I have been forgiving of Obama in many ways that I probably shouldn't. Fast and Furious, his inability to use pot legalization as a wedge issue versus the Republicans, or any numerous other examples of Obama kowtowing to corporate interests. But with todays inexcusably, unintentionally hilarious sanctions on very specific Russians and Ukrainians, he has officially crossed the Rubicon into Jimmy Carter territory.
Now unlike the Republicans who have advised every wrong idea on the book by almost guaranteeing a nuclear war with Russia, Obama has gone the opposite route and done absolutely nothing of any consequence short of a tepid slap on the wrist. John Kerry is proving to be ever bit the washout at Secretary of State I expected him to be, but at least it got him out of the Senate where he was equally worthless, and from my state nonetheless.
All this week, all we heard from the White House and Kerry is that if Crimea was annexed by Russia, severe penalties would follow. Instead what we got was a watered down bit of nothing that resulted in travel bans and bank freezes for 11 individuals, none of which have any Western assets to begin with. OHHHHHH, that'll teach them. The deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, laughed at the sanctions and then asked "if some prankster came with the list." Ouch, burned by the Russians. That's gotta hurt.
This is from ABC news:
Rogozin, a friend of actor Steven Seagal, took to Twitter to tweak Obama, tweeting he thinks “some prankster” came up with the sanctions list.
In a later tweet addressed to “Comrade @BarackObama,” he asked, “what should those do who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn’t think about it?”
Another Russian on the sanctions list, Vladislav Surkov, also seemed unconcerned.
Surkov, a top Putin ideologue often called the Kremlin’s grey cardinal, reportedly told a Russian newspaper, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”
Russia responded by announcing sanctions of their own on US congress people including, most likely, Senators Dick Durbin. John McCain and Robert Menendez. If they really want to get another poke at the US, when the list comes out as early as tomorrow they should add names like Ronald McDonald, The Easter Bunny and a random five year old from Des Moines to punctuate the stupidity of what the US has done.
With Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine looking more and more likely, Obama better get on his big boy pants, start channeling JFK over Carter and GROW A PAIR! Look, threatening Russia with war, like the Republicans are doing, is equally stupid. But there are steps that have to be taken immediately to stop Russian aggression, even if it means a new cold war.
NATO needs to be put on alert, start massing your own troops and equipment on the Ukrainian borders, and tell Putin in no uncertain terms that this is a red line not to be crossed, and this time, mean it. You got a free pass on your Syrian red line debacle, but not again. Immediately revive the missile defense shield for countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. Start delivering weapons to Ukraine should any more of the country be illegally annexed. And it is illegal, because much like this country, a state cannot automatically secede without the permission of the country in whole. It's why the Civil War started here and also why northern California cannot just leave to make their own state no matter how much they wish it. Also, start moving NATO advisors and training staff into the area which means if they get attacked, its an act of war on all of NATO and no Russian ever has been willing to go that far. Even Khrushchev blinked at that.
Further steps should be the immediate expulsion of Russia from the G8 and perhaps even the UN. Gas imports from Russia and all exports to Russia should be immediately stopped. I am sure there are ways around people not freezing to death, but would cost corporations lots and that is ultimately why nothing to happening. There are no countries anymore, just multinationals. So instead of standing up to tyranny, we and the rest of the world will turn a blind eye and try to keep everything status quo. But that is an impossibility and sooner or later, everything will fall apart. And when that time comes, Obama may be ultimately responsible. The time for corporatists in charge must end. It's why I do not want Hillary Clinton in 2016 but would rather Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren run instead. But the political machine will almost certainly not let that happen and instead, no matter if a democrat or republican win, the end result will be almost the same.