Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out… That Georgia’s always on my mi-mi-mi-mi-mind.
Back in 2008 Barack Obama’s mocking of Hillary and McCain triumphed. Barack Obama called those two old hat. Barack Obama was going to “turn the page”. All those pesky old time problems Mess-Obama was about to celestial choir away – along with no more rising oceans and well everything old and bad and soon we would have anti-gravity cars and planes taking us to holidays on the moon and a disco ball in the White House. Well the page has turned alright. We’re now out of the frying pan and into the fire. Elect a boob and you get boobery. Re-elect a boob and you get more boobery. Oy vey!
Back in 2008 Barack Obama was a promising star. Obama promised and promised and promised – stars and unicorns along with pennies from Heaven. It’s been Hell ever since.
Now Vladimir Putin is the star, er, Tsar – sorry for the typo, misplaced letters and all that. Obama is exposed as an international man of boobery. Charles bangs down the hammer on Obama the boob:
“The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.” — Barack Obama, March 24
Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”
That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy.
Miss America is made of sterner stuff and has more lucid wits than Barack Obama. Miss America would likely agree with an argument we recently made about the Ukrainian crisis. We wrote that the task for an American president who shared Western values is to make the case for the West and the values and history of the West:
“If we had an American president with belief in American values and willing to fight for those values, instead of a president only concerned with his stinking “brand”, the Ukraine crisis could be easily turned into a Churchillian moment in Western history. [snip]
An American president at this time who believes in American values and the values of the Christian West would leap to action. The first symbolic action of such a president would be to recall the ejected bust of Winston Churchill and place it back in a place of honor on the desk in the Oval Office.
Next, such an American president would, alongside Mitt Romney fly to the German capital of Berlin and with Lech Walensa at his side address the peoples of Europe, the West, and the world. To a candid world, in words of brutal truth, such a president would place the attack on Ukraine in historic context. “Ich bin ein Ukrainer” would echo from JFK. “Mr. Putin we forced Mr. Gorbachev to ‘tear down this wall'” and Reagan could for a second be remembered. But more than that, an American president with American values would place the crisis in Ukraine in the context of the West and the long fight for freedom and self-determination of nations.
An American president with granite belief in American values would remind the world that people and nations run TO the west and FROM totalitarian regimes.
An American president with American values would remind the world that the crime of the Ukraine in the eyes of the Evil Empire redux is the preference for the values and freedom and economic hope provided by the West. An American president with American values would remind the world that there was a time when half a continent was called the “captive nations”. An American president with American values would remind the world that evil will not live forever and that even though the Hungarian revolution was crushed by the Evil Empire, tens of thousands killed, freedom came to Hungary and it is free today after a long twilight struggle between the West and the totalitarians.”
As we wrote there is a lot an American president with American values could do to shore up the West and challenge the totalitarian imperium. Roger Cohen at the New York Times is an Obama supporter who does not abandon Obama talking points but he agrees with the the main thrust of our assessment:
“LONDON — Having pivoted to Asia and done the de rigueur minimum over several years to keep the trans-Atlantic alliance off life-support, Barack Obama awakened with a jolt to Europe this week and, on his first visit to Brussels as president, spoke of “inseparable allies” with a shared mission to demonstrate that Russia cannot “run roughshod over its neighbors.”
Shaken from a view of Europe as a kind of 20th-century yawn, Obama spoke of freedom and the ideas that bind the United States and Europe still in an ongoing “contest of ideas” against autocracy and “brute force.” [snip]
Better late than never: The Russian president has benefited from the perception of a United States in full-tilt, war-weary retrenchment; of American red lines turning amber and then green; of a divided European Union; and a hollow NATO living more on the past than any vision of a 21st-century future. Obama has been making up for lost ground.
Still, his Brussels speech, presented as a capstone of his visit and one of those Obama specials designed to offset with eloquence a deficit of deeds, was a poor performance overall, a jejune collection of nostrums about binding values of free-market Western societies and their appeal to the hearts (and pocketbooks) of people throughout the world, not least Ukrainians.[snip]
It is all of this. Unless Western societies find a way to shake their moroseness, level the playing field and rediscover, as Obama put it, the “simple truth that all men, and women, are created equal,” they are going to have a very hard time winning “the contest of ideas.”
Instead of a speech of weary worthiness, Obama should have addressed how an alliance neglected through much of his presidency can be revived; and how American and European democracies, for all their failings, can right themselves because that is the great distinguishing feature of open societies — their capacity for renewal.“
Weakling Obama will not be able to bluster the new star, er, Tsar. The world looks at Obama and sees a weakling and smells the stinky fear emanating from the corpse of the unicorn man. Obama is a bumbling boob that will get us all killed. Vladimir Putin is a Tsar who wants to bring back all the Russias and has an active strategy for getting what he wants:
“Perceptions are important. Whatever his long-range intent, Vladimir Putin has Russia’s neighbors fearing and many Russians believing that he has, in effect, announced his objective to bring the former Soviet space once again under Russian influence, if not incorporated into the Russian state. He has stationed troops and other military assets in proximity and has indicated a willingness to use them. The resentment and fear his moves have created in Ukraine and other neighbors will, over time, set in motion countermoves and activities that will diminish Russia’s own security. Putin has demonstrated his willingness to cut off supplies of the large quantity of oil and gas Russia ships to Ukraine and the countries of Western Europe and to play games with prices. Russia has also developed important trading and financial dealings with Western countries, particularly Germany, Britain and France.”
The Tsar of all the Russias is up against Obama the Boob. As Krauthammer stated, it is quite a mismatch.
There are some who outright cheer Vladimir Putin’s not yet satiated hunger for territory. There are some who want us to consider why Putin is doing what he is doing and busy blaming the United States policy incompetents (if not corrupt) of officialdom. The smart Patrick Buchanan is in that latter category:
“Perhaps Americans, a fortunate tribe, should try to see the world from the vantage point of the Russian people and Vladimir Putin, and, as the poet Robert Burns said, “see ourselves as others see us.”
At 35, Putin was a rising star in the elite secret police, the KGB, of a superpower with a worldwide empire.
The USSR was almost three times as large as the United States. Its European quadrant was half of the Old Continent. The Soviet Empire extended from the Elbe River in Central Germany to the Bering Strait across from Alaska. It encompassed thirteen time zones. [snip]
Consider, then, what the last dozen years of the 20th century must have been like for proud Russian patriots and nationalists.
First, the European empire suddenly and wholly collapsed. East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria all broke away to join the West. The Red Army came home, undefeated, but also unwanted and even detested.
The Warsaw Pact, the rival to NATO, dissolved.
Eastern Europe, which Russians believe they had liberated from the Nazis at a monumental cost in blood, turned its back on Russia, hailed the Americans as liberators, and queued up to join a U.S.-led alliance created to contain Russia.
Then, as Germany was reuniting, the Soviet Union began to break apart — what Putin calls the great tragedy of the 20th century.
One-fourth of the nation he grew up in and half its people vanished. Tens of millions of Russians were left stranded in foreign lands.”
Buchanan’s history is all too true. Yes, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined NATO, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova left too. Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan soon packed up their lipsticks and left – former girlfriends tired of being abused. Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan hit the road too. Buchanan writes those loses are equivalent to an America without the 11 Confederate states with Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua aligned with the now defunct Warsaw Pact. There’s also this bit of “blame America”:
“State’s Victoria Nuland says we invested $5 billion in re-orienting Ukraine away from Russia. How would we respond if we awoke — as Putin did in February — to learn a pro-American government in Mexico City had been overthrown by street mobs financed by Beijing, a pro-China regime installed, and this unelected Mexican regime wanted out of NAFTA in favor of joining an economic union and military alliance with China?
A U.S. president who landed Marines in Veracruz, as Wilson did in 1914, and sent a 21st-century General “Black Jack” Pershing with an army across the border, would be over 70 percent in the polls, as Putin is today.
And if he seized Baja, as Putin seized Crimea, it would be a cakewalk to a second term.”
Fair points and one that are currently in vogue among those that, well we really don’t understand the motivations of those making excuses for Putin’s actions.
What Buchanan and others like him fail to acknowledge is that the young Putin lived in a vast totalitarian imperium appropriately described by President Ronald Reagan as “The Evil Empire”. That halcyon memory of days gone by was a nightmare for the rest of the world.
What happened to Vladimir Putin’s boyhood homeland is that the “captive nations” escaped. They fled to the West. The West was a refuge. They fled to the West for freedom and the economic growth that follows when women and men are free.
The Russia of Putin’s memory was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was the Evil Empire. It deserved to die. America and the West killed it. Pope John Paul II killed it. The U.S.S.R. was put out of it’s misery. The Berlin Wall was torn down. The KGB and the Stasi and all the apparatus of state terror against its citizens was destroyed. Temporarily.
Now, we are “turning the page” once again – to the past. Any cursory reading of the Quotes of the day reveal the utter befuddlement of Obama’s minions and the purposeful or foolish assessments they make. Unfortunately armies are massing and time is running out. The Tsar of all the Russias is calling. The Evil Empire calling. It’s time to “disconnect the phone” – we’re back in the U.S.S.R.