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Obama's biggest test: Ukraine

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  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 3, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    BO has failed every test he has faced. Why would we expect anything different here?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 3, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    This is going to be a tough one. It's hard to imagine how this situation could be backed down. I wish the President all the best for the benefit of us all, especially the folks of the Ukraine.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 3, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    K T Mcfarland at Fox news has a few ideas that the President could use - but I doubt the Pres. ever reads Fox news, or any of his "believers" for that matter.

    So, instead, we'll probably have a "campaign speech" disguised as a "policy speech".

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    March 3, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    All the BO hate is really obnoxious. Rather than being part of the problem, be part of the solution. Offer possible suggestions and ideas, calling someone out without providing alternatives is amateurish. This is an extremely difficult situation and outside of declaring war, every move has to be calculated to drive out the best possible solution. I do agree, that the longer BO waits, the potential for increased damage becomes greater.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 3, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    "...Many, including Ian Bremmer writing in the Business Insider, are concluding that Russia’s military intervention into Ukraine is the most “seismic geopolitical event” since 9/11. What will Obama do?...."
    ______________________________

    Steady, steady. That's the first rule of crisis management when excited people are losing their heads. The last thing we need are knee jerk 911 comparisons. Obama is hearing a lot of free advice generously offered from different quarters urging him to do or say something quickly and strongly. Only a foolish leader gets stampeded by voices of hysteria.

  • jfunes Honduras, 00
    March 3, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    Your point of view is dramatic. President Obama is a peaceful man. USA is not the senior and powerful authority around the word.

  • liahona Westbank, BC
    March 3, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    There is nothing that Obama can do. All Putin has to do is thumb his nose at Obama and do whatever he wants.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 3, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    McDugall: The problem is the vacuum of moral leadership that BO has led which brings us to this precipice. When a bully is in town, the worst thing you can do is get out of his way. The bully has to know that there is someone in town that can't be pushed around. Once the bully realizes this, the bully looks for someone else to fool! BO has not shown any strength representative of the best ideals in America, unless passivity is considered a virtue. America is the de facto leader in this world, except when their leaders kowtow to their own petulance and self-absorption. For me, I take great comfort in knowing that in this instance, unlike so many others, politics and a speech aren't going to get him votes. He has to be responsible here, something he is not used to being.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 3, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    Didn't we learn anything from Vietnam and the Bush Wars?

    Not his problem,
    Not our problem.

    He is not the President of the "Ukrainian States of America",
    or
    the "United Nations".

    Ukrainie is not even in NATO.

    If you don't President Obama to be King of World,
    or America being a Police State,
    Stop making him one,
    Stop making America one.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 3, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    On August 15, 2013, CBS News reported about Bengahzi, "Most people were like down in the Situation Room and [Mr. Obama] was like, 'I'm not going to be down there, I can't watch this entire thing,'" Reggie Love said at a forum at UCLA last month. "We must have played 15 hands, 15 games of spades,"

    On December 15, 2013, Jerome R. Corsi wrote about the overthrow of Egypt: ". . . reports indicate the former secretary of state is being investigated by Egypt’s attorney general.

    Hisham Barakat’s criminal complaint against Clinton alleges she conspired with the wife of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – and the Muslim Brotherhood – to encourage rebels in the nation."

    On Saturday, March 1, 2014, Garry Kasparov wrote about Obama and the Ukraine: "There are always a million reasons for inaction, countless rationalizations for helplessness. Being resolute doesn’t require excuses.”

    Obama will do nothing. That is his game plan. He will do absolutely nothing.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 3, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    banderson,

    "....The problem is the vacuum of moral leadership that BO has led which brings us to this precipice. When a bully is in town, the worst thing you can do is get out of his way. The bully has to know that there is someone in town that can't be pushed around...."
    ______________________________

    The past two days, I’ve heard a lot of such criticism of Obama coming from Congressional Republicans. The GOP was comparatively restrained in 2008 when the U.S. watched as Russian troops invaded Georgia. George W. Bush was President then. It's remarkable how having the President be from the opposite party can cast an entirely different light on a matter.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    "On August 15, 2013, CBS News reported about Bengahzi, "Most people were like down in the Situation Room and [Mr. Obama] was like, 'I'm not going to be down there, I can't watch this entire thing,'" Reggie Love said at a forum at UCLA last month. "We must have played 15 hands, 15 games of spades,""

    Good for him! This shows the absolute wisdom of this president! Let the professionals work! Stay out of their way. This president, no president since Ike, is trained to deal with the tactics and command of a situation like was happening in Benghazi. People are in place that are competent to deal with things like Benghazi. If you are a politician, let them! Stay out if their way, and if they need something they will tell you! President Obama did the exact right thing.

    "Obama will do nothing. That is his game plan. He will do absolutely nothing."

    There are worse things he could do. Hopefully he does very little. I'm sure he will support some move by the UN. He has been talking to Putin. But other then that what do you want him to do, Richards? Banderson?

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    Richards and Banderson understand international diplomacy much better than someone like the President of the United States.

    Everything bad that happens in the world is Barack Obama's fault, doncha know!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2014 6:06 p.m.

    I feel like the reason some people aren't saying what we should do is because they're waiting for Obama to take a clear position... and then they'll take the opposite.

    Fact is this situation is complicated and full of nuance, even outside of Ukraine. For instance, one might consider sanctions, but getting everyone to agree to it would be difficult since Germany and others heavily rely on natural gas from Russia.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 3, 2014 7:33 p.m.

    Why are we involved in the Ukraine?

    Who are the American Businessmen wanting to get into the Ukraine?

    Don't we have other matters that we should be doing?

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    March 3, 2014 7:49 p.m.

    How is the Ukraine our problem? What vital American interests are at stake? Worst case scenario, the Crimean people join Russia via plebiscite. The Ukraine gets a little smaller. Big deal. Since there's nothing that this President, or any other President could do, how is this a "critical test of leadership?

  • intervention slc, UT
    March 3, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    @banderson and Richards

    Please do tell us given you infinite wisdom on all matters what exactly should Obama be doing, what should the Us be doing?

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 3, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    "At stake is not only the future of Ukraine, where the chaotically disorganized opposition to Yanukovich is waiting and wondering, but in the Middle East and throughout Asia, where many leaders have taken to questioning America's commitment to the world,” writes Hirsh. Then after Obama pledged and backed down on Syria, “… Putin and other world leaders appear to view him as indecisive and unwilling to take risks.”

    Wait, how can this be?

    I thought Obama was loved all over the world. Every world leader listened in rapt attention to every word our president spoke. Just speaking, he could make change. Just speaking something showed our commitment to the world. In fact, Obama has shown the world that his words are so powerful that he/we don't need to follow up with any action.

    Everything he has done has been successful and brilliant.

    He'll figure out something for Ukraine.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    IMO the POTUS is out classed as a leader. He is good on campaigning but a light-weight as a leader. Most politicians are. Putin appears to have a plan, the tools and will to carry it out.

    We have little if any means to project influence that far away. We have no treasury to finance it, we have weak allies who have to live in the same forest with the Russian bear.

    I expect a lot of bluster and some French from the Secretary of State but in the end, it will be as the Russian Bear wants it to be. Our troops are weary from deployment over many years. There is little support from the administration and congress - pay cuts, benefit cuts, troop draw-downs, the foreshadowing of base closures and domestic unrest over ACA.

    I expect SecState to mimic PM Neville Chamberlain while in Kiev and come home with an agreement proclaiming “peace in our time”.

    History is a harsh teacher but fools will have no other.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 4, 2014 6:29 a.m.

    These comments clearly reflect that many readers have very selective sources. In fact, whether Obama is doing well or not, Putin is surely doing poorly in this experience. Both the Russian Rubble and markets had near free falls in their value. A recent Kremlin survey of Russians put the approval of action in the ukraine at only 15%, 73% of Russians don't approve. Only 2% were undecided.

    The only upside to these actions is that Putin will be able to keep his base in Crimea. What he has lost is the support and trust of most Ukrainians - even recent poll numbers show ethnic Russians in Ukraine do not support the occupation.

    So to say Putin has won..... that is clearly a stretch. He got to keep bases in Crimea, but lost the rest of the country, and perhaps lost Russia membership in the G8. The Czech Republic has already cancelled a multi-billion dollar energy project with Russia. He has hardly won.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    The Ukraine is north of Iraq. Whoever is advocating boots and Bush type show of force on the ground should grab a gun and head over personally.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 4, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    This is what's wrong with conservatives/republicans, they are a one trick pony..always.

    Leadership means one thing to them, stand up push your chest out, and say something aggressive.

    There's actually a very reasoned opinion that the one who has made a major mistake here is Putin. Ukraine is not a small insignificant country and Ukrainians do not want to be dictated to by Russia. There are some who want to be more closely aligned with Russia than Europe but none want to be annexed to Russia.

    Russia may have crossed over the wrong side of that line with troops, and of course if that's the case aggressive action by America would be worse.

    But hey none of that means anything to American conservatives.

    Puff your chest out, strut, be nasty, and if none of that makes you feel better send somebody else's kid to die.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 4, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    The geopolitics of Russia’s sphere of influence favor Putin although international sentiment clearly does not. If Putin's goal is limited to control of Crimea and he is prepared to pay a price in world relations, he can probably make it stick. His course of action is more perilous if it appears he has greater ambitions on parts of the Ukraine beyond Crimea.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Obama will do nothing. That is his game plan. He will do absolutely nothing.
    •3:09 p.m. March 3, 2014
    ========

    Did Russia or the Ukraine attack us?
    Did Congress authorize a War?

    So then,
    Obama is doing the right thing, and is sustaining the Constitution.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    This test/challenge from our old nemesis was pretty much setup by Obama's weakness and proving time after time that he would do nothing to enforce the line-in-the-sand he has drawn on so many other important stands he has made.

    Every time he has drawn a line (Syria, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, ACA, NSA, IRS, etc) the people he warned have walked right over the line almost as soon as he drew it. This is starting to remind me of the Carter Administration (on foreign affairs weakness).

    We are almost right back where we were BEFORE Reagan now (in tensions with Russia). And it's not just Russia that's challenging our President now.. it's a long list of nations.

    I hope we it doesn't escalate. I hope there is a reduction in tensions before it all boils over. But I can't say I'm super optimistic.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    We are almost right back where we were BEFORE Reagan now (in tensions with Russia). And it's not just Russia that's challenging our President now.. it's a long list of nations.

    8:52 a.m. March 4, 2014

    =========

    More hyperpole from the chicken little right.

    I was in the USAF during Reagan.
    I sat on the Alert Pad 24/7, fully fueled and fully loaded for a full blown Nuclear attack.

    I've flown over the North Pole in invasions forces, testing sand seeing where and how far we could penetrate into Soviet Airspace before being caught and intercepted and escorted out out by Russinas.

    I've been targetd and tracked for hours, days, weeks, and months over the North Sea by Soviet Antonov An-12 gunships.

    I've lived in Europe supporting NATO for Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and conventional warfare with the Soviets.

    Enough of the AM radio hysteria for ratings hyperbole.
    We aren't anywhere near that level of concern...

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    March 4, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    What should President Obama do?

    Follow the Republican/Neo-Con playbook...

    Of course...

    The right-wing propaganda outlets whip up the base...

    Check.

    Neo-cons in Congress call the POTUS out...

    Check.

    Wait a minute.

    The Republican base and the Republicans in Congress report we are broke...

    However... it seems there's always money available for the next war...and the next war...and the next war...

    An DN approved op-ed writer earlier this week described Republican policy as incoherent and duplicitous.

    He was right.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    Yep --
    just re-read the United States Constitution...

    CONGRESS is to declare war.

    Is the GOP Lead House of Representatives willing to put their money where their mouth is?
    or
    is this just more political rhetoric and badgering to whip up the mindless base?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 4, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Mcdugall, intervention
    Offer solutions?

    You really think BO is trolling this board looking for answers to his problems?

    Now THAT’s funny!

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    @2bits
    Yeah, Obama's so weak that just the thought of him being president made Russia willing to attack Georgia in summer 2008...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    Are you assuming our bombers and missiles not fueled and ready to go today?? I think you would be wrong.

    I have a hard time imagining a guy like you in the military. Well maybe the air force...

    ===

    Tensions have reduced since 1991, but I can assure you our bombers are still fueled and ready to go, and we are flying opps daily. And we still spy on the Russians regularly.

    What has changed is... Putin's attitude. It's getting more pre-1991 all the time.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 4, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    Really?
    I'm curious at to where you get your information?
    'cause I work at a military AFB and we haven't had a bird on alert in over 22 years.

    Current Threat level is :

    INFOCON: 3
    FPCON: Alpha

    [In case you may not know, INFOCON is e-hacking, and our dear little Corporate friends in Communist China are responsible for 12,000 cyber-attacks per DAY.]

    Russia is no threat to America at all,
    China is our Corporate friend in WalMart sheep's clothing.

  • intervention slc, UT
    March 4, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    @lost

    What's funny is the lengths some will go to to not answer a simple question. Did I any ware indicate I thought Obama visited these boards? Since you decided to insert yourself into the conversation do you care to answer the question, what exactly do you think we should be doing? Or do want to continue to dodge a straight forward question?