Liberals are now eating their mocking words about Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

You might recall Palin predicting Obama’s indecisiveness in 2008:  “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.” The liberal media lashed out and Palin was widely referred to as a “nut job,” among other things.

Fast forward four years to when presidential candidate Mitt Romney labeled Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe” during a debate. President Obama retorted with the usual snark, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because… the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” Again, the liberal media ridiculed Romney, who was classified as “uninformed” by Rachel Maddow.

I hate to be so sassy, but, who was really uninformed, Miss Maddow?

Ukrainians in the Crimea region now find themselves surrounded by Russian troops on the ground, while Putin laughs at the rest of the world sitting idly by. Brave President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have condemned Putin for Russian acts of aggression, which only prompted a ballistic missile test in return. With a very dry sense of humor, I’m amused that Russia even warned the US of the missile test because of previous arms treaties.

Putin is asserting his power with these games, and I tentatively call Russia’s antics “games” for now, because I do see a legitimate path for Putin to take over Crimea completely and attempt expansion from there. (Go ahead, liberals. Make fun of me.) Even if Putin’s original idea was just to display Russian power, the weak response from the United States might have helped plant some expansionist ideas into his head, if not feeding those ideas already planted. Right now, the world doesn’t have a Reagan who said what he meant and meant what he said.

We are a joke to the rest of the world right now.

President Obama’s words mean barely anything to me, and I know I’m not the only person who feels that way. His words certainly mean nothing to Putin. In fact, the President fears calling out Putin by name. In a press conference on March 6, Obama announced that the United States and other allies would be working to “impose a cost on Russia”. Apparently, we’ve thrown in some economic sanctions and put restrictions on Russian visas. And even though the President proudly proclaimed that we “oppose actions that violate international law,” I doubt Putin is quivering with fear.

One of the main causes of war is credibility of the threat. With former U.S. presidents like Reagan and George W. Bush, the world knew their threats regarding foreign affairs were credible. But how can President Obama be given that same respect when he draws a “red line” for Syria, and then just pushes it farther back when that line is crossed? Whether you agree with Reagan’s or Bush’s war tactics or not, their threats were always perceived as credible.

Obama’s threats, whether you judge them to be justified or not, are empty. Empty threats invite conflict.

Syria was a test which the rest of the world watched. The world saw the indecisiveness and ambiguity of United States leaders, and now we find ourselves in the Russia-Ukraine situation. What is troubling is that I am not sure whether this crisis is just another test or not.

I yearn for the elections of 2016, but they feel so far away. The United States needs leaders who will not condone the current weak policy of appeasement. Appeasing a morally corrupt leader always results in the injury of innocent civilians. My advice to Obama and Kerry would, of course, be to make some credible threats and carry them out. I realize, however, that now matter who the advice comes from, President Obama and his narcissism will not gracefully receive it.


Elizabeth Marcello | William & Mary | @eliz_mariah