I recall Mitt Romney stating in the run up to the election that one of our greatest threats was not paying attention to Russia, while Barack Obama mocked Romney for such a cold war/ not with the times mentality.
I wasn’t the only one who recalled.
Fox News’ Bret Baier opened a segment of his show recently by flashing back to an October 2012 presidential debate where President Obama ridiculed Republican presidential nominee Romney about his concern over Russia’s “geo-political” threat.
“You said Russia. Not Al Qaida. You said Russia,” Obama said regarding biggest threats. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the cold war’s been over for 20 years.”
Romney offered a powerful response: “Russia, I indicated, is a geopolitical foe…and I said in the same paragraph I said and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin…”
So is Obama fit to handle this situation, better yet. How has he done so far?
Barack Obama announced sanctions on Russia as Crimea votes unanimously to join with Russia. Ukraine now warns of war with Russia and rhetoric is heating up.
In an extraordinary day which redrew the map of Europe, fears were growing that widespread violence would erupt in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
An Ukrainian officer was killed in a confrontation in Simferopol, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an incendiary speech justifying Moscow’s reclamation of the former Ukrainian territory.
Several others were injured and the Ukrainian commander captured as the military facility in the Crimean capital was stormed by troops dressed in Russian camouflage kits and balaclavas.
The Ukrainian Prime Minister warned that “the conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage” and claimed that “Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian servicemen and that is a war crime”. His government, he added, has now authorised the use of firearms for its forces surrounded in their bases in Crimea.
The shooting began three and-a-half hours after Mr Putin had claimed Crimea for his country in a speech laced with invectives against the West and a robust reassertion of Russian power. At the end of his 66-minute address , punctuated by repeated applause, came the signing of documents which, the Kremlin declared, transferred control of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia once and for all.
During a visit to Warsaw, the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, accused President Putin of carrying out “nothing but a land grab” adding that “the world has seen through Russia’s actions and has rejected the flawed logic”. The White House declared that Mosow’s actions “are in violation of international law and Ukrainian constitution.”
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “It is completely unacceptable for Russia to use force to change borders based on a sham referendum held at the barrel of a Russian gun.”
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that the referendum, the declaration of independence and Crimea’s “absorption into the Russian Federation” were “against international law”. France has threatened to halt the sale of two warships to Russia.
President Putin’s speech and the signing ceremony with the Crimean Prime Minister, Sergei Aksyonov, who had come to power in a putsch, had drawn a rapturous crowd at Simferpol’s Lenin Square which regularly burst into chants of “Russia, Russia”. They heard the President stress: “There was not one single military confrontation in Crimea, there were no victims.”
Ukraine’s acting President, Oleksandr Turchynov, said: “We would like to warn President Putin, who is personally responsible for this act of provocation, that the political leadership of the Russian Federation will have to answer to the entire world for the crimes which they are committing today on the territory of our country.” The Russian annexation of Crimea, he said, echoed Nazi Germany’s takeover of Austria and Sudetenland.
At the Kremlin, it was President Putin who had accused the Ukrainian government, which came to power after the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych, as being riddled with “neo-Nazis” and “anti-semites” and having no legitimate authority.