The outpouring of mocking criticism of President Obama’s bungling of the Ukraine crisis, by both the standards of sane war avoidance and even the standards of the British Crown’s drive for war, are continuing. Two particularly notable hits on Obama appeared in U.S. media yesterday.
Eric Margolis published an historical critique of Obama, published both on antiwar.com and Unz Review, headlined “Amateur Hour in Ukraine,” noting the contrast between Obama and Bismark and observing that the German leader would never have run the risk of world war over Ukraine:
“Prince Bismark would never have allowed Ukraine to boil over and set the United States, its appendage NATO, and Russia on a collision course. He would have been horrified to see Washington foolishly making enemies of Russia and China at the same time… Had Kaiser Wilhelm II retained Bismark as his premier foreign policy advisor, Germany may have avoided blundering into the horrors of World War I.”
After calling for the U.S. and NATO to abandon plans to build bases in Ukraine and the Baltics, and instead allow a referendum for regions to decide whether to align with Europe or Russia, Margolis noted, “In fact, NATO’s would-be bases in Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, as well as the Baltic, are a major military liability to the alliance which is incapable of defending them if the Russians get really angry.”
Returning to Bismark at the end, Margolis concluded, “After the 1878 Congress of Berlin that Bismark organized to sort out the great power’s conflicting claims to the volatile Balkans, the Iron Chancellor observed that no one had asked the locals involved their opinion. Fast forward to today’s Ukraine where Bismark’s wise advise still rings true.”
Patrick Smith in Fiscal Times similarly goes after Obama failures in the Ukraine crisis, headlined “How Obama’s White House Lost Ukraine in a Few Stupid Steps.” Smith starts by saying that Obama “backed the wrong horse” in Ukraine and that it may be the most costly of his many foreign policy blunders.
“Regardless of how you may construe these past six months in Ukraine, we have just watched a failed effort to wrest the nation straight out of Russia’s sphere of influence and insert it into the West’s. It is now easy to conclude that the second-term Obama White House has not one foreign policy success to its credit and none in prospect. (The first term looks little better, for that matter.)”
After reviewing the Geneva agreement, the role of the Right Sector in breaking the deal with the Easter Sunday attack, Smith notes Obama’s pouting threat to isolate Putin and Russia and make the country a pariah state. He concludes, “Obama has just announced a pout that amounts to his surrender to a statesman who has boxed his ears in every round.” Noting that Obama is about to start a new Cold War destructive to all parties, he proposes that “Most immediately, Washington and the European allies ought to be reversing course and turning Ukraine into a field of cooperation with Russia by way of a commonly supported bailout devoid of geopolitical motivation.”