President’s threats are empty

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, March 26, 2014

“You have been warned, Vladimir. If you don’t reverse your impending annexation of Crimea, you’re going to pay a steep price.”

“Steep price, Obama? More silly personal sanctions placed on a handful of individuals, rather than sanctions on my energy industry and banks — something Vladimir actually fears? Sticks and stones may break Vladimir’s bones, but unserious sanctions never hurt me!”

“Don’t you read the college textbooks, Vladimir? You are on the wrong side of history. The Cold War is over. Carrying on like an imperialist thug is so 1980s!”

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“Vladimir greatly enjoys Obama’s naive misunderstanding of power-hungry leaders. Vladimir will never tire of the pie-in-the-sky ramblings of America’s faculty-lounge-member in chief!”

“But haven’t you listened to my speeches, Vladimir? I heralded a new, peaceful era across the globe. I promised to break the precedent of prior presidents and open a dialogue with our foes. I was going to change the perceptions other countries had of America!”

“You surely changed Vladimir’s perception. That is why Vladimir is confident he can carry out his imperialist vision to rebuild the Russian empire — and Obama will do virtually nothing to stand in Vladimir’s way!”

“You can’t do this to me, Vladimir. You are making me look and sound weak and foolish on the world stage!”

“Sorry, but it is Obama’s unrealistic world view, not Vladimir’s bold actions, that is making Obama look and sound weak and foolish!”

“You think this is some kind of joke, Vladimir? You have no idea how much you will regret your actions.”

“What, Obama will draw a line in the sand? Like he did in Syria! Or, worse yet, threaten to give more rousing speeches! Obama’s words have Vladimir quaking in his boots!”

“I’m telling you that if you do not pull back and recognize Crimea as an autonomous republic of the Ukraine, then you are going to have to pay the piper.”

“Pay the piper? What, does Obama threaten to expand ObamaCare to the Russian motherland?”

“I’m talking to my allies in Europe, buddy boy. We are looking into possibly thinking about setting up committees to potentially explore taking additional steps that you might not like.”

“Ha, ha. Europe, who like Vladimir’s supply of natural gas, is even more tepid than Obama!”

“Give it up, Vladimir. You are on the losing side of history!”

“Actually, Obama is on the losing side of history. History has long shown that weakness, not resolve and decisive leadership, is what invites chaos and aggression. Words, not backed by actions — a running gag in Obama’s foreign policy — is why Obama is in mess he is in!”

“Can’t you see you are losing this fight, Vladimir?”

“Oh, really? Obama poll numbers tank among his people, while Vladimir’s soar among his. Poll after poll show Vladimir is considered much stronger leader than Obama! Meanwhile, Obama’s weakness is sending green light to bad guys in rest of the world!”

“What are you talking about, Vladimir?”

“All the world’s bad guys know you are all talk and no action — that you are unserious and not going to hurt us. Vladimir just might be licking his chops over annexing the rest of Ukraine and maybe Estonia, too!”

“I’m going to give you one last chance, Vladimir. Back off or it is game on.”

“Game on? What, Obama is going to tell Vladimir that if he likes Crimea, he can keep Crimea? Then again, that WOULD be one threat that would make Vladimir quake in his boots!”


Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Send comments to Tom at