Skip to comments.Obama's caution on Ukraine may loom over midterm election [also, live breaking news from Ukraine]
Posted on 03/04/2014 12:14:33 AM PST by Jim Robinson
(Reuters) - With Russia's incursion into Ukraine reviving Cold War-style tensions, President Barack Obama is at risk of suffering a blow to his credibility at a time when he can least afford it: as he tries to convince voters to stick with his fellow Democrats in congressional elections that will help shape his legacy.
For five years, Obama has practiced a cautious approach to foreign policy crises, prizing sober diplomacy and the search for consensus over brinkmanship, in prolonged conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the deliberative style that Obama's team sees as a statesmanlike attitude in tune with Americans' war-weariness, was described as dithering in the crisis over Syria, where the United States long discussed military action without committing.
Facing his toughest test yet in Ukraine, Obama is once again finding himself portrayed as a weak leader, outmaneuvered by a wily, opportunistic Russian President Vladimir Putin intent on reviving the United States' nemesis.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
“Obama has practiced a cautious approach to foreign policy crises, prizing sober diplomacy and the search for consensus over brinkmanship”
The guy who pulled the U.S. diplomatic rug out of a 30 year ally (if admittedly, a flawed one) in Hosni Mubarak favors a cautious approach?
The guy who spent the entire summer of 2009 dithering over Afghanistan, leaving our forces in a strategic limbo because he was trying to avoid alienating his base in order to have them on board his healthcare bill, is an example of sober diplomacy?
Good lord, these guys aren’t even bothering to mix the special Kool-Aid with water. They’re eating it right out of the can by the tablespoon!
This column of Ukrainian troops, (Belbek,Crimea)carrying the Ukraine and Soviet (!) flags, marched on the Russian occupied airstrip. ....reached Russian checkpoint. Russians begin firing in the air.... Ukrainians keep marching...Russians call commander to negotiate..... Troops have RPGs and machine guns trained on the column of unarmed Ukrainian soldiers... ...Russians back down, allow 10 Ukraine soldiers to take up positions at occupied base, but still awaiting orders from Moscow..
Face off between Ukraine base commander Col. Yuli Manchur and Russian officer at occupied Belbek airbase.....The red flag the Ukrainians marched with is the banner of the fighter pilots who fought Nazis in 1941 and guarded the Yalta Conference.......Ukraine Colonel still negotiates, Russian snipers & RPGs still aimed at column of soldiers. But deescalation is clear, at least in Belbek.....
(Last tweet)....Ukraine commander demands to guard the base jointly with Russians, who pledge to give their commanders' response by 12:00, in 2 hours
Continued from above posts.....
Russian military truck just brought a handful of (probably Russian) news crews to the Belbek standoff. They’re now filming from Russian side
Continued from above posts.....(no need to respond Jim, yes very interesting)
Still tweeting....Times reporter .......”Russian military truck just brought a handful of (probably Russian) news crews to the Belbek standoff. Theyre now filming from Russian side”
Poor, poor Obama.
How can they polish this turd?
The Libs are hand wringing......over Obama.
God help us!
Ok, great. Bumped it up to breaking for you. Please keep it coming if you can.
I was referring more to the lefty pundits in the media and their obsession with the legacy of Obama but, I get what you are saying about voters and the up coming election.
Things are happening now.
It really would be best if Obama and McCain would just STFU.
I wish they both would just STFU!
I have an 18 year old son who is considering serving in the military after graduation, so this concerns me a lot.
Ok will do Jim.....there’s more..I’ll go fetch it...
The nonsense those idiots write! Ask Ghadafy about "sober diplomacy" or the Egyptians about "consensus"!
Putin and Obama hate each other at this point I reckon.
Putin has Barry’s number and Barry knows it. And no fawning press or fake marble columns to put a nice face on it.
Ukraine's 204th tactical aviation brigade when they just arrived to face down the Russians in Belbek
Latest tweet....from reporter.....Groups of pro Russia Crimeans are coming to base to try & evict the Ukrainian soldiers.... A platoon has been dispatched to guard perimeter
Great reporting. Thanks, caww.
credit for twitter photos go to @AnshelPfeffer and @haaretzcom..also @shustry
It’s more tense really then the photos show....I’m reading that half the base had surrendered before the other half opted to march and attempt to retake the base “peacefully”.
Have to say this Commanders move took a lot of nerve...trigger happy men have started many outbreaks over the years....not to mention the risk of doing this...after all they were dealing with the Russian Army....
Huffington Post just requesting to run the photos from tweeter...but we had them as it’s happening!
“Local Berkut seem to have attacked the administrative building at Belbek airbase”...unconfirmed
Ok, this may be a story on this incident: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3129301/posts
Thanks for the updates!
How much of this is kabuki for the cameras and Western consumption ?
Great job Caww,
I’m with you.
NAh...I was on twitter as the soldiers began their march...they meant business...half the base had surrendered but this Commander lead his men to this confrontation...
Not sure how this is going to go but a smart move for commander to have his men break rank and smoke if they want...tensions high enough...
Wonder if HP have picked up the tweets from Medea Benjamin that Kristinn posted? She’s sitting in “jail” in Cairo airport. Lol
Freepers are the best!
Stand off Update...:
Ukrainian commander crossed over to the other side again to talk to Russians.... Russians apparently waiting for orders to allow Commander to guard the planes or not....
Gutsy guy...Times up....so Ukrainian Commander went to the Russian guy in Command there....
Thanks...good...Ukraine Commander just went over to the Russians... Past Times up for when Russian Commander said he’d have an answer
That man has courage in the face of conflict!
>> How much of this is kabuki for the cameras and Western consumption ?
Or maybe a display of the awesome power of the hand of GOD?
I’m praying for no bloodbath there.
So he defected to the Russians? Seems like a lot of that going on lately.
If Ukraine is subdued and out of the news by mid year it will have little impact on the midterm elections. The Soviet Union and the Cold War ended 23 years ago. The median age of the US population is 37. A 37 year old today was only 14 when the Soviet Union collapsed. A huge segment of the US population has little or no memory of the Cold War and the Russian threat. For those voters Russian actions in Ukraine, and the European continent, are distant and inconsequential.
Certainly the core Democrat constituencies care very little about Eastern Europe and Russia. They are focused on domestic issues - abortion rights, wealth and income redistribution, government control of healthcare, gun control, green energy, minority rights, and amnesty for illegals. Were Russian tanks to swarm across Western Europe Democrat voters will not be concerned unless social welfare programs are threatened or they face the risk of being drafted into the army.
Few voters who fear the resurgence of Russia, and loss of American power, voted for Obama or will vote for Democrats in the 2014 mid term elections. Therefore Obama, Kerry, and Democrat politicians do not need to consider how they are perceived by the public as they pursue diplomacy and saber rattle with no will or intent to take meaningful action. Most of the mainstream media coverage will ultimately parrot the administration’ stalking points. The few negative comments in the press today will be forgotten by election time when the media will be 100% a propaganda organ for the Democrats.
Obama is acting with zero constraints. He has no fear of any negative domestic political repercussions from anything he does in conducting foreign affairs. Even if he blunders badly he will not be held accountable by the media, by Congress, or by the majority of the American people.
Unless the US homeland is attacked directly, or Obama directly engages large numbers of US military forces abroad, votes in the upcoming mid term elections will be cast based on domestic issues. While the GOP is right to criticize the inept foreign policy of this administration, highlighting the foreign policy disaster will not win over swing voters, much less energize the conservative base. The party must convince enough voters it has specific and better plans than the Democrats for getting the economy going and fixing healthcare. Simply being the alternative to status quo is not enough as Romney proved in 2012. Another “Contract With America” will draw more votes in the mid terms than sending John McCain out to pontificate on foreign policy.
the Russians said they’d have an answer if or not the Commander and his men can guard/control their planes and the base as a joint effort....that was over two hours ago...the deadline Russia gave when they’d have an answer for them.
Times up..the commander went to them to find out what the answer is..
"How will the Ukraine impact OBAMA'S TEAM in the election!??!!"
The true worry of the Obama buttlicking media.
OMG, they are SMOKING?!!?
Kerry and Obama have an excuse to abandon them now.