Grimm blasts both Putin, Obama in Ukraine standoff

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm is critical of Vladimir Putin, but says he is also unhappy with the Obama Administration's foreign policy. Eagle file photo

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

It’s both their faults!

Republican-Conservative U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin over the tense situation in Ukraine, but also criticized President Barack Obama, charging that the Democrat’s administration has “an ineffective foreign policy.”

While Grimm (R-C-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island), who is the co-chairman of the House Russia Caucus, condemned the Russian military’s move into the Crimea area of Ukraine, he also took a swipe at the US Commander-In-Chief.

“If there is anything more unsettling than Putin's intolerable power-grab in Ukraine, it is the increasingly stark reality that the United States under President Obama seemingly lacks the credibility to be a realistic deterrent against a major armed conflict,” Grimm said.

“With Russia’s massive military deployment on Ukraine's doorstep bringing Europe to the brink of destabilization more than 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this crisis proves that an ineffective foreign policy has tied our hands and made us a bystander instead of a leader in the international community,” Grimm said.

Grimm charged that “Putin and our global rivals are running circles around President Obama.”

The president needs to make it clear to Putin exactly what price Russia will pay if he does not pull troops out of Ukraine, according to Grimm.

“These tone-deaf blunders on the world stage put our national security at serious risk, so I’m calling on the president to make clear what these ‘costs’ will be as well as our willingness to impose them if Russia does not immediately cease their aggressive posturing,” Grimm said.

“Otherwise, I fear the United States will be nothing more than a ‘paper tiger’ drawing fainter and fainter red lines that inch closer and closer to the home front,” Grimm warned.

Grimm is one of several Republicans in congress criticizing the Obama Administration during the Ukraine crisis.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham even brought up Benghazi in his criticism of the president. “It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression,” he wrote on his Twitter page on March 4.

In an interview with CNN on March 6, Graham defended his statement linking the Ukraine crisis to Benghazi, saying that that the Obama administration has shown weakness on the international stage by not following through on threatened consequences in previous situations.

But former defense secretary Robert Gates warned that bashing Obama might not be the smartest thing to do during a time of international crisis.

Gates told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius in an interview on March 4 that he thinks “considerable care needs to be taken in terms of what is said, so that the rhetoric doesn’t threaten what policy can’t deliver.”

Gates went on to tell Ignatius that the U.S. should be working to reinforce the security of the neighboring countries around Ukraine and not cause a deeper crisis in which Putin will have an advantage.

March 6, 2014 - 12:30pm



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