The ‘Blame Bush’ Game for Putin and Ukraine
After five years, the Obama administration still refuses to stop blaming George W. Bush for its own failures. The latest example is Vladimir Putin, and his invasion of Ukraine.
Thirteen years ago, President Bush said he “got a sense of Putin’s soul.” So a senior Obama administration official said, “We in the administration have not made it a pratice to look into Putin’s soul”.
MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow blames President Bush for the present state of our foreign policy, mainly because of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and her claim that the American people were against these wars. Yet President Bush had 9/11 and WMDs as pretense for going into Iraq; for Afghanistan, there were Islamic terrorist training grounds and poppy fields.
As the conversation went on, both Andrea Mitchell and Maddow agreed that President Obama’s decisions are a continuation of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, and that those constraints of obligations has held Obama back.
This has been a new talking point in the American main stream media – not only at MSNBC, but also during a CNN morning interview with Paul Ryan. The narrative goes that President Bush didn’t react on Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008, that he only sent humanitarian aid during that crisis.
Yet President Bush should be recognized for his urging NATO membership for the two former Soviet block nations, which took place four months before the Russian invasion of Georgia. Had President Bush gotten his way, we may have avoided both the Georgian and Ukrainian crises.
President Obama, on the other hand, has been much less aggressive with Georgia and Ukraine. Marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Georgia on January 30, 2012, President Obama announced he was going to explore free trade agreement between the U.S. and Georgia.
That exploration amounted to nothing.
What ignited the Euromaidan protests last November was free trade. The Ukrainian people elected Yanukovych as president with his promise that he would sign trade agreement with the European Union; but when turned around and signed a deal with Putin instead, people took to the streets.
During the entire Euromaiden protest, President Obama never extended any offer of trade agreements with Ukraine. By not doing so, he missed an opportunity to avoid the current crisis we find ourselves in.