Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint today called on President Obama to provide “global leadership” rather than “weak statements” in responding to Russia’s invasion of the Crimea region of Ukraine, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin and “the thugs in the Kremlin” need to fear U.S. intentions.
“Weak statements, history has proven, only invite aggression,” DeMint said just after noon. “What our friends, and also our foes, need to hear is a clarion call in support of liberty and self-determination, and the threat of punitive sanctions against those who transgress those principles.”
Here is DeMint’s full statement:
“Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty late Friday reminds Americans that we live in a dangerous world. President Obama is our commander in chief and deserves our support in this international crisis. But such backing also requires frank advice and we at The Heritage Foundation would be remiss not to give it.
“We therefore remind the president that, whether the left wing of his party likes it or not, he is the leader of the free world and therefore, at these historic junctions, the world looks to the United States for a clear direction. Freedom-loving people have always known that, despite our imperfections, they have a friend in the United States. The world does not expect the United States just ‘to stand with the international community,’ as the president said yesterday from the White House. They expect the United States to lead.
“Weak statements, history has proven, only invite aggression. What our friends, and also our foes, need to hear is a clarion call in support of liberty and self-determination, and the threat of punitive sanctions against those who transgress those principles. The Ukrainians who rose to demand freedom need to be comforted by our words and intentions, and the thugs in the Kremlin need to fear them.
“Going forward, President Obama must understand that his ‘reset’ with Russia has been a disastrous failure and that his promises to Putin of post-election ‘flexibility’ have backfired. He must also rethink his entire policy of deserting our friends and cozying up to our enemies, as well as plans to neuter our military might. But now, what we need is clarity and global leadership.”