Letter: As Russia growls, US must show strengthPublished 9:01am Friday, March 14, 2014
The growl has returned to the Russian bear. Russia’s Ukrainian incursion was emboldened by a growing perception of American weakness under the Obama administration. Liberals pilloried Sarah Palin in 2008 for suggesting an Obama administration could lead to a Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the third Presidential debate, Mitt Romney was derided for claiming that Russia was America’s number one geopolitical foe, prompting a naive President Obama to quip, “The 1980s are calling, and they want their foreign policy back.”
History has shown that weakness is provocative. At a time when the U.S. president is obsequious toward “political correctness,” Russian President Putin has been bold and fearless, with no such restraint. This is not to sing Putin’s praises, who has unsavory KGB ties, but his recent positions are on record in upstaging President Obama over Syria, standing firm on protecting traditional marriage, and being outspoken in confronting Islamic terrorism.
The re-emergence of Russia on the world stage comes at a time when, under this administration, the United States appears increasingly indisposed toward its historical foundations and at a crossroads concerning its future. Putin has stepped into a world leadership vacuum, challenging President Obama’s status as an effective world leader. He is shrewd and exposes the president’s foreign policy vulnerabilities. A strong America is a safer world; a weak America is a more vulnerable one.