I have a hard time listening to critics of Obama, as I wrote when I criticized his drone policy the other day, and so all the stuff about he’s weak he needs to respond to Putin etc. has been driving me crazy.
Plus, I just don’t think Putin is going to escalate this too much further.
Happily, The Guardian seems to agree with me. The headline reads:
Don’t listen to Obama’s Ukraine critics: he’s not ‘losing’ – and it’s not his fight
It’s a nice opportunity for the right-wingers on Fox News to criticize and, as the article points out, they’re using every empty argument they can: Putin is strong, Obama is weak (as our friend Sarah Palin says, Putin wrestles bears and Obama wears “mom jeans.” So, Sarah, let me get this straight from the quintessential mom: mothers are weak?) Or comparing Putin’s actions to Hitler; or, as usual, thinking of the U.S. as the center of the universe and, therefore, Obama has to rattle some sabers. Here’s a nice antidote:
You don’t have to listen to the “do something” crowd. These are the same people who brought you the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other greatest hits. These are armchair “experts” convinced that every international problem is a vital interest of the US; that the maintenance of “credibility” and “strength” is essential, and that any demonstration of “weakness” is a slippery slope to global anarchy and American obsolescence; and that being wrong and/or needlessly alarmist never loses one a seat at the table.
I may be naive, but I just don’t think Putin is playing a winning game. Both the money markets and the ruble are falling fast in Russia, and nearly three quarters of the people are against what he’s doing.
And, judging from his press conference this morning, he may be coming to the same conclusion. He just needs to rattle a few more sabers, and then get back to his bears.