchill!

tomshup on March 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM

It’s time that Obama left the “fantasy” world described by the Washington Post earlier this month and start dealing with the reality of global power.

Not gonna happen, Ed. He doesn’t have the tools. He’s locked into the templates of ’60s era radical leftism, and they don’t fit reality. As a result he has no way to frame these conflicts in a way that suggests effective responses.

Since he has surrounded himself with equally deluded Faculty Lounge Liberals, plain old Leftist radicals and unmitigated worshipers like Valerie Jarrett, he is unlikely to get any useful advice from others, either.

novaculus on March 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Obama has a very typical liberal response: “Play nice and they’ll leave us alone.” (Whoops! That’s also a very typical Libertarian response, isn’t it??)

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM
I’m a libertarian. I am more realistic than that. We aren’t all (Ron)Paulistinians.

Resist We Much on March 20, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Then you’re definitely the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the mainstream Liberatian “head in the sand” foreign policy they believe in.

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I’ve considered myself conservative generally but a couple of internet exercises suggest that I’m more libertarian. Is it a violation of libertarian dogma to believe in the policy of peace through strength?

novaculus on March 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

obama is LilliPutin’s lilliputian.

He is the pretend president of a nation of fools, in the majority.

They brung and then kept the idiot.

He’s now off to FL, to preach about “equality”, he who hates the middle and lower classes.

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Wow O has really,really blown this it’s pathetic honestly he is losing on the home front and geo political front.

sorrowen on March 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Wow O has really,really blown this it’s pathetic honestly he is losing on the home front and geo political front.

sorrowen on March 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

No surprise…The Dog Eater is a loser, and losers usually lose…

bimmcorp on March 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM
I’ve considered myself conservative generally but a couple of internet exercises suggest that I’m more libertarian. Is it a violation of libertarian dogma to believe in the policy of peace through strength?

novaculus on March 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

“Peace through strength” means building up our military and the equipment they need to win if challenged. The stronger you are with national security, the less likely any other nations are to challenge you. Rand Paul would strip our military and defense in a heartbeat. How does that equate to Reagan’s peace through strength policy? It doesn’t.

Paul’s positions have already been proven losers. Just look at the Obama admin. reset button with Putin and tell me how well that worked out. Rand Paul must surely be an Obama foreign policy advisor, or at least an apologist in his image. With the Ukraine situation, Paul suggested that we not “tweak” Putin because he’s got some big guns. Paul suggested that we talk nice with Putin and ask him to please not do what he is doing.

Oh, and BTW, Ron said we could protect our country with just a few good submarines.

Bob Davis on March 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Odd. Barky’s supposed hero went to war when the Confederate states voted to leave THIS country.

PJ Emeritus on March 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM

obama is LilliPutin’s lilliputian.

He is the pretend president of a nation of fools, in the majority.

They brung and then kept the idiot.

He’s now off to FL, to preach about “equality”, he who hates the middle and lower classes.

Schadenfreude on March 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

And to golf. Actually more to golf than anything else.

slickwillie2001 on March 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM

This was a total ‘strawman’ as not one person in the world thought the U.S. might go to war against Russia over Crimea! This is a ‘PR’ move designed to allow Obama to seem somewhat still in control – like he really had the option to go to war if he wanted to – while also presnting the image of prferring a peaceful solution, justifying that Nobel Peace Prize he was given (for his ‘potential’).

easyt65 on March 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

easyt65 on March 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

McCain pretty much does. Cheney definitely does. “Conservative” pundits, radio hosts do. So do some HotGasers. Just look at the comments above. You would think GWB is POTUS and we’re on the brink of invading another country.

Let’s worry about our own borders before we worry about a part of a country with with populations filled with hardline muslims, and neo nazis.

LaughterJones on March 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Obama: We’re not going to war with Russia over Crimea

Yes, Putin knows that.

RJL on March 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM

King Putt is the Affirmative Action POTUS and he hasn’t a CLUE of how to do any job let alone generate LEADERSHIP for the ‘Free World’.

And with over 1050 days to go it will be much worse before it gets better. The people in Tel Aviv, Villnius, Taipei and Tallinn ALL know the score. They also know … they are ON THEIR OWN.

Missilengr on March 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Only way out of this is to stick it to Gazprom and allow LNG exports to Europe. Isolate Russia economically NOW.

blammm on March 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Right. Russia is playing OPEC’s hand, as an energy monopoly. We need to play Reagan’s hand, as effective competition.

It wouldn’t hurt our Balance of Trade, either. Remember that?

ReggieA on March 20, 2014 at 6:38 PM