Realism ≠ "We Give Up"

"Washington's New Realism," however, may.
In his speech, President Obama also demonstrated how a calibrated and balanced approach has worked with Russia. “…Mr. Putin’s aggression, it was suggested, was a masterful display of strategy and strength. That’s what I heard from some folks. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters. That’s how America leads: not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.”
Uh-huh. And who owns the Crimea? Those tanks parked in eastern Ukraine? All you're bragging about is that you've made Putin pay a cost he's completely willing to pay in exchange for the new territories. Are you being realistic about that?

How about Boko Haram? Their economy is in tatters too, but that doesn't seem to be what they care about. Iran's nuclear program? Same deal.

Some realism. It is, at best, about imposing purely symbolic costs that don't change the injustices you supposedly care about. Better to be honest that you don't really care.

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