Jewish World Review April 18, 2014 / 18 Nissan, 5774
Obama's diplomatic dance with Putin is a sad sock hop
By Jonah Goldberg
President Obama is right. He told
I believe that Putin's adventures in
But here's the thing: Putin disagrees. And on the matter of
In a sense, arguing with the Russian bear is like arguing with a real bear. No matter how eloquently you explain to the bear that it should not eat your face, it's going to eat your face if it wants to eat your face -- that is, if you do nothing tangible to stop it.
Obama seems to think that's what he's been doing. He told
Unfortunately, the credibility of Obama's "consequences" took a big hit when he was unwilling -- or unable -- to make good on his vow that the use of chemical weapons in
And then there are the consequences Putin has already faced as a result of his annexation of Crimea. The Obama administration did impose sanctions targeted at a few of Putin's henchmen and cronies. They publicly laughed them off, but it was worth a try.
Beyond that, though, Obama's consequences haven't even been inconsequential; they've had the opposite of their intended effect. Rather than send the Ukrainians weapons or useful intelligence, we sent them a bunch of MREs ("Meals Ready to Eat"). And even that we were unwilling to do in too provocative a way. We didn't use
"You want to calibrate your chest-thumps," a senior military official told the Journal, explaining this step-by-step approach. "He does something else in
Now, imagine you are Vladimir Putin. You illegally sent Russian soldiers without military insignia into
Call me crazy, but I doubt the response will be "Comrades! Call it off! We can't take the chance that the Ukrainians will have warm, dry feet when we invade
Consequences that are not sufficiently painful or sufficiently scary aren't consequences in the sense Obama means at all. They're invitations. It's like trying to get a bear to leave you alone by throwing salmon at it.
I entirely understand that Americans are war-weary, and for good reason. But has it really gotten to the point where the U.S. military now defines "chest-thumping" as unleashing the socks of war?
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