Archive for the ‘Military’ Category
Last night was Jay Carney’s first night as a senior political analyst for CNN. After watching this video, I hope CNN isn’t paying him much:
Frankly, Sen. McCain beat him like a drum. It was a flashback to the daily Carney fetal position daily briefings. This exchange is exceptionally decisive:
McCAIN: No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney, and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t a residual force in Iraq, overruled all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.
So the facts are stubborn things in history and people ought to know them. And now the president is saying basically that we are going to take certain actions, which I would favor, but to say that America is safer, and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.
CARNEY: Well, again, Senator, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And I think on the question of the residual force, there was another player in that which was the Iraqi government. A, and B, it was the fulfillment of the previous administration’s withdrawal plan. And it was also the fulfillment of the president’s promise to withdraw from Iraq and not maintain a true presence, in perpetuity, which is pretty consistent with what the American people wanted and believed it was the right approach.
McCAIN: Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false. The fact is because [Senator] Lindsey Graham, [former Senator] Joe Lieberman and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force. The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today. And there would be a lot more.
It’s worth repeating that President Obama took the position of I-know-better-than-my-national-security-team what’s needed in Iraq. That’s characteristic of a man with great hubris. That’s fine. History will judge him for that decision.
Further, Carney still sounds like the dishonest partisan hack that conducted the daily White House press briefings. He’s still peddling the BS that Iraq kicked the US out. That’s contrary to what President Obama said during a debate with Mitt Romney. In that debate, President Obamba bragged that he should get credit for keeping his promise of getting the US out of Iraq.
Carney hasn’t figured it out that a glorified desk jockey can’t argue with an eyewitness on the ground at the ‘scene of the crime.’ Sens. McCain, Graham and Lieberman talked with the Iraqi government. They don’t have to accept the Obama administration’s spin. They talked directly with the Iraqi government.
It isn’t a secret that I’m not Sen. McCain’s biggest fan. Still, if he says that he spoke with the Iraqi government and that they told him they wanted to negotiate a status of forces agreement, then I’ll trust him.
Finally, experts understand that ISIL wouldn’t have constituted itself had the US kept 20,000 troops on the ground. They would’ve been demolished before ISIL before they got to Fallujah.
At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:
President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”
“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.
President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:
CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.
The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.
America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.
Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.
No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.
Bill Burton’s op-ed about President Obama’s frequent golf outings is a nice attempt to distract from Americans’ chief complaint:
I thought that going on vacation with the president would be a real perk of serving as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.
Don’t get me wrong: Some elements of it are amazing. When you do find some down time, you can find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on Earth enjoying its splendor with the leader of the free world and your buddies.
That is—when you can find some down time.
As Washington chews over yet another presidential “vacation,” and that most Washington of words—“optics”—let me take you behind the scenes of the last time President Obama took flack for supposedly being “disengaged” while world events marched on around him.
First, let’s dispatch with the word optics. It’s mostly used by liberal journalists who then ignore the problem. Yes, the optics are terrible when the supposed leader of the free world talks somberly about the beheading of an American journalist, then is seen joking and fist-pumping an hour later.
When those things happen, it’s natural for people to question President Obama’s sincerity and his commitment to ridding the Middle East of terrorists.
What actions did President Obama put into action from the sand trap on the 9th hole? Did he finally figure it out that ISIL is a real threat to the American homeland while putting on the 15th hole? If he didn’t figure that out on the 15th, did he get word of Gen. Dempsey’s statement that we’d need to take out ISIL’s command-and-control while driving up to the 18th green? By the time he got back to his compound, had he called Gen. Dempsey and told him to stop talking about ISIL as a threat more dangerous than al-Qa’ida?
It was Christmas Day 2009. Osama bin Laden was still at large. A 23-year-old Nigerian man was caught trying to bring down a passenger airliner headed for Detroit—which would have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. The day of, and the days that followed, the botched bombing saw the president and his staff, in Hawaii, at the White House and scattered across the country on their own family vacations – snap to attention and drop everything else to make sure we were doing all we could to keep Americans safe.
The president was not a passive bystander. He led America’s response to the apparent terrorist attack, soaking up new information as it came in, running meetings and issuing orders. As a regular matter of course, vacation or not, the president is briefed on intelligence every day. In this instance, he was receiving twice-daily updates on the situation in Detroit as well as three-times-daily updates on matters around the world from the Situation Room. As events developed, the president was directing his national security team—cabinet secretaries, intelligence officials and the military. He was awash in reports from the government and from the media.
Thank God for the Obama administration snapping to immediate attention. If only they hadn’t told law enforcement to read the failed bomber his Miranda rights.
While it’s true the optics have stunk all summer, the truth is that President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. That, Mr. Burton, is what Americans are most worried about. Russia annexes Crimea. President Obama proposes limited sanctions on a handful of Russian billionaires. When ISIL captured Fallujah, President Obama called ISIL a jayvee team. When ISIL threatened to capture Baghdad, President Obama talked about the need for Iraq to sing kumbayah.
When Hamas killed Israelis, President Obama criticized Israel for not being gentle enough on terrorists who then hid behind 5-year-old human shields otherwise known as children. When missiles were found in a UN-run school, he dispatched John Kerry to the region, where Kerry’s plan was immediately rejected by the responsible nations of the region.
Just once, it’d be nice if the administration would get a policy decision right.
Unfortunately for America, it’s more likely that President Obama will hit a hole-in-one on his next vacation than he’s likely to make a solid policy decision.
This video shows how President Obama’s trash-talking, which is he displays his ideology, has gotten the United States in trouble:
I wrote this article to highlight the fact that ISIL is an existential threat to the United States.I wrote the article because I’m tired of hearing politicians like Rand Paul, President Obama and Elizabeth Warren whine about not getting involved in a civil war in Iraq. That’s so totally intellectually dishonest that they should be ashamed of themselves.
Frankly, it exposes their dovishness.
The video starts with CNN’s Jim Acosta asking White House Press Sacrificial Lamb Josh Earnest if “it’s safe to say that” ISIL “isn’t JV anymore.” Like any dutiful sacrificial lamb, Earnest didn’t answer the question, opting instead to talk about what a great national security president Obama is.
Great national security presidents don’t let ruthless terrorists take a terrorist hotspot like Fallujah, then call them the JV team. That’s a bit of proof that President Obama isn’t a great national security president. Once ISIL expanded beyond Syria, President Obama should’ve known that they couldn’t be taken lightly. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), said that “it takes an army to defeat an army“:
“It takes an army to defeat an army, and I believe that we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement. The group is “operating with military expertise, advancing across Iraq and rapidly consolidating its position,” she added.
“Inaction is no longer an option,” according to Feinstein.
President Obama initially campaigned on being the anti-war president. He’s ignored his commander-in-chief responsibilities the first 5+ years of his administration. That isn’t possible anymore. Because he’s been the appeaser-in-chief for that amount of time, nations of terrorists like ISIL are threatening to take over most of the Arabian Peninsula:
The Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and part of southern Turkey.
This isn’t a rag-tag operation. They’ve got weaponry, tons of space for training terrorists, oil fields aplenty to fund their terrorist operations and the military hardware to protect their terrorist training facilities. It’s time President Obama stopped listening to the anti-war ideologues who’ve put us in this precarious position. It’s time he stopped pretending that getting out of wars without defeating the terrorists is the same as giving the terrorist the freedom to plan attacks against the US.
Simply put, there’s no substitute for winning. Since 2006, I’ve highlighted all the times Democrats talked about Iraq and Afghanistan. Each time they talked about those wars, they talked about “ending the war responsibly.” Democrats, whether it was Amy Klobuchar, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, talked about “ending the war responsibly.”
In fact, they didn’t talk about rolling up terrorist networks or gathering intel on the various active terrorist networks in southwest Asia, north Africa or the Arabian Peninsula. This administration talked endlessly about decimating core al-Qa’ida while ignoring emerging threats like ISIL. After pretending that these problems didn’t exist, Democrats are faced with dealing with them now that they’re established and threatening the Arabian Peninsula.
If President Obama’s ideology hadn’t forced him into pulling all US troops out of Iraq and if he’d acted swiftly to destroy ISIL when it was gaining steam, we wouldn’t be dealing with this crisis. It could’ve, and should’ve, been dealt with proactively.
Now that President Obama has procrastinated until the last moment, his options are limited. Still, it’s quite possible to cripple them with the right decisions. I hope President Obama makes the right decisions because our safety depends on it.
When Congress passed the bill reforming the VA hospital system, it became the first bipartisan reform bill passed during the Obama administration.
The Senate gave final approval Thursday to sweeping legislation aimed at fixing the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, marking a rare moment of bipartisan accord triggered by the widespread treatment delays veterans faced at agency facilities.
The legislation passed 91-3 a day after the House overwhelmingly approved the package. It now goes to President Obama’s desk.
The $17 billion measure is intended help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department.
As with any bipartisan bill, this isn’t a great bill. It definitely is flawed. With that being said, Republicans got Democrats to include the Republicans’ top priorities in the bill.
First, the bill includes a provision that lets vets opt out of the VA system. Those opting out will get a voucher giving them the right to go to a private clinic or hospital. This provision isn’t available to all vets, though it’s available to a significant number of vets.
It’s also a great first step towards demolishing the corrupt VA hospital system.
The other major concession Republicans won was a provision that gives the VA secretary the right to fire employees who aren’t doing their jobs. Again, this is a major concession from Democrats, mostly because this gives Republicans the impetus to pass legislation that gives all cabinet secretaries this right.
Democrats will find it difficult to argue that only the VA secretary should have that authority, especially considering how popular this provision is with taxpayers. They’re tired of hearing about people like Lois Lerner committing crimes, then getting put on paid administrative leave while the department conducts their investigation. Taxpayers want heads to roll.
It’s pretty pathetic that the first truly bipartisan reform bill didn’t pass until the sixth year of this Democratic administration. It’s quite the indictment against President Obama’s administration and Harry Reid’s my-way-or-the-highway leadership. It’s the best proof that Washington, DC needs a Republican majority in the US Senate. Without a GOP majority, there won’t be another bipartisan bill passed during this administration.
It’s beginning to look like the Democrats are giving Tom Harkin’s Senate seat away. First, Bruce Braley insulted Iowans by criticizing Chuck Grassley for being a hog farmer. Now Braley is fighting for his political life for ignoring his committee assignment on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee:
Over a two-year period, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley missed 75 percent of meetings for a committee that provides oversight over the Veterans Administration, including one meeting on a day he attended three fundraisers for his 2012 campaign.
A few months later, news reports exposed systemic problems in patient care that have since resulted in the resignation head of the federal department of veterans affairs.
Of course, Democrats were quick to defend Braley:
Democrats who back Braley, a trial lawyer and seven-year congressman who is now running for U.S. Senate, say he has been an outspoken voice for veterans and it’s wrong for his GOP rival, Joni Ernst, to “try to inject partisan politics into veterans issues.” He missed the veterans affairs meeting on the day of the three fundraisers because he went to another congressional hearing, his aides said.
Veterans don’t need someone who’s all talk. What they need most is someone who’s committed to solving the VA crisis. Clearly, Rep. Braley doesn’t fit that description. By comparison, Ms. Ernst does. In fact, she’s currently away from the campaign trail so she can fulfill her commitment in the Iowa National Guard:
Republicans are appealing to Iowans to help campaign for Joni Ernst while she’s on leave for two weeks for active duty training.
Ernst, a candidate for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat and a battalion commander in the Iowa Army National Guard, leaves Friday for Fort McCoy for annual training.
“During this time, she will not be able to fund-raise, walk in parades, door knock or do other political activity,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a letter posted on the party’s website this afternoon. “We know Bruce Braley and his liberal D.C. pals will continue their slash-and-burn campaign against Joni while she’s on duty, so anything you can do to help us until Joni returns is greatly appreciated.”
If Braley continues making major mistake after major mistake, he’ll be Ms. Ernst’s best weapon against Bruce Braley. That seems likely considering the fact that he wasn’t where he said he was:
Braley’s aides said he skipped it to attend a 9:36 a.m. Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting on the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking scandal. The congressional record marked Braley “present,” but reveals that he offered no testimony during the three-hour hearing, which ran until 12:45 p.m.
Video caught no sight of Braley. His seat isn’t always visible, but the multiple times it’s within camera view during the window the Veterans Affairs committee was in session (10:19 a.m. to 11:54 a.m.), Braley wasn’t seated, a Register review of C-SPAN 3 and committee footage found.
Skipping a House VA Committee hearing for a trio of fundraisers is bad enough. Saying that you’re participating in another commitee hearing might get you off the hook…if you’re where you said you were. Apparently, he couldn’t even manage that.
This race isn’t over by a long shot. Still, it won’t help Democrats if Braley continues his litany of major mistakes. Insulting hog farmers in Iowa is as foolish as insulting Packers fans in Wisconsin. Attending a trio of fundraisers while saying you’re in a committee hearing is foolish, too.
Most of the doves who’ve spoken out in favor of the Obama administration’s appeasement policy towards the Russian-Ukrainian war frequently cite the fact that there’s no appetite for the United States to get involved in another war. This isn’t surprising since strawman arguments are President Obama’s specialty.
In this instance, though, it’s a non sequitur argument.
The US can and should use its military to change the equation in eastern Ukraine. It’s just that that shouldn’t mean deploying US troops to Ukraine. It should take the form of putting the military’s most lethal weaponry in the hands of Ukrainian troops.
The Ukrainian military has been asking the US for military support for months now. President Obama has rejected their requests. With there now being no doubt that the Russians are firing on airplanes, it’s time for President Obama to stop being the wimpiest president in my lifetime. It’s time he stopped dithering.
President Reagan took down the Soviet empire. President Obama isn’t doing anything to stand in President Putin’s way to reconstitute the former Soviet empire. What’s most disturbing is that President Obama apparently doesn’t recognize the peril he’s putting our allies in.
Why doesn’t President Obama understand that Russia’s slicing up of Ukraine just emboldens President Putin to attempt to threaten other nations? Doesn’t President Obama care about foreign policy?
President Reagan brought down the Soviet empire by confronting the Soviets whenever they tried meddling in other countries’ affairs. He showed them that he was committed to arming anyone who opposed the Soviets. He forced the Soviets to spend more money on their expansionist goals than they’d anticipated.
Because the Soviet economy was pretty much worthless at the time, he forced them to spend themselves into the dust bin of history. By comparison, President Obama is essentially giving President Putin a free pass with Ukraine, which enables them to spend more money on destabilizing other neighboring countries.
There’s no reason to think that the Russian economy is any stronger today than the Soviet economy was in the 1980s. Similarly, there’s no reason to think that forcing Russia to devote most of its spending on military ventures will endear itself to the Russian people.
While President Reagan was forcing the Soviets to spend tons of money on foreign military interventions, he also undercut the Soviet government in the eyes of its people. President Obama is totally missing that opportunity.
Instead, he’s playing the 98-lb. weakling who gets sand kicked in his face while President Putin plays the part of the menacing bully. That’s why the latest Fox News poll shows people thinking that 75% of people think President Putin is getting the better of things while a pathetic 14% think President Obama is getting the better of Putin.
We need a real president. We don’t need a fundraiser-in-chief. We need a president who rethinks his strategy after it’s shown it’s a disaster.
Unfortunately, instead of having a real president that knows what to do on the world stage, we’ve got President Obama.
If I hear another pundit talk about the bad optics hurting President Obama while Israel kills terrorists and people are murdered by Russian-trained military terrorists or while south-of-the-border cartels ignore the Tex-Mex border, I’ll scream.
This isn’t about the optics of going on one fundraising junket after another. This isn’t about whether President Obama can stay in touch with his national security team.
President Obama is justifiably getting hammered because he appears to be indifferent to solving the nation’s biggest crises. When Jennifer Palmieri says that President Obama didn’t want to change his schedule because he didn’t want to give “the American people…a false sense of crisis”, she’s reading from President Obama’s delusional script. I’m not worried about false crises. I’m worried about the real crises that President Obama is ignoring.
This wouldn’t be a topic of conversation if Americans got the sense that President Obama a) took his job seriously or b) knew how to handle these foreign policy crises. Clearly, he’s in over his head. Clearly, he thinks that the world is better off without the United State throwing its weight around.
It’s one thing for the White House press secretary talks about the tranquil world we’re living in. It’s another when our Secretary of State parrots that notion.
News flash to the White House: there are bad people out there committing acts of war. There are people who are flooding the United States with tons of illegal immigrants. There are militaries that are trying to gobble up other countries.
Meanwhile, President Obama meanders from hamburger shop to burger joint, from coffee shop to coffee shop while chatting with “ordinary folks.” What’s needed is a leader who understands that the world needs the United State to bring moral clarity to these crises. The world is a terrible, frightening neighborhood when appeasers like President Obama pull the United States from the world stage.
That doesn’t mean US boots on the ground. It means, in this instance, that the US arms and trains Ukrainians so that they can push back against Putin’s Russia. If the US doesn’t do that, then we should prepare for more situations where Putin’s Russia keeps expanding their campaign of militarism.
Last week, I wrote this post highlighting DFL Chairman Ken Martin’s PolyMet temper tantrum. Clearly, he didn’t want to talk about that thorny issue. This editorial highlights how ridiculous Chairman Martin’s arguments sounded:
State Sen. Karin Housley, who is the lieutenant governor candidate pick of Scott Honour who is seeking the Republican nomination in the Aug. 12 primary, said her failure to file was an honest mistake and she had nothing to hide. In fact, the filing she made after the deadline was the same as the last one she had done as required as a state senator.
So she was clearly wrong in not filing on time. And Martin did the political party partisan-thing that would have also been done by his Republican counterpart if the late filer had been, say, Gov. Mark Dayton.
But what’s really interesting and also quite telling about the release was not the usual DFL-GOP banter. It was the mention of PolyMet as an investment held by Housley — all $300 of an investment.
Yep, that was the lone investment of Housley singled out in Martin’s news release, based on her state Senate financial disclosure. No other investment or investments. Just one, PolyMet, the copper/nickel/precious metals project near Hoyt Lakes that is in a far-too long environmental review phase.
Aside from the tit-for-tat chatter that both parties feel obligated to spewing, the lesson from Chairman Martin’s tantrum is that PolyMet is a poisonous topic for him. The only time that issue isn’t a a negative for Martin is when he’s talking to the environmental activists in the DFL.
That’s a big problem for him because, though that part of his party is the dominant part of the party, environmenal activists are just a small portion of his party numerically. If he alienates the construction and trade unions by catering to the environmental activists too much, that’ll hurt his party this November.
But hey, let’s zero in a $300 investment in PolyMet by a running mate of one of four possible GOP gubernatorial candidates.
“…. this has nothing to do with PolyMet,” Martin said in a telephone interview with the Mesabi Daily News for last Sunday’s story. It’s all about a candidate’s transparency, he stressed.
That, of course, leap-frogged the question as to why PolyMet was targeted in the news release.
Martin said PolyMet “just popped out” from Housley,’s Senate financial statement to DFL Party researchers in advance of Martin’s news release on the issue. But, of course, no other investment of Housley “just popped out.”
I wonder if the researchers who scoured Sen. Housley’s financial statement are environmental activists. It’s certainly a legitimate question. Why would a $300 investment catch the researchers’ attention? Sen. Housley’s committee assignments aren’t related to PolyMet.
Chairman Martin doesn’t owe Sen. Housley an explanation. She should’ve filed the report on time. However, Chairman Martin owes mining activists an explanation why he’s singling out their industry in his statement. Will Chairman Martin show a spine for once? Will the DFL stand unconditionally with the miners? Will Chairman Martin finally tell the environmental activist wing of his party that, this time, he’s siding with Iron Range families?
If he won’t stand unconditionally with the miners, the miners should vote for the pro-mining party. This year, that’s the GOP. This year, that isn’t the DFL.
It’s impossible to serve 2 masters. That’s what Chairman Martin is attempting to do. The miners should demand more than token expressions of loyalty from the DFL. It’s difficult seeing that happen in the near future.
This article is exceptionally insightful in that it exposes Vladimir Putin for who he really is:
Why do many Western analysts contend that Vladimir Putin is outsmarting everybody like a skillful chess master? Can it be a massive illusion fed by Kremlin propaganda and blindly supported by analysts and policy makers? I agree with Paul Gregory that Putin deserves a failing scorecard and would add that he is erratically moving his country towards disaster. A bully is usually far from intelligent; he can be dangerous and evil, he can possess powerful resources, but that does not make him the forward-looking strategist many in the West pretend he is.
Putin’s economic model prevents him from being the international superpower he’s pretending to be. It isn’t that Russia is a superpower. It’s that it’s acting like it’s a superpower. Thinking that Putin is a chess master because he’s having his way with President Obama is like thinking you’re a tough buy because you can beat up a 5th-grader.
Putin is delusional because he thinks that the former Soviet empire was a great federation of nations. The truth is that it operated as a great federation because liberals like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter treated it like a great federation.
Only President Reagan understood its fatal flaw. Only President Reagan exploited that fatal flaw. President Reagan out-strategized and outmaneuvered the giant Russian bear. He expanded the use of Radio Free Europe to talk with the citizens. He checked them militarily whenever they thought about fulfilling their expansionist ideology. Most importantly, President Reagan spoke to the dissidents’ hearts by telling them about the virtues of liberty.
Let’s understand something. Vladimir Putin is a thug. He isn’t as despicable as Stalin but he’s still a thug. Calling him a thug doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous to smaller opponents. It just means that he’ll suffer the same fate as Gorbachev if he’s confronted by another Reagan.
The only way to deal with Moscow is to act firmly and decisively, imposing sectorial sanctions and providing serious military help to Ukraine, sharply increasing the economic and political pressure. The faster the West acts, the more lives will be saved and more destruction will be prevented.
President Reagan understood the necesssity of economic and benign military confrontation. Technically, President Reagan didn’t fire a shot to defeat the Soviet empire. That doesn’t mean he didn’t sell military weaponry to the Soviet’s neighbors. He let them know that he’d checkmate them wherever their expansionist goals took them.
There’s no denying that Putin is a major player on the international stage. There’s no denying that his expansionist goals are real. That doesn’t mean he’s the unstoppable superman that President Obama is helping through his inactions.
President Obama’s policies just make a thug look like a superpower. That doesn’t mean President Putin’s Russia is worthy of superpower status. That’s just what happens when he’s matched against a lightweight US president.