Obama the Weak: The Silence of the Nation of Sheep on Ukraine

Ukraine with the bearThe people of Ukraine came out on Sunday, December 8, 2013. A million, maybe more or maybe a little less, gathered in what is now called Euromaiden Square. They tore down the statue of Lenin. They are demanding they not be crammed into the jaws of Russia by their corrupt leadership. On a cold day in the face of a brutal dictatorship these people spoke out hoping to keep their liberty.

The silence from our American politicians is stunning. We’ve lost our nerve. For the first time since the end of World War II in the face of people seeking freedom our leaders cower and remain quiet. Have we become a paper tiger fearful of using our might to help those seeking freedom?

Where is a President Kennedy who on June 26, 1963, when the US was facing a very real threat from the Soviets stood on the steps of the Rathaus Schöneberg in West Berlin and said: “Ich bin ein Berliner!” He laid down the gauntlet that kept the Soviets from gobbling up West Berlin that was plunked down in the middle of East Germany.

Where is a President Reagan who on June 12, 1987, 14 years after President Kennedy, stood before the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin and stated: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Read the speech to get a sense for what made it so bold.

The Ukrainian protest garnered:

top billing on BBC news,Ukraine Dec 8 BBC

in the Irish Times,Ukraine Dec 8 Irish Times (1)

in the French newspaper Le Monde,Ukraine Dec 8 Le Monde

and in Germany’s Spiegle, UKRAINE-UNREST-POLITICS-EU-OPPOSITION

and even in the New York Times Ukraine Dec 8 New York Times

The Boston Globe gave it 4 lines.

But like President Obama, the Washington Post at noon on Sunday had still ignored it; as did the Boston Herald, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and probably most other newspapers.

One of the largest pro-Western protests since 1989 when the Soviet Union first fell apart is ignored in most of America. We seem to no longer understand why we are free. We seem to think that the perpetual handouts will continue and we deserve things as the lawyers tell us in their television ads. We spend excessively on our military while 99% of the country has nothing to do with it; it might as well be a mercenary army of Hessians for all it impacts the rest of us.

Dana Millbank wrote recently of the need for a draft. From the president down, most of our leaders have not worn a uniform or sacrificed at all for the liberties many of our forebears have fought to preserve. Perhaps because of this they avert their eyes from the demands that freedom makes.

I thought the United States was the  leader of the free world. When Presidents Kennedy and Reagan were confronted by a powerful Soviet Union with missiles aimed at us and Europe and a continuing nuclear threat they spoke out. They knew that the Russian bear only wanted to smell weakness to make itself bold. They knew if it were faced with America’s strength and defiance it would back down. They knew that a free world needed America to stand strong.

Obama does not seem to understand this. He is proving himself a weak president. That’s why Russia believes it can again imprison the people of Ukraine; that’s why China thinks it can now move against Japan; that’s why the Egyptian people are again under the thumb of its military; and that’s why our once strong allies no longer feel confident in our backing.

It is fifty years since President Kennedy was murdered. When he was inaugurated he said:  “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Today, under Obama, “to assure the survival and the success of liberty” which the Ukrainian people seek, never mind paying any price, we won’t even speak out. What a pity America has shrunk to such a state.

 

20 thoughts on “Obama the Weak: The Silence of the Nation of Sheep on Ukraine

  1. Doubting Thomas:

    Didn’t Fosco lose his Dad, or, uncle, when the arm moved on their family business? I think he has a blog now.
    Maybe, Di Fronso has the big seat, but, its hard to tell. The Feds wanted him, but, just couldn’t put a compelling case together. They are still trying. Di Fronso has been getting a lot of publicity, lately, and, that usually leads to being indicted, sooner, or, later. I wish Len O’Connor was still around. He used to delight in disseminating info on the leadership, some, good, some bad, but, all calculated to get a rise out of the big shots.
    Watch Sal Cautedella. He’s moving up to take Sarno’s spot.

    1. Khalid- Thanks, I was wondering who was going be next up for left overs from Mike Sarno. Yes Fosco’s blog is dedicated to exposing the outfit in his organized crime section. I think something more sinister is at the core of his beef with those guys, Jack Cerone Jr. was sued by him. Look up what happened between Fosco and Mike “Mags” Magnafichi. Did you follow the Calabrese Sr. trial? Family secrets. I find this area on the map of the LCN to be interesting. Politics in Illinois seems to be entrenched with all of these characters from the Capone days to current day. Bill Roemer would be sad to see it is strong as it is.

  2. Why so hard on Chi-town? The Machine is not the Outfit, and, the Outfit is not the Machine. Entertainment TV has blended the two, wrongly.
    Pat Fitzgerald, and (after him), Preet Bahara, have worked diligently to enforce the separation between OC, and, the mayor’s office. Some believe those feared Fed prosecutors might even be a touch too fanatical about the issue.

    1. Khalid- you follow the current state of the outfit? If so, do you have an opinion why No Nose was left out of the family secrets spilotro murder? Is it similar in pat nee and the bulger trial? Just looking for your insight, I respect your knowledge and history of commenting on this blog. Did you get my post to you about a character named Joseph Fosco?

  3. I think John Bolton agrees with you:

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-bolton-ukraine-obama-security-20131212,0,2182232.story#ixzz2nF1QZDxo

    Note the comment underneath the artice

    georgevk at 3:14 AM December 12, 2013

    Although I am a fervent supporter of Obama (I worked as a campaign volunteer for his election and re-election), I agree with the author on this. The outcomes of the Bolshevik revolution, the second world war and the cold war are being fought for this very moment in Kyiv. These protests are for more than an EU agreement. They are about whether Ukraine will become a legitimate democracy. And how that will affect the future of Europe, Russia and NATO.

    People in the CIS countries (including 140 million Russians) are watching the Ukraine protests with interest and envy. If Ukraine does it, others will be inspired to follow.

    Ukraine was our ally in the second world war. Yet more Ukrainian civilians died in the war than in Germany and Japan combined (and that does not include the Holodomyr or Stalin’s terrors). Europe and the US largely forgot about Ukraine as it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. The protestors, the children and grandchildren of one of the most wounded generations in human history, are now asking for our help. And they have already handed Europe and the US a NATO sized Christmas gift. Imagine a post-Putin democratic Russia. Imagine the peace dividend. This is not a simple slam dunk. And the EU diplomats are not up to the task alone. Putin also understands all this and has quite different plans. Game on.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-bolton-ukraine-obama-security-20131212,0,2182232.story#ixzz2nHhkI4VJ

  4. MATT, I BELIEVE ALL HEALTHY 18 YEAR OLD AMERICAN MEN SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO ATTEND, IN THE SUMMER, A ONE TIME PARRIS ISLAND TYPE BOOT CAMP OF AT LEAST 10 WEEKS WHERE THEY WOULD BE IMBUED WITH PRIDE, DISCIPLINE, RESPECT FOR WEAPONS, THEIRS AND THEIR NEIGHBOR’S RIGHTS, AND TO LEARN WHAT VETERANS HAVE DONE TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY FREE AND STRONG.THIS CONCEPT SHOULD ALSO BE APPLIED ESPECIALLY TO ASPIRING YOUNG POLITICIANS BEFORE THEY TAKE OFFICE [ HOW MANY DO YOU THINK WOULD RUN FOR OFFICE THEN ?] AND ALL SO CALLED CHICKEN HAWKS AND LIBERALS WHO REPRESENT US. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE AS WE SEEM TO BE NO LONGER RESPECTED IN THE WORLD AS EVIDENCED BY CHINA, RUSSIA, N KOREA, IRAN, EGYPT ETC.
    OUR GOVERNMENT AND PRESIDENT HAVE NO BACK BONES AT THIS TIME!
    BRING BACK THE DRAFT ! SEMPER FI, CAPT JAMES AMBROSE USMCR

    1. Jim:

      10 weeks is too short. Two years must be given to appreciate what we have in this country and to let our youth meet and understand those from other parts of the country as you did when you served in the Marines. It should be almost a requisite that those in politics have done something for their country prior to running for office. I suggest the array in the country is due to the isolation of our people. Look at Switzerland that has a draft for the sole purpose of having their people understand others. As you see in my post today, we have lost the world’s respect and you know what that will mean when America is considered weak.

  5. Reagan’s approach on Poland was effective. He said ” Let Poland be Poland” and asked all Americans to stand with the people of that land and to light a candle. He never threatened force but pointed out that the Soviets were an evil empire. Many of the Democrats(liberals) denounced him for his language but his clarity was refreshing to liberty supporting Europeans. Maybe BHO could do the same. BHO is afflicted with the same disease as Carter. Good intentions and trust don’t always produce the best results. Wishful thinking won’t work but peace through strength does. Every president who diverted from Reagan’s policies (domestic, economic, military and foreign affairs)has been a failure. Should we have a rule that if one has voted for Dukakis and Obama one forfeits his franchise for a decade or two?

    1. N:

      Going to school as a kid in the 7th Grade I knew there were some teachers who you couldn’t fool around in front of and others who you could run roughshod over. The leaders of the other countries have the sense I had as a seventh grade and knew Reagan meant what he said and Obama is pretty much a lot of words.
      I was taken in by Obama’s rhetoric and figured he would be another MLK who came from the school of the black church preachers who were wonderful orators and who would follow up their talk with action. Unfortunately Obama seems to have picked up the talk but not the need to follow up on it, although in Ukraine he seems at a loss for words. Even more unfortunately his talk is loose and seems to slip into the land of lies as with keeping insurance and not living with his uncle.
      The problem is Obama has lost credibility and perhaps he knows if he speaks out on Ukraine no one will listen and Putin will do what he wants to do so to avoid embarrassment he keeps quite. I’m not suggesting we take military action but we certainly have enough tools to deter any Russian actions on Ukraine in our diplomatic and economic bags.
      I’m afraid your attempt to impose lustration on the Democrats will not work. Its not so much people voted for those folks it is just they were voting against the Republican candidates. Perhaps the rule should be the Republicans lose the opportunity to nominate any candidates for the presidency until 2050 if they put up any more McCain/Romney types.

  6. Matt- I feel like I have been duped by President Obama. I was expecting Michael Jordan and got Sam bowie. I voted twice for him, so it is my own personal fault aswell. I find the tone of his voice and message to be very banal and repetitive. Congress also is a racket.

    1. Doubting:

      I know the feeling. Either the man has lost his way or he had no way in the beginning but only his bluster. When you lose respect in the international arena as he has done that is when the world starts spinning out of control.

      1. Matt- Sad he has to lie about residing with his uncle? It seems so petty. I have to imagine that the culture in Chicago regarding political shadiness and ethics has something to do with his style and how he operates.

        1. Doubting;

          No doubt Chicago politics can adversely affect someone. But the more I think of it, guys who write autobiographies when they are young, especially two, are somewhat suspect. I supported the guy but now am getting second thoughts. I’m not happy with his glibness and have difficulty knowing what he stands for, if anything.

  7. ADDENDUM

    Please note that when I invoke Reagan, I refer to the relaxed foreign policy stance of his second term, as conveyed here: http://articles.latimes.com/1988-01-03/opinion/op-32475_1_president-reagan. I argue that it was that change of stance which contributed to the collapse of the USSR, as the bipolar world became more fluid, and both countries accepted that they had outlived the Cold War. That outlook was no longer sustainable. I think this article best conveys what I’ve fervently sought to express here.

  8. Dear Matt,

    First, please note that I posted a comment on the June 20, 2013 entry for “Cold Cases and Hot Questions,” regarding a Mr. John Kivlan. To ensure it may be noticed, I’m referring to that comment on your post here as well.

    Concerning the content of this post, I value and respect your call for swift and aggressive intervention on behalf of the Ukrainian people, which includes your invocation of President Kennedy. Your patriotic tone cannot be overlooked. There are some who may differ and prefer a more conservative stance; the needs of the Ukrainian people also are balanced with a deference to national sovereignty and a step away from the age-old question of whether America should be “the world’s policeman.”

    Some would argue that our focus should turn inward, at improving the conditions of those who live within our borders. Others would argue against imposing our values upon others. There are no easy answers. What is my stance? I continue to support a diplomatic route, rather than returning to old, adversarial ways. That’s how Nixon opened China, and it’s how Reagan broke down the Berlin Wall. Reagan accomplished what President Kennedy did not, and — importantly — that fall came from within. The disintegration of the USSR during the Summer of 1991 also came from within, not through threats, coercion, or invasion from foreign governments.

    That is my position; threatening countries to do as America does can tread a dangerous path and breed the resentment and proliferate the stereotype of America as an imperialistic power, imposing its will and values upon others without taking cultural sensitivities into consideration. I argue that freedom and everything else which our country holds dear are blessings; indeed, it is that “blessing of liberty” which we have labored “secure…for ourselves and our posterity.” Yet we worked for it; we earned and continue to define and defend what that means. It was never handed to us; it was not forced upon us; instead, it became ingrained as an ideal into our national consciousness, into our foundation documents.

    I argue that change and the embrace of American values must principally spring from within; while America may inspire, we cannot unilaterally do the work for others which we have forged for and clung to like a wood plank in the sea of history. To do that is to pose a threat to the national psyche of other sovereign nations.

    I predict that you will disagree and likely begin your reply with one of your characteristically blunt statements like, “You fail to understand…” or “What a specious statement…” or perhaps even, “You are completely wrong…” However, I think that the lessons of history shown that the most enduring struggles for freedom — and those in which freedom is sustained — are borne from within, not from foreign threats.

    Respectfully,
    Jay

    1. Jay:

      Both Kennedy and Reagan inferentially threatened the Soviet Union with their speeches. No one argues for military action but for firm diplomacy including freezing money and boycotts as we did with South Africa and Iran. I think a million people seeking liberty is quite a statement of what the people believe. We are not imposing our values on anyone, they are asking us not to let others take away from them what we have and what they are trying to gain. As much as we labored if we had a powerful country attempting to take these values away from us, suppose for instance the British did not accept our Declaration of Independence, it would have been nice for us to be able to call upon another country, say France, for its help.

      We see the stuggle for freedom being borne from within. We see a force from without trying to destroy it. We had no one destroying ours so we should try to see that Russia doesn’t destroy it for Ukraine.

      We launched a military attack on Iraq for the ostensible purpose of freeing the people from an evil dictator. We then went and spent billions of dollars in another country and beg them to let us spend more. In neither of these countries did they ever show the gumption that the people of Ukraine have shown. In neither Iraq or Afghanistan can an American walk freely and free from fear as she can in Ukraine. The tragedy of the whole thing is the timidity of our president when faced with people who allegedly seek what he is suppose to support.

    1. Henry:

      I couldn’t agree more. But I have to admit I was surprised when I read a couple of weeks ago that it was still there. For a while they posted riot police around it to protect it. Lenin? It shows the Commies never really relinquished control. I wonder if the tearing down of his statue will give the Ruskies a basis for going in and restoring order? Now that Forbes magazine declared Putin the most powerful man in the world he may begin to believe it.

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