The day that Geneva was announced, I ridiculed the idea that the OSCE would be able to enforce any deal to withdraw anti-Kiev forces from government buildings, check points, etc. The seizure of an OSCE delegation in Slavyansk by the Russians/Russian tools, and the subsequent public display of the European members of this team, proves that ridicule was more than justified. It is the punchline to the joke that is Geneva.
Despite the seizure and humiliation of a group of European military personnel carrying diplomatic passports, the Euros are still shrinking from doing anything that might risk offending Vlad. Because he might turn off their precious gas. Or maybe Siemens won’t get as much business.
Speaking of jokes, here is Obama’s standup routine:
“The notion that for us to go forward with sectoral sanctions on our own without the Europeans would be the most effective deterrent to Mr. Putin, I think, is factually wrong,” Mr. Obama told reporters in Asia, where he is traveling. “We’re going to be in a stronger position to deter Mr. Putin when he sees that the world is unified.” He added: “For example, say we’re not going to allow certain arms sales to Russia — just to take an example — but every European defense contractor backfills what we do, then it’s not very effective.”
Sorry. The world unified in pusillanimity is hardly a deterrent to Putin. The US and a few stalwart allies acting on their own in a robust way would be much more effective.
“As you end this trip, I don’t think I have to remind you there have been a lot of unflattering portraits of your foreign policy right now,” Henry said. “And rather than get into all the details or red lines, excedera, I’d like to give you a chance to lay out what your vision is more than five years into office, what you think the Obama doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises, and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.”
“Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine,” the President responded, adding “And there are actually some complimentary pieces as well about my foreign policy, but I’m not sure you ran them.”
The President then went on to attack those criticisms, point by point, noting that “Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force,” and asking “why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?”
“My job as Commander-in-Chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely,” he continued. “And, frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.”
On Syria, the President pointed out that his critics “say, no, no, no, we don’t mean sending in troops,” and asked “Well, what do you mean?”
“Well, you should be assisting the opposition — well, we’re assisting the opposition,” President Obama said, then asked “What else do you mean? Well, perhaps you should have taken a strike in Syria to get chemical weapons out of Syria. Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike. So what else are you talking about? And at that point it kind of trails off.”
On Ukraine, the President asked of those critics, “What else should we be doing? Well, we shouldn’t be putting troops in, the critics will say. That’s not what we mean. Well, okay, what are you saying? Well, we should be arming the Ukrainians more. Do people actually think that somehow us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could potentially deter the Russian army? Or are we more likely to deter them by applying the sort of international pressure, diplomatic pressure and economic pressure that we’re applying?”
“The point is that for some reason many who were proponents of what I consider to be a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again,” the President said. “Why? I don’t know.”
Appalling. Proof that Obama is the thinnest skinned president ever. And his response has the opposite effect of what he intended: it lends credence to the criticism. It is also classic Obama. Dishonest and partisan. Blaming his political opponents or his long-departed predecessors for his failures. Total war against an army of straw men.
No one is seriously arguing for military involvement in Ukraine. But they-we, for I am included-are arguing for far more robust economic measures. Funny Obama totally ignores that. He knocks down arguments no one makes and ignores the ones they do.
That’s our Obama.
Henry, or someone else, should have demanded that Obama name one serious figure advocating a replay of Iraq in Ukraine. One.
The record speaks for itself. Obama’s foreign policy is a concatenation of clusterf*cks. Syria. Ukraine. Israel-Palestine.
Speaking of the last issue. Kerry was quoted making a remark saying that if it continues on its present course, Israel will turn into an apartheid state. He made these remarks in front of Russians. Who duly leaked them.
Why would he say anything with any Russian in earshot, especially in the aftermath of the “f*ck the EU” leak fiasco?
With such clueless morons in charge, no wonder US credibility and influence is imploding. But if you challenge Obama on the implosion, he explodes.
This is where we are, and it is not a good place to be.