Obama lacks resolve on Ukraine

tags: Russia, Ukraine, Obama

Marc Thiessen writes a weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Thiessen served as a chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and before that as a senior aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms. He is the author of “Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack” (2010) and the co-author, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, of "Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge."

Here is the sad state of affairs in U.S. foreign policy today: We are seeing more resolve projected from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations than from the Oval Office.

At the White House, President Obama finally addressed the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine last week, but in his tepid prepared remarks Obama mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin precisely once (and then only to mention that they had spoken by phone the day before).

By contrast, over at Turtle Bay, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power delivered a searing indictment of Russia to the U.N. Security Council, laying responsibility for this barbarous act exactly where it belongs — at Putin’s feet. “Time after time, President Putin has committed to working towards dialogue and peace,” Power declared, “And every single time, he has broken that commitment.”

Power told the Security Council that the plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 missile and that “it is unlikely that the separatists could effectively operate the system without . . . technical assistance from Russian personnel in operating the systems.” (Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that Russia had in fact trained the separatists in how to use the missile, while Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, went even further, raising the possibility that the Russian military had actually fired the missile.)

Power also accused Putin of providing separatists with tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, man-portable air defense systems, mines and grenades — noting that many weapons captured by Ukrainian forces included “accompanying documentation verifying the Russian origin.” ...

Read entire article at The Washington Post

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