President Barack Obama did stand up a bit to the rogue ruler in Russia, Vladimir Putin, but Americans would like to have seen a stronger response to Russia’s harboring of an American turncoat, Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency data. Russia has granted Snowden asylum in defying the United States’ request that he be returned to this country for stealing secret information.

President Obama canceled a Moscow meeting with Putin, but will attend the Group 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. He had planned to meet in Moscow with Putin while in Russia for the summit. That’s a mild rebuke.

Putin knows he can defy the United States because “lead from behind” Obama is a weak leader in dealing with other countries, especially Russia. Putin’s dictatorship is in a country that is only a shadow of what it once was — the Soviet Union. Russia doesn’t want any kind of military engagement because Putin knows his country would be a loser. Like other small fry countries, Russia knows it can snub its nose in defiance to the United States and get by with it.

We are not respected by other countries like we used to be. One way to earn respect is to act with force rather than to counterattack just with words. We aren’t suggesting we go to war with Russia. There are other ways to make Putin say “uncle” with respect, such as sanctions. Obama draws lines, they are crossed and we do nothing.

Pride in America comes from respect of what we did in the past, our heritage. We need a strong leader in dealing with other countries and we need to act rather than talk. We need to regain respect.