Unfortunately, our President is practicing that "more flexibility after I'm re-elected" he told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about. It's not that President Obama shouldn't be grateful for Putin's 'help' with Syrian red lines, but, in the matter of Ukraine, he need not bend over backwards to kiss Putin's jackboots.
If you are serious, you don't threaten a boycott of a G8 Summit - you mount a campaign to throw the Russians out of the G8, you withdraw an ambassador, you threaten to freeze Russian assets, you put the anti-missile missiles in Poland. Since Russia is an oil-revenue dependent kleptocracy, maybe you start offshore drilling and approve the Keystone pipeline.
SecState and POTUS say Putin is "on the wrong side of history," and prattle about "19th century behavior." If that's their best shot, they display an ignorance of certain major military events in the 20th century, and think Georgia is only the place where peanuts come from.
In the case of Kerry, who has claimed intimate familiarity with the actions of Ghengis Khan, it's too small an insult by far. Perhaps he reserves his best for his compatriots.
In the case of the President, someone should ask him (when he's not adjacent to a teleprompter) for just one example from the 19th century. Or maybe if he knows who Édouard Daladier was.
When Chamberlain returned from Munich, Winston Churchill said, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”
In the present case, I do not think WE will have war. I am quite unconvinced that War over the Ukraine is a passable idea in any event. But we need not prevaricate and whine and hedge and appear to be clueless wimps about it.
As to dishonor and war, I bet Chamberlain understood Churchill's insult. The President? He just remembers he sent back a bust of some English guy. Kerry? He still has the hat: To this day there's nothing in it.