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Our National Security Is on the Line, Buy American More Important Than Ever

By George LandrithNewsmax

inscription on the cardboard made in usa. buy american.`
(Aleksandr Stepanov/Dreamstime.com)

As the world watches in horror as Vladimir Putin’s Russia bombs civilian sites like maternity hospitals in Ukraine in an unprovoked attack of raw conquest, sanctions have been imposed on a number of Russian banks, individuals and businesses.

Many are increasingly talking about and espousing buying American; however, that conversation actually started long before now.

When China began to leverage its manufacturing base during the pandemic to disadvantage nations that questioned its role in developing and hiding information about the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that becoming dependent on an adversarial nation for basic needs is not a good strategy.

Having run off most of our medical manufacturing facilities from Puerto Rico turned out to be not only harmful to Puerto Ricans employed in those facilities, but it turned out to be bad for Americans everywhere.

The U.S. needed China, so it could sell us medicines and supplies that we no longer could make. This gave China power and leverage over us. Control they were and arequite happy to possess and use.

The conflict in Ukraine illustrates another important point.

Sending money to a vicious and ruthless dictator gives him the resources to employ unthinkable atrocities — like bombing women and children in a maternity hospital — and attempts to force free nations to accept a foreign dictator as their ruler.

Challenging times often give us a chance to develop and display character.

It’s often hardest to do the right thing when it carries a heavy cost.

That’s what makes a recent move by Boeing so interesting.

The company announced it has suspended buying titanium from Russia, one of the world’s largest suppliers of the commodity. There are currently no sanctions imposed on Russian titanium so Boeing is drawing a line in the sand and making a strong statement about where it stands.

Naturally, the move has not gone over well with Russia.

Titanium is an important metal in the aerospace industry because of its strength and lightweight characteristics. It’s as strong and hard as steel, but weighs about half as much.

Titanium has the added benefit of being highly resistant to corrosion.

If you want to build world-class jumbo jets, you must have titanium to do so.

Boeing decided that it would move forward without Russian titanium because putting money in Putin’s pocket would only help his efforts to destroy Ukraine, topple its democratically elected government, and oppress about 40 million Ukrainians.

In contrast to Boeing’s strong stance, Airbus has announced that it will continue to buy titanium from Russia. That says a lot about Airbus — and none of it’s good.

There is an appreciable history of questionable business practices at Airbus, prompting investigations in the United Kingdom, where the allegation is the breach of the Bribery Act of 2010.

Airbus has agreed to pay billions in fines because it settled accusations of bribery, regarding the purported obtainment of lucrative contracts in foreign countries. French and U.S. authorities have also found indications of alleged bribery involving Airbus and their agents in Russia and China.

The bottom line is Americans should think twice before doing business with Airbus, especially our government and military leaders. 

Why should we trust the business with national security contracts?

Some argue we should trust Airbus, but that seems as naive as making yourself dependent upon China for critically important medicines in a pandemic.

America ought not be beholden to anyone for the things that it needs the most.

As Russia is a potential nuclear threat, it’s pretty clear that missile defense technology is a critical need and must be 100% American. And as fears loom about war and the long-term intentions of China and Russia, all of our national security technology must also be 100% American.

To make ourselves dependent on others — particularly those with a checkered past —makes zero sense.

If we send our national security capabilities and jobs overseas, we’ll assuredly regret it

Putin’s Fanatical Slavophilia

By Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiFrontiers of Freedom

The history of present-day Russia has been untypically idiosyncratic both in its schizophrenic mentality as well as in its discombobulated irrationality.  Starting with the Varangian rule of Prince Oleg of Novgorod in 882,  continuing with the Mongol invasion in 1237-1240, and culminating in the establishment of the Tsardom of Russia in 1547, the synthesis of Slavic-Byzantine-Mongolian heritage has given birth to the first pseudo Russian civilization, in which stark disagreements about what constitutes such a culture have never been solved with unambiguous clarity.  In its civilizational cum cultural misery, Russia has remained completely isolated from Europe and Asia for two centuries.  More importantly, from a political perspective, the Russian monarchy was evil from its inception.  In this manner, national or individual liberties were never contemplated, let alone implemented, throughout Russia’s bloody history.    

Then, around the late 17th century, the fourteenth child of Tsar Alexis, called Pyotr Alekseyevich, emerged first in 1682 as a co-ruler and in 1696 as the sole Sovereign of all Russia.  Until his death in 1725, this monarch, known in the West as Peter the Great or Emperor Peter I, attempted by ruthless despotism to “Westernize” his realm.  He built a military fashioned after the Western Empires, partially broke the monopoly of the Russian Orthodox Church over public education, and reorganized the administration.  Latent and open opposition to his Western reforms resulted in an interregnum that lasted until 1762, when the second of his surviving daughters Catherine I was crowned. 

From there on, Tsarist Russia was even more badly ruled.  A succession of male and female despots were more preoccupied with navigating the cruel labyrinths of  factional wars than dealing with Russia’s chronic domestic backwardness and international isolation.  Even the long reign of Catherine II did not result in lasting reforms for the better.  While having built cordial relationships with many of the great minds of her era and amassed tremendous powers, she was bound by emotional attractions, interests, and opinions, which she had to observe.  Following the French Revolution, she turned against everything she helped to create.  When she died in 1796, her mentally challenged son Paul mounted the throne.  In March 1801, he was duly assassinated by the nobility led by the Count of Bennigsen.

His son Alexander was the product of a mentaly ill father and the grandson of a nymphomaniac.  Accordingly, throughout his reign, he exhibited all the signs of mental impediments.  His contradictory foreign policies throughout the Napoleonic wars earned him the contempt of Europe.  At home, he oscillated between two extremes:  despotism and liberalism.  At the end, he became the proverbial bull in the China shop at the Vienna Congress as well as in Russia.  His death on December 1, 1825, triggered the Decembrist Revolution against his successor, Nicholas I.  Antagonist of both the throne as well as his brother’s flirtation with Western ideas, Nicholas I became a dreaded despot and the sworn enemy of free thought and reforms both at home and abroad.  His successors were as incompetent and occasionally mentally deranged as most of the Tsars after Peter the Great.

Repeatedly humiliated by crashing military defeats in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the dead Russian soldiers killed the living political elite.  The misnamed Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 was nothing but a desperate attempt to save Imperial Russia from itself.  Led by an exiled anti-Tsarist demagogue Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, aka Lenin, who took full advantage of the disintegration of the monarchy during World War I, Russia was violently transformed into a terrorist state.  Having wrapped himself and his movement into the ideological cloth of fuzzy Marxism, he laid the foundation with his hypocritical rhetoric to the future destruction of the Soviet Union through self-interested preaching of fallacious idealistic theories.  Moreover, by mixing his views on class hatred with racism-stinged Pan Slavism, he established the future Soviet Union as a militaristic nation predisposed to unbending hostility, which stood in a state of perpetual war with the rest of the world.  In the same vein, he instituted a degree of domestic terrorism that was unparalelled even under the despotism of Tsarist Russia.  Finally, by promising a “new world order,” his thesis of “total war” destroyed humanistic values across the Red Army occupied lands, instead of bringing about the promised perfect world.  Russia’s pseudo civilization was never about humanity.  Essentially, international politics was divided between the Soviet Union cum Russia, and with few exceptions, the rest of the world.

No wonder that this bastard political fraud, which was further debased by the boundless terror of Stalinism, deflated any optimism regarding the future betterment of Soviet Communism cum Socialism.  In 1991, the much glorified Soviet experiment ended in a catastrophic defeat and enormous global disarray following more than seven decades of obdurate refusal by the Kremlin to face reality.  After a decade of chaotic interregnum, in April 2000, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin became the head of state with virtually unlimited powers.  The legislature was made the obedient instrument of the President.  So was the judiciary.  The declared objective of the President to turn Russia internationally into a positive player in Europe and beyond and to build a democratic society at home, came to a crushing end first in Georgia in 2008 and then, in quick succession in Ukraine in 2014 and in 2022.  The coming military defeat in Ukraine presages the future collapse of the Russian Federation too that points to a much deeper malaise, namely, the repeated failures to address the centuries-old conflict between Westernization and Pan Slavism in earnest.  Putin’s restoration of Russia’s Asiatic despotism will remain, as in the past,  incongruent with his efforts to unite Pan Slavism and Western values into a coherent set of political, economic, cultural and moral systems.  Today, history again repeats itself.  Freedom and Despotism, Individualism and Globalism are in a worldwide struggle for supremacy.  To wit, in the middle of these proverbial red lines is the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

To state the truth as plainly as possible, President Putin is a mediocre product of this totalitarian and inhuman pseudo civilization cum culture.  As by his countless predecessors, the question of right versus wrong has never entered his mind or his conscience.  His miraculous epiphany from a cold blooded officer of the KGB stationed in the occupied eastern part of Germany to a deeply religious adherent of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose teachings represent a corrupted form of Christianity, attests to a morally and intellectually irredeemably corrupt character.  Coupled with the corrupt, decadent and backward culture of the Russian Federation, he will never understand what democracy, individual freedom, opposition to despotism, and domestic as well as international principles of justice are all about.  Moreover, having been led by the spirit of despotism throughout his professional career, he has never comprehended the distinction between elective leadership and coercive submission of his constituents.  Finally, he has always been oblivious to the needs of the average Russian, because he has never respected the basic rules of justice and the most elementar values of human life. 

While Russia’s history is replete with weak despots who appeared powerful on the surface, they all considered themselves  to be the “Peter the Great” of a crooked course that attempted to combine reform and order.  With the illegal invasion of Ukraine, President Putin has added to this fallacious domestic agenda the dictum of rebuilding Russia’s glory on the most extremely racist Pan Slavik tradition.  In this sense, he has stated repeatedly that his Russia will be for or against the rest of the world according to his personal judgments and desires.  His self-serving interpretation of history, in which his belief in a unifying policy of all Slavik people and beyond, supporting the creation of a Pan Slavik Empire out of a pot-pouri of “artificial” states such as Ukraine, has been bound to result in a catastrophically antagonistic foreign policy.  This quest for the forced union of all Slavik nations as well as peoples has been designed from the beginning to destroy the existing international order that had triumphed over his predecessor Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.      

Thus, when NATO, the European Union and President Zelenskiyy rejected his ultimatums, President Putin began to execute the illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine.  On February 24, 2022, his military marched into Ukraine.  After initial military successes and amid chaotic fighting, the Russian military advances have stalled.  The reasons are many but one argument stands out.  In President Putin’s sickly mind the fundamental concepts of his despotic regime at home closely correlate with his basic ideas of Russia’s current foreign policy.  Thus, President Putin has a choice to make – either he repudiates Russia’s historical despotism at home with his ridiculous ambition for the violent unification of all Slavs, which includes usurpation of the political processes abroad and all of his outlandish territorial aggrandizements, or he will bring about his demise and the total destruction of the Russian Federation.  In other words, unless his barbaric shenanigans of political folly at home and abroad end, he will surely fail in all of his objectives.  History will remember him as a loser of epic proportions.  For all of these reasons, enduring peace in Europe and beyond is impossible unless President Putin and his inner circle in the Kremlin does comprehend that employing exclusively military force to advance Russia’s political objectives is transitory, while the destructive nature of race-based Pan Slavism will live on indefinitely.  For NATO, the European Union and the rest of the freedom loving states the strategy must be obvious.  President Putin’s narrow-minded and racist empirical political folly must be decisively rejected.  In order to stop once and for all the Russian military menace to the world, the rest of the world must be united, determined and free of biased visions.  Such a steady resolve will guard the decision makers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean from being duped by President Putin’s lies and evil rhetoric or, in the alternative, becoming the victims of unexpected circumstances.  Finally, this united front cannot be allowed to be choked by squabbles and internal contradictions.  The status quo ante in Eastern Europe must be restored in its fullest.  Nothing less would assure the lasting peace and stability of the world.            

Biden Runs Out of Gas

The president has an unerring instinct to make problems worse

By Matthew ContinettiThe Washington Free Beacon

“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply into production,” President Biden said during his announcement Thursday that he would release more barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve than at any point in American history. His decision was also a concession. None of the policies Biden has enacted throughout his short presidency have alleviated the problems they were meant to solve. Quite the opposite: In practically every case, Biden has made things worse.

Energy? Killing the Keystone pipeline was one of the first things Biden did when he took office. In February, Biden delayed approval of new oil and gas leases. He continues to blame the increase in gas prices on Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, even though prices began to rise early in Biden’s term. Biden scapegoats oil companies for sitting on profits, while he could be doing everything in his power to ramp up domestic production of available fuel sources—including nuclear.

The fallout from Putin’s war was bound to make energy scarce and thus more valuable. Biden could have lessened the pain on the American consumer by pursuing an all-of-the-above energy dominance policy from the start, and by reducing the size of the American Rescue Plan so that it didn’t contribute to inflation. He chose to ignore the warnings of economists such as former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers and followed his advisers who incorrectly predicted that inflation would be temporary. By turning to the Strategic Reserve, Biden is promoting a temporary fix while the long-term solutions are plain to see. He’s relied on similar gimmicks before. They haven’t worked.

Consider Biden’s immigration policy. He spent his early days as president tearing up President Trump’s agreements with Mexico and several Central American countries that forced asylum-seekers to stay in third-party nations while U.S. judges decided on their claims. The rush for the border was swift and ongoing. This week, Biden is expected to reverse a rule Trump enforced during the coronavirus pandemic that allowed border agents to repatriate illegal immigrants swiftly because of the public health emergency. Homeland Security officials tell the New York Times that because of Biden’s decision they are planning on unauthorized crossings to double from an already high level. Republicans must be giddy with anticipation at the coming headlines.

Immigration and the border were the first places where you saw erosion in Biden’s job approval numbers last spring. Now he’s about to do something that will undermine border security and his political standing, and for no discernible reason. The pandemic is not over. Border crossings aren’t falling. We know that Biden’s decision will attract additional illegal immigrants. Nothing about this policy makes sense.

Biden doesn’t make sense. His Europe trip was a substantive success but a stylistic failure. The Western alliance is holding. But the president gaffed his way across Eastern Europe—saying the West would respond “in kind” to a Russian chemical attack, denying the deterrent value of sanctions when his subordinates have said precisely the opposite, telling U.S. troops that they would see the horrors of war in Ukraine firsthand, then raising the possibility that America’s strategic goal is regime change in Russia. Then, when Fox’s Peter Doocy soberly asked him about these inadvisable statements, Biden denied that he had said anything problematic.

I happen to believe that the world would be a safer place if Vladimir Putin were out of power—that indeed one possible consequence of a Russian defeat in Ukraine is Putin’s demise. I also believe that presidents shouldn’t sound like me. They need to watch their public statements because, as we were reminded throughout the Trump administration, words matter. Biden’s sentiment in Warsaw was correct. His sense of timing was wrong. After all, you never get in trouble for what you don’t say. Biden’s problem is that he rarely lets his actions speak louder than his words. And the words are garbled.

People notice. They don’t like what they hear, they can’t stand what they see. The public verdict on Biden is grim. He has not benefited from a rally-around-the-flag effect. His approval rating continues to fall. He’s at 41 percent approval in the FiveThirtyEight average of polls. He fell under 40 percent approval in this week’s Marist poll. Republicans continue to lead the congressional generic ballot. Democrats recognize that the electoral battlefield has widened. Biden is running out of time to improve his standing. And he hasn’t demonstrated an ability to bounce back as president.

Biden entered office at a time of national emergency. He benefited from the public’s desire to see Donald Trump off the airwaves for the first time in years. He oversaw the successful implementation of the vaccination program Trump had started. The resilience of the American economy helped him too.

Then the situation went sideways. Biden’s problems started on the southern border, ramped up with the Delta variant of coronavirus, accelerated with inflation, spread with the debacle in Afghanistan, and haven’t abated since. His rallying of the West in support of Ukraine is laudable, but he still hasn’t done enough to help the Ukrainians and he keeps stumbling on his own message. His commitments to the left wing of his party keep him from embracing the center. And damaging leaks about the federal investigation into his son’s finances only will mount if Republicans take Congress in November.

Biden’s reliance on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is telling. This is a presidency that is running out of gas.

President Xi’s Not So Heavenly Kingdom

By Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiFrontiers of Freedom

Even before the absolutely illegal and sickeningly barbaric invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China as well as his predecessors have done their utmost to crank up their country’s excessively ambitious territorial demands vis-a-vis their neighbors.  Accordingly, waving the red flag of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” President Xi has indulged himself in gross historical falsifications and the threat of nuclear armageddon, if his vision of China’s civilizational superiority and great power status are not accepted unconditionally by the rest of the world.  This outlandish  behavior, combined with President Putin’s increasingly insane demeanor, requires an uncompromising and firm resolve of the world community.

Most importantly, the world in general and the United States of America as well as its allies in particular must internalize the lessons from not preempting President Putin’ war on Ukraine.  Mindlessly rushing to Moscow and trying to dissuade him from taking a violent course of action without a clear strategy of absolute deterrence, including the credible threat of indirect military intervention on behalf of Ukraine by NATO, was doomed to abysmal failure from the beginning.  Courting President Putin only gave the appearance both domestically as well as internationally that he is on the right side of history, namely, that his fallacious grievances and blatant lies about the internal conditions in Ukraine are well justified.  Moreover, begging him to change his mind and to be rational only projected the West’s predicted  Marxian softness and decadence vis-a-vis the overwhelmingly mighty Russian Despot.  In reality, however, Putin’s despotism is a weak political construct.  In its core, it is woefully incompetent and irredimably corrupt.  Regrettably, the same mistakes are being committed in the West’s dealings with President Xi’s politically equally incompetent and economically precariously corrupt People’s Republic of China.

As Russia’s illegitimate war against Ukraine has stalled and President Putin’s badly trained military is reduced to barbaric terrorism against civilians, President Xi’s excessively praised military is also weaker by degrees from its official presentations by the self-serving narratives of the Chinese Communist Party bureaucrats.  An effective military cannot be created, let alone maintained, unless its fundamental principles are rooted in the political, economic and moral stability of the government.  Since the People’s Republic of China’s political system has been based on the despotic reign of a succession of ruthless manipulators, oppression has always been an instrument of power that has been unleashed uncontrollably rather than moderated by reason.  In this context, President Xi, like Mao Zedong, abhors proven political and cultural principles of the pre-Communist era and has only used them for the sake of deception.  Accordingly, neither of them has been a realist – they both have been illusionary visionaries.  For men like these, nothing is more annoying than realists who try, albeit mostly unsuccessfully, to curb them. 

The results have been political leaders who are no longer pragmatists, namely, politically sane individuals.  In this manner, their underlings are nothing but useful idiots who have been tasked with fortifying the unrealistic illusionary visions of their Leader de jour.  Thus, the Chinese military mess has always been closely related to the regime’s manifold problems.  While Mao’s ragged “people’s army” has destroyed the existing as well as the old regimes and superimposed on their ruins the “Dictatorship of the Peasants and Workers,” it was incapable of establishing a stable and peaceful administration to replace them.  The product of all these vague aspirations and unrealistic visions is the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. 

Because of its badly defined functions within the Chinese version of Asiatic despotism, the People’s Liberation Army has been more a tool of domestic power struggle and oppression than a military designed to carry out offensive objectives.  When it did in 1969 in the Sino-Soviet border war, against Vietnam in 1979 in response to Vietnam’s military actions against the rule of the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge, and the ongoing China-India border hostilities in Pangong Lake, in Ladakh as well as the Tibet Autonomous Region between 2020-2022, the Chinese military has done rather poorly.  Its ranks filled with the male products of Mao’s “one child policy,” those pampered boys’ mental strength and physical endurance could not match the discipline of their enemies.

The common denominator in Presidents Putin’s and  Xi’s policies is the desire to destroy the present order of the world in the belief that their successive creation would be better and more equitable.  Yet, by now it is abundantly clear that Russia has remained as backward as it has been for centuries and China’s economy has been in steady decline since 2013, when President Xi first ascended to the pinnacle of political and military power.  The case in point is Mr. Liu Ho’s recent desperate plea to foreign investors to stay with their Chinese investments, because there is nothing wrong with the Chinese economy.  Mr. Liu, who is the most influential economic advisor to President Xi, has promised major government actions to stimulate the economy to perform better.  However, a large dose of skepticism is in order.  The structural miseries of the Chinese command economy could only be solved by opening up the political system and by allowing both domestic and foreign businesses to operate under legally transparent conditions – without political pressures and the systematic as well as institutionalized Chinese corruption. Russia’s war on Ukraine has not been born out of the belligerence of NATO or the “Fascist” and “Genocidal” nature of President Zelenskyy’s administration.  It has been born – like all the previous wars of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union – of the political, economic, financial, cultural and moral disorder which this troubled country has been subjected to from its very inception in the middle of the 16th century.  The Chinese state in its present reincarnation is not different from President Putin’s self-engineered internal chaos and coming international catastrophe.  The fate of Hong Kong, the future of Taiwan, the completely illegal expansion of China in the South China Sea and beyond and the ubiquitous corruption accompanying China’s expansion across the globe, should be sufficient reasons to establish an uncompromising strategy against its wholesale attempts at global destruction.  If the anti-Russian and anti-Chinese coalitions remain strong, the world will be saved again from the monsters of evil despotisms.                            

America must give Zelensky the tools he needs

By Peter RoffVictoria Advocate

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech to Congress last week may not have been the Churchillian moment people had hoped for, but it got the job done. He asked for what his country needed, plainly, simply, and without folding into a grand discourse on the responsibilities of the world’s democracies to keep it safe from fascism as the late, great British leader might have.

Zelenskyy’s remarks showed him to be a most practical man, leading a country under siege. He should get all he asked for, all of it and more. He won’t, because the Biden administration fails to accept that his fight is our fight, whether we like it or not.

Some in Congress insist on shying away from that reality as well, going so far as to shamefully vote against suspending normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus as one more punishment for the aggressive war of national interest being waged against Ukraine.

Zelenskyy can see what far too many policymakers and influencers in the United States cannot. As he explained to Congress, the Russian attack on Ukraine “is a brutal offensive against our values, basic human values. It threw tanks and planes against our freedom, against our right to live freely in our own country, choosing our own future against our desire for happiness, against our national dreams, just like the same dreams you have, you Americans, just like anyone else in the United States.”

America has been called to the fight and must answer in the affirmative. Thus far, the Biden administration has been leading from the back, reluctant to place the United States in the center of the global stage where it belongs. To Zelenskyy’s requests, it responded with a firm, unforgivable “no.”

The sanctions were slow in coming and have not, contrary to what White House spokesman Jen Psaki’s boast crushed the Russian economy. The military aid most needed is blocked, by design and by bureaucratic inertia. Most importantly, because the national security establishment is more worried about what might come next if Putin were ousted, his country still has avenues available to trade with the rest of the world.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It wasn’t all that long ago when Democrats like Biden led a global effort to isolate a sovereign state over a domestic matter the rest of the civilized world considered an offense against God and man. How does the invasion of Ukraine not call for a boycott of Russia and its Balearian ally led by the United States any less vigorous than what America and the other freedom-loving peoples of the world did to bring the Republic of South Africa’s apartheid government to its knees? The time to wreck the Russian economy, to give an incentive for the Russian people to throw off their masters in pursuit of a genuine democratic system is at hand.

George Washington wisely warned against any involvement in messy foreign entanglements when America was a new nation needing time to find its feet. Wise advice at the time, it became increasingly dangerous as the nation grew in economic might and military power until isolationism proved very, very costly to overcome.

From Teddy Roosevelt to today, the United States has strutted boldly across the world stage, stealing the scene from every pretender to global leadership from the Kaiser to Stalin to Saddam Hussein.

We have expended American lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to defend the right of people to live free. This time that is not being asked of us. Zelenskyy and his people have shown they can and will fight. Some even say they are winning. Fear of what Putin might do if he’s backed into a corner cannot be allowed to be the determinant of U.S. policy. Fight now or fight later. That’s the choice.

We found that out in 1917. And in 1941.

And in 1950. And at other times when the fascists on the left and right threatened freedom. Today is not much different except Zelenskyy is asking only for the tools needed, as Churchill famously said so many years ago “So we may finish the job.”

It’s up to America to make sure he gets them.

Biden Still Doesn’t Get Deterrence

And has no endgame for the war in Ukraine.

By Matthew ContinettiThe Washington Free Beacon

Getty Images

No wonder they give him a list of reporters to call on. President Biden was doing fine at his NATO press conference until it was time to leave. Dazzled by the many reporters barking at him as he moved toward the exit, the president took one more question. He called on Christina Ruffini from CBS News. And instantly regretted it. Their exchange was a reminder that Biden has trouble articulating the meaning of deterrence, the function of alliances, and America’s desired end-state in Ukraine.

“Sir,” Ruffini said, “deterrence didn’t work. What makes you think Vladimir Putin will alter course based on the action you’ve taken today?”

“Let’s get something straight,” Biden replied. “You remember, if you’ve covered me from the very beginning, I did not say that in fact the sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter.”

They don’t? Then why did Biden threaten Putin with sanctions to begin with?

Anyone with an internet connection and a little curiosity can see that, in the runup to Putin’s invasion, Biden’s vice presidentsecretary of state, and national security adviser all said the chance of sanctions would have a deterrent effect. Obviously, it did not.

Rather than admit that Ruffini’s premise is correct—U.S. strategy during the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 did not prevent war—Biden wants to amend the record to grant himself foresight retroactively. Give him points for gall.

What makes sanctions count, Biden said, is how long they are in place. “The maintenance of sanctions, the maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain and the demonstration why I asked for this NATO meeting today,” the president continued, “is to be sure that after a month we will sustain what we’re doing, not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.”

Let’s hope so. The record, however, suggests that Biden is wrong. The United States has maintained an embargo on Cuba for six decades. Its behavior hasn’t changed. We’ve sanctioned North Korea for even longer. This week it launched an ICBM. We’ve slapped economic penalties on Iranian malign behavior for 40 years. Penalties that the Biden administration now wants to relax.

Imposed massively and preemptively, sanctions might deter a bad actor. Otherwise, they are punitive. Depending on their severity, they may crash an economy. They may constrain an autocrat. They rarely stop him.

Why? Because money matters less to tyrants than power. Putin desires most the recapitulation of the Russian Empire under his rule. What he fears is the collapse of his regime.

Putin’s been around. He saw the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein. He witnessed the popular removal of autocrats in Tunisia, Yemen, and Egypt during the short-lived Arab Spring. He watched as a mob killed Muammar Qaddafi. Putin has no regard for his citizens’ well-being. He is concerned only with his own.

You deter an adversary by putting at risk something he values. His life, for example. For Putin, the difference between victory and defeat in Ukraine is the difference between power and powerlessness, between life and death.

If President Biden had been more ambiguous about his possible military responses to a Russian invasion, Putin may have thought twice before embarking on his “special military operation.” He might not have wanted to risk a confrontation with the United States that could end in military defeat and political catastrophe. But Biden went out of his way to say that American troops would not protect Ukraine. And Biden has continued to say that his main goal is avoiding “World War III.”

Such caution is worthwhile. After all, prudence is a virtue. But Biden has spent far more time talking about what he won’t do than what he might do if Putin escalates or expands this war. That tendency has given the Russian dictator a strategic advantage.

Putin lost the information war in the West. He failed to achieve his initial objectives of smashing Kiev, overthrowing Zelensky, and splitting NATO. He ruined the Russian economy. But he still has Western governments living in fear of his next move. Fear that acts as a deterrent—on the West.

To quell such fear, Biden will have to rally the alliance to help Ukraine change the facts on the ground from stalemate to counteroffensive. That requires a massive influx of resources to Ukraine, far more economic and military assistance than has been provided already. It requires jettisoning the idea that providing Ukraine with Soviet-era weapons systems, including fighters, or conducting humanitarian airlifts into besieged Ukrainian cities is escalatory. It requires not red lines but strategic ambiguity to keep Putin wondering what the alliance might do next.

Biden isn’t prepared to embark on this course. “We have to stay fully, totally, thoroughly united,” he said at his press conference. Unity is nice. NATO and EU coordination during the crisis has been extraordinary. But these alliances are not ends in themselves. They are means to an end.

President Biden has yet to say what, exactly, that end is. Does the West seek a ceasefire, a Ukrainian victory, an end to Putin’s reign? We’ve said we want the invasion to stop. Of course. But stop where? Stop how?

“The single most important thing is for us to stay unified, and the world continue to focus on what a brute this guy is and all the innocent people’s lives that are being lost and ruined, and what’s going on,” Biden said Thursday. “That’s the important thing.”

No, it’s one important thing. The world has known for twenty years that Putin is a brute. Now it must act. Now Biden’s job is to give the Ukrainians the tools to guarantee democracy’s survival and the brute’s defeat.

Babylon Bee Censorship Shows Why Fifth Circuit Should Uphold Texas’ Social Media Law

By Clare MorellThe Federalist


Earlier this week, Twitter locked the account of The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning parody site, after it awarded Rachel Levine, a transgender Biden administration official, the title of “man of the year” in reaction to USA Today naming Levine one of its “women of the year” last week. This is just the most recent example in a long train of Big Tech censorship actions.

Taking a stand against Big Tech censorship, the state of Texas passed an anti-discrimination social media law (HB 20) last September. It seeks to limit Big Tech companies’ power to silence viewpoints they don’t like.

The law does so by prohibiting social media platforms with more than 50 million active monthly users in the United States from censoring users or their expressions based on the viewpoint expressed. Along with explicitly prohibiting viewpoint discrimination by social-media companies, the law enables censored users to seek declaratory and injunctive relief in court.

Texas’ law was cause for hope for many nationwide who want the giant social media platforms to be held accountable for their suppression of free speech. Unfortunately, Judge Robert Pitman, an Obama appointee, in early December enjoined the Texas non-discrimination social media law from going into effect.

But those who want a fair and democratic public discourse need not despair yet. That lower court decision was appealed, and soon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hear oral arguments on this appeal.

A wide range of distinguished amici have argued to the court that it should uphold the Texas statute and thereby protect Americans from censorship. The briefs include a profound story by David Mamet, an eminent doctor’s account of how even privatized suppression threatens science, and an exploration of the thought of John Stuart Mill by Columbia students against censorship.

Texas’ Law Doesn’t Intrude on Free Speech

What may need more explanation here is why the protection against tech censorship does not intrude on the tech company’s own free speech. As argued in an amicus brief filed by the Center for Renewing America and the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, there are good First Amendment reasons for upholding the Texas law and reversing Judge Pitman’s flawed and biased order.

First, the appellate court should correctly recognize that the First Amendment applies differently to speakers than to those who host or transmit speech. While the government forcing a person or group to speak a particular message raises First Amendment concerns, regulating the terms under which entities host or transmit others’ speech complies with the Constitution.

For instance, for centuries courts have required common carriers, industries that play a central role in economic, social, and political life, such as telephones, utilities, and airlines, to treat customers without discrimination. The numerous legal requirements have never raised First Amendment concerns. HB 20’s protection of Texans against social media’s discriminatory viewpoint censorship falls within this general rule, allowing for government regulation of hosting or transmitting speech to ensure such channels of communication are open to all comers.

Social Media Censorship Isn’t ‘Editorial Discretion’

Pitman’s opinion errs by treating social media’s discriminatory censorship as “editorial discretion” that expresses a coherent “message” worthy of First Amendment protection like a newspaper op-ed page or a parade.

Unlike a newspaper editor or parade organizer, however, social media companies do not review all content they host; they review only a tiny fraction. A newspaper op-ed page or parade expresses the judgment of its editors and organizers with every article or marcher it includes, as well as with the newspaper or parade as a whole. By necessity, a newspaper or parade, given its limited size, exercises powerful editorial control over its content.

In contrast, a social media firm is a passive conduit. It rarely edits, and its infinite bandwidth gives it no need to edit. Moreover, platforms cannot express themselves in the billions of posts they cannot review. Nor can the platforms’ stealthy, inconsistent, and often hidden acts of content moderation constitute a coherent “message,” let alone an expression worthy of First Amendment protection.

Finally, non-discrimination requirements to refrain from discriminatory censorship of others do not burden the platform’s own speech because social media platforms are free to tweet or post as much as they’d like.

Social Media Platforms Are Common Carriers

Secondly, the court should recognize that Texas can lawfully regulate social media because the platforms are common carriers. For centuries, common carrier laws have required certain industries that hold themselves out to the public to serve all without discrimination. Communications networks have always operated under these non-discrimination requirements. The Texas social media law simply applies these historical precedents to the modern public square: social media platforms. 

Pitman ignores the centuries of cases in which courts and regulatory agencies imposed non-discrimination requirements on railroads, telephones, and internet firms and simply asserts that “this Court starts from the premise that social media platforms are not common carriers.”

The opinion justifies this finding with no precedent, but with circular reasoning that because social media companies currently discriminate, they cannot be regulated as common carriers. By Pitman’s reasoning, then, if a telephone company started to discriminate, the state of Texas could no longer regulate it as a common carrier. 

Left’s Disturbing Protection of Big Tech

Undermining the power of the state to regulate is indeed a strange move for liberals like Pitman, who generally welcome government power into every aspect of our lives. Pitman’s ruling reveals the left’s disturbing protectiveness of Big Tech and a preference for a public discourse controlled by content moderators.

Furthermore, in recognizing Big Tech’s deplatforming and censoring as a First Amendment-protected exercise of “editorial discretion,” the lower court is jeopardizing the bodies of civil rights and common carriage law by essentially asserting that discrimination is expression worthy of First Amendment protection.

Pitman and others on the left incorrectly view the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees as protecting Big Tech’s censorship, rather than preserving Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous concept of the vigorous marketplace of ideas.

It is long past time for states to impose non-discrimination requirements on Big Tech and to hold these companies accountable for their viewpoint censorship. The Fifth Circuit should recognize the substantial government interest in doing so and reverse the lower court’s error-ridden decision. The Texas law would serve the nation as a model for restoring our cherished principles of free speech.

The Congressional Carbuncle Strikes Again

By Peter RoffAmerican Liberty

The Roff Draft: The Congressional Carbuncle Strikes Again

As it is on the brink of retaking power in Congress, the conservative coalition needs to start asking tough questions about what it stands for and how it operates. It also needs to consider the easy ones, like what is and what is not acceptable and in which direction it wants to train its fire.

The introspection is necessary because of people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who represents Georgia’s 14th Congressional District and is so undisciplined in the political sense that when she launches barbs at progressives, she inevitably hits a few nominal ideological allies standing in between where she is on the fringe and where they the liberals are.

Ronald Reagan used to say something about a person who was with him 80 percent of the time not being his 20 percent enemy. It was a wise description, not just of political reality but of the way successful conservative politicians operate. Unlike the Democrats, who are a collection of interest groups that support one another in their efforts to divide the pie, the Gipper led a Republican Party that understood the need to assemble enough votes to win. That meant, as it often did in those days, the GOP needed to court members of the other party as they strolled down the pathway to victory.

In the decades since, the parties like the electorate have grown more polarized. This may be an argument for a strong backbone, but it isn’t an excuse for a big mouth. Greene, who can’t seem to say good morning without causing controversy, seems to believe this is a good way to advance conservative views. Believe me, it’s not.

It’s not just that she goes out of her way to be provocative. That’s sometimes necessary, as Newt Gingrich showed while waking the GOP House Conference up from a 40-year sleep. But provocation without purpose is unhelpful, especially for the other Republicans who are often called upon to respond to what she’s said or done.

The latest outrage was her vote Thursday when she – as one of only seven other members of the House did – voted against suspending normal U.S. trade relations with Russia and Belarus following their unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. To her, it seems, America has more important issues to deal with – as she said later in a video posted online:

“If we truly care about suffering and death on our television screens, we cannot fund more of it by sending money and weaponry to Ukraine to fight a war they cannot possibly win,” she said. “The only effect, more arms and more money from America will be to prolong the war and magnify human suffering.”

She may think what she wants, but they conflict with the facts. The brave freedom fighters in Ukraine are holding on better than anyone expected. The Russian Army is performing like something sent by the Tsar rather than as a military force composed of super machines and supermen the world feared during the Soviet era. If she cannot see that Ukraine’s fight is America’s fight, at least so far as when President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Congress the invasion was “a brutal offensive against our values” and “against our right to live freely in our own country… just like the same dreams you have, you Americans, just like anyone else in the United States,” then she has missed the whole point about what it means to stand for freedom and self-government.

There have been other incidents as well, too many in fact to contain them all in a single column that is still of readable length. The Democrats were wrong when they voted to strip her of her committee assignments over things she said before being elected to Congress, but that doesn’t make her a hero. Instead, it gave her more time to make mischief, leading her to become a congressional carbuncle, better known for the irritation she has caused than for anything she might have accomplished. Rather than being the brave and often lonely warrior standing for values like freedom against the machinations of the “deep state” she likes to portray herself as being, she has become an embarrassment as well as an impediment to the conservative cause.

There is a profound difference, as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) explains in his newly released memoir “Leader,” between being a person of stature and a person of status. Greene no doubt thinks she is the former when she is most obviously the latter. She has what a journalist friend of mine likes to describe as being an adult form of ADD: she can’t stand it when people don’t pay attention to her.

If she’s serious about extending liberty and protecting freedom, she needs to start being serious about the business of legislating, of offering concrete ideas in the form of legislation that will reduce the burden and reach of the federal government, enhance personal freedom, make the nation stronger and allow us as a nation to proceed forward into the 21st century with our national head held high. If all she wants is attention, she should resign from Congress to start a podcast, get in the radio business or persuade someone to back her in launching a television show. That way, she’ll get the kind of influence she wants – and has – while someone who is interested in doing the job a Member of Congress is supposed to, can have her seat.

A Passage From India: Towards A Strategy For Middle East Security

By Russell A. BermanHoover Institution

It is bitterly ironic that just as world leaders and diplomats were gathering in Munich to participate in the annual Security Conference, the threat of enormous insecurity loomed menacingly over Ukraine.  Meanwhile Russia, in collaboration with Belarus, tested ballistic and cruise missiles, clearly intended as a reminder that Russia is prepared to escalate the conflict. Against that backdrop, China came out in support of Russia’s demand that Ukraine be forever excluded from NATO, as if Beijing has the right to limit the political choices of independent countries. With that support, Russia invaded Ukraine. Major land war in Europe has returned.

How this confrontation will yet play out and what strategies the US and the West should pursue in the Ukraine crisis are questions that lie far beyond the scope of this essay in the Caravan, which is devoted to issues in the Middle East and the Islamic world. Of course, there is one direct connection to the Middle East in the shape of the strong support Ukraine has been receiving from Turkey, both of which are Black Sea powers: the Ukraine war can also become a Black Sea war and therefore relevant to Middle East strategizing–and then there is the question of the impact on oil prices.

Yet the real implication for the Middle East is different and on a higher level. The US, which is the ultimate guarantor of the international order–in the Middle East and elsewhere–faces a combined threat from Russia, China and their de facto companions, Iran and North Korea. Their goal is to reduce American influence across Eurasia and in the Pacific. Russia wants Ukraine, and China is planning on seizing Taiwan not only for the specific territorial gains but in order to degrade the credibility of the US in international affairs.

This consideration is the focus for all the foreign policy discussions since the Obama administration concerning a “pivot to Asia” or, in the less catchy phrasing, a deprioritization of the Middle East. According to one version of the argument, China is the ultimate challenge to US hegemony in the twenty-first century and therefore the US should redeploy its military assets away from the Middle East, moving them to the Indo-Pacific in order to contain China there. Yet as correct as this assessment of the Chinese challenge is, the conclusion is wrong. Russia has just reminded the world that China is not the only threat. As far as the Middle East is concerned, ceding advantages there in order to expand investments in the Pacific will only create a vacuum which our adversaries will exploit. Russia is already ensconced in Latakia in Syria, and China established its first overseas military base in Djibouti. If we move out, our enemies move in. Because the conflict is global, there is in fact no part of the globe we can leave without benefit to our opponents: see Afghanistan.

Yet at the same time, domestic resource constraints increasingly limit US ability to project power around the world, given the dynamics of the federal budget under pressure from entitlements, unleashed inflation, and debt. Add to this the political pressure of isolationism on the left and on the right, which will increasingly limit defense spending and direct deployments. We are between a rock and a hard place: straddling the urgency of maintaining power to push back against ambitious adversaries and a systemic cap on the resources necessary to support that power.

There is a clear solution to this problem: building networks of allies. While Washington is the strongest voice in the current response to Moscow, the western stance is based on NATO, which, despite the disappearance of the Soviet Union, apparently does still have a role to play, thanks to Putin’s revanchism. In the Indo-Pacific the Quad–Japan, India, Australia, and the US–has emerged as a comparably powerful network, as different as it is from NATO. However, alliances by definition bring together several sovereign states, and they can therefore present challenges, due to divergent, if not fully antagonistic interests. Such intra-alliance diversity requires perpetual diplomatic skill to manage, but in the agonistic context of competing superpowers, it is better to have allies than to stand alone. Indeed, the Russian goal has long involved efforts to split the US from its European allies.

And the lesson for US policy in the Middle East? The Middle East lacks a security architecture comparable to NATO or the Quad. US diplomacy should take a lead in building it. Obviously, any security arrangement in the Middle East will not be identical to either NATO or the Quad because of the different circumstances, histories and geographies. However, in the face of intrusions by Russia and China and the efforts at regional destabilization by Iran, and given the implausibility of any major US military reengagement in the region, we need an alliance structure to maintain order, protect freedom of navigation, engage in counter-terrorism and counter malign activities supported by our adversaries.  

Fortunately, a number of factors have set the stage for US leadership to build a network of like-minded states. It is now up to Washington to seize this historic opportunity. The current Israeli government is ideologically broad, including, for the first time, an Arab party as part of the governing coalition. Israeli diplomacy has also built important bridges to some Arab states in the wake of the Abraham Accords. The western inclination of key Gulf states is being reinforced by interests in technological integration as well their threat perception concerning Iranian ambitions. The Saudi government has been carrying out a bold reform process unimaginable only a few years ago. Last but by no means least, the red thread that could pull these diverse elements together is the powerful presence of India, whose relations with Israel are flourishing and whose presence in the Gulf, in terms of investment and diaspora populations, is unmistakable. Because it is in American interest to oppose China’s Belt and Road initiative, which has made substantial inroads in the region, India is surely a likely partner to counter Beijing and could become the cornerstone of a larger regional security strategy, stretching from the Indo-Pacific to the Suez Canal and into the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps even to Turkey.

That is a grand vision that will require committed American diplomatic leadership. There are also undeniable obstacles. Some problems are relatively local and specific, such as differences among the Gulf states, which Washington could work to resolve. The Palestinian question has lost much of its prominence, but it persists nonetheless; given current leadership in Gaza and Ramallah it may be intractable, but a compromise solution ought to be in reach.  The Biden administration’s unwillingness to back Saudi Arabia firmly against missile attacks by the Houthis in Yemen is bizarre and should be corrected.

With regard to each of the large states that could become the anchors of a security network–Saudi Arabia, India and potentially Turkey–bilateral relations with the Washington are stuck in unproductive ways: for India and Turkey because of their S-400 purchases and the deleterious role played by sanctions based on CAATSA legislation, and for Saudi Arabia the animosity toward the Crown Prince in the wake of the Khashoggi killing. Potential partners are surely not always blameless, but American foreign policy leadership has to ask some tough questions.  Does standing on principle obstruct larger American strategic interests? Entering into a partnership with another country does not mean a blanket endorsement of all of its policies, but it can mean building a partnership to withstand a larger adversary.

In fact, entering into a partnership may even increase the leverage America has to influence a partner’s policies, particularly in the area of human rights. This is an issue relevant to all three countries (and not only them of course). At the very least, Washington has to grapple with the question of whether it will treat criticism of rights issues in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India as reasons to refrain from entering into an alliance structure.  Pursuit of rights and pursuit of international security are both legitimate and positive goals; political leadership should find a way to navigate the competition between them and find the right balance.

Finally, the geostrategic perspectives of the various countries that might be part of a Middle East security structure are by no means identical. As the US is perceived to be withdrawing from the area, some regional states are hedging their bets. As Washington cold-shouldered Mohammed bin Salman, he could fly to Beijing, because in a multipolar world, countries have more than one option. Given the ambiguity of US positions in Syria, Israel has had to coordinate with Russia in its attacks on Hezbollah and Iranian positions there. India remains open to Iran, given long-standing historical ties, in obvious contrast to the US. More perplexing was India’s decision to abstain from the UN Security Council vote calling for a General Assembly emergency session on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen whether this was an indication of vestigial affinity for Russia or an effort to carve out a diplomatic role as a potential mediator between the sides of the conflict.

Organizing a security structure in this vast region will not be an easy puzzle to solve, but doing so is vital for US interests in the face of competitive adversaries. Washington should devote considerable diplomatic energy–and other resources–to build connections linking India through the Gulf and into the core of the Middle East. One might think of this as a multidimensional expansion of the Abraham Accords across a much larger expanse. The payoff in terms of regional stability and maintaining American influence could be long-lasting.

President Biden’s Brainless Foreign Policy

By Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiFrontiers of Freedom

Having watched Democrat politicians aspiring to project the appearance of FDR-like progressive reformists into their domestic and foreign policies, a discerning person must necessarily hark back to the well known Bible story about the first couple’s removal from the heavenly paradise.  Overwhelmed by the supposed cruelty of their Creator and feeling miserably alone, the Tempter Serpent promised them another way of creating their earthly paradise.  Seemingly robbed of any other rational alternative, the mythical Adam and Eve followed the false deity.  Tragically for their descendents, this earthly paradise still has not been found.  What human history has produced thus far have been a series of undivine and tragic comedies, which have unfailingly ended up in the bottomless black holes of the reincarnated past. 

While Presidents Putin and Xi have been busy undermining the domestic stability and international standing of the United States of America, America’s present duo of executive leaders, President Biden as well as Vice President Harris, have been laboring under establishing the perfectly equitable society at home and abroad, in which the pseudo-spiritual triumvirate of racial division, economic decline and energy dependence are the rule and not the exception.  In this manner, they and their undemocratic party have presented the American people and the rest of the world with a closed political regime, in which the counterfactual idea of pacifistic-multicultural  brotherhood of mankind does not correspond to the domestic and international realities.           

Now, the “War in Ukraine” somehow has been linked by President Biden’s idiotic State of the Union Speech with his ruinous Build Back Better domestic political agenda.  Rephrasing his essentially failed Marxist program to an equally fallaciously sounding Build a Better America, he blamed his predecessor for all the ills of America.  Specifically, he has also blamed former President Trump for the Russian invasion and stated that the United States of America will not undertake any game-changer action to counter the illegal territorial grab by President Putin. 

To add insult to injury, he assured the Iranian people that his sympathies lie with them and counterintuitively, he told the Ukranians that as far as he is concerned they do not deserve the same brotherly love as the Iranians do.  Never mind that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a terrorist state that has threatened the peace and stability of the greater Middle East since 1979, President Biden agreed to remove the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations, to withdraw sanctions on Iranian terror masters as well as missile and WMD proliferators and ignore most of the nuclear safeguards.  Moreover, when the deal is signed, and without congressional oversight, the Islamic Republic of Iran will automatically receive $90 billion in sanctions relief.  Finally, Iran will receive at least $50-55 billion annually in the coming years from oil and gas sales because of the end of sanctions of its energy sector.  In addition to enabling the Mullahcracy to build and acquire new and more sophisticated weapons, Tehran will be in the position to expand geostrategically with the help of Russia and China, threatening America’s allies, such as Israel, the GCC countries and beyond.

The upcoming deal will also entitle Russia and China to label Israel and its allies in the UN as aggressors, if they decide to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear bombs.  More importantly, the American delegation in Vienna lacks any coherent strategy.  Led by Robert Malley, who is well known for his extremist pro-Iran views, has also surrendered the conduct of negotiations between the White House and Tehran to the Russian Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov by appointing him a “mediator” between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As far as President Biden’s pseudo-foreign policy is concerned, it is an insolvable contradiction between being restricted by the requirements of individual freedom and national liberty on the one hand, and the Marxist destruction of the natural relationships of societies, states as well as alliances under the banner of absolute equality  and multiculturalism that, in turn, fatally atomizes the world at large, on the other.  Instead of American exceptionalism, President Biden has adopted the Marxist cum Bolshevik idea of international relations, in which the contradictory compromise between state centralism and the romantic but unworkable  Slavic notion of the primitive Mir communities coalesce.  The right to national sovereignty and free agency in international relations have been replaced by the naked despotism of the rulers’ de jour.  Russia’s war on Ukraine and President Putin’s uncompromising inhumanity are the newest examples of President Biden’s anti-factual and antisocial psychopathology.

His responses to Russia’s wholesale invasion of Ukraine have also mirrored his demented mind’s sick ideas that do not correspond to the realities of the raging war.  While President Putin has initially played the enlightened and Westernized Russian leader, domestically he has instituted cruel repression.  When he gave his now infamous speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 10, 2007, President Putin stated:  “NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernization of the Alliance itself, or with ensuring security in Europe.  On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.”  Then came an ominous warning:  “No one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them,” meaning the United States of America and its allies.  Finally, he intoned thus:  “I consider the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world….  Russia is a country with a history that spans more than a thousand years and has practically always used the privilege to carry out an independent foreign policy.”

For all practical purposes, President Putin’s speech was a declaration of war mainly on the United States of America.  The response of the Obama Administration, in which President Biden was the Vice President, was “reset,” represented by the language handicapped Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose qualifications for the job did not go beyond having been married to a former president.  Naturally, the “reset’ was the product of totally incompetent minds.  President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton did not grasp that for President Putin the end of the cold war that was preceded by the collapse of the Soviet Union was an unacceptable occurrence, and a monster that must be defeated at any cost. 

Driven by hatred and fear of the monster, he has begun a ferocious persecution of all former Soviet republics.  Up until the invasion of Ukraine, President Putin’s entire foreign policy seemed to be a perpetual preparation for the decisive military confrontation with the West.  On March 16, 2022, addressing his cabinet, President Putin compared the West to Nazi Germany, declaring that they have been banding together against Russia the same way Nazi Germany did in the 1930s.  In the same vein he has said that Russians must “protect themselves from the Western fifth column.” 

To wit, neither President Obama nor President Biden has understood that President Putin does not aspire to becoming a democratic leader.  The republican form of government with its democratic structures and individual liberty are completely foreign to his whole upbringing, professional background and limited intellect.  All these were committed to the sphere of influence of the devilish West. 

Thus, instead of responding in kind and defining his own red line, President Biden has never understood the significance of the internal psychology of the fall of the Soviet Union within Russia.  In spite of the superficial mimicking of certain Western phenomena, Russia has remained despotic and backward, and thus differing radically in her political culture and institutions from the West, and has been separated from Europe by Ukraine.  Corresponding to this untenable situation, is the condition of the Russian economy and its finances.  Instead of a lengthy analysis, suffice it to say that Russia’s GDP in 2020 fell from $1,687.45 billion to $1,483.50 billion – a drop of 12.09%.  Inflation, unemployment and national debt have risen correspondingly.  2021 and 2022 have been even more disastrous.

 With the wholesale invasion of Ukraine, Russia will be bankrupt very soon.  Thus, sanctions are the correct measures.  However, more needs to be done.  President Putin must be presented with an ultimatum – withdraw immediately or face the full might of NATO.  President Putin must understand that might does not make right under international law.  Moreover, no peace without a complete withdrawal from all the territories seized by Russia since 1992 from Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, including Crimea.  Finally, complete reparations must be paid by Russia for all the war damages that it caused to those states.  To acknowledge these demands is the precondition for Russia’s readmission to the community of nations.  Otherwise, the two principles of sovereignty and self-determination would be sacrificed on the altar of Russia’s military despotism.  

The same fallacious notion of “equity” is the driving force behind President Biden’s China policy.  In his demented mind, the international dominance of the United States of America must be brought down and ultimately depressed for the sake of not frightening the People’s Republic of China, which might render the latter more aggressive.  It must be so because historically America has claimed to be exceptional and, therefore, has behaved arrogantly toward the rest of the world.  Only through the cooperation of America and China could the world tame anarchy and chaos and permanently avoid a nuclear catastrophe.  According to him, passivity and pacifism are the only solutions for America to survive. In reality, however, his impotent foreign policy  would result in the total collapse of Western civilization.  Weakness would invite aggression and unopposed aggression would lead to regression as well as global decomposition of the smaller states.  The end result of such a “progression” would be the end of mankind as the world has known it.                 

America’s Growing Veteran Crisis

By George LandrithTownhall

America’s Growing Veteran Crisis
Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The veteran community is facing numerous crises in this country and as geopolitical tensions continue to rise, America must make the hard choices to ensure we properly take care of the men and women who defend our freedoms around the globe. 

While there are many issues that plague our veterans, the assistance programs that the government provides when our troops return home are falling short. More specifically the benefits and housing programs need to build upon past success and not further disrupt any progress that has been made to date. 

The veteran’s benefits program is our obligation to the brave men and women who have served this country. Unfortunately, the current system is both underfunded and confusing, leaving veterans at a disadvantage when seeking the benefits, they are ethically, medically, and legally entitled to. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the largest and most complex agencies in the U.S. government. The last two decades of war have produced the greatest number of veterans since the Vietnam War, and the system’s cracks are starting to show as backlogs get longer and backwards incentive programs emerge. 

Congress is set to take up a key bill that would speed health care and benefits to millions of veterans exposed to burn pits during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans diagnosed with cancer, lung disease, and other respiratory problems suspect they were caused by the toxic exposure, and we should support efforts to identify and help those that need assistance and provide key benefits they have earned.

President Biden mentioned this bill and the need to provide better benefits and services to our veterans in his State of the Union speech, but in his latest VA budget request, his administration proposed the elimination of veterans choice on benefits claims by attempting to revive ill-advised VA “reforms” considered in the last Congress. This request would remove the ability for private claims agents to be accredited and process VA benefits claims, robbing our veterans of the freedom to choose. 

Also recently, during a joint Veterans Affairs Committee hearing some members of Congress were attacking companies that help veterans navigate the VA, simply because they make a profit. That’s not how we should judge VA consultants – we should judge VA consultants on whether they do a good job of securing better and needed benefits for our vets. 

While good intentioned, volunteer organizations who support the VA disabilities benefits program cannot do it all. Veterans need help and we need a change. Current law allows for veterans to seek fee-based consultation on their benefit claims if they choose. Any legislation around this issue must ensure a veteran’s right to choose is not jeopardized.

Another key issue that we need to focus on is housing. Veterans experience homelessness at a disproportionately high rate compared with the rest of the population. In 2019, 21 out of every 10,000 veterans were homeless. While these numbers are improving, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the veteran population hard due to many of them having disabilities that can limit their employment options and segment them into industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic. 

In its 2022 budget request last year, the VA asked Congress for $2.2 billion for homelessness programs, a 16% increase from 2021. While I am often critical of increases in government spending; we cannot abandon our men and women in uniform once they leave the service. We owe them a debt of gratitude.  

We have a lot of work to do to live up to the promises politicians make when the TV cameras are on, and it is on the American people to stay vigilant and ensure we follow through for our brave men and women. Many veterans have sacrificed much for our freedoms — it is time we paid them back, rather than shortchanging them.

Biden Admin Sends 9/11 Terrorist Home From Guantanamo

By Josh ChristensonThe Washington Free Beacon

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA – APRIL 7: A U.S. Army soldier stands at the entrance to Camp Delta where detainees from the U.S. war in Afghanistan live April 7, 2004 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On April 20, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider whether the detainees can ask U.S. courts to review their cases. Approximately 600 prisoners from the U.S. war in Afghanistan remain in detention. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Biden administration has sent a Saudi detainee who planned to hijack planes on Sept. 11, 2001, home from Guantanamo Bay.

Mohammed al-Qahtani, who has been held at the U.S. base since 2002, was returned to Saudi Arabia for psychiatric treatment, the Pentagon announced on Monday. The Biden administration decided in February to repatriate him through a Saudi “custodial rehabilitation and mental health care program for extremists,” according to the New York Times.

The news comes as the Biden administration is reportedly considering a trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss increased oil exports. During his campaign, Biden promised to make the Gulf nation a “pariah” for killing former Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince,” Biden said during a Democratic primary debate in Atlanta. “And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are.”

Biden also promised to “end subsidies” for Saudi Arabia, which would include oil subsidies.

A panel that reviews the cases of uncharged Guantanamo prisoners determined in 2021 that al-Qahtani no longer needed to be detained and did not pose a “significant threat to the national security of the United States.” Al-Qahtani’s lawyers had long encouraged repatriation, saying the Saudi national has exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia and has “repeatedly attempted suicide” under detention.

Al-Qahtani was nabbed by an immigration inspector on Aug. 4, 2001, when he was on his way from Saudi Arabia to meet Mohammed Atta, one of the leaders of the terrorist attack that killed more than 3,000 Americans.

Russia’s War On Ukraine In Global Perspective

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi

The Russian Federation’s illegal invasion cum genocidal war against the sovereign state of Ukraine as well as against the entire European continent and the world, are nothing but the ruthless culmination of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s illusionary attempt at restoring Mother Russia to greatness by reuniting the historically Russian imperial territories against  NATO’s superiority over his shrinking domain on the continent and, more globally, on the seas, trade, finance as well as culture.  However, in his narcissistic and reality-denying hate-filled mind, he has concluded from the time he replaced his predecessor Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, that the only way he could accomplish his revanchist vision is by employing brutal violence and overwhelming coercion on the small as well as medium sized formerly Soviet and presently sovereign states.  Hence, the so-called “Second Russian-Chechen War” from August 1999 to April 2000 between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria; the so-called Transnistrian Moldova-Russian War between 1990 and 1992, in which the western part of Moldova became a de facto Russian ruled independent entity; the Russo-Georgian War in August 2008, in which the former cannibalized the territory of the latter by creating two so-called “Republics” in South Ossetia and Abkhazia; and finally, the occupation and annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, as well as the occupation cum recent recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts as independent People’s Republics.

The consequences of President Putin’s habitual aggressions have been prolonged instability in the European continent that has become less and less tolerable to all the nations across the globe.  History is like statistics or election polls.  Depending on one’s preferences or loathings, everything  can be proven by them, including their opposites.  Accordingly, the diametrically different historical narratives of Russian, Ukrainian and foreign politicians, scholars as well as media pundits, although carrying significant relevance in understanding the underlying importance of national identities, have never been as revealing as the timely strategic and political consideration of the decision makers involved.  The current geopolitical crisis does not constitute an exception.  Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s competing interpretations could be useful in explaining the cultural and mental motives of their actions but are less revealing about the root causes  of the Russo-Ukrainian war.  In order to separate the limited view of the trees from the more global perspective of the forest, we must look for  one overarching principle of the Russian and Ukrainian national identities.  

From time immemorial, there has been a symbiotic relationship between foreign and domestic affairs of almost every nation.  As far as Russia as a monarchy, then as an empire, more recently as a Socialist/Communist joke, and presently as a fake democracy cum antediluvian despotism are concerned, their foreign policies have been both absurd and fatal primarily to their own subjects cum slaves and beyond.  Domestically their rulers and so-called governments have been the foolhearted dupes and miserable victims of their boundless greed for power, money and utter incompetence.  Far from creating good governance and bolstering positive authority, these repeatedly absurd miseries have perpetuated inhumanity, oppression by unimaginably brutal force as well as nacked trickery, and an insane level of corruption that has entrenched incurable immorality.  For these reasons, Russia always has faced the insoluble problem of survival on the edge of a slippery dometic as well as foreign precipice.  Should it free up the creative resources and energies of their subjects cum slaves, or should it continue despotism at home and unchained military blackmail and terror abroad?  Should it seek gradual integration in the rest of the world in order to improve the lot of Russia’s miserable subjects cum slaves?  Should it abandon chasing the mirage of world domination, or should it manage an untenable as well as paradoxical situation that ultimately will drive the Russian pseudo-civilization to extinction?  Should it continue being the eternal menace to European peace and stability, or should it cooperate constructively and not destructively for a lasting stability in the continent and beyond?

The Russian Federation’s despot de jour, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, is clearly imbued with all those immoral and ruthless characteristics that have shaped the uniquely Russian identity for many centuries.  Having been born and grown up in St. Petersburg, in a hopelessly discombobulated family, in which he was the only surviving child, he has  become a psychopath and a rebellious adult, mentally deeply submerged in the paranoid notion of victimhood.  In his youth, he wandered around aimlessly committing plenty of violent crimes.   These manifest violent aggressions have intensified with each failure and disappointment that he experienced until he reached the pinnacle of power in 2000.  His stint with the KGB in East Germany was mired in repeated disappointments.  His first steps in politics with the assistance of the mayor of St. Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak, his job as the Director of the Federal Security Service, the domestic successor of the KGB, and the Secretary of Yeltsin’s Security Council, has established him not as an effective administrator, as his official biography states, but a malcontent rebel and a first rate bungler, a person with no definite character who gravitated from one extreme to another without any rational motive – an individual who has not commanded genuine loyalty or respect.  

In reality, initially he owed his promotions to the fact that no one feared him.  Sadly, he has not belied his negative and repugnant nature since.  After having served as a true believer of the Communist ideas, he has turned his back on Socialism/Communism and has begun to wholeheartedly embrace Russian orthodoxy, racist nationalism, imperialism and colonialism.  In this manner, he has positioned himself as the bridge between the old and the ancient to which all the careerist gamblers and adventurers have tried to hitch themselves.  Yet, President Putin has proven to be a feckless chief executive.  Lacking both the character and the permanency of convictions, he has ended up as a corrupt, duplicitous, fidgety and conniving hoax of a statesman.  His downfall is predetermined and Russia’s economic destruction is inevitable.  

Thus, having been imbued with both conscious and subconscious sense of personal injuries, he has reveled at the thought of alone possessing the historical truths that has made him a superhuman loner amidst all the fools lacking even the semblance of historical perspectives.  In his prejudiced mind, he is laying claim to territories that are unattainable, which again deepens his hatred toward everyone who dares to oppose his extremism.  While he knows that his sick vision is in direct conflict with the rest of the world, he demands blind loyalty and even sycophancy.  By thus oversimplifying his own place and role in the universe, he attempts to overcome his fears and convoluted inferiority complexes by evil deeds.  In his core, President Putin is just another bitter, burned out politician, who is incapable of any meaningful compromise.  Moreover, lacking human creativity and locking himself in his self-erected pseudo-intellectual penitentiary, he denies himself and his country any progression toward a liberating self-determination.           

Just a reminder – the failure of Tsarist and Soviet totalitarianism ultimately brought down Russia itself in 1917 and in 1991.  Under Presidents Yeltsin and Putin, the Russian Federation has morphed into a sort of mafia state with a criminal syndicate economy, run by a quasi-government that allowed its political favorites to plunder state enterprises in the name of “privatization.”  This mafia state has delivered precious little to the average Russian, but enriched those with ties to the Kremlin.  Illimitable corruption has become the lifeblood of Russia’s resurgent despotism.  

President Putin is not a victor but a victim of his illegitimate aggression.  His  old/new  national symbol, the Russian bear, has been depicted as proud and big-hearted, but shrewd , unpredictable and prone to extreme violence when provoked.  These are the qualities that have combined to create and sustain Putin the Gambler, who has proved to be intuitively decisive, but narrow-minded, with little capacity to develop anything resembling a global vision, while impervious to the long-term consequences of his willingness to sacrifice everything for immediate self-aggrandizement.   

This almost mythical, yet in reality fraudulent Putin has become a hero to the overwhelming majority of the Russian people in the wake of seizing and incorporating Crimea into Russia.  The return of Crimea to Mother Russia and the illegal occupation of the Donetsk as well as Luhansk Oblasts was presented at home as well as abroad as a defensive reaction to save Russian civilization from the barbaric assaults of semi-Westernized Ukrainians.  This Savior of Russian civilization has repeated his act of aggression in Ukraine, hoping that the world’s reaction would be as muted as it was in 2014.  What should have been apparent to the latter was that a grand bargain with Putin’s Russia is impossible.  With a historically abysmal economy, a hopelessly corrupt financial establishment, and an autocratic political system devoid of meaningful ideas, while relying on appeals of raw revanchism for legitimacy, Russia will always respond to strength and force alone.  Presently too, this miscreant Despot in the Kremlin understands nothing but strength and the willingness to use that strength, if need be.

  Deplorably, succession of American Presidents, their so-called expert advisors and administrations, with no or little knowledge of Russian culture and imbued with insane naivete, have allowed their policies to degenerate into the sad spectacle of an illusory competition between the United States of America as well as its allies and the Russian Federation for the honor of who is being more concerned about establishing stability in Europe and the world.  The wholesale invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been a rude wakeup call for the rest of the world.  Politicians across the globe have started to view the Russian-Ukrainian War as a global war between democracy and despotism, believing that for the sake of the future of mankind, the former must be victorious regardless of the costs.

  The current occupant of the White House is more a Doofus than a Commander in Chief.  Lacking the mental ability to think lucidly, he is the prisoner of a bunch of incompetent and misguided bureaucrats.  After ruining the American economy in less than a year, he has embarked on destroying the United States of America’s international standing too.  From his monumentally destructive “Build Back Better” idiocy to the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the revival of the Iran nuclear deal, President Biden has demonstrated his lack of mental capacity to think coherently.  Clearly stated, the fraudulent redeemer of America’s division and the God-like savior of world peace   of the 2020 campaign is all hat and no cattle.  More unambiguously, he is a disgrace for America and an unmitigated disaster for mankind.  With him at the helm of American foreign policy, the United States of America appears to be a headless giant.  Moreover, his family’s shady involvements in corrupt Russian, Chinese and Ukrainian businesses disqualify him from being an honest defender of the Free World in the Russo-Ukrainian War.   

To wit, the ghost of the Cold War is back in its unresolved splendor.  So long to President George H.W. Bush’s disdain for the “vision thing,” to President Bill Clinton’s “peace dividend,” to President Bush’s son’s “I looked in President Putin’s eyes” primitive illusion, President Barack Obama’s incompetent “reset,” President Donald Trump’s futile personal diplomacy, and demented President Joe Biden’s,  his incompetent Secretary of State Blinken’s and his clueless Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s laughable attempts at squaring their imaginary circles on the ruthless stage of world politics.

Meanwhile, Ukraine, which since its independence in 1991, has been oscillating between waves of constructive and destructive revolutions, which have sidetracked, paralyzed and occasionally killed its progress toward a more open society, is crying out against the scandalous degree of corruption and the usurpation of democratic principles of the past.  On the verge of national annihilation by a militarily mightier foreign power, the people have awakened under the leadership of a former actor cum comedian and a Jew in a previously anti-Semitic society.  Yet, there has always been more to President Volodymyr Oleksandrovich Zelenskyy’s personality than his acting career.  He grew up speaking only Russian until he learned Ukrainian in his thirties.  He graduated from a law school and as a businessman produced his own show.  Upon his election in 2019, in his inaugural address he stated:  “I do not want my picture in your offices: the President is not an icon, an idol or a portrait.  Hang your kid’s photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.”  

Having risen from a lightweight figure to a national hero, a statesman and a real leader as a result of his uncompromising  and righteous patriotism in the midst of the murderous Russian invasion, President Zelenskyy has pulled the curtain wide open for Ukraine to find its true identity in the unity of fighting to the end for his nation’s collective liberty.  He alone has understood that President Putin is the product of Russia’s troubled culture and, therefore, the underlying rationale of the latter’s policies, like the invasion of Ukraine, is fear.  Fear of his own people, fear of being called out as a despot in the guise of a savior, fear of his own fragile despotism and fear of his adversaries who are much stronger militarily, economically, financially and politically than he is.  Finally, President Zelenskyy knows that his counterpart in the Kremlin is horrified, for the problems he is expected to solve have been and are still insoluble without the total destruction of the historically slumbering Russia.  

Generally speaking, the histories of the Russian and Ukrainian people were characterized by nomadic migrations, invasions, separations as well as melding of populations and displacements.  After a brief but overrated reign of the Scandinavian Varangians between the tenth and twelfth centuries in the Kievan Rus, the Euroasian Steppe was conquered around 1240 by the Mongol Horde.  The Mongol conquest was brutal, ruthless and unforgiving.  Towns were completely destroyed and the nobility was mercilessly slaughtered.  Dschinghis Khan and his successors erected a World Empire upon the mountain of human skeletons and the enormous expenses of barren lands.  When the occupation of the Mongol Horde ended in 1502, two distinctly different political and military communities were formed.  One was the Ukrainian Zaparozhian Sich on the Dnieper bend and the other was the Don Cossacks on the Don River bend.  In addition, the Khanate of Crimea was also formed, supported by the Ottoman Empire.  

In its mentality, the emerging Tsardom of Russia in the early 16th century was the spiritual heir of the Mongol Horde’s regime. It had a relatively large and effective army that began to expand mostly to the south by gradually defeating several khanates.  Importantly, there were no clear boundaries among the permanently warring parties.  What is today’s north and west Ukraine, alternated between Poland and Lithuania that with time merged into the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth.  With the so-called Union of Lublin in 1569, Ukraine was transferred from Lithuania to Poland.  Subsequently, multiple uprisings against Poland resulted in the emergence of Bohdan Khmelnytsky who in 1654, became a vassal of Russia by the Treaty of Pereyaslav.  Then the Russo-Polish War followed.  As a result, Russia came to the possession of Smolensk and Chernihiv.  Moreover, Tsarist Russia occupied the territories east of the Dnieper, including Kyiv.  Then again, eastern Ukraine was divided into four distinct areas in 1667.  Poland, Russia, the Cossack Hetmanate and Sloboda (Free) Ukraine shared suzerainty over the landmass stretching from the north to the south of today’s Ukraine.  Additional wars and conquests followed between 1686 and 1792.  In 1793, Tsarist Russia under Catherine the Great occupied the Right-bank of Ukraine and Belarus.  Finally, the Congress of Vienna in 1815, again divided Poland and Ukraine between Tsarist Russia and the Austrian Hapsburg Empire.  

This division lasted until late 1917, when Poland and Ukraine regained their independence.  On December 30, 1922, the Declaration and Treaty on the Formation of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, originally composed of the Russian SFSR, Ukrainian SSR, Belarusian SSR and Transcaucasian SFSR was signed.  In the 1930s, in the 1940s and in the beginning of the 1950s, Stalin’s Mongolian hatred toward the Ukrainians knew no bounds.  According to historian accounts, during the Holodomor – Russian for killing by starvation -, also known as the Terror Famine or the great Famine, millions of Ukrainians were brutally murdered by Stalin’s criminal henchmen.  Since 2006, this Soviet genocide has been recognized as such by many states across the globe.  Finally, on December 26, 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.  Prior to the actual dissolution of the USSR, the Ukrainian legislator, the Verkhovna Rada, on July 16, 1990, adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine.  On August 24, 1991, Ukraine officially declared itself an independent state.  On December 1, 1991, over 90% of the Ukrainian voters approved a referendum formalizing independence from the Soviet Union.  Ethnic Russians in the Crimea and in the eastern part of Ukraine also voted overwhelmingly for independence.  The Soviet Union legally ceased to exist on December 16, 1991, when the presidents of the founding members, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, decided in Belovezhskaya Pushcha to dissolve their union.

Independent Ukraine was ruled successively between 1991 and 2004 by two former Communist Leonids – Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma.  Their combined reign for almost a decade-and-a-half benignly could be characterized as the establishment and maintenance of a giant criminal syndicate of former Communist potentates.  After the elections of 2004, Ukrainian history has taken another turbulent turn.  As has been entrenched in Russia’s political culture for many centuries, lying, cheating and rigging political occurrences have gotten the better of Viktor Fedorovich Yanukovich and his followers by scheming to commit a chain of egregious voting frauds.  The public outrage triggered the so-called Orange Revolution that resulted in new elections elevating Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko to the Presidency.  His campaign program called for Ukraine joining the European Union as well as NATO.  In 2008, NATO promised him that one day in the future Ukraine could join the alliance.  

In 2010, Viktor Yanukovics returned triumphantly as the President of Ukraine.  In 2013, his administration backed out of association talks with the European Union, triggering another revolution in Kyiv and the rest of the country.  The so-called Maidan Revolution stripped Viktor Yanukovich of his presidency.  Threatened to be charged with genocide and corruption he fled to Russia.  The Kremlin response was immediate.  Russian troops, disguised as Crimean residents, seized the local parliament and raised the Russian flag.  After quickly annexing Crimea illegally, a fake referendum was held on March 16th that, in turn, resulted in the incorporation of the peninsula into the Russian Federation.  To add another illegal insult to its already existing international terrorism injury, the Kremlin arranged for some ethnic Russians in the eastern region of Ukraine to declare independence by establishing the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic respectively.

In the ensuing May 2014 presidential elections, Petro Oleksandrovich Poroshenko won with a pro-Western agenda.  True to his campaign promise, in 2017 he signed  an association agreement with the European Union that opened the markets for free trade of goods and services, and visa-free travel to the European Union member states for Ukrainians.  In April 2019, Poroshenko was decisively defeated by Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky, a popular Jewish actor and comedian.  In January 2021, President  Zelensky appealed to President Biden to consider NATO membership for Ukraine.  As an answer, President Putin ordered the military to send troops to Ukraine’s borders.

The strategic as well as economic importance of the Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk for Russia cannot be overestimated.  Geostrategically, Russia’s interest in Crimea goes back to the Russo-Ottoman Empire war of 1768-1774, which ended in the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca, providing the former direct access to the Black Sea region through the Kerch and Azov ports.  In 1783, utilizing the continual unrest in Crimea, Prince Grigory Potemkin occupied militarily and Catherine II annexed the entire peninsula.  The same year, Russia built the city of Sevastopol in Crimea.  In 1954, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s merger with Tsarist Russia, the then Soviet Dictator Nikita Khrushchev “gifted” the Crimean peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR.      

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the new leadership of the Russian Federation became obsessed with the notion of “near abroad.”  Thus, Ukrainian Crimea was again elevated to major strategic importance for the Kremlin.  However, in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the United States of America, Russia, the United Kingdom and Ukraine, with the support of France and the People’s Republic of China, jointly guaranteed the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula, in exchange for Ukraine’s surrender of all the nuclear weapons left behind after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  In clear violation of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 as well as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation of 1997, which mandated the recognition of the inviolability of existing borders, the principles of mutual respect for territorial integrity and the commitment not to use their territories to harm the security of each other, Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014.

Contrary to the beliefs of Western politicians and the feckless media reporting, these agreements have been interpreted in the Kremlin as faint attempts at temporary normalization and not as binding international obligations to define with absolute finality the relationship between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.  In fact, the Kremlin has  viewed these “peace agreements” as simple calls for non-belligerence.  Accordingly, in President Putin’s eyes peace only meant temporary armistice without actual normalization.  Moreover, in light of Putin’s interpretation, these agreements are legally suspect and even invalid, because they were concluded between a legitimate state, namely Russia, and a non-state entity that, in reality, never existed as a legitimate state.  Intoning in his speech, in which he justified Russia’s lawlessness, that “Ukraine never had a tradition of genuine statehood,” he appointed himself the supreme arbiter of deciding which state in Europe and beyond could be considered as legitimately sovereign.  In the same vein, President Putin has also declared that there are no Ukrainian people as such and, consequently, the latter are essentially Russians whose only desire is to be embraced as brothers and sisters by their kinfolks in Greater Russia. 

 Sadly, by that kind of pseudo-historical reasoning, every politician or every state that possesses superior military capabilities would be entitled to one-sidedly misinterpret the status quo to further its nefarious ambitions and produce geopolitical cataclysms  – up to and including war, genocide and civilizational disintegration.  In case President Putin’s primitively ahistorical rationale is not challenged, the world would become the playground of psychopaths, enabled by politicians lacking in basic courage and contemptibly feckless rationalizers.          

Closely related to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula has been its military intervention in Syria, in September 2015.  In addition to propping up the defunct minority Alawite dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad, presently, Russia operates an air base in Latakia and feverishly expanding its naval base in Tartus.  Moreover, it was hoped in the Kremlin that the Syrian Civil War would become President Putin’s military laboratory for future conflicts and wars against NATO and Ukraine too.  The plan was to give the inexperienced Russian military combat experience and train its soldiers to learn synchronizing ground maneuvers with air and drone attacks.  President Putin rationalized his intervention in the Civil War in Syria thus:  “We are acting preventively, to fight and destroy militants and terrorists on the territories that they already occupy, not wait for them to come to our house.”  However, his Islamic anti-terrorism crusade quickly turned into an unabashed defense of the Assad regime.  As Foreign Minister Sergeyy Lavrov later admitted, the Russian military fought whoever it defined as “terrorists.”  Yet, the first week of the invasion has confounded those hopes and expectations in Ukraine.  President Putin and his advisors have been confident that the Russian military could employ the same double-talk to justify their illegal war in Ukraine.  In this manner, suddenly, Ukraine has become full of “Nazis,” “Drug Lords” and “Genocidal Murderers,” who only deserve ruthless extermination by any means.  

Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, since the Alawites in Syria are considered by Iran as well as by most of the Sunni Muslims a Shi’ite Sect, Russia has become a tactical partner of the Islamic Republic of Iran in securing the so-called “Shi’ite Crescent” from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea.  Considering Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Israel’s resolve not to allow the former to establish itself as a nuclear power, the greater Middle East could become another major geostrategic theater of military confrontation between Russia and NATO.        

President Putin’s artificial construction of false historical realities is most outrageously glaring in the case of the Donbas region, also known as the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.  It is also a typically erroneous presentation of his sick mind’s perceived worldview to accommodate a small minority, namely the ethnic Russians, who for centuries have suffered pathological limitations vis-a-vis the Ukrainian majority.  These pathological limitations have led the former to mentally poison reality by first embracing and subsequently celebrating their self-defeating victimhood.  The geopolitical danger of President Putin’s violation of all the agreements that he signed to recognize the inviolability of Ukraine sovereignty is that by the use of military force to radically change the status quo he has replaced reality with the mirage of unilateral use of military power.

Misinformation as well as disinformation have been inexorably fixed in Russian culture.  Lying has never been a vice but has always been a virtue among Russians.  Successfully misleading and outsmarting one’s opponents, even by cunning as well as outrageous lies, has always been a sign of superior intellect as well as spiritual domination over the inferior, naive and gullible non-Russian people.  Hence, President Putin’s raving about “Fascist and Genocidal” Ukraine and his statements about the “Nazi and Drug Dependent” Ukrainian politicians, including the Jewish President Zelenskyy.  Yet, President Putin’s lying does not stop with attempting to justify under false pretenses his illegal war on Ukraine.  He and his administration also lie to their own military about their invasion into Ukraine.  The poor and miserable Russian soldiers were told that they are in Russia participating in “training exercises.”  Infuriated Russians with access to foreign media reportings as well as aggrieved relatives of conscripted soldiers charge President Putin of lying and of using their kins as “cannon fodder.”  In a video released to the foreign press, a mother shouts down Sergey Tsiviles, the governor of Kuzbass region in Siberia, who tried to present President Putin’s war as a “special operation” thus:  “We are all deceived, all deceived.  They were sent there as cannon fodders.  They are young.  They are unprepared.”   Yet, the gold medal of obscene lying about the Ukrainian war indisputably has to go to Russian  Foreign Minister, Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov.  In his recent press conference in Antalya, Turkey, he claimed with a straight face that it was not Russia that invaded Ukraine, but inversely Ukraine that invaded the territory of the Russian Federation.  

To quote Foreign Minister Lavrov:  “We do not plan to attack other countries, we did not attack Ukraine either.”  Then, to pile up on his monumental lie, he explained that Ukraine had been planning to attack the breakaway Donbas region.  Again, to justify his lie, he “revealed” that the Russian authorities suddenly and mysteriously have found a “secret document,” allegedly dated January 22, 2022, and signed by National Guard of Ukraine Commander, Colonel General Nikolay Balan, ordering a joint forces operation in Donbas.

Another extensively propagated Russian lie has been the invincibility of its military.  Yet, reality again contradicts the official Russian lies.  Going back no farther than Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, who attacked the weakened Livonian Confederation and lost, through Peter the Great’s humiliating defeat in the Russo-Ottoman War of 1710-1713, continuing with the Crimean War of 1856, which ended in the Treaty of Paris excluding Russia from the Black Sea, then arriving at the well known events of World War I, which resulted in the collapse of the Tsarist Empire, and the so-called Winter War that is also known as the First Soviet-Finish War, in which the much vaunted Red Army suffered severe losses and the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for illegally attacking the sovereign state of Finland.  Finally, the Soviet-Afghan War that lasted for ten years and ended in 1989, must be mentioned as a more realistic depiction of the effectiveness of Russia’s conscription-based military.

Judging by the unprofessional and amateurish performance of the Russian military in the preceding two weeks in Ukraine, Putin’s War has already been a failure for the absence of the strength of effective coordination among the various institutions of the state.  These institutions do not guarantee transparency that, in turn, also rob the Kremlin of the public support that it would need in the long run.  More generally, as long as Putin’s despotism rules, he will not enjoy the confidence of the majority that is the only sentiment capable of securing protracted peace and stability within the Russian Federation.  Here again, it is time for the despot and his minions to face reality.  Everything that has happened since 1991, has been a lie ending in the inevitable and recurring collapse of the mendacious Russian political despotism.  Oppression, corruption and deliberate fallaciousness must yield to clear-sightedness, honesty and the courage of the undiscriminating mind.  More plainly speaking, Russia needs real and normal leaders who live in the real world and not in a psychopathologically artificial construct that resembles more a closed mental institution than a civilization of sane people.                

Never mind that President Putin does know how absurd his narratives are.  Yet, he hopes that he would be able to create a “cult impression” among the majority of ill-informed and less educated Russians mostly in the countryside.  Moreover, President Putin is also convinced that his illusionary concoctions would serve in the future to start a political campaign through the use of force to replace reality with his lies to their fullest.  Therefore, his unlawful invasion cum war against Ukraine is a part of his desperate attempt to change the world from what it is now to a new one that would be transformed to what it should be in the future in line with his pathological desires.  In this manner, he expects to portray his enemies, namely, the entire non-Russian world, as abnormal, while the Russian people as the only truly normal human being.  

In reality, his psychopathological antics are as old as the lies of all the utopian World Revolutionaries of the past.  More recently, the useful idiots of the French Revolution as well as the mentally dysfunctional Fascists of Mussolini’s, the deluded enthusiasm of Hitler’s Germany, and the Soviet Communists of Lenin and Stalin’s, demonstrated the fleeting successes of such destructive nonsense.  Clearly, what the democracies of the world have not understood sufficiently has been that the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist intellectual garbage is a life or death proposition for all normal civilizations. 

Recognizing President Putin’s false reality is essential for countering it successfully.  Thus, the idiocy of all the destructive movements in the United States of America and even within the international organizations, including NATO, must be resisted with decisive force as well as relentless endurance.  Conversely, the more indulgent rational people are toward these psychopathological misfits, the more emboldened the latter are to ruthlessly spread their false narratives.  Moreover, accepting President Putins’s deliberately twisted dialectics, humanity would inexorably descend and, ultimately disappear, into the bottomless black hole of bogus realities.

The overwhelming majority of states across the globe have woken up to the new reality that beyond President Putin’s Russia there is its fundamental inhumanity.  President Putin’s laughable justifications for his illegitimate invasion of Ukraine have been “Denazification” and “Demilitarization.”  In reality, he wants to reincorporate Ukraine into the Russian Federation.  In this pseudo-state, the Despot and his criminal syndicate are more important than the people.  Men and women are not sovereign individuals.  They are considered to encompass the Russian nation, the collective Russian soul.  This collective identity, in turn, comes from its religion, namely Orthodoxy; Autocracy, namely Despotism; and Nationality, namely pan-Slavism, which is the uniquely twisted presence of Slavic Racist Chouvinism.  In this cruel and unreal world, exaggerated demands will be manufactured against all opponents that realistically cannot be fulfilled, rendering automatically the latter responsible for all the failures that will accrue from any refusal or incorrect implementation of Russia’s brutal and immoral regime.  Accordingly, President Putin’s Russian Federation has a single credo:  “If you do not obey unconditionally, I will crush you.”  To wit, it is a tragic world of mentally challenged individuals that, in the long run, means death and annihilation for everyone. 

For this reason alone, the March 2, 2022, UN General Assembly vote, condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is of fundamental importance.  In an emergency session, 141 of the 193 member states voted for the resolution, 35 member states abstained and five voted against, stating:  “The UN deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine.”  Furthermore, the UN demanded that “the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces.”  Delving more deeply into the votes cast, the Russian Federation essentially has become isolated in the world – it’s only support came from Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria.  Noteworthy that long standing Russian allies, such as China, Bolivia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cuba and Nicaragua all decided to abstain.  Hungary and Serbia, with close ties with Moscow , voted for the resolution.  However, while Hungary’s by now unprincipled  equivocation was manifest in it’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’s unprofessional explanations, Serbia did not mince words: “The Republic of Serbia is committed to observing principles of territorial integrity and political independence of states as one of the basic principles of international law.”  True to his government’s form, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya cynically shrugged off the significance of the non-binding vote thus:  “This document will not allow us to end military activities,” while simultaneously blaming the war on “radicals and nationalists” in the Kyiv government.

In this context, the People’s Republic of China’s stand is interesting.  While President XI Jinping has refused to call Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “invasion” and condemned Western-led sanctions, Chinese state-owned financial institutions discreetly distanced themselves from Russia’s troubled economy.  Bank of China’s Singapore operations already ceased financing deals involving Russian oil and other firms, according to the Reuters news agency.  In a previous article, Bloomberg reported that the Bank of China and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China had restricted financing of Russian commodities.  On the other hand, Russia and China signed several trade deals, mostly supplying Russian gas to China.  Meanwhile, trade between the states have risen to $146.9 billion at the end of 2021.  The People’s Republic of China’s balancing act could face severe strains when the United States of America and its European allies ratchet up their sanctions against the Russian Federation.  Out of this ambiguous Chinese karaoke game comes one certain conclusion – Xi Jinping’s firm message to the rest of the world that his country and the Russian Federation are definitely not allies.            

Be that as it may, the Kremlin’s isolation and its sense of an approaching domestic as well as international disaster will surely grow in the near and the longer future too.  The ominous signs of a worldwide upheaval against President Putin’s revanchism are multiplying by the hour.  The list of political, economic and financial sanctions against Russia is appropriately long and getting longer daily.  The United States of America, the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, etc., have instituted a series of sanctions against Russia targeting banks, oil refineries and military exports.  Admittedly, these sanctions are designed to “asphyxiate Russia’s economy.”  In addition, Russia’s banks have been barred from the SWIFT international payment system.  Moreover, wide restrictions on oil and gas imports, airspace, travel, semiconductors, telecommunication, encryption security, lasers, sensors, navigation, avionics and maritime technologies have been put in place.  Simultaneously, Russia’s military industry has been targeted too.  Finally, thus far, at least twenty four Russian and Belarussian so-called oligarchs and entities have been sanctioned.  To add insult to injury, Switzerland has expressed its solidarity with the sanctions imposed by the European Union by adapting them to the fullest.              

President Putin and his accomplices must learn ones and for all that flaunting international law, promoting illegal use of military aggression, and any attempt to destroy the harmony and balance of the European continent and the world are never constructive, but unequivocally destructive, and will not be tolerated by the world community.  Moreover, President Putin and his accomplices must be taught that peace and stability cannot be imposed upon sovereign states externally by military force, according to the will of the stronger states.  Finally, rogue states, such as the Russian Federation, cannot replace legitimate national interests with reckless and irresponsible expediency.  For these reasons, NATO, the European Union and the rest of the world must be unyielding in their demand for the Kremlin to fully restore the status quo ante of 1991.  

Accordingly, tyranny is no alternative for legitimate governments.  In the long run, freedom and democracy will prevail over lawlessness and despotism.  The existing sanctions must be maintained and, if needed, new and more severe sanctions must be instituted until President Putin and his accomplices return all the illegally seized territories from the beginning of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  For lasting peace in the world can only exist where equitable principles are strong enough to govern relations between the strong and weak states.  The alternative is the exclusive belief in violence, and that through illegitimate use of force the stronger could accomplish everything, including creating vassal governments and even a world order, in which chaos and anarchy would reign.  No politician or ordinary person should be under any illusion that presently Russia is not a partner in solving the Ukrainian crisis.  It is because of preventing a protracted stalemate and the accompanying  global ignominy, the world must remain firm in its intention to erase the scourge of Putin’s Russia from the face of the earth.    

The U.S. And NATO Have No Strategy To Aid Ukraine And Defeat Russia

The confusion over providing fighter jets to Ukraine underscores a dangerous reality: NATO has no end-game and no off-ramps for this war.

By John Daniel DavidsonThe Federalist


A remarkable exchange took place earlier this week between the United States and Poland, which shares a long border with Ukraine and likely would be first to get hit by Russian forces if the war expands beyond Ukrainian territory. The exchange was not only embarrassing, highlighting the U.S. State Department’s incompetence, but it underscores what can only be described as a complete absence of strategy among the NATO allies, which appear to have no end-game and no off-ramps in mind for Ukraine and Russia. 

Here’s what happened. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Sunday that Poland has a “green light” to provide fighter jets to the Ukrainian air force, adding that the U.S. was working with Poland to find a way to replace MiG-29 jets (which Ukrainian pilots are trained to fly and fight) that might be sent to Ukraine with American F-16s.https://d26db64193801a286bbefe4cc520e1de.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

News quickly spread on Monday that the U.S. and Poland had reached such a deal, and that dozens of Polish MiG-29s were in fact going to supplement Ukraine’s war effort. If true, that would have been a shocking escalation on the part of NATO. It’s easy to see how Russia could then claim that Poland, by putting its own warplanes in the fight, was now a belligerent in the conflict, and then justify expanding the war into Eastern Europe.

But it wasn’t true — not quite. Poland, acutely aware of what Moscow’s likely response would be if dozens of Polish warplanes flown by Ukrainian pilots crossed from Poland into Ukraine and started hitting Russian targets, issued a curious statement on Tuesday. The Polish Foreign Ministry said it was ready to deploy, free of charge, all their MiG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, “and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America.”

The statement went on to request that the U.S. “provide us with used aircraft with corresponding operational capabilities. Poland is ready to immediately establish the conditions of purchase of the planes. The Polish Government also requests other NATO Allies — owners of MIG-29 jets — to act in the same vein.”

This move by Poland apparently caught the U.S. State Department completely off-guard. Later on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby responded to the Polish proposal, which he said, “shows just some of the complexities this issue presents.”

The prospect of fighter jets “at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America” departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance. It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it. We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.

What can we conclude from this bizarre back-and-forth? First, that Blinken’s “green light” comment Sunday was made without consulting Poland or our other NATO allies. Second, that Poland’s statement Tuesday was a not-too-subtle attempt to shift the responsibility for the entire scheme to the United States. Essentially, Poland was saying that if the U.S. government wants to aide Ukraine by giving it warplanes, Poland would not be the one to transfer or even facilitate the transfer of those aircraft onto the battlefield. They would have to come from a U.S. air base, not Poland.

Lastly, the U.S. response reveals that despite Blinken’s reckless comment, the U.S. has not thought seriously about how any of this would work, and what might or might not give Moscow a casus belli to attack Polish or NATO targets in Eastern Europe.

In other words, there is no NATO strategy, either to assist Ukraine in a way that would turn the tide of the war or to imagine an end-game that’s something less than a total Russian defeat. Last week, Blinken articulated what can best be described as a maximalist policy for the war: “We have to sustain this until it stops, until the war is over, Russian forces leave, the Ukrainian people regain their independence, their sovereignty, their territorial integrity. We’re committed to doing that.”

So the apparent position of the U.S. government is that it must help Ukraine to bring about a complete humiliating Russian withdrawal, something like the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 — or the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, for that matter. If the NATO allies are worried that Russia will widen the war over a couple dozen Polish MiG-29s, what do they think the Kremlin will do to avoid the kind of defeat that Blinken has laid out? Have they thought about the possibility that Russia would use tactical nuclear weapons to avoid that kind of defeat? It sure doesn’t seem like it.

Setting all that aside, though, the U.S. and our NATO allies have just demonstrated to Russia and the entire world that we have no plan to provide Ukraine with warplanes, let alone tanks or troops or other advanced weapon systems. The NATO allies obviously don’t even agree on how that might be done in theory, and they apparently are not talking to one another about it behind closed doors but issuing embarrassing and contradictory statements in public.

As my colleague Eddie Scarry notes, all of this blows up the polite fiction that President Joe Biden is providing strong NATO leadership, and that the alliance is solid and united in confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It also blows up the notion, increasingly popular among neocons in the corporate press and in Washington, that NATO is able to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine and can be pressured into doing so. If the Poles won’t even allow its MiG-29s to be transferred to Ukraine via Polish airspace, why would they agree to send sorties out from Poland to engage and shoot down Russian warplanes? Why would smaller NATO allies in the Baltics?

They won’t — and they shouldn’t, because doing so would be an act of war that would pull the entire NATO alliance into an armed conflict with Russia. Likewise, funneling warplanes and other heavy weapons into Ukraine will bring NATO right up to and arguably well past the line of belligerence. To paraphrase the Pentagon, the proposal is not a tenable one.

Hope for Ukraine Is Not a Strategy

Half measures won't save Ukraine or restore American deterrence

By Matthew ContinettiThe Washington Free Beacon

President Biden Delivers His First State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress
Getty Images

The strongest part of President Biden’s State of the Union address was the section on the war in Ukraine. Biden condemned the Russian invasion. He welcomed the Ukrainian ambassador. He led Congress in a statement of solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their fight against the Russian aggressor. He announced that the United States was closing its airspace to Russian planes, cutting off Russia from the international financial system, penalizing the Russian central bank, sanctioning the Russian government and its leadership, and targeting Russian oligarchs. He made it clear whose side the United States is on. “Together with our allies,” Biden said, “we are providing support to the Ukrainians in their fight for freedom. Military assistance. Economic assistance. Humanitarian assistance.”

All good. All sensible. And not nearly enough. Defeating Russia in Ukraine and restoring American deterrence will require much more than Biden has announced so far. The State of the Union was a chance for Biden to explain the nature of the threat, the stakes for America, his plan for rolling back Putin’s offensive, his strategy for American revival, and the potential costs to American citizens. He ducked the hard questions. He relied on bromides. He left the impression that the road ahead will be relatively painless, and that victory is assured. It isn’t.

“Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people,” Biden said. He meant to say the “Ukrainian people.” A laudable sentiment. And a misleading one. What does it matter to Putin if he gains the “hearts and souls” of Ukrainians? He doesn’t want their love. He desires their territory. And he won’t just encircle Kyiv with tanks. He will level it. Biden could have warned America and the world about the sorts of horrible images already being broadcast from Ukraine. He could have explained why the misery will grow worse long before it subsides. He could have steeled the nation’s spine for the uncertain years ahead. He chose not to.

“Freedom will always triumph over tyranny,” Biden said. Another lovely idea that crumbles under scrutiny. Ask the North Koreans or the Cubans or the Venezuelans or the Iranians or the Chinese or, for that matter, the Russians if freedom always triumphs over tyranny. The tragic fact of the matter is that freedom is rare. Authoritarians are resilient. Biden left out the element essential to freedom’s victory. Freedom requires more than will. It requires force. And in today’s world of proliferating dangers, the only nation with the power to shield freedom from its enemies is the United States.

I’m not talking about the power of our example. I mean the military and strategic assets at our disposal. These elements of national power are the foundation for a world of democracies. But they have atrophied. America’s armed forces labor under budget constraints. America’s nuclear deterrent requires modernization. America’s research and development has withered, and American energy has been constricted. America’s alliances are force multipliers that Biden has leveraged well against Russia. They can only get us so far, however. In the end, it will be American will and American might that guarantee international security in Europe, East Asia, and the Greater Middle East. Every minute spent evading this reality is wasted.

Which is why Biden’s easy confidence in the eventual victory of freedom over oppression troubles me. Take the defense budget. Biden mentioned the Department of Defense a single time—in reference to his plan to “end cancer as we know it.” He spent an hour calling on Congress to pass legislation that has failed already. Not once did he ask Congress to pass the defense appropriations bill. Nor did he ask for more to be spent on defense in this global emergency. America spent an average of 7 percent of gross domestic product on our military during the first Cold War. Now we spend about 3 percent. To win a Second Cold War against an expansionist Russia and a belligerent China, we must spend more. Failure to do so isn’t just unserious. It’s reckless.

Biden’s energy plan was similarly troubling. He announced the release of strategic petroleum reserves to tamp down the rising cost of oil and gasoline. The problem with reserves, though, is that they eventually run out. How will we replenish them? Biden left no clue. He wants to provide “investments and tax credits to weatherize your homes and businesses to be energy efficient.” He wants to “double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind, and so much more.” He wants electric vehicles to be cheaper. He’s deluding himself. The words “drill,” “natural gas,” and “nuclear” never passed his lips. He won’t ban Russian oil imports—meaning that we continue to fund the butchers of Ukraine. The American energy sector is the key to national independence, freedom of action on the world stage, and long-term weaning of Europe from dependence on Russian energy. You wouldn’t know that from listening to Biden.

But you would get the impression that the president is averse to conflict. “Let me be clear,” he said, “our forces are not engaged and will not engage in conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine.” The reinforcements he’s deployed to Europe are there to defend NATO if Putin turns against the Baltic States, Poland, or Romania. America will send weapons to Ukraine, but otherwise the Ukrainians are on their own. This message doesn’t inspire confidence. It gives Putin a green light to conduct the war on his terms. The best way to prevent the expansion of the war is to make Putin second-guess his actions. How? Not by continually reminding him of what you won’t do. You deter Putin by forcing him to consider what you might do.

The State of the Union contained nothing that might stop Putin from continuing his assault. Biden’s silence about the American withdrawal from Afghanistan was telling. He said the word “Afghanistan” just twice, in a section devoted to spending more resources on American veterans. I’m all for spending money to help the troops—active duty as well as reserve and retired. But the 13 servicemen killed as America retreated from a land that we protected for two decades deserved better. The Afghans themselves deserved a mention, as well, especially the ones we have welcomed to America. Their absence was odd.

The whole speech was odd. It lacked the seriousness required during a national trial. Its logic was nonsensical: Biden argued with a straight face, for instance, that protectionism somehow will reduce inflation. His policy proposals either had nothing to do with, or will actively undermine, national priorities such as reducing inflation, securing the southern border, and reestablishing a peaceful world through military strength. “We are stronger today than we were a year ago,” Biden concluded. It’s pleasant to think so. But that doesn’t mean it’s true.

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