Russians Laugh at Obama’s Weakness as Ukraine Crisis Enters More Dangerous Phase

Obama just does not understand that peace comes through strength and that any perceived weakness invites war!

It’s three weeks now since Russia seized the Ukraine. During that time Obama has reacted with mostly ambiguous and symbolic statements and actions. He talks about “costs” to Russia yet the only concrete action he took were limited economic sanctions on just 11 Russian and former Ukrainian officials. On Thursday, he added 20 more names to the list following the lead of the European Union.

Russians laughed at Obama’s weak response. One official said it must be the work of some “prankster” and pointed out that not all Russian officials have money deposited in western banks. Also, wives of officials were not included. It’s possible that in a number of cases the family money might be in the wife’s name to avoid just this sort of action.

Ukraine has requested immediate military aide in the form of ammunition and defensive weapons. Instead, Obama sent military rations or MREs (meals ready to eat). Quite a gesture to a country that lost seven million people to a famine caused by Josef Stalin in the 1930′s where people had to resort to cannibalism of family members to survive.

Obama’s Attempt at De-escalation Gives Putin the Green Light

Russians wasted no time taking the name of an
autonomous Crimea off the region’s parliament building.

In the midst of Obama’s typical dithering when it comes to foreign affairs a handful of observers asserted that he was actually trying to defuse the situation and give Putin a way out. But it’s clear from Putin’s actions that he saw Obama’s sidestepping as weakness and stepped on the accelerator.

At the point of a gun Russians conducted a referendum on Crimean independence with the result that 97% of those voting wanted to join Russia. That’s surprising since opinion polls taken over several years suggest only very narrow support for such a move.

Following the vote the Russians didn’t waste any time and immediately began dismantling the name above the Crimea’s formerly autonomous parliament. The same day Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order officially annexing the Crimea and making it part of Russia. Below, a woman in Crimea watches Putin’s speech while holding an image of her idol Josef Stalin. It looks like the good old days are back once more!

Russians in Crimea celebrate annexation with communist flags and images of Josef Stalin. Stalin, whose policies caused the deaths of 7 million native Ukrainians made it possible for Russians to dominate Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine.

In his speech after signing the annexation order Putin said:

PUTIN: “Our Western partners headed by the United States prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun.”

“They have come to believe in their exceptionalism and their sense of being the chosen ones. That they can decide the destinies of the world, that it is only them who can be right.”

Those words might sound familiar to Obama. The left has been saying nearly the same thing for years and Obama might have said them himself when George W. Bush was President. The irony must be too much. But perhaps these words, and the Left’s belief in them describes why Obama is so hesitant to act in foreign affairs.

First Crimea, Next, THE WORLD!

Following a similar formula to the seizure of Crimea, the Russian government is making noises about eastern Ukraine and also the Republic of Latvia.  Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Russian troops are massed on the Ukrainian border. Where will it all end? The Washington Post put together this “cheat sheet” graphically displaying reasons to be concerned about renewed Russian expansion:

This is not to suggest that Russians will invade or annex each of these countries of concern. If Obama, leading the West, (or not leading) continues to do little more than symbolic noises without even a wrist slap of real consequences for Moscow, the Russians won’t have to invade. They will simply signal their displeasure and their targets will fall in line and do Russia’s bidding.

Obama too busy with basketball to bother with Ukraine?

What Would Reagan Do?

Instead of leading Obama is busy declaring Happy Hour at Democrat fundraisers and working on March Madness basketball tournament predictions. The official White House web site even has a page dedicated to this activity. Real leadership on Ukraine appears to be absent.

Elected officials and former National Security personnel from both the Republican and Democrat side of the aisle have urged stronger measures and more visible leadership (1,2,3,4,5). Even Hillary Clinton says we need to do more. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, declared this crisis “a call to action.” At some point that “action” must be more than words.

Actions speak louder than words and action is the only language Putin understands. Concrete steps Obama and the West might take include (1,2,3,4,5):

  • Obama threatened to “isolate” Russia in the world community if it seized Crimea. It’s time to do just that and cut Putin off from international forums. Not just throw Russia out of the G-8 which treated Russia as an equal but end NATO and other links, like trade organizations, as well.
  • Give the Ukrainians the defensive weaponry they need.
  • Restore cuts to America’s military.
  • Do more than send John Kerry or Joe Biden to Poland and the Baltic States. Restore the missile defense treaty with Poland (and the Czech Republic) which Obama foolishly canceled because he believed the Russians were our friends. Send additional military aid to the region.
  • Provide massive financial support for Ukraine as that country attempts to transition away from reliance on Russia.
  • Russians closed down local news media in Crimea and replaced it with state propaganda. Beam Western news and information into Crimea and Ukraine.

Writing at Slate, Fred Kaplan suggests we discuss with Ukraine and allies over open phone lines Putin is most likely bugging the possibility of sending covert military aid and Delta Forces to disrupt and punish any Russian military expansion.

Oil and Gas: The Most Effective Weapon but One Obama is Loathe to Use

The suggestions above are short and near term proposals. What is needed is a long term plan that deprives Putin of the ability to engage in such lawless activities. The most effective tool to use is oil and gas. Putin’s military and the Russian economy depend on oil and gas to survive. Reduce that revenue and Putin is impotent.

Ideas to investigate corrupt Russian oil and gas executives and freeze their holdings in the West do not go far enough. Drive down the price of oil/gas and provide new sources of supply to Europe and Putin’s options dry up. With the stroke of that pen Obama is always talking about he could order the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to speed up applications for new liquefied gas exports. He could also open up the process for exploring for oil and gas on federal lands that has been largely shut down since he became President. In a few years massive new supplies of energy would drive down world prices and force the Russians to retreat. Reagan did it in the 1980′s. But would Obama?

As of now, not even the Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)Obama promised earlier have left their storage locations in the United States let alone been delivered. Putin surely knows this and takes it as yet another sign of Obama’s weakness and indifference. Five years into his presidency and Obama appears incapable of providing strong leadership. Unless that changes nations like Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea will continue to threaten world peace. The best hope for peace is a strong America and that’s one job Obama doesn’t seem to understand!

About Mike's America

Mike's America has written 63 posts in this blog.

Mike has experience in politics and government at every level from the Court House to the White House where he worked for President Reagan.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

One Pingback/Trackback

  • Michael

    I’m impressed with your “everything but the kitchen sink” list of things that the president could do to alleviate this situation. I’m unsurprised that it reads like your wish list of Everything You’d Do If You Were the Boss, regardless of its applicability to l’affaire Ukraine. Never let a crisis go to waste, eh, Mike?

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Yes, and had I not provided a list of options you would say I was as clueless as Obama on what to do.

      The point is there is a whole series of options that are going un-explored. I believe the reason is because Obama STILL is deluded about what and who Putin really is. I heard today that Obama thinks Russia might help with Iran. When might that be? It’s been FIVE YEARS.

  • Pingback: WHEN THE COVETOUS RULE | Citizen Tom

  • Michael

    Just out of curiosity, when Putin invaded Georgia during the Bush administration, was that a result of Bush’s weakness and indecision?

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      If you had bothered to keep up with these events you would know that Bush’s response to Putin’s aggression in Georgia was much stronger. We signed the missile defense deal with the Poles shortly afterwards. The same deal that Obama negated when he took office.

      That negation was designed to appease the Russians and “reset” relations on a better course. It was a delusional act.

      If only you held Obama accountable to the same standard you demanded of Bush. But of course we know you won’t.

  • Michael

    “f you had bothered to keep up with these events you would know that Bush’s response to Putin’s aggression in Georgia was much stronger.”

    What you have done here is to answer a different question than the one I asked—deliberately, I can only assume.

    I didn’t ask about Bush’s response to the Georgia incursion; I asked whether it was Bush’s perceived weakness that encouraged Putin to enter Georgia in the first place.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      I have a question: despite your frequent protestations that you are not an Obama defender why is it that you invariably parrot (which is the exact word for what you are doing) the Obama defender talking point?

      Besides, if Bush was weak, then Obama must be viewed as weaker on a vastly larger scale.

  • Michael

    For the third time, Mike: Putin attacked Georgia while Bush was president. Was that because he perceived Bush as weak?

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Do you think Bush was perceived as weak?

      Do you think Obama is NOT perceived as weak?

  • Michael

    For the fourth time, Mike: you’re saying that Putin’s attack on the Ukraine is a direct response to Obama’s perceived weakness. Was Putin’s attack on Georgia during the Bush administration a response to Bush’s perceived weakness?

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      As soon as you answer my questions I’ll be happy to address yours.

      You have a marked habit of ignoring the questions put to you. I find it ironic that you feel annoyed if you perceive, rightly or WRONGLY, others are behaving in a similar manner.

      Again, do you not think Obama is perceived as weak?

  • Michael

    You’ve picked an interesting method of attempting to deflect my question, Mike. That Putin invades when he perceives the American president to be weak is, after all, your thesis, not mine. I’m giving you a chance to be the expert that you’re always telling me you are–I’ve never pretended to be an expert in this field.

    For the fifth time in this thread, Mike: you’re saying in the post up above that Putin invades when he feels that the American president is weak. Does that mean that Putin saw Bush as being weak when he invaded Georgia during the last administration?

    You never tire of telling me what an expert you are in this area, Mike. Show some expertise.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Was Bush weak? NO.

      Is Obama weak? YES.

      Could Obama’s weakness be a factor in Putin’s decision to seize Crimea? YES.

      Once again you are playing your tiresome, LITTLE game. It’s a transparent effort to be clever and construct a false syllogism, or sillygism in your case.

      Now, perhaps you could answer my question for a change.

  • Michael

    “Anymore questions?”

    No. Just the same one you’ve now avoided answering five times.

    My question addresses the very foundation of your thesis in this post, Mike. You’re saying that Putin invades other countries when he sees the American president as weak. If there’s confirmation of that tendency–if he’s done it at other times–maybe you’re right. Your ideas on Putin’s motivation would seem very strongly to suggest that Putin thought that Bush was weak.

    Of course, if you’re an expert, as you have repeatedly said that you are, you will have some kind of actual expertise to wield here, rather than simply hitting the “CAPS LOCK” key.

    Be the expert you keep saying you are, Mike. I welcome it.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      As usual, you ignore or dismiss ANYTHING that is critical of Obama and only seek to muddy the water.

      How typical and dishonest.

      Weakness is not the ONLY factor that invites aggression. But in the case of Obama it may be the PRIMARY factor.

      Surely even a small, petty mind, such as yours can understand simple logic.

      A=B
      B=C
      So, A=C, but not necessarily D.

      Got it?

      I note again you fail to answer MY question and only persist in your lame attempt to defend Obama. Yet you claim you are not here to defend him…

      P.S. It’s better to have SOME expertise in this area as opposed to your situation in which you have NONE AT ALL. Perhaps when you have personal educational experience with a National Security Advisor you can question my expertise in this field. Until then, you ought to stick to poisoning the minds of children in the classroom. After all, you’re so good at it!

  • Michael

    Then I guess you’ll have to spell it out for me, Mike. If Bush was strong and Putin invaded, and Obama is weak and Putin invaded, it would seem to suggest that it doesn’t matter whether the president is strong or weak–Putin will do what he wants to do.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      I’m not at all surprised you don’t understand the difference. Perhaps if you understood these issues a little better you might.

  • Michael

    Still no explanation. Again, I encourage you to use your expertise here, Mike. Explain it to me.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      I’ve answered your question. You’ve repeatedly dodged mine.

      Your lack of honest consideration and reply requires no further consideration from me.

      What a shame you don’t put your limited gifts to better purpose.

  • Michael

    “I’ve answered your question.”

    Here’s what you’ve typed in reply to my question:

    1. “If you had bothered to keep up with these events you would know that Bush’s response to Putin’s aggression in Georgia was much stronger.” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    2. “Besides, if Bush was weak, then Obama must be viewed as weaker on a vastly larger scale.” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    3. “Do you think Bush was perceived as weak? Do you think Obama is NOT perceived as weak?” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    4. “As soon as you answer my questions I’ll be happy to address yours.” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    5. “Was Bush weak? NO. Is Obama weak? YES. Could Obama’s weakness be a factor in Putin’s decision to seize Crimea? YES.” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    6. “A=B B=C So, A=C, but not necessarily D. Got it?” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    7. “I’m not at all surprised you don’t understand the difference. Perhaps if you understood these issues a little better you might.” That doesn’t address my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was.

    You haven’t answered my question at all.

    I’m giving you a chance to be the expert here, Mike. School me. Stomp me into the ground with your knowledge–I’m begging you. This should be an easy one for you.

    In case you’ve forgotten what I’ve been asking, here it is again: If, as you say in this post, it is Obama’s weakness that allowed Putin to attack Ukraine, how do you explain the fact that he attacked Georgia during the Bush administration?

  • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

    Once again, you may not like the answer. But you did get it.

    You have been “stomped” into the ground with my knowledge.

    And you still have not answered my question.

    Oh well, what else could we expect from a George Soros Parrot?

  • Michael

    “Once again, you may not like the answer. But you did get it.”

    I guess I missed it. How about this: if you will quote the thing you wrote that you consider to be the answer to my question, which was why Putin did what he did in the first place, if Bush’s “strength” was the deterrent you say it was, I will a) defer to your superior knowledge and experience and not respond at all, except to b) answer the question you want me to answer. (You’ll have to remind me what it was.)

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Perhaps you ought to read more carefully and look to comprehend what is written instead of looking for the next hook in your ego game of distraction and timewasting.

      If I genuinely believed your harping on this issue was motivated by a sincere desire to understand the issue and my thinking regarding it I would expend whatever time necessary was to get through to you. But we both know that isn’t your motivation is it.

      Needless to say that at Columbia University whenever I raised the issue of options regarding a response to Soviet/Russian actions against states in Eastern Europe with former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski I got an A for my effort. I hardly need your evaluation of my opinions.

      I still don’t have your answer to my question. Once again, you offer NO input on what YOU think, you only seek to demean what others say. In your psych profile this speaks volumes. I suggest you raise the matter with your mental health therapist. That is if he or she still allows you to visit.

  • Michael

    Well, at any rate, I have to admire your commitment to the bit.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Why don’t you just do yourself a favor and answer MY question for a change!

  • Michael

    1. I’m not seeing how that would be doing myself a favor.

    2. I already offered to answer your question if you pinpointed what, precisely, you considered to be an answer to my question.

    3. I already told you that I’d need you to refresh my memory about what your question was.

    4. On further consideration, I’m still not seeing how that would be doing myself a favor.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      If you are so completely clueless about what I have said then I don’t see that repeating it would do any good.

      Have you thought about enrolling in a remedial reading course?

      Let me know when you are seriously interested in an honest discussion of this important issue. I’ll be happy to oblige just as soon as you answer my question.

  • Michael

    “Let me know when you are seriously interested in an honest discussion of this important issue. I’ll be happy to oblige just as soon as you answer my question.”

    Questions asked by you in this thread:

    “I have a question: despite your frequent protestations that you are not an Obama defender why is it that you invariably parrot (which is the exact word for what you are doing) the Obama defender talking point?”

    “Do you think Bush was perceived as weak?”

    “Do you think Obama is NOT perceived as weak?”

    “Again, do you not think Obama is perceived as weak?”

    “Got it?”

    “Oh well, what else could we expect from a George Soros Parrot?”

    “Why don’t you just do yourself a favor and answer MY question for a change!”

    “Have you thought about enrolling in a remedial reading course?”

    Do I pick one at random, or something?

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Why not just answer ALL of them? The fact is you haven’t answered ANY and yet you continue to demand that I answer yours.

      Sorry pal, but that’s not how this works. And by now you should have filed that fact away for future reference too!

  • Michael

    I get it, Mike: thirty years ago, as part of your attempt at an advanced degree, you took a class from a man who was the foreign policy advisor to a president whose foreign policy you have specifically derided as weak and ineffective. That’s really cool.

    You’ve already mentioned that class to me many, many times. I’ve filed the information away and it’s there for me whenever I need it, but thanks for the reminder!

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      Perhaps you ought to share with us what special expertise/education YOU have in this subject.

      Sorry, but learning how to brainwash children doesn’t count.

  • Michael

    “Perhaps you ought to share with us what special expertise/education YOU have in this subject.”

    None. That’s why I keep begging you to share your expertise with me in this thread.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      You don’t think I have shared my expertise here? Perhaps you ought to reread the post. I’ll repeat this here in case you missed it:

      Actions speak louder than words and action is the only language Putin understands. Concrete steps Obama and the West might take include (1,2,3,4,5):

      *Obama threatened to “isolate” Russia in the world community if it seized Crimea. It’s time to do just that and cut Putin off from international forums. Not just throw Russia out of the G-8 which treated Russia as an equal but end NATO and other links, like trade organizations, as well.
      *Give the Ukrainians the defensive weaponry they need.
      *Restore cuts to America’s military.
      *Do more than send John Kerry or Joe Biden to Poland and the Baltic States. Restore the missile defense treaty with Poland (and the Czech Republic) which Obama foolishly canceled because he believed the Russians were our friends. Send additional military aid to the region.
      *Provide massive financial support for Ukraine as that country attempts to transition away from reliance on Russia.
      *Russians closed down local news media in Crimea and replaced it with state propaganda. Beam Western news and information into Crimea and Ukraine.

      And that’s just the MINIMUM we should do.

  • Michael

    “Give the Ukrainians the defensive weaponry they need.”

    This is a fantastically awful idea. What’s the endgame there? What is your desired result?

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      The Ukrainians want to defend themselves. Would you deny them that?

      Would you just throw them to the wolves?

      What is YOUR solution to this problem?

      It’s time you put your cards on the table.

  • Michael

    Collective security is the only way to go here. We need to use the international machinery that is in place to deal with these things. Going it alone by unilaterally arming the Ukrainians is simply getting involved in a proxy war with Russia, which is almost certainly going to be a disaster. The proxy wars are always a bad decision.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      “We need to use the international machinery that is in place to deal with these things.”

      So, do you think the resolution introduced at the United Nations condemning Russia means they will pull out of Crimea and not attack Eastern Ukraine?

      P.S. I did learn today that the Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) are on their way. Way to go Obama!

      P.P.S. No one ever said anything about unilateral action. Another straw man of yours!

  • Michael

    “So, do you think the resolution introduced at the United Nations condemning Russia means they will pull out of Crimea and not attack Eastern Ukraine?”

    Probably not, but I wouldn’t jump from that to sending weapons to the Ukrainians.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      I’ve provided a whole range of options but it seems that Obama isn’t pursuing any of them except for making a speech and holding a few meetings.

      So, what would YOU do that would prevent Putin from invading Ukraine?

      Do you really think that sending defensive weapons is provocative? Surely you believe the Ukrainians have the right to defend themselves and also to call on allies to help them do so?

  • Michael

    “So, what would YOU do that would prevent Putin from invading Ukraine?”

    I’m guessing that there are no realistic options—aside from diplomatic ones—that would actually prevent an invasion that Putin seriously wanted to undertake. Certainly any weapons that the United States would realistically provide would not prevent an invasion.

    “Do you really think that sending defensive weapons is provocative?”

    I don’t remember using that word, and I have no idea what you mean when you use it. I think that sending weapons would be, ultimately, pointless.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      “I’m guessing that there are no realistic options—aside from diplomatic ones—that would actually prevent an invasion.”

      So, you think it is “realistic” to expect that the diplomatic process alone is enough to dissuade (since you don’t like the word deter) Putin from aggressive action?

      Show me examples from where diplomacy has actually prevented aggression. I doubt you’ll cite MUNICH in 1938.

      A word on collective security which you mentioned earlier. I’m all for it as far as it goes. You may know I am a big fan of Winston Churchill and he was all for collective security arrangements though I never quite understood why. In his own time he saw the failure of the League of Nations and hoped the U.N. would be different. It hasn’t been.

      NATO is fine, again as far as it goes, but hardly sufficient.

      If you support collective action then surely you supported the invasion of Iraq. How many UN resolutions and how many nations joined in “collectively” with diplomatic, military and economic means?

      • Michael

        I don’t like the word “deter” for the solution of giving arms to Ukraine. There’s no deterrent there–it would not stop Russia. The threat of collective force by many countries might, in fact, be a deterrent, but you never know with Putin. Likely he’d act anyway, in which case the collective force would no longer be a deterrent, because the attack would already have happened. Collective force could reasonably be expected to end such a situation.

        One of the things about diplomacy is that we don’t always see the successes, because they were successes and the powder keg didn’t explode. Maybe Putin can’t be talked out of it. Then it’s time to move on to the next option.

        I was for collective force in Iraq in the 90s. He’d actually transgressed against another country then; he’d actually invaded Kuwait.

        • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

          Putin is a bully. And the best way to stop a bully is to bloody his nose. The Ukrainians want to defend themselves. It’s inconceivable that we would not want to help them do so. If Putin understands that he will face stiffer military opposition he may think twice before invading. The last thing Putin needs are heavy casualty or any perceived weakness in battle. His image as the great deliverer for Russia would collapse.

          There are plenty of parallels for this. Had the French done so much as to mobilize their forces when Hitler crossed into the Rhineland in 1936 Hitler would likely have been overthrown and the world spared the horror of World War II.

          There’s a parallel with Russia too. Despite an overwhelming Soviet force the Finns fought valiantly against the Red Army and at one point battled them to a standstill. Stalin didn’t have to worry about public opinion in the way Putin does. A similar outcome could spell Putin’s ouster.

          You haven’t listed one example of where a comparable “powder keg” AS defused by diplomacy. I understand your inability to do so.

          Oh, if you support the concept of collective security you can’t pick and choose which events to support. George W. Bush had just as great an outpouring of collective support as his father did in Iraq.

  • Michael

    “Oh, if you support the concept of collective security you can’t pick and choose which events to support.”

    That doesn’t make any sense at all; of course I can. When a country commits aggression against another country, as with Iraq in the 90s, I think that a response is warranted. The distinction I draw between the situations of Bush 41 and Bush 43 is not about the breadth of support each received; it’s about the reasoning behind the action.

    “Putin is a bully. And the best way to stop a bully is to bloody his nose.”

    I can’t believe that you think that our arming Ukraine would mean anything of substance to Russia. This is the country that you portray as being on the brink of world domination. You really think that some hand-me-down weapons systems are going to mean anything?

    “Had the French done so much as to mobilize their forces when Hitler crossed into the Rhineland in 1936 Hitler would likely have been overthrown and the world spared the horror of World War II.”

    Woulda coulda shoulda!

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      “Woulda coulda shoulda!”

      Seriously?

      Those who refuse to learn histories lessons are destined to repeat them!

      “I can’t believe that you think that our arming Ukraine would mean anything of substance to Russia.”

      It’s not what YOU believe that is important. It’s what Putin believes. And thus far, he’s gauged Obama’s and the West’s response as weak and therefore had nothing to fear from your lame call for some vague and unspecified “collective” action.

      And apparently you cannot see the hypocrisy in waving the flag of collective security in one case in Iraq and not in another.

      No wonder you have such difficulty with these tough questions.

      • Michael

        Please give me a rundown of precisely which weapons systems you’d send to Ukraine. What would it cost us? What kind of trainers would be involved? Otherwise, it’s just a vague and unspecified call to send weapons that will take “a HUGE bite” out of Putin’s capabilities.

        • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

          Sorry, but any further specificity from me is predicated on reciprocity from you and all I’ve heard so far is an unsupported call for “collective security.”

          I hardly think I need to spend more time on this. Since the views outlined above are supported by National Security professionals in both parties it’s clear that I am not the one whose views are out of the mainstream.

          • Michael

            “Sorry, but any further specificity from me is predicated on reciprocity from you and all I’ve heard so far is an unsupported call for ‘collective security.’ ”

            Further specificity from you would be predicated on knowing anything about the topic you’re discussing, and, if past performance is any indication of future results, that will not be happening any time soon.

          • Michael

            “Sorry, but any further specificity from me is predicated on reciprocity from you and all I’ve heard so far is an unsupported call for ‘collective security.’ ”

            You can’t give details about your plan because I haven’t given details about my plan? Is that how “expertise” works in your world?

            • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

              I have already provided details. Do you really think it would be useful for me to spell out which weapons and how much each of them costs?

              Now that you’ve run out of ideas, not that you really had any, you’ve resorted to your usual tactic.

              Sorry but I’m not playing. You’re obviously not seriously interested in this issue or mature enough to conduct an honest discussion.

              D grade for your poor efforts!

  • Michael

    1. Yes.

    2. Bumper-sticker historical wisdom.

    3. I’d be surprised to hear that Putin had any opinion about my “lame call for some vague and unspecified ‘collective’ action.” I doubt seriously that he reads “Political Realities.”

    4. The two Iraq conflicts were based on vastly different historical circumstances, so it is entirely reasonable that I would have a different response to each one.

    • http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/ Mike’s America

      You are not offering ANY pragmatic alternative to the options I outlined. And your dismissal of the lessons of history is ludicrous.

      You’re not even offering bumper sticker solutions.

      Once again, it suffices to say that you don’t have any solutions. You only have criticisms, not even well founded, of the ideas put forward by others.