It sure looks like Vladimir Putin is the winner and Barack Obama is the loser in the latest skirmish between the United States and Russia.
Over the weekend, Putin organized a hasty vote and effectively annexed Crimea into Mother Russia. He’s now reasserted the Russian Empire’s power, and all of the nation states surrounding Russia are surely feeling the cold breeze blowing in from the Siberian Steppes.
Amazingly, the Crimeans who voted to rejoin Russia are the same people who voted 25 years ago to leave the Soviet Union. The difference is that, in those days, they could rely on United States leaders to keep their word.
Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee from Britain, the United States, and Russia to protect their now-evaporating borders. But if the United States isn’t prepared to live up to its treaties, it shouldn’t sign them. Our word should be inviolate.
Since the Russian invasion took place, the United States has blustered a lot… but the only concrete steps it’s taken include a few naval exercises in the Black Sea and the delivery of military pre-prepared meals. We sent Stalin better goodies when he was fighting Hitler.
Meanwhile, if I was living in Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia, I would be figuring out how to emigrate. The KGB masters are back, and they’re as ugly as ever.
Could Weakness Lead to War?
This should surprise nobody who has been watching. Yet the three blind mice of American foreign policy – Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry – were foolish enough to try to “reset” relations with this aggressive rogue state.
Back on April 16, 2008, then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was going to recognize the breakaway states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These were provinces of the sovereign country of Georgia, just across the water and to the east of Crimea.
George W. Bush was president when Georgia was invaded, and the invasion became an issue in the campaign. Sarah Palin said at the time, “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”
She was unmercifully mocked by the Obama-loving press at the time; yet today, the words ring as an early warning against Obama’s feckless foreign policy.
And now, the problem we face is practically unsolvable. Obama has relentlessly chopped down the military budget. We’re spending less as a percentage of our GDP on defense than at any other time since WWII. Our Army is being shrunk to pre-WWII levels. Our nuclear deterrence has been practically eliminated.
And on top of that, our leadership has been much too weak when repeatedly presented with Putin’s aggressions.
Obama needs to expose Putin, not allow him to lie at will and say he’s invading to protect Russians from the fascist in Kiev. Putin doesn’t even protect the Russians living in Russia. The Russian state has degenerated into a criminal enterprise. The KGB thugs and Putin’s buddies have fleeced the country, stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. By some accounts, Putin is the richest man on the globe, with billions in foreign bank accounts, while the people of Russia mostly live in grinding poverty.
Not to mention that the Russians living in Ukraine are the descendants of Russian families forced to move by the Communists. The Ukrainian population would be much larger if it wasn’t for the mass starvation brought on by the Communist regime, or if Stalin hadn’t exiled millions of Ukrainians to Siberia.
At this point, the United States has virtually no military options in Ukraine, and it’s sad to see our defense capabilities degenerate to those of an also-ran. The entire theory of deterrence is to muster enough power that the bully doesn’t want to mess with you. Instead, our president can’t even deter Kim Jong-un, much less Vladimir Putin.
Time to go back to the drawing board… before Obama’s weakness gets us in World War III.
This commentary appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: Kevglobal (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom