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Putin Carterizes Obama, Totally

A Russian-style international observer at a Ukrainian air base in Crimea. Getty Images

A Russian-style “international observer” at a Ukrainian air base in Crimea. Getty Images

The Democrats are vulnerable again on handling the world

Note: WSJ is getting funky with their headlines, don’t you think? Totally…

Barack-Obama-Jimmy-Carter

Daniel Henninger writes: Air-dropping himself into Kiev Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Russian seizure of Crimea is “not 21st-century, G-8, major-nation behavior.” He said Mr. Putin should allow “international observers” to enter Crimea.

International observers?

This calls to mind Humphrey Bogart’s Fred C. Dobbs facing the gang of Mexican bandidos in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre:

Dobbs: “If you’re the police, where are your badges?”

Chief bandido: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges!”

We may assume Mr. Putin would say the masked Russians patrolling Ukrainian Crimea are “international observers.”

As of this week, it’s official. Vladimir Putin has turned Barack Obama totally into Jimmy Carter.

We may quibble over the timeline. Some might say it began when Mr. Obama whispered to then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev he’d have “more flexibility” after the 2012 election; others that it set in when the U.S. president took Mr. Putin’s offer to let Bashar Assad escape the bombing of his airfields for using WMD against his own people.

“Carterization” has a specific meaning in American politics. In 1980, Ronald Reagan delivered an August speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Chicago, just as he was starting his campaign to unseat Jimmy Carter, trapped then in the Iranian hostage crisis.

“The response from the administration in Washington” to foreign threats, said Reagan, “has been one of weakness, inconsistency, vacillation and bluff.”

“Our allies are losing confidence in us, and our adversaries no longer respect us,” he said. Our partners “are confused by the lack of a coherent, principled policy from the Carter administration.”

The characterization stuck, helped by Mr. Carter’s foreign adventures after his presidency. And in truth, Mr. Carter’s team included sterner ballast in Defense Secretary Harold Brown and National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Nothing similar exists today in the Obama administrationRead the rest >>>

WSJ.com

Write to henninger@wsj.com

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2 Comments on “Putin Carterizes Obama, Totally”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet The Democrats are vulnerable again on handling the world Note: WSJ is getting funky with their […]


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