“Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.” Them’s fighting words belong to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Warbot conservatives want Obama to do something to Putin so as to keep them feeling like the world’s top dogs. Gates was addressing the incongruous nature of the continuous attacks lobbed by the warbots.
Via Fox News Sunday (the only show on Fox News to offer full transcripts):
WALLACE: You’ve defended President Obama’s handling of the situation this week, but in January you said you thought that President Obama made a big mistake when he set the red line for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Here’s what you warn. “If you cock the pistol you’ve got to be willing to fire it.” By “cocking the pistol” whether it’s on the red line in Syria or giving asylum to Edward Snowden or other issues. You’re really — and then not firing it, you really don’t think that President Obama has emboldened Putin at all.
GATES: Well, all I would say is – what I was saying earlier in the week was simply that I thought in the middle of a major international crisis, that some of the criticism, domestic criticism of the president ought to be toned down, while he’s trying to handle this crisis. My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force, so I think Putin is very opportunistic in these arenas. I think that even if — even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren’t cutting our defense budget, I think Putin saw an opportunity here in Crimea, and he has seized it. You know, the ouster of Yanukovych was a big strategic setback for Putin, and — and I think it’s — it’s testimony to how skillful he is or how agile he is that he’s tried to offset that by the seizure of Crimea and throwing this whole situation into a very different — into a very different light, and I think that –