Comments about ‘Has Obama's foreign policy emboldened Putin?’

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Published: Tuesday, March 4 2014 10:10 a.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

I've heard McCain and other GOP Senators and Representatives spouting off on Faux News. But I have not heard any of them offer any concrete ideas as to exactly what can be done. It's so much easier to just stand back and criticize and complain. It's quite another to have a plan that would actually work.

Eugene, OR


The film you're describing back at 3:33 p.m. is called Death of a President. It has a positive rating of only 37% on RottenTomatoes.com and earned less than a million dollars worldwide. NPR and CNN both refused to run ads for it and then-Senator Hillary Clinton described the idea of such a film as "despicable" and "absolutely outrageous."

Celebrated by liberals? Sure...

Bountiful, UT

Stunning lack of contextual understanding by the Obama opponents here.

I would bet $100 very few, if any, of them could actually locate Ukraine on a map that didn't have the country names on it.

Putin is sending a message to the new Ukrainian government that Russia is willing to use force to protect its interests, which in the Ukraine primarily involve transit of Russian natural gas to Europe, through the Ukraine.

Putin is not an absolute dictator - he has very powerful constituents, namely the Russian Billionaries who have a LOT of investments in the West. As the diplomatic pressure and threats of economic sanctions start to hurt Russian oligarchs, Putin will probably back down.

This was primarily a reaction to the political upheaval in the Ukraine, and only a tea-partier, a rube, or a political opportunist would suggest this was a result of Bengazi or Syria, or anything else related to Obama.

Wait! Maybe this is because Putin saw how badly the Obamacare website rollout was handled, so he decided out of the blue to take over that peninsula.

Uhhh... probably not.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Open Minded Mormon

You lost credibility when you quoted a line from Saturday Night Live and NOT Sarah Palin.

Whether the US needs to do anything right now or not, Obama is a joke, weak in the eyes of the world in foreign policy.

If Ukraine asked us for help against an invading Russia what would you do?

Would you allow the Soviet Union to reform?

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

@Open Minded Mormon, or should I say Pagan or should I say airnaut:

Its clear this is yet another situation Obama was wrong. Mitt Romney made it clear Russia was a risk.


Obama said Russia wasn't a risk.

Even Sara Palin said Russia would be a problem.

Palin was right
Romney was right


Obama was wrong. Again.

Sorry Pagan, its the truth

Dr. Thom
Long Beach, CA

Seriously, who in the world is actually intimidated by Obama or Kerry? And now that these clowns want to cut the military, what would we use in any event, harsh language?

Aurora, CO

From a 34 yr vet of the US Army, having lived through Jimmy and the debacle he made, I can accurately compare him and President Obama in their vision of the world. We are perceived as weak not because of our military strength, but a foreign policy based on naive notions that despots will behave themselves while the US looks away. We must be able to project power, not only through our military, but through diplomacy, economics, sanctions. When all else fails, then we send in troops, like we did in Iraq. 12 yrs of diplomacy, sanctions and the rest resulted in a defiant Saddam shooting at our planes enforcing the no-fly zone, defrauding the Oil for Food program and WMD(chemical weapons that are now in Syria). Putin isn't afraid of "being on the wrong side of history", he doesn't care. He wants what he has always wanted, the old USSR back. We must be able to engage prom a position of strength, not wishes.

Aurora, CO

Part 2 Waiting until the US is attacked is inviting destruction of the scale of Hurricane Katrina, and I don't want to be in a position of defending or possibly losing home ground. It makes no military sense to do that. Waiting for that in the 1930s resulted in our trading men and materiel for time to prepare to take the fight to the enemy. From 1941 to 1943, we fed our forces to a meat-grinder to give time to re-tool, manufacture, train and project power to the theaters of war. I would prefer not to condemn future generations to that type of situation. I would rather stop things from becoming too big to fix without a massive military incursion. That means acknowledging that the world is full of folks who don't play nice, and stern scolding doesn't work. Use all options at our disposal to deal with these situations and don't ignore them until they grow fangs and bite us.

clearfield, UT


Well, this might surprise you, but if anyone watches FOX News, they know exactly where Ukraine is located. They put up maps all the time to show viewers. In other words, you would be out a lot of money if we all took you up on that bet. And in spite of all your insulting points, I find it deliciously ironic that it was both Romney and Palin who warned that Russia was not an ally, but an advisary. Obama of course, who still thinks as if he were a sophomore in college got it wrong. We have a President who is way out of his league as an a real world thinker and always will be. Next up, watch for China to make some moves. To the Americans who voted for Obama. The "I told you so" count is growing and growing.

Salt Lake City, UT

As a Vietnam combat veteran, I say we need to be careful about going to war - it usually turns out worse than expected. But, a weak military means weak diplomatic leverage; and weak nation will means a weak military, no matter how well-equipped and well trained. There also needs to be savvy in the State department, National Security Council and Defense Department. Top leadership in these areas should not be a reward for political support as a prerequisite.

salt lake city, utah

You know not one Obama detractor has demonstrated any understanding of what is happening in the Ukraine or Crimea.

It's impossible to have an intelligent discussion about what should be done because not one of the detractors has shown any understanding of what has been done.

The closest anyone of them got was an ill informed reference to the 1994 arms agreement.

Numerous posts have laid out the history of the region, the current political and regional differences, and one poster even described the box Putin and Russia have been put in since the mid 90's.

Old hawk Lindsay Graham said he would like to build a noose of democracy around Putin and Russia. Hello Lindsay where have you been that's precisely what has happened for the past 20 years and now they've reacted.

That doesn't mean it's right what Putin has done it just means the right's reaction is ignorant, and the reactions here do nothing to dispel that fact.

Durham, NC

Can any of you please explain what you think Putin has won that he didn't already have?

I can clearly detail what he lost in the last 30 days... so please... if we were so out foxed.... what is it you think Putin has won.

And if you can figure that one out, try next what you would have done different. We have heard the clamoring about the missile defense shield - a defensive asset aimed at taking out air threats - how would that have made even a little difference had that been in place?

I await your wisdom.... should be enlightening.

clearfield, UT

Pragmitist and Blue Devil

Ok you want details. Here goes. Crimea has about 8 or so piplines that supply a lot of European oil and gas. Which is why Europe is going to let Putin have that area. It is also why Putin wants physical control over that region. Before, it was assumed he controlled Crimea, but now he has taken it because Ukraine has been making noises about joining the EU. Also, the greater Ukraine is a rich area of the old Soviet Union and getting it back in control of Russia would be like America getting back Texas for instance, if it had tried to go independent. So Putin may well try to advance more in the greater Ukraine area too. How fast he works depends upon what blowback he gets on this first incursion. Informed enough on the issue for you?

Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Putin, a former KGB colonel, knows that Mr. Obama is a former community organizer, a classic talk the talk versus walk the walk scenario. He also agrees with Hillary Clinton that Mr. Obama is not the one who is competent to answer the red phone in the middle of the night. The Ukraine situation is complex and is not in our immediate vital interest. However, we cannot ignore it as we did with the Ugandan genocide, Syria, Darfur and other central Africa atrocities, The Syrians crossed Obama's line and nothing happened other than Putin took control, another talk vs. walk. The Ukraine looks very little different.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

I get the impression from following this somewhat artificial crisis that Russia’s interests have no legitimacy worthy of an airing. The American and international press seem less interested in providing balanced news reporting than in exploiting a geopolitical standoff to provide theater for the world.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Why didn't the right wingers heap criticism and blame on Bush/Cheney when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008?

salt lake city, utah

happy2bhere, not bad. Certainly better than others and notice when you put the whole thing in context it doesn't turn into a simple Obama bashing rant.

You did miss two important/critical points and that is first of all the internal conflict between the Crimea, and the rest of Ukraine, spurred by the Ukraine overthrowing it's government. Secondly, and this is linked to the first, Crimea is Russian. They view themselves as Russians and they speak Russian. That speaks to your point that Russia controlled the area previously. It also mitigates your point of Russia wanting the rest of the Ukraine, probably not.

I think the point here is this is very complicated and delicate. It certainly doesn't warrant a puffed up President shouting and issuing sanctions and threats.

All that said, your joining in with information and details provides a intelligent discussion.

Mark l

US hegemony has provided for almost universal world peace. There are many regional powers that have been kept in check because they are no match for the US military. When the lone super power diminishes itself, the small regional powers will grow to fill the void, leaving the world less safe as the regional powers assert their authority. The US military has done more than any other country to promote peace throughout the world than any country in the history of the world.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Open minded Mormon...Excellent posts! Wish there were more of you.

clearfield, UT


Have to disagree with you that Russia does NOT want to control all of Ukraine. As I said, with limited words available on this site, Russia wants to control Ukraine and have the benefits of its assets. The eastern half of Ukraine also has a large Russian population, and Putin is using them as an excuse to possibly invade. Protect Russian citizens. Hitler did something similar. Hillary Clinton stupidly pointed out the same. Stupid because she might one day actually again be in government. Which I might add would be awful for America. Obama is seen as weak, and that is just a fact on the world stage that he will never be able to change. His first impression to the world was his hat in hand, bowing down to the rest of the world and apologizing for the U.S. How can anyone think that was respected? Only a person who operates on college philosophy. This is a world governed by the aggressive use of force, and or the threat thereof. Putin has won this round, and will be able to do anything he wants in that area. And he knows it.

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