Opinion: The incompetence of Obama or America?

Haoran Li is a junior communications studies major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. He can be reached at [email protected]

Haoran Li

The crisis in Ukraine has been ongoing for the past few months since the protest of pro-western supporters ousting the legal president Viktor Yanukovych. During that time, Secretary of State John Kerry has traveled to Ukraine, and Congress has approved to loan $1 billion to Ukraine.

However, Crimea still passed its referendum March 16 despite the warning from Washington.

Where does America stand on this significant issue in Eurasia? We can only see no deterrence and no diplomatic resolution. Is this a reflection of Obama’s lack of understanding on the issue or of our own?  

Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich have accused Obama’s policy with Ukraine to be “scream loudly, carry no stick.” Indeed, he seems uninterested in getting involved in Ukraine.

At the very beginning, he should have shown his resolution, namely arranging a number of NATO or American troops around the border of Ukraine to show Russia there was no space for the Kremlin to seize any territories from Ukraine.

What Putin wanted to do was predict what Obama would do in this crisis.

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said: “His initial success may tempt him to repeat that performance more directly in the far eastern provinces of Ukraine. If successful, the conclusive third phase could then be directed through a combination of political unrest and increasingly overt use of Russian forces, to overthrow the government in Kiev. The result would thus be similar to the two phases of Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland after Munich in 1938 and the final occupation of Prague and Czechoslovakia in early 1939.”

Unfortunately, Obama is worse than Putin in this aspect.

However, it is not only the incompetence of Obama, but to an extent, the financial decline of America’s military due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. America’s domestic economy is still in the process of recovery, and the White House only gave $1 billion to Ukraine, which needs at least $30 billion.

We can see nothing but unprecedented weakness of the U.S. and the EU after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and 1968 Czechoslovakia issue. It is obvious that the U.S. and the EU will be losers in this crisis, and Ukraine will inevitably be sold.

Although the White House makes the Kremlin retreat from this crisis and support a pro-Western person as president, there will be another protest from the pro-Russia faction. This means Ukraine will still be in chaos.

If the White House wants to prevent Ukraine from being in a state of disorder, it must support a pro-Russian person as president and balance its pro-Western allies and pro-Russia faction.

If Washington resists supporting the pro-Western faction, the Crimea and eastern Ukraine will be divided by the referendum. It means the U.S. will lose its strategic geopolitics influence in that area, which will be an apparent symbol of the incompetence of America in international affairs.

This might be a turning point in the fall of America’s status in the world, although the U.S. is still the most powerful country in the world.