By Pat Austin
I’m missing Ronald Reagan today.
It seems inconceivable to me that we have fallen to such low regard in the world, with our weak, inept leaders, that Russia is once again spitting in our face and laughing behind our back. It could not be more clear that Vladimir Putin thinks that President Obama is a schmuck who is so self-absorbed with his own celebrity and so far diminished as a leader that all pretense of peace and goodwill are now out the window. I dare say that Putin would not have taken the aggressive steps he is now taking if we had a strong, effective leader like Reagan at the helm.
A couple of weeks ago, Peggy Noonan wrote:
The world is watching. Part of the story in Ukraine is that the people are rebelling against their elites, which have cozied up to Russia for their own purposes. We won’t be seeing less of this kind of thing in the future but more. Don’t we want to be understood to be on the right side of that battle?
You can thank the Obama voters for this new aggressive Russia: the kumbaya-singing, hand-wringing, peaceniks who are so determined to make sure America is not seen as an occupier and a bully. “Why should we care what happens in Russia?”, they think. They can’t see the connection. Certainly Obama can’t see any need to intervene; remember Iran in 2009? Obama would not dare do anything (but blather in televised speeches on his way to a fundraiser) about Russia’s power grab in the Ukraine lest he be perceived as a war-monger.
I think our leaders are now so anxious about appearing to support entangling America in another conflict that they’ve become afraid to voice full-throated support for those who fight for principles completely in line with our own—the right of people to choose their own economic and governmental arrangements, and their right to resist any illegitimate limiting of their freedoms.
Certainly between John Kerry and Barack Obama, Putin must be quaking in his “fur-lined boots,” as Charles Krauthammer said this week. While Obama pretends to be “gravely concerned” over Putin’s aggression, John Kerry is talking with George Stephanopoulos and declaring that “all options are on the table.” Certainly Putin is not in the least concerned that these two clowns will fight over Crimea.
Obama and Putin have always had … let’s just say an edgy relationship. Rather like two men playing a game of Rook while smoking cigars and sipping wine. But Putin has never been deluded by Obama like many American voters have been. Putin has always seen Obama for the weak, spineless pseudo-leader that he is; Obama has always wanted to be perceived as cerebral and intelligent: smart power! But right now, today, Putin is the one who appears stronger. And Obama voters are getting exactly what they wished for.
Ronald Reagan once said, “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”
Ronald Reagan would weep if he could see this.
Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.