The price of weakness

Russia invades Ukraine, President Obama wags his finger. Satisfied that Obama will do nothing (if he had had any doubt at all), Putin is now preparing to escalate his invasion:

Russian President Vladimir Putin received permission Saturday from parliament to mobilize the country’s military in Ukraine.

Putin says the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea. The request comes a day after President Obama warned Moscow that “there will be costs” if it intervenes militarily in Ukraine.

Putin move appears to formalize what Ukrainian officials described as an ongoing deployment of Russian troops in the strategic region of Crimea. His motion loosely refers to the “territory of Ukraine” rather than specifically to Crimea, raising the possibility that Moscow could use military force in other Russian-speaking provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine where many oppose the new authorities in Kiev.

Obviously Putin doesn’t need parliamentary permission to do anything, so this amounts to an announcement.

As it turns out, the United States is obligated by treaty to come to Ukraine’s aid:

A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country. Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.

Oh, please. Obama doesn’t even obey his own health care law that he advocated and signed himself. Do you think he’s going to war because of a treaty? Hardly.

POSTSCRIPT: Now we have to take a trip down memory lane. Remember this “gaffe”?

uh oh. New Romney gaffe. He just called Russia the “number one geopolitical foe” of the United States. @wolfblitzer called him out.

Ha ha, what a dope. To his credit, Romney stuck to his guns despite mockery from the liberal media.

And then there’s this:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin warned that if Senator Barack Obama were elected president, his “indecision” and “moral equivalence” may encourage Russia’s Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine. . .

For those comments, she was mocked by the high-brow Foreign Policy magazine and its editor Blake Hounshell, who now is one of the editors of Politico magazine. . . Hounshell wrote then that Palin’s comments were “strange” and “this is an extremely far-fetched scenario.”

Far-fetched indeed. This reminds me of how Ronald Reagan understood the Soviet Union much better than any of the foreign-policy “experts” who mocked him.

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