It's now been more than a month since Russia seized Crimea in Ukraine. The Russians continue to mass troops on the border of eastern Ukraine with the threat of invasion (1,2). The Ukrainians requested defensive weapons to help defend themselves against invasion. Obama promised only Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), military rations. At last report even these haven't been sent.
Instead, Obama has made more speeches and his State Department Spokesperson put a selfie picture on her Twittter account holding a sign saying "#UnitedforUkraine" with a thumbs up. The New York post contrasted that image with that of Russian troops in the following graphic. The Post's headline: "Russia sends troops, Obama administration sends a selfie."
|Russia sends troops. Obama sends selfies. What an embarrassment these people are!|
“Presenting The Latest US Strategy to Counter ‘Russian Aggression,’ ” a snarky blogger posted on zerohedge.com. “#Selfies!” Critics said the photo from America’s chief diplomatic perch was embarrassing. “No wonder Putin covers his mouth when speaking to Obama, perhaps to hide his laugh?” wrote another blogger. “How flippin’ sad has the USA become?” wondered a third critic.Meanwhile, Obama is in a hopeful mood after Putin called him on Friday. Yet, as the Washington Post notes, both the White House and the Kremlin have very different versions of what was actually discussed. To further cloud the issue and take away any impetus for more effective action by the West, the Russians have also said they have no intention of invading Ukraine. Of course the Russians also said they didn't invade Crimea so take that with a big grain of salt.
What the Russians are doing is an old game that goes back to how Hitler divided opponents in the run up to World War II. Promise peace while preparing for war. But apparently Obama thinks such attitudes are so 20th Century and he can't conceive anyone would behave that way now.
Weeks ago the Ukrainian Prime Minster personally requested defensive weapons in a meeting in the Oval Office with Obama. The time to send such weapons is BEFORE a larger invasion occurs not after. Yet Obama continues to grasp at straws seeking a way out that avoids actual leadership and even modest concrete action to help Ukraine!