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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Anatomy of a Feckless Presidency -- By Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal

Gone are the days when the American president was capable of articulating the American interest.

Vladimir Putin seized Ukraine's Crimean peninsula on Thursday, and Barack Obama delivered a short statement about it on Friday. The former tells us nothing we didn't know already about Russia's strongman. The latter tells us everything we need to know about a weak president's feckless foreign policy.

Let's take a look at what Mr. Obama had to say:

"I also spoke several days ago with President Putin, and my administration has been in daily contact with Russian officials." 
 
OK, but why? What's the point of talking if you won't even make use of what's said?

On Oct. 18, 1962, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko visited President Kennedy in the Oval Office and told him that the Soviet Union would never deploy offensive military capabilities in Cuba. This was a lie, as Kennedy already knew, and four days later he called Gromyko out on the lie in his famous "quarantine" speech, usefully embarrassing the Soviets and rallying U.S. public opinion at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Fifty-plus years later, Mr. Putin told Mr. Obama that Russia had intervened in Crimea because "the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots" were at imminent risk. That, too, was a transparent lie, as every report out of Crimea attests. The difference this time is an American president who registers no public complaint about being brazenly lied to by a Russian thug. 

"We've made clear that they can be part of an international community's effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward, which is not only in the interest of the people of Ukraine and the international community, but also in Russia's interest."
 
In case Mr. Obama hadn't noticed, Mr. Putin isn't exactly keen on "the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward." It is precisely because a stable, successful and united Ukraine is inimical to Russia's ethnic, ideological and geopolitical interests that Mr. Putin seized the moment to strike.
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