Unfortunately the B team is the A team in today’s Washington. All that was available were the best, but they aren’t that good.
Meanwhile it appears that Senator John McCain has moved from being an expert on Syria to an expert on Ukraine (sigh). Hardly surprising given his position on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and admittedly, it would be disappointing if he was ignorant of various countries given the position he holds. Nonetheless, he remains stuck in the Cold War. He really needs to retire and get out with his wife Cindy to travel, garden, cook, take up knitting, learn the art of beekeeping, or something useful.
We’ve made this Ukrainian crisis into an anti-Putin, as in a him or us issue and that wasn’t necessary. At the Mendeleyev Journal we plan to respect the decision of the Ukrainian people and hope that they will choose a course that is good for their future peace and prosperity.
The Ukrainian situation is not so cut and dried as McCain and Obama seem to think. There are advantages and disadvantages to joining the Customs Union and the same could be said for continuing toward some sort of relationship with the EU.
Mr. Obama has not helped matters by staying on the sidelines while sending in his poorly chosen staff and grossly under-talented State Department. Obama may think that his silence gives the appearance of being neutral but in the real world his silence speaks volumes and his position is abundantly clear given the lackeys he has sent in his place and the message they carry.
A true leader in such a crisis would stand up and articulate his position clearly. That would require having a leader in the White House, something not currently available in the USA. Mr. Obama doesn’t articulate well and perhaps James Carville is afraid that he’d start babbling about drawing an orange line in the sand or worse, uttering stupid lines like if you like your revolution you can keep it, etc.
We rarely agree with Senator McCain but find ourselves in solidarity with his admission near the end of the video that he has a big ego.
On the other side of the debate, Mr. Putin understands that the US has rarely listened to his perspective regarding sanctions over another country. The very mention of sanctions in the media by McCain was really for Mr. Putin’s ears as they had already been delivered in private to the current Ukrainian government.
Further, the sanctions threat made public sets up additional expectations that may come back to further hinder the USA’s reputation should the need arise but the administration fail to follow through. It also gives Mr. Putin ammunition to say that the USA is threatening yet another a free nation. Neither McCain or Obama would be very good poker partners.
When Ronald Reagan assured Mr. Gorbachev that the US and NATO would never expand Eastward beyond the unification of Germany, and when that promise was repeated to President Yeltsin by Bush I, we set up firm expectations and promises to Russia in exchange for market reforms. From Bill Clinton and moving forward however, we’ve broken those promises repeatedly and if it seems that Putin sometimes acts like a cornered animal, we who are Americans need to take a long and hard look in our own foreign policy mirror.
We, the USA of which this writer is a citizen, not only have short memories but we’ve turned into very accomplished liars at the most unfortunate of times.