President Barack Obama is coming in for sharp criticism over his foreign policy. In short, he’s seen as weak. So let’s review the whole Crimea tragedy.
The Russian invasion of Crimea was caused by Putin’s loss of a puppet in Ukraine. He has said that losing the old Tsarist-Soviet empire was the “worst geopolitical disaster of the last century,” apparently unaware that the world has moved past the age of empires.
But a puppetized Ukraine was a satisfactory compromise for Putin.
When his kleptocrat Yanukovich was chased out, Putin saw his grip on Ukraine slipping away. So he took over the most treasured part, Crimea.
Did Obama “cause” the takeover through weakness? Could he have stopped it?
No, Obama’s “weakness” was not a factor, for we have no power in that region so close to Russia. As his critics now demand, Obama could have thumped his chest and rattled his rockets, but Putin would have seen that for what it was – words. Putin respects only power.
There have been implications that this wouldn’t have happened if George W. Bush were president. Oh? When Bush sent M-60 tanks to Georgia he tripped Putin’s “red line.” Putin responded by invading Georgia in 2008, swiping the tanks and two parts of Georgia as well. What did the chest-thumper-in-chief do? George Bush, he lay low. He had no power in that area.
If Putin goes ahead and takes over eastern Ukraine, what will Obama do? Only what he can – he’ll crush Russia’s economy with sanctions. Hopefully, our allies will go along.
The hysterics now arrayed against the president have more to do with the right’s “Obama Derangement Syndrome” than with reality. President Obama is neither a traitor nor a communist. He’s doing a pretty good job of taking a hard look at reality and doing what can actually be done.