Obama Forces Putin to Bear the Costs of Total Victory

Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom met with Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the White House, and you can probably guess the rest:

Obama and Yatsenyuk reiterated their warnings that the world community would reject any Russian encroachment into Ukraine as unconstitutional and unlawful, and that Russia would bear “a cost.”


The two leaders used vivid language to denounce Russia’s threatening posture toward its neighbor. Obama said Russia would not achieve its ends in Crimea as long as “the barrel of a gun” is pointed at Ukraine’s citizens.


“We will continue to say to the Russian government that if it continues on the path that it is on, then not only us, but the international community, the European Union and others, will be forced to apply a cost to Russia's violations of international law,” Obama repeated.

Pretend for a moment you're Vladimir Putin. You don't have to take off your shirt and pose next to a Siberian tiger or anything, but try to get into that headspace for just a moment.

You're doing your Cost/Benefit Analysis, and on one side of the ledger you have the scolding disapproval of Mr. Red Line himself, which might end up costing you some money and maybe some support in polls you don't have to pay any attention to. On the other side of the ledger you have restored some of Russia's lost territorial integrity, fully regained a vital port, and brought millions of your kinsmen back into Mother Russia's loving embrace.

This is a no-brainer, isn't it?

I'll say it one more time: I'd rather we lost gracefully than having to bear witness to these increasingly embarrassing displays of whining impotence. Meanwhile, Russia masses troops on Ukraine's eastern border. There will be a cost here all right, but it will most likely be paid in full by Kiev.