This seems to be a conservative opinion. It may be true. But I don’t find it very convincing.
From CNS News:
“Now you’re talking about Russia annexing the Crimea. Something happened,” Gregory continued. “And I wonder, as you hear some criticism from conservatives who say the issue here is that Vladimir Putin is not afraid, that he saw a red line by this administration in Syria and then no follow-up, no action, that he thinks that he can provoke the U.S. and the West and that President Obama won’t do anything in response.”
“Well, he’s finding out the opposite,” Kerry responded. “Let me make it clear: President Putin is not operating from a place of strength here. [Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovich was his supported president. Yanukovich was thrown out, despite Putin’s support. Yanukovich turned on his own people. President Putin is using force in a completely inappropriate manner that will invite the opprobrium of the world, and it already is. He is not going to gain by this.”
I just don’t see it. If Obama had started that illegal and immoral bombing raid on Syria (which was opposed by many conservatives!), he would have only made himself weaker, not stronger. Why would Putin be any less likely to move troops into the Crimean just because we bombed Syria?
Syria is not a nuclear power; Russia is.
Remember, not only does everyone know, but the State Department was caught red-handed, controlling the Ukrainian revolution. Yesterday, Lindsey Graham said he wanted “to create a democratic noose around Putin’s Russia.” This is exactly the reason why Russia can so easily be persuaded, that they are taking defensive measures in their move to secure Crimea.
I wrote earlier that Ukraine was not worth World War III for us. But what if Russia or China succeeded in helping a coup in Mexico or Canada in order for them to get a government friendly to one of those nations and hostile to the U.S.? That might be worth a World War.
And that’s exactly how Putin might value Crimea.
In which case, there is no question of keeping Russia out. Russia was not going to be deterred. The only question is whether or not two nuclear powers should go to war with one another.
So conservatives who say Putin invaded the Crimean because he perceived the U.S. was weak, may be right. But Putin might also have invaded the Crimean because he perceived that Russia was weak and could not afford to lose their naval base at that location.