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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Noonan: Whose Side Are We On? - America can take a clear stand without intervening in Ukraine

Peggy Noonan writes in The Wall Street Journal:

Europe and America can do little beyond considering, threatening and imposing economic and political sanctions against the Ukrainian government. But it's all very high stakes and carries big implications for the future. So shouldn't we be making it clear where we as a nation stand? Shouldn't we make clear where our sympathies are?
 
Here is what Mr. Obama said Wednesday, as the moment approached crisis in Kiev: The U.S. holds the Ukrainian government "primarily responsible" for restoring peace. "We expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful." The U.S. is "monitoring very closely the situation." The Ukrainian military should "not step into what should be a set of issues that can be resolved by civilians." The U.S. will continue to "engage with all sides."

With all due respect, this was not so much calibrated as meaningless, crouching and process-driven. Which side are we on?

The president then warned there will be "consequences" if people "step over the line." This sounded like a man who is peripheral to the drama insisting he is very, very relevant. Is this like the "red line" in Syria that Mr. Obama warned Bashar Assad he'd best not cross, and he crossed it, and nothing happened?

It is embarrassing when the president makes statements like this. He is like the father who poses on the bottom of the stairs and says in a deep voice, "Don't make me come up there!" And for a moment there's silence and then the kids erupt in giggles. Because there's no price to pay if he comes up there, and because he doesn't come up.

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