The Obama Administration in the Ukraine crisis is like a 98-pound weakling threatening a heavyweight boxer. Every word they utter just ramps up the embarrassment.
Not only are the Administration’s “sanctions” against a handful of Russian officials this week’s international running gag, but for some inexplicable reason, Vice President Joe Biden has been allowed outside to “reassure” our allies that we’re serious about this Ukraine thing.
So there’s Jumpin’ Joe, pulled away from his important busywork inspecting job training programs or some such nonsense, grinning like an idiot Cheshire Cat, telling the world what a sad little country Russia is.
At a press conference in Poland, standing beside a quietly horrified Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Biden said that Russia’s veto of a U.N. resolution condemning the Crimea referendum had isolated it.
“Even China decided it could not support it, and abstained,” Biden said. Cuz if you’re a KGB-trained tough guy like Putin, there’s nothing more intimidating than a ringing abstention from China.
Then Biden pulled out all the stops and told the world how sorry he felt for Russia. “And Russia, Russia stood alone, naked in front of the world for the aggression they had undertaken.”
Democrats have a penchant for projection, so I’m guessing when he said naked and alone, Biden had something else on his mind. In any event, being described as naked and alone by Mr. Two Drink Minimum, in front of the world no less, is sure to give Putin — he of the shirtless official portrait — pause for thought for about a nanosecond.
Then Biden condemned the “blatant, blatant disregard of international law by Mr. Putin.”
After that, Biden wagged his finger and “tsked” loudly in a disapproving tone.
This Administration is firing blanks, thinking it’s going to scare away Russia. Meanwhile, Putin is swallowing countries whole.
There are real steps the Administration could take that would take a bite out of Russia’s attitude, such as booting the Russians out of the International Monetary Fund or the G-8. They could make it painful for Russia to do any sort of international business.
Instead, Obama has focused on individual “sanctions” against a handful of people. The response has been so weak that it begs the question, what is the Obama Administration’s real intent here?
Is Obama planning to just hand over Ukraine?
And if so, is this part of a plan to appease Putin or at least get on his good side? Obama and Putin have a history of playing games internationally, from the “Arab Spring” to Syria and Iran. There remains a question of whether Russia had any involvement in Benghazi.
Hanging over such discussion is Obama’s infamous statement in March 2012 to then-President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility on issues such as missile defense after his re-election.
Is there a plan, an understanding between Obama and Putin?
And exactly who are these vague rebels who have taken over Ukraine, prompting the Russian response? We know the Russians have referred to them as Nazis, but is that just spin, or is there something to it? All the American press has told us is that the rebels were anti-Yanukovich.
But there are accusations from Russia and persistent rumors from elsewhere that the Ukraine rebels who ousted the legally elected president are U.S.-funded, as are the rebels in Syria, as was the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and as have been other rebel forces in other countries. The Ukraine situation may indeed simply be Obama up to his old tricks.
It is fair to say that the main beneficiary of Obama’s foreign policy has been Putin. Obama’s apparent bungling has strengthened Putin’s influence in Syria and Iran, and now it appears it will do the same in Ukraine.
The only real question, as is so often the case with Obama Administration moves, is whether the results are due to Obama’s incapacity or intention.