What Difference Does It Make? Putin Invades, Obama Talks

March 1, 2014

Russia has seized the Crimean Peninsua. The Russian Parliament has given President Vladimir Putin approval to invade Ukraine. The new Ukrainian government has called for help from NATO. And President Obama gives a verbal warning that “there will be consequences.” (He didn’t clarify if those would be consequences paid by Syria when it used chemical weapons or the consequences paid by Iran when they failed to stop nuclear development or the consequences paid by Russia itself when Putin sheltered Edward Snowden.)

At best, Putin wins a short term victory but fails to change the direction of self-rule currently enjoyed by most central European nations. More likely, Putin will invade the Ukraine and (re)establish a puppet government answering to Russia. This in turn will put other surrounding nations at risk. The worst case scenario? Consider what happened when another weak Western leader, facing a strong despot with little fear of Europe or America, preferred to give up territory and negotiate “peace in our time.” Those pretty words led to World War and millions of deaths.

Even President Carter changed his approach to Russia after they invaded Afghanistan. No one expects the President to be like Winston Churchhill or Ronald Reagan. But will Obama be like Jimmy Carter, and finally accept the responsiblity to protect freedom, or will he be like Neville Chamberlain? I guess we’ll see.

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