Right now, on the world stage, Obama looks weak. The ongoing civil war in Syria continues to be a bloodbath. At the same time, Russia is aggressively (and illegally) elbowing its way into Ukraine, and Iran continues to boast about its nuclear capabilities. The stakes are high, and we look weak among our adversaries. You’ll recall that last year the president flip-flopped on our position in Syria.
Russia must know that we support Ukraine. Our western allies are denouncing the move by President Putin to push troops into the Crimean peninsula with an eye toward a possible invasion. Sen. John McCain, a very vocal critic of the president’s foreign policy, called Putin’s move “an aggressive violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”
McCain is right. In a speech to AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby, He called the Russian incursion the “ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America’s strength any more.”
Over the weekend, the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and join Russia. The White House has rejected the referendum, as reports indicated that many voters were intimidated and not able to hear the other side. Others were simply blocked from voting.
Let’s face reality. Putin is not our ally. Russia will not give up control of Sevastopol, the warm-water port on the Black Sea, and anyone who thinks it will is naïve. I join House Speaker John Boehner and more of my fellow Republicans in calling for economic sanctions on Russia as punishment for its aggression in Ukraine.
What happened in Florida is a sign of things to come in elections across the country this November. Here on Long Island, we’ll have several important elections. Right now, Peter King is our only Republican congressman, but Republicans could very realistically pick up two more seats, bringing the number of Republican congressmen representing Long Island to three.
Look at the current situation in our country. Democrats are now losing elections because of Obamacare. Our foreign policy is disappointing, even frightening. We look weak, and our allies no longer see us as a world power. Come November, you should ask yourself, Is this what you want for the future of this country?
Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.