President Obama’s reaction to Russia’s belligerence in the Ukraine was so weak that you wonder if he longs for the days when it was a USSR province and not a (for now) independent country.
He says, “Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties.” It’s unique, all right. It includes millions of Ukrainians deliberately starved to death. The only question concerns the nature of the deliberateness, i.e., to what degree it was a result of forced collectivization of farms vs. a targeted genocide. I believe the preponderance of the evidence is with the latter.
This is the best Obama could muster in circumstances:
It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.
… We will continue to coordinate closely with our European allies. We will continue to communicate directly with the Russian government. And we will continue to keep all of you in the press corps and the American people informed as events develop.
… the Urkrainians and I think everybody is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. It is – I find it rather staggering. And the fact that we have done nothing of any importance – but let me look at the statement, the one of you just quoted.
Obama says, he didn’t say there would be costs. He said “We will stand with the international community” — meaning we’re going to negotiate with a dozen other countries who will water down the statement, “in affirming that there will be costs,” in making a statement, not even imposing a cost, but in making a statement about imposing a cost for any military intervention.
So he’s like three levels removed. And what he’s saying is we’re not really going to do anything and we’re telling the world.
Obama’s response shouldn’t shock anyone who has studied him.
UPDATE: Patterico — “The only people he will stand up to are those that dare disagree with his domestic political agenda.”