President Obama’s foreign policy naïveté is more like a Miss America contestant than the leader of the free world, says The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer.
Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has “run rings” around the United States, “from the attempted ingratiation of the ‘reset’ to America’s empty threats of ‘consequences’ were Russia to annex Crimea,” Krauthammer writes.
Obama’s Pollyanna approach to world matters fails to grasp Putin’s long-held anti-America beliefs, according to Krauthammer, and is only the latest in Obama’s international missteps.
The president has characterized Russia as a “regional power acting out of weakness,” a grave miscalculation.
“Where does one begin?” Krauthammer asks. “Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan were also regional powers, yet managed to leave behind at least 50 million dead.
“Numberless 19th- and 20th-century European soldiers died for Crimea. Putin conquered it in a swift and stealthy campaign that took three weeks and cost his forces not a sprained ankle. That’s ‘weakness’?
Obama’s purported “consequences” for Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea are laughable, he opines. The defiant Russian leader is stuck in enmity of decades past, he says, noting that Putin’s referenced the early 20th Century Russian Revolution in his railing speech following his country’s seizure of Crimea.
And, Krauthammer says, Putin has made no secret of his next targets: Kharkiv and Donetsk and the rest of southeastern Ukraine.
Obama’s minimization of Russia and the potential problems it could cause “makes his own leadership of the one superpower all the more embarrassing.”
Not only does it allow Putin to make a mockery of the U.S., it diminishes America’s reputation at a time when credibility with other nations matters greatly, according to Krauthammer. Obama’s “fanciful thinking” of diplomacy over action could cost America dearly.
“What are the allies thinking now?” writes Krauthammer. “Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and other Pacific Rim friends are wondering where this America will be as China expands its reach and claims. The Gulf states are near panic as they see the United States playacting nuclear negotiations with Iran that, at best, will leave their mortal Shiite enemy just weeks away from the bomb.”
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