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    Posted March 19, 2014 by
    rosehips
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    rosehips and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
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    Is Obama Weak on Russia?

     

    Obama is getting a lot of criticism from the right for being weak in his response to Russia's expansion. It seems many conservative ireporters around here think he needs to take a lesson from the "strong" and respected President Bush who was known to go joy riding around with Putin back in the day. Would Putin take a ride on the wild side with someone he doesn't respect? No way, we are told. One ireporter even claimed that a photo of Putin riding in a car with Bush was "proof" that Putin respects the former President. Okay, maybe we should send George to Russia to fix this mess.

     

    The war mongers don't seem to remember that our economy is not what it once was, at least that is how it appears to me. We are not the economic power house we were. The world has flattened. Our influence is waning. Wake the hell up. You can blame Obama or look back and take a realistic look at what has led up to the weakening of our economy.

     

    We spent a ton of money in Iraq and Afghanistan. A lot of it was money we didn't have. How long will it take to pay off those debts?

     

    Remember Shock and Awe? For those who are touting how "strong" Bush was, is that what you mean when you say Obama is weak compared to his predecessor?

     

    Everyone knows that empty threats are counter productive. Yet there are calls for Obama to get tough on Putin. When I ask them if they want to go to war, most are silent. Or they say there are different ways to assert influence. They say Obama is weak; Putin doesn't respect him. Bush would have done things differently.

     

    What I'd like to know is what exactly Obama should do. What do you think President Bush would do that would make things so much better? Should Obama threaten military intervention? Should he get the troops prepared? Should we ramp up the military? Will that convince Putin to back down?

     

    I don't pretend to know what the best way to handle foreign policy is but I do know that the cost of military intervention is usually many times more than we expect. We have seen too many soldiers return to our communities in body bags. We are paying very dearly for the "get tough" approach.

     

    Is tough really the way to go?

     

    Recent announcements of cutting the military have been met with whimpering. Some conservatives don't like that we need to reduce military spending. Do they realize how much war affects our economy? Is it okay for our country's infrastructure to crumble while we buy more war machines and cut more paychecks and pensions to our youth and our retired veterans?

     

    If you accuse Obama of being weak on Russia, please explain to me how we are going to pay for a war if we do it your way. If you want Obama to make threats, don't you think we should be prepared to carry them out? If you agree, tell me how we will pay for a war against Russia?

     

    What would you do differently? I'm all ears.

     

    photo: Bagdad during Shock and Awe.

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