The Republican drum beats pushing the U.S. into a full scale war are getting louder and louder. Sen. John McCain would like nothing more than for us to engage in yet another ill-advised war. Of course, true to self, John McCain sought to undermine President Obama on his foreign policy, while pushing for the U.S. to send troops into Ukraine to confront the Russians directly.
Here is Sen. McCain’s full statement:
“I am deeply concerned that Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea may soon expand to eastern Ukraine. Yesterday, President Obama said that Russia would face ‘costs’ if it intervened militarily in Ukraine. It is now essential for the President to articulate exactly what those costs will be and to take steps urgently to impose them.
Russia’s use of force in Ukraine is unfolding in clear violation of Russia’s own commitments to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. None of us should be under any illusion about what President Putin is capable of doing in Ukraine, especially now that he has requested, and the Russian Duma has approved, the deployment of Russian troops, not just in Crimea but in the country of Ukraine.
Every moment that the United States and our allies fail to respond sends the signal to President Putin that he can be even more ambitious and aggressive in his military intervention in Ukraine. There is a range of serious options at our disposal at this time without the use of military force. I call on President Obama to rally our European and NATO allies to make clear what costs Russia will face for its aggression and to impose those consequences without further delay.”
How long will John McCain continue his diva-ish behavior as a result of the shellacking he got from Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election? He sounds like an angry old man.
The drum beats from the Republicans are getting louder…. So easy for armchair quarterbacks to give their two cents.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said President Obama must “lead a meaningful, unified response” to the crisis in the Ukraine, which he has failed to do thus far. He also said, ”The Russian government has felt free to intervene militarily in Ukraine because the United States, along with Europe, has failed to make clear there would be serious, potentially irreparable consequences to such action.” He said Congress would consider targeted sanctions against Russia.
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) took to a step further by saying, “History judges perpetrators of these actions poorly, as it does those who stand idly by.”"Our response should be demonstrate the U.S. stands by its friends against bullies.” McKeon called Putin a ‘would-be empire builder” whose actions are a “throwback” to the Cold War. He accused Russia of violating the “freedoms of all Ukranians.”
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) took an even uglier approach. He said, “Emboldened by President Obama’s trembling inaction, Vladimir Putin has invaded the Crimea region of Ukraine.” He rattled off a series of potential actions President Obama could take against Russia if they don’t withdraw from Crimea – revoking travel visas, freezing assets of senior Russian officials, rescheduling the G-8 summit in Sochi, suspending Russia from the forum of governments, and recalling the U.S. ambassador to Russia. WTAE reports.
Cotton said, “Putin must be punished for his outlaw actions and the Russian people and elites must recognize they will pay a price for them.” He added, “The hours ahead will decide whether this invasion of Crimea is repelled or expanded to the whole of Ukraine, and whether the West finally confronts Putin or again blinks in disgrace.” he said.
Separately, the Washington Post is out with a strongly-worded editorial, criticizing President Obama for simply condemning Russia’s invasion into Crimea:
As Mr. Obama noted, it would also be a blatant violation of Russia’s commitments, including the 1994 Budapest memorandum, in which Moscow pledged to the United States and Britain that it would respect Ukraine’s independence and borders in exchange for the removal of its nuclear weapons. It could create another chronic trouble spot in Europe — particularly as Crimea’s population includes a large minority of Ukrainian speakers as well as Crimean Tatars, a Muslim group that rejects Russian rule.
Mr. Obama and European leaders must act quickly to prevent Ukraine’s dismemberment. Missing from the president’s statement was a necessary first step: a demand that all Russian forces — regular and irregular — be withdrawn from all parts of Crimea outside the Sevastopol naval base and that Moscow recognize the authority of the Kiev government in the region. If Mr. Putin does not comply, Western leaders should make clear that Russia will pay a heavy price — not just in “condemnation,” but in economic and diplomatic sanctions.
The last thing Europe needs is a civil war breaking out in the Ukraine. It would be detrimental to American and European interests. But putting American boots on the ground or engaging in an outright war, isn’t the answer.