Hi 17° | Lo -7°

Editorial: From GOP troika, an unhelpful foreign policy critique

They form a troika of critics of President Obama’s foreign policy: Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain and Lindsey Graham But the three Republicans appear more interested in finding fault than solutions. Their cicada-like screeching about a weak president and threats to America’s military sovereignty is neither helpful nor true. In Ayotte’s case, it’s embarrassing coming from a neophyte senator.

“Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression,” Graham said recently.

“The naïveté of Barack Obama and (Secretary of State) John Kerry is stunning,” McCain told a radio show audience. “This is the most naive president in history.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin is “playing hardball and Obama is playing T-ball,” Ayotte said in a red meat speech she gave to fellow Republicans in Nashua earlier this month.

Since the troika, like most in their party, are constantly seeking to improve Republican midterm election prospects by bashing the president, it’s impossible to know how serious they are when they talk tough about using America’s power to police the world and force autocrats to behave. Do they forget that under a recent Republican president we tried that in two nations at great cost and with uncertain but probably dismal long-term results?

Do they forget that it was George W. Bush who said of Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. . . . I was able to get a sense of his soul.” That was, of course, before Putin invaded Georgia and bombed some of its cities on Bush’s watch.

Given its military importance and historic ties to Russia, there is probably nothing that the United States or any other nation could have done to prevent Putin from trying to reclaim Russia’s glorious past by invading Crimea. He will now pay a price for his aggression, one that should escalate. That price should include economic, but not military, support for Ukraine and other nations on Russia’s periphery. More should also be done to reduce the region’s dependence on Russian oil and gas.

What Putin fears more than anything else is stronger ties between Ukraine and the West. America and its European allies should make those fears a reality.

Legacy Comments14

QUICK - in 15 seconds - tell yourself exactly what is the NObama - Hillary foreign policy . Closing the barn door after the cows are out is NOT a foreign policy

Ever write to Ayotte about an issue? If you ask why she doesn't support extending unemployment benefits, she screeches about the national debt. We can't afford to spend! The debt! The debt! Now she turns around and suggests economic and military aid in a situation that doesn't even warrant it.

Here is a simple task for the Concord Monitor. Please ask Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain and Lindsey Graham exactly what they would do about Russia. Not their political talking views on what Democrats or anyone else has done, just exactly what tangible tasks they would do if they were President. These three make it clear that they would not work with the rest of the world and NATO through sanctions so would they be willing to attack Russia on the Crimean Peninsula or attack inside mainland Russian. I use to have a lot of respect for John McCain, in recent years it appears he is now becoming just another politician.

Sanctions are a joke. Period. We have Russians building a foothold in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. John Kerry announces that the Monroe Doctrine is dead. Obama whines to Iran to give our drone back and they laugh. Obama announces that Al Qaeda is defeated. Obama drew a red line in the sand and then denied that he ever did it. Obama ignored Benghazi. Obama favored the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt over a government much more reasonable. Obama says: "you had better not......." and then does nothing. Michelle Obama visits China and asks for free speech while her husband, the president loathes free speech when it is about his short comings. Obama trashes Israel, the only country friendly to us in the Middle East. Obama supports the overthrow of a dictator which we have under control in Libya.If you think that Putin is not taking advantage of a weak leader with no foreign policy (Obama), think again. Iran will soon have a nuclear weapon, North Korea does ot fear us. China is expanding their Navy and their threat in the Sout China Sea area and overall Asia and we are cutting the military. I could go on and on and on but your naivete is stunning.


If sanctions are a joke then how many wars have you just said needed to happen. Sounds like your opinion is if anyone does anything on this planet that you don't like then time for another war. Better warm up the nukes because the US can't fight that many wars. PS.. Who has been for Sequestration cuts to the military and who has been asking for more money?

I am glad you are not in a position ton dictate policy. Google the Monroe Doctrine why don't you. That was all about colonialism and the then European powers and really has no bearing on anything this century. As far as free speech, did you actually read what you wrote? Since when has any American president since Nixon had anything against free speech. Your making that up. Obama whines about having our drone that had no business being in their airspace in the first place, give me a break. Does the name Frances Gary Powers mean nothing, we didn't have drones then. Where do you come up with this crap, of course North Korea doesn't fear us, the country is run by inbred lunatics that are just plain crazy. I could go on but there is a size limit. You are right on one point - sanctions usually are a joke.

So, I guess you are OK with the Russians having military bases in our Hemisphere? I can tell you that the Monroe Doctrine has been used right through the Bush 43 administration when we invaded Panama. Reagan did not use it in the Falklands situation which Britain was on the right side of. Obama hates free speech, he talks about it all of the time and how some sources should be ignored, etc. Unlike a man, like Bush, he is way too outspoken when he is criticized. Obama asked for the drone back, like a weakling (can't we all just get along, Rodney?). Powers was part of the cold war and the Soviets had done the same, of course with satellites, we don't need that today. If I was in a position to dictate policy, I would, without a doubt have the most powerful and sophisticated military in the world and be so ready that no one dared step out of line like slaughtering their own people. I would flatten them. The world would be a safer place and much better place. Of course now we have a lilly liver weakling for a leader who tells the world that he fears a nuclear device going off in NYC. A fiction writer could not make up the incompetence of an admimistration like Obama's.

It sounds like you'd like to see a new cold war, with a few small hot ones thrown in for good measure. Talks with Iran are still on, and the sanctions there worked to make Iran amenable to negotiations. N. Korea's rogue state status long preceded the current administration. Benghazi is a whipped up non-issue at this point. The Monroe Doctrine deserved to die long ago--it's the very counterpart of what the right alternatively decries and admires about Russia, with its 'strong" leader. Like it or not, Russia has a long history of being paranoid about its borders. NATO made a series of strategic and tactical mistakes in eastern Europe, starting with trying to put anti-missile systems in Poland and elsewhere, while calling for closer ties with the Baltic countries. The defense cuts being called for amount to little overall other than cold realism. We still outspend the next ten nations combined. It's a level that has long been unsustainable. For the last 30 years, the ascendent right and its "free market" policies have been transforming our own economy into a kleptocratic mirror image of the Soviet/Russian economy--one hollowed out with a failing infrastructure, increasing control of the economy and the political system by our own set of oligarchs--the banksters, the Kochs, et al, and insufficient investment in a sustainable future. We're destroying the future as we cannibalize our past and present in the name of privatization and a perverted and self-serving view of markets and free enterprise. Milton Friedman is our own Karl Marx, and is our "god that failed", even as the right doubles down on his hollow principles--to the diminishment of our our nation.

Used to be that when you were a senior "statesman" in the GOP you had something adult to say. Well, I guess those days are a thing of the past. And before you treat us your righteous rants by showering blame on the likes of politicians such as John McCain and his petulant cabal, take a look in the mirror. Because, you are the only one who is truly responsible this mess when choose to continually elect children to do an adult's job in Washington D.C......

It is very easy to criticize when you don't have to do any thing about it. it is just like health care. They plan to repeal Obamacare but for years had no plan of their own. It would be nice if the threesome would say what they would do in Crimea if any of them were President. The erstwhile chicken hawk Bill Kristol is advocating military action just like he did in Iraq when he said it would be a two week war. Any one who thinks that the media is carrying water for Obama has not been paying attention.

The thing that makes America look weak to the rest of the world is the bull*%@! constant political attempts to discredit and destroy the President. Can anyone imagine how loud the cries of "Treason!" would have been if we had a Republican president in this situation, and high-powered Democrats spent hours of each day telling the world how weak our President is? Republicans have abandoned and denigrated ALL of their pre-2009 policies and beliefs, and now focus just on loud and phony messaging. (Didn't the "big lie" originate with the hated Communists?) Pathetic.

Basically you described what happened when Bush was President veritas. And unlike our present president, Bush did not have the media covering for him. He also was called vile names and accused of being an idiot and many lies were printed by the media.Now we have a media that covers up everything that president Obama does wrong. And we also have a media and Dem Pols that will use the word racism at the drop of a hat. Comedians back off because they are afraid to be called racists. So with all this protection, your complaining?

"Do they forget that it was George W. Bush who said of Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. . . . I was able to get a sense of his soul.”...Did you forget that it is Barack Obama who is credited with lie of the year?

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.