On 2/23 National Security advisor Susan Rice on Meet the Press and shrugged off suggestions that Russia was preparing any kind of military intervention; “It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate.” A return to a “Cold War construct” isn’t necessary, Rice insisted, because such thinking “is long out of date” and “doesn’t reflect the realities of the 21st century”. Even if Putin sees the world this way, Rice argued, it is “not in the USA interests” to do so.
2/28 Russian troops poured into Ukraine, minister Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart to Kerry said that Russia wants to help Ukraine with its economic problems. Lavrov had told him “that they are prepared to be engaged and be involved in helping to deal with the economic transition that needs to take place at the point’. The obama adm officials told CNN’s Barbara Starr that the incursion was not “ an invasion” but an “uncontested arrival” and that this distinction was “key” to understanding the new developments.
But euphemism can’t alter reality. “The USA will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention Ukraine”. The president announced we would “stand with” others if the uncontested arrival somehow turned into real military intervention (thirty minutes after his warning, obama appeared at a Demo National committee pep rally and declared the opening of “happy hour”.
Four days later, Putin held a press conference—a rambling series of claims and statements that sometimes contradicted each other (sound familiar) Putin maintained, for instance that there were no Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine and that the Russian-speaking soldiers who often identified themselves as Russian soldiers were probably local defense groups who may well have bought their uniforms form military surplus stores. (Drum roll please).
The white house seized on one sentence of his blather and expressed optimism. “Regarding the deployment of troops the use of armed forces so far, there is no need for it… such a measure would certainly be the very last resort”, Putin said.
This claim as evidence that Putin was looking for an “off ramp”. And soon we had a name for this new obama approach to the crisis: “de-escalation”. On 3/6 obama’s foreign policy approval rating fell to a new low at 56% disapproval re Fox. The adm has chosen to see the world as they wish it to be, not as it is.
Like Fort Hood—(Awalaki) “workplace violence”, Christmas Day bomber, (yemen) “isolated extremist”, the Times Square bomber is (Taliban) “one-off”, Benghazi are “spontaneous” (al Qaeda) reactions and Assad is a (brutal reformer) “reformer”.
The Iranian regime can be sweet talked out of its nuclear weapons program and Putin is a new, post-Cold War Russian leader.
Iran is firmly entrenched as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror and remains determined to lead a nuclear state. And in Russian we face a Cold War throwback willing to use force to expand Russian influence. Putin it turns out is who we thought he was. Unfortunately, so is Obama.
Sources—weekly standard, stepehen hayes, cnn, meet the press