The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Factored In

The Right suggests that Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and Russia's ominous actions at the Ukrainian border are a result of Barack Obama's indecisiveness and weakness. There are elements of truth in that assertion, but it is not wholly correct.

Peggy Noonan discusses the situation:
We see Viadimir Putin as re-enacting the Cold War. He sees us as re-enacting American greatness. We see his actions as a throwback. He sees our denunciations as a strutting on the stage by a broken down, has-been actor.

Mr. Putin doesn't move because of American presidents, he moves for his own reasons. But he does move when American presidents are weak. He moved on Georgia in August 2008 when George W. Bush was reeling from unwon wars, terrible polls and a looming economic catastrophe that all but children knew was coming. (It came the next month.) Mr. Bush was no longer formidable as a leader of the free world.

Mr. Putin moved on Ukraine when Barack Obama was no longer a charismatic character but a known quantity with low polls, failing support, a weak economy. He'd taken Mr. Obama's measure during the Syria crisis and surely judged him not a shrewd international chess player but a secretly anxious professor who makes himself feel safe with the sound of his voice.

Mr. Putin didn't go into Ukraine because of Mr. Obama. He just factored him in.
After more than a decade of fruitless warfare in the middle east, where blood and money were wasted on duplicitous "allies,international " the American public is tired of intervention. Putin knows this and understands that Obama's feckless foreign policy reflects that attitude.

Sadly, Obama and the ivy league geniuses that control the state department have forgotten the most basic of all lessons, suggested more than 500 years ago be Nicollo Machiavelli:
“as the physicians say it happens in hectic fever, that in the beginning of the malady it is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time, not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure”
As the president waffles on this or that foreign policy crisis, he misses an opportunity to cure a "malady" early. As it becomes more serious, it's obvious that things are going quite wrong, but the cure is difficult or painful or impossible, spreading to other parts of the body and becoming toxic to all that are nearby

Noonan is correct when she assets that Barack Obama is not the cause of Putin's aggressive moves, but the president's actions were very much factored in as Russia made the decision to act. The real problem is that a simple fever (Crimea) may very well become a very serious "malady." I'm quite certain that Barack Obama and John Kerry are not the physicians I'd choose to cure it.


In the same article, Peggy Noonan comments on Barack Obama's foreign policy (or lack thereof):
Not being George W. Bush is not a foreign policy. Not invading countries is not a foreign policy. Wishing to demonstrate your sophistication by announcing you are unencumbered by the false historical narratives of the past is not a foreign policy. Assuming the world will be nice if we're not militarist is not a foreign policy.

What is our foreign policy? Disliking global warming?