Sowell column on Ukraine unfairly derides US president
Thomas Sowell is a pundit whose day has come and gone. He has written material worth reading in the past, but the piece titled, “Is Obama sacrificing America?” that appeared in The Vindicator last week sacrificed objective truth for an extreme right-wing agenda that conflated conjecture, baseless dogma and bits of opinion ripped from their proper context to create a bizarre image of who our president is and where he is leading our nation.
The writer begins by noting that Ukraine once had a supply of nuclear missiles but got rid of them, at least partly because the Obama administration encouraged that action. He asks, “Would Vladimir Putin have sent Russian troops so boldly into Ukraine if the Ukrainians still had nuclear missiles?” Knowing how inept the Kiev government has been and how bold Putin can be, it seems likely that his troops would have made a quick military strike, seized the missiles, and toted them back to Mother Russia. Obama looks really good on that one.
Next, Sowell aligns himself with “Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D’Souza and some other critics” who are promoting the weird notion that the president “thinks that the United States already has too much power and needs to be deflated.” He blames this on Obama’s mother and various public figures he has met, people whom right- wingers don’t like.
The essay then turns back to the supposed blunder of “denying Ukraine the military supplies needed to deter further Russian aggression.” Again, a careful reality check leads to the conclusion that our president is playing his hand as well as the metaphorical cards will permit.
Ukraine is right next to Russia but thousands of miles from the U. S. It is a political mess, and not at all ready for combat with its giant neighbor. Committing American troops or even American weapons to that fight would be pure folly.
Instead, the U. S. and its allies are focusing on economic and political sanctions against the Putin regime. This sounds trivial, but in today’s world, it can have strong effects over time. Our international partners — the Group of Seven — are all on board and working as a team. The effects of their deliberations and joint actions are beginning to impact the Russian oligarchs and their economy. We have reason to expect that this nonlethal approach will have substantial effect in coming months.
Robert D. Gillette, Poland