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The new US policy: Letting Putin be Putin

Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 12:01 am

U.S. foreign policy seems to be evolving, as President Obama’s “lead from behind” strategy morphs into “scold from behind.”

“The world is well beyond the day,” Obama lectured Russia over its “uninvited entry” into Crimea, “when borders can be drawn over the heads of democratic leaders.” We have apparently arrived at the day when a despot like Vladimir Putin does exactly what wants to while the free world sputters in impotent rage.

Obama and Putin talked on the phone for an hour, and the administration prattled about “hopeful signs” while Putin celebrated the vote in Crimea to break away from the rest of Ukraine, which is flirting with that hateful West, and join Russia.

Putin’s long-term vision is unclear, declared a Baltimore Sun editorial, and the world can only hope he is not “completely detached from reality.” Really, it is unclear what is intended by the former KGB guy who has called the breakup of the Soviet Union the greatest tragedy of the 20th century?

To be fair to Obama, nobody wants actual military action to stop Russia. And there is little the U.S. can do without the support of its allies in Europe, who are balking at sanctions because they are so dependent on Russia for their energy needs. The world can’t be led, from behind or anywhere else, if it does not choose to participate.

Kind of a good argument for greater energy production in the United States and an increase in our exports, isn’t it? That’s something Obama could do something about.

Oh, wait.