Few options to deal with Ukraine


A Comment By Joe Lee III

   Many say the Obama Administration has bungled again in his handling of the Ukrainian crisis.
   They are probably correct, but the chronology is not quite that simple. The current problem can be traced largely to two fairly recent events: (1) Obama’s total default following his “red line” proclamation on Syria, and, (2) his impuissant behavior following the Benghazi massacre in which four Americans were slaughtered.
   There are numerous other examples of the President’s international shortcomings, but these two probably had more to do with the weakening of America’s world prestige. Benghazi, because it showed we would not (or could not) react to the killing of an American diplomat, and, Syria, because Obama’s lack of action propelled Russia’s Vladimir Putin to international hero status as a “peace-maker.” The Syrian crisis, incidentally, has still not been resolved.
   Those two Obama defaults, coupled with Russia’s desire to have a warm-water port on the Black Sea, made Putin’s grab for power inevitable. His public excuse is that he is “protecting” Russians in Crimea.
   Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton caught some flack last week when she compared Putin’s action to Hitler’s march into the Sudetenland in 1938 under the guise of “protecting” fellow Germans who lived there.
   She was correct, but for some reason was heavily criticized by liberals for the statement, and had to walk it back.
   Remember when Secretary Clinton dramatically presented a red “reset” button to Russia’s foreign minister in March of 2009 to symbolize how great Russian-American relations were going to be? She would probably like to have that video footage back, too. (Putin took Obama and Clinton to international power-politics school between 2009 and 2014, but it does not appear they learned very much.)
   Following his normal policy of “leading from behind,” Obama has now given the reins of American foreign policy to John Kerry. Kerry has put out some really good sound bites, but unfortunately his options are limited in this situation.
   The scary part of “leading from behind” is to remember what happened when Obama first took office and defaulted leadership to Nancy Pelosi.
   The President is still trying to correct some of the many faults with Pelosi’s “achievement” by issuing  Executive Order after Executive Order stripping provisions and requirements out of the law.
   The Republicans say they want to repeal Obamacare, but it looks like the President himself is going to do that, by illegally chipping away rule after rule to try to keep Democrats from loosing in November.


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