By Elliot Jager
President Barack Obama’s warning to Ukrainians that “there will be consequences if people step over the line,” generated scorn from conservatives who pointed to the administration earlier unfulfilled warnings to the Syrian regime.
The president made the remarks Wednesday on the sidelines of a daylong summit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,Stars and Stripes reported.
Obama said: “I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we’re going to be watching closely, and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters. We’ve also said we expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful, and we’ll be monitoring very closely the situation, recognizing that with our European partners and the international community there will be consequences if people step over the line.”
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes raised the possibility of sanctions against those responsible for the violence that has claimed 26 lives.
The president referenced Syria in response to a reporter’s question.
“I do think it is worth noting that you have in this situation in one country that has been a client state of Russia, and another whose government is currently being supported by Russia, whose people obviously have a very different view and vision for their country. And we have now seen a great deal of turmoil there that arose organically from within those countries,” NBC reported.
Conservative Washington Post columnist George Will picked up on the parallel between Ukraine and Syria during an appearance on Wednesday’s “Special Report” on Fox News,Breitbart reported.
“Well, announcing expectations is all very well,” Will said. “But I’m not sure who is impressed by it. What we are seeing in the Ukraine, what we’ve seen in Syria, and what we will see again in Iran is a complete failure of what I think was the centerpiece of the president’s foreign policy, and that is the reset of the relations with Russia.”
Peter Wehner asked in Commentary: “Have more empty words ever been uttered by an American president?”
Wehner, who served as deputy assistant to president George W. Bush wrote, “In the aftermath of Mr. Obama telling the Syrian regime that using chemical weapons would cross a ‘red line,’ and then doing nothing serious in response to it, the president’s latest threat is probably evoking belly laughs in Kiev.”
Also Wednesday, on Fox News’ “Hannity” program, Oliver North described Obama as behaving like “Jimmy Carter on steroids.”
North said he was not advocating sending American soldiers to quell civil wars abroad. “But it would have been nice to have had the credibility of being at least respected by adversaries or admired by our allies. And we have neither as a consequence of his total failure of leadership.”
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