Kingdom of Fear: The Old Enemy is Reborn
Where the crisis in Gaza presents a difficulty for fair, substantive debate in the American news media, the conflict in the Ukraine presents a different sort of challenge. Vladimir Putin has been the first serious leader of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, and many have argued that his ascent to power means that “freedom” in Russia didn’t take.
President Obama announced strict U.S. sanctions against Russia after the Malaysian airliner was shot down and called for Europe to do the same. According to BBC News, the European Union “is preparing further sanctions against Russia for backing Ukraine’s separatists, who are accused by the West of shooting down a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane.” In the case of these sanctions, America is not “leading from behind.”
Unlike the Middle East – in which our very intervention seems to make things worse – staring down Russia in the International Community is something that America has done before and could do again. The President’s opposition, however, is not content to simply rely on the Middle East to fuel their “inept Administration” arguments; they are saving their most lunatic criticisms for this situation.
There are those old-guard GOP Hawks whose default response is to call for military strikes, but that is nonsense. In an op-ed for POLITICO, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili wrote “It goes without saying that nobody expects Europe to respond militarily to Russia” and the same goes for the U.S.
While there are some valid criticisms about the President’s political fundraising schedule while these crises are playing out, but they are drowned by right-wing nonsense. According to Mediaite.com, “early morning host” Ainsley Earhardt of Fox News said “Bodies are raining from the sky…[The President] shouldn’t be playing golf.” That argument was tired when it was used against President Bush and remains so today.
In an op-ed for the aptly-named website Hot Air, Noah Rothman criticizes the President, although for what is not immediately clear. He does seem to support “unilaterally isolat[ing] the Kremlin by adapting a strategy of sanctions aimed at the Russian economy and narrow their focus to Putin and his allies as individuals.” Although, according to Reuters, that is exactly what the President (and hopefully the EU) are doing.
The GOP or, at least, their strategists know that if the President looks like a statesman and world leader during this Russian crisis, it could affect what could be a huge GOP win in November. They keep projecting this image of Democratic incompetence for political gains at home and seemingly care little about the losses abroad. It makes us all look bad.
Image via Polish Greatness (Blog)