To many on the right, all bad things that happen are President Obama’s fault. More than a few see what happened in Benghazi as the cause of anything that happens anywhere in the world. It is surprising the missing Malaysian plane hasn’t been blamed (yet) on Benghazi. The theory is that Obama’s weak foreign policy has emboldened Vladimir Putin to the point where he thinks he can do whatever he wants, wherever he wants. How do they know this? Because when their guy was in office, Putin backed off.
This theory comes from the US response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. People have said that after Russia sent troops to the area, George W. Bush sent war ships to the Black Sea, trained the Georgian military to fight Russia and airlifted troops from Afghanistan home to fend off the invaders. What really happened?
Here's the official response: http://www.youtube.com/...
Georgia is part of the international coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan. As such, the US did train their forces and agree to get them home in the case of an emergency. The invasion was viewed as a qualifying emergency and the US transported Georgian troops from Iraq to Georgia but not to areas where the fighting was occurring and the administration made it very clear that was part of the agreement we had with all members of the coalition, not a response to the crisis. As for the US ships in the Black Sea, they were full of humanitarian supplies and again, the White House went to great lengths to show they were not there to engage Russia in a fight that everyone thought could lead to a nasty conflict between the two nations. US military action was never an option and everyone knew that. Conservative columnist Charles Krathammer even went so far as to say, “There’s no way we’re going to war over Georgia.”
What did President Bush do? His official response is in the video above.
Oh, the administration also levied sanctions on Russia. Sounds pretty similar to what Obama is doing now. Putin did not take over Crimea because of anything Obama has done. This move is very popular in Russia and their leader clearly wants to re-litigate the end of the Cold War. The U.S. needs to be a part of any action to prevent the takeover of Ukraine, but to assume it caused the situation or that it alone can end it is naive and misguided. This world we now inhabit is far more complex and integrated than the one we lived in during the Cold War. We are all better served by not applying simplistic causality (Obama is weak therefore …) to complicated situations.