Obama is facing a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia of unknown dimensions. Obviously, Ukraine should be occupied by the Ukrainians and no one else. Whether predominately Russian-speaking territories and Ukrainian-speaking territories should be one sovereign nation is a matter for the Ukrainians of both languages to figure out without mass murder and without outside armies.
Obama cannot simply threaten to attack Russia because Russia is a nuclear power. It would not be right to risk that kind of worldwide destruction that would almost certainly leave Ukraine worse off, as well as everyone else.
So what else does Obama have? He has the legal case to make against Putin’s actions in order to get some sort of sanctions against Russia. In making this case, he also has a chance to sway the Russian people themselves so that Putin might feel pressure to back down.
So Obama should make the case in the United Nations and elsewhere about how Putin deliberately moved guns over the border of the country to the south and how those weapons were used by drug cartels to murder hundreds…
Oh, wait. Sorry. I got confused. That wasn’t Putin in Ukraine; that was Eric Holder and the BATF in “Fast and Furious.” Our government illegally “walked” firearms to Mexico to be used by narcotics smugglers.
Well, then Obama could make the case that Putin threatened to bomb a sovereign country on a dubious pretext…
No, wait, that was what Obama tried to do to Syria.
So Obama could make the charge against Putin that he has armed and supported Al-Qaeda related terrorist groups to destabilize and overthrow another nation…
Then Obama could accuse Putin of murdering his fellow citizens without trial using drones.
No, Obama was the one who used a drone.
Could Obama make the case that Putin is a dictator who not only gives orders but usurps the powers of the nation’s elected legislature?…
Or am I thinking of Obamacare?
Has Putin persecuted his political opposition in order to enhance his own power?
It may be satisfying to point all this and more out, but the point is that America’s power never came solely from our immense military might and our nuclear arsenal. The United States actually claimed to stand for the rule of law and for respect of the sovereignty of all nations. It claimed the moral high ground. I’m not sure to what extent that was ever really as true as we claimed it was, but such a claim certainly used to be much more plausible.
We all know that Obama is being utterly hypocritical in his attacks on Putin’s actions. And we don’t know anything that the Russians don’t know. Or that the world doesn’t know. This is where it might have been a good idea not to bug Angela Merkel’s phone or spy on Brazil’s emails. The nations of the world might hate Russia’s actions right now but they’re not in love with the United States either.
Obama has debauched our standing in the world and, as a result, we are more alone than ever. We may not be capable of helping Ukraine because of our own reputation for lawlessness.