It's been almost two months since the Russian fomented Ukraine crisis began. During this time we've heard repeated warning from Obama that Russia would face "consequences" and pay a "cost" for it's aggression. Yet for every aggressive Russian move, the reaction from Obama has been to give peace a chance and pursue diplomatic discussions with no result.
On Thursday, the Russians agreed in a joint statement with the U.S., Ukraine and the European Union to see that:
All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.Nothing of the kind has happened. Instead, Russia is cementing control over the southern region of Ukraine which would leave the northern part of the country completely landlocked and isolated. Russian President Putin claims that a "New Russia" runs all the way over to the border of Modolova, which is considered Putin's next target.
The Washington Post editorial board has been particularly hard on Obama's foreign policy failures and Tuesday's editorial is no exception:
President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on UkraineIf Obama is serious about pursuing a diplomatic solution surely he must also understand that he has to back up his words with deeds and act if Putin fails to live up to his agreements.
By Editorial Board, Published: April 21
AFTER AN agreement to “de-escalate tensions and restore security” in Ukraine was announced Thursday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry was very explicit about U.S. expectations. “We fully expect the Russians . . . to demonstrate their seriousness by insisting that the pro-Russian separatists who they’ve been supporting lay down their arms [and] leave the buildings” in eastern Ukraine, he said. “I made clear to Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov today that if we are not able to see progress . . . this weekend, then we will have no choice but to impose further costs on Russia.”
The weekend has come and gone, and far from standing down in eastern Ukraine, Russia has continued to escalate. Its operatives and those they control have not withdrawn from the government buildings they occupy. In Slovyansk, the crossroads where Russian military operatives appear to be headquartered, a shooting incident early Sunday morning has been seized on by Moscow’s crude propaganda apparatus, which is claiming — based on what looks like fabricated evidence — that a Kiev-based right-wing group was involved.
On Monday, Mr. Lavrov was back to threatening an invasion by the tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, claiming that, in the words of his ministry, “Russia is increasingly called upon to save southeastern Ukraine from chaos.”
Again Vladimir Putin is flagrantly disregarding the warnings and “red lines” of the Obama administration. He has reason to do so: President Obama also doesn’t observe them. Despite Mr. Kerry’s clear words, sanctions that have been prepared against cronies of Mr. Putin and companies involved in his Ukraine adventure remain on ice at the White House, where they have languished for more than a week. When asked Monday how much longer they would be held back, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “I don’t have an end date for you.”
For weeks Mr. Obama has held back on forceful measures against Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine on the theory that a measured approach matched with diplomacy would yield results. The policy has failed. Now Mr. Obama must act — or doom Ukraine to dismemberment.
Valuable time to demonstrate resolve has been lost and still Obama appears not understand how a weak U.S. foreign policy with a total lack of strategic thinking can bring increased danger to an already troubled world. I have a hard time believing that Obama is THAT clueless. It must be that he just does not care and consequences be damned. At some point, those consequences will be coming home to the United States!
LATEST: Sec. Kerry "Expresses Deep Concern"
On Tuesday, in a move sure to shock Putin to his senses:
In a phone call to Lavrov, Kerry "expressed deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate, cited mounting evidence that separatists continue to increase the number of buildings under occupation and take journalists and other civilians captive," the senior official said.Yeah, that will do it. More "pretty please" from the Obama Administration. What a joke these people are!