It’s Christmas week and most Americans are focused on family, travel, presents, and, hopefully, the true meaning of the holiday. Vladimir Putin’s mind, however, seems to be focused on putting his boot on Ukraine. Meanwhile, our cognitively challenged president will spend much of the this week unaware of what day it is while the world might be descending into the opening shots of the next world war.
Putin, Russia’s “president,” has had Ukraine on his brain for some time. The West, with good reason, fears he will invade the former Soviet satellite, which wants to be a part of the NATO defense alliance rather than lose its independence to Moscow. A source we trust says it could happen during the holidays, or soon thereafter, while our attention is on other matters.
Should Putin storm into Ukraine, we asked, what then will Chinese President Xi Jinping do – invade Taiwan, the island nation of the Republic of China where nationalists fleeing Mao’s communist sword established the new capital in 1949?
We didn’t like the answer, yet we knew it was coming. Xi will take advantage of the distraction and make an assault on Taiwan.
We didn’t ask what could happen next, because we didn’t want to hear the answer. But we can’t hide from the fact: The Middle East just might blow up, with Arab nations attacking Israel, at one time America’s only ally in the region and always a reliable supporter at the United Nations and in international diplomacy.
Then, World War III.
We hope he’s wrong. He hopes he’s wrong. It’s hard to be optimistic, though, given the current state of affairs.
President Joe Biden and Putin had a virtual meeting on Dec. 7, a day we hope doesn’t become more infamous because of the current president’s weakness, to talk about Russia’s military buildup at the border with Ukraine. While the specifics of the discussion are unknown, it’s being reported that Biden warned Putin there would be severe economic sanctions if the Russians crossed the border.
But “Sanctions do not deter Putin from his stated goal of reassembling the Russian empire. In February 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and has since supported separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. Also in 2014, Russia invaded Crimea, a sovereign Ukrainian territory, and purported to annex that territory. Sanctions have not deterred Russia from its aggression in Ukraine,” James Gilmore, former Virginia governor and the immediate past ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, wrote last week in the Washington Examiner.
Not only has Biden’s foreign policy judgment been unfailingly wrong for decades, he’s an appeaser, and has, as Gilmore noted, signaled weakness, handing to Putin a number of victories that have given him an advantage. At a time when the world needs strong American leadership to head off aggression, we have in the White House the man who advised Barack Obama to put off the mission which eventually resulted in Osama Bin Laden’s death.
The president also appears to be either scared of China, somewhat aligned with its goals, or maybe in some way bought off by Beijing. In any event, the Biden we know is no match for Putin and Xi. What we’re hoping for is the Biden we’ve never known will appear and show a Reagan-like strength. Quite a bit depends on what the American president does in the near future.
Of course not everyone believes Putin will move on Ukraine. We pray those who are convinced he’s bluffing, that the threat is being exaggerated in the same way the U.S. overestimated Soviet might during the Cold War, are right and we’re overly alarmed. At the same time, we know there will never be peace on Earth since man is imperfect. But we do hope for less conflict, and that comes from strength, not concessions to belligerents.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board
There are just too many problems at once which causes over load and paralysis. The world’s smartest man couldn’t solve this mess.
Ike did not invade Hungary to stop Soviet tanks in the 1950s. Nor did we invade Prague to assist against Russian aggression there. Nor did we tear down the Berlin Wall. Nor more recently did we invade South Ossetia when Russia threw out the invading Georgians. Last I heard, the USA got its tail whipped by a bunch of tribesmen in Afghanistan, and Iraq, Syria and Libya interventions did not turn out so well. Reagan’s invasion of Grenada was the last smart or successful USA foreign military intervention. Arming Ukraine may be good for the arms sales business, but Russia will never allow a threat of large military magnitude on its borders to threaten its sovereignty (as they have proven numerous times).
Biden is many things, but not stupid enough to fight Russia or make empty military threats over Ukraine that would make him look like a fool. Russia has the upper hand in Ukraine, as well as home field advantage, and the USA has the weak hand. Like in poker, you fold the weak hand. A strong player knows when to fold. It is not weakness, just making the best of a hopeless hand. Anyway, Biden and his party are more interested in their domestic agenda, which should be obvious. The USA is the battleground for Biden and the Democrats and their anti-fa street fighting allies, social media minions, mass media choruses, et al. Pushing vaccines to fund the CDC, NIH and Fauci’s cronies with patent royalties is of more interest ($$) to the Big Guy than Ukraine. The USA is becoming a failed nation-state on its own home ground, and cannot even control its own southern border, much less mount a defense of the Ukraine-Russia border.
For the first time in history, when someone yells, “HE’S AN IDIOT,” 98% of all people know it’s Joe BRANDON. The other 2% naturally think of FREDO.
He is a idiot period
Putin put out an article last July titled ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“. In 28 pages he gave the history of the ties between Russia and Ukraine which can be summed up by the “Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole.” Note “were” as opposed to ‘are’. Putin appears intent on making ‘are’ the reality. The comparison of that article to the speeches of Hitler, regarding Austria, are stark. He depicted Austrian Germans as a persecuted minority, saying it was “intolerable for a self-conscious world power to know that at its side are co-racials who are subjected to continuous suffering because of their sympathy and unity with the whole German race and ideology.” Germany took Austria.
In his article Putin pointed out that Kiev, which is located on the Dnieper river, is the original capital of Russia. Also, Putin has made it clear that Russia would not tolerate NATO on Russia’s border with Ukraine. Ukraine applied to join NATO in 2008. That application has not been formalized yet. If it had been then the equation, today, would be much different.
The Dnieper river cuts through the middle (North to South) of Ukraine. It also marks a potential dividing line should Russia decide to move West. If Putin took the entire Ukraine the US-EU would respond in an unpredictable manner somewhere between Harsh Language and a Military Response. Don’t bet on the latter. If Putin takes half of Ukraine, which is demarked by the Dnieper river, it would be more like when Russia took the Crimea. Crimea was Ukrainian with a clear geographical separation. Ukraine has a potentially similar geographic ‘separation’ from Russia demarked by the Dnieper river with the bonus of Kiev. Just like the US-EU employed Harsh Language and some sanctions when Crimea fell to Russia that would also be the probable outcome if Putin takes Eastern Ukraine and the Russian Army stops at the Dnieper. That would accomplish Putin’s desire that NATO would not be on Russia’s border. It would achieve his nationalist desire that Ukraine becomes a part of Russia. Lastly, when Poland was divided by Germany and Russia, in 1939, their boundary was demarked by the Bug river in Poland. With the German-Austrian-Poland as a comparison to the Russia-Ukraine situation an observation made by Voltaire may apply. “History does not repeat itself but people always do.”
Ask yourself why does NATO exist? It was formed to put the Soviet Union in check. Guess what, the Soviet Union is gone, right along with its communism. Russia doesn’t like the idea of a series of Gang members (get it) on their western border… news flash, we wouldn’t like it either (Cuban missile crisis. Either get rid of NATO, or invite both Russia and the Ukraine to join as a check against the real threat which is China.
Jaimie – you don’t know anything about NATO, do you? Certainly the immediate justification for NATO was the Cold War and to keep the Soviets on their side of the border, but the roots go back further. I think that NATO is the most successful way that Europeans have found to keep peace in Europe, the roots go back to the attempt to keep the Communists from expanding Communism shortly after WW I.
Russia has been trying to get a LOT of things – warm water ports, oil, etc and NATO helps to keep Russia from taking back the Baltic States, etc. But NATO also allows European and North American countries project power into Africa, into the Middle East.
President Biden is a very bright guy who is doing the right things. Vladimir Putin knows that we will now punish him for aggression and Vladimir wants to enjoy his luxuries, not sacrifice during wartime. So the chances of Russia starting a big war are very small. Their economy is FAR smaller than ours and we could absorb a lot more damage than Russia could.
President Biden has been doing the right things – first he got NATO (and the US) out of Afghanistan. Finally!! He has rebuilt our relationship with our NATO and Pacific allies, our alliances are stronger than they have been in years.
When we think about weakness in meetings with Putin, we should always think about the fat boy (trump) who always took Putin’s side and defended Putin’s denial of interference in our elections. Which there is ample evidence that Putin did interfere.
Can I buy some pot from you?
Tommy you will have to buy weed somewhere else, I am OLD SCHOOL and have never even tried it! Now many of the people who comment here have obviously been doing a lot of LSD, check with them.
I think “old school” (in all caps) might be a euphemism for “as senile as biden”.
As far as Biden being bright, do you even want to go there and have any plausible rationale for being the only guy in the room opposing the operation to take out OBL that night when everyone advising Obama considered it a “no brainer?” How has punishing Putin worked out for America, sanctions on Russian ammo hurting Americana gun owners while greenlighting Russia’s construction of the Nordstream 2 pipeline generating over 50X more revenues for Russia than tax receipts from Tula ever did? Biden is America’s version of Neville and Daladier wrapped into one, a cognitively deficient Ang Moh who doesn’t measure up to others but is keenly aware of having benefitted from white privilege and undeservedly so despite social promotion. The democratic party is the embodiment of favoritism and everything else they despise. Germany knows Russia is no threat to the EU or Europe and that is why they have agreed to allow Russia to provide over 80% of Germany’s natural gas consumption. You do know Merkel is taking most of Germany’s nuclear power offline this Winter? Over 100,000 Germans would be in danger this Winter if Russia were to cut off natural gas to Germany. The Germans are not worried. No, the truth of the matter is America has no bases and no friendly countries anywhere in the Near East to conduct operations against militants from Afghanistan to Turkey. Western Europe isn’t facing any geopolitical crises. They have formed the EU27. They don’t need us and Europe has been last century’s story. There is nothing going on there of relevance or import on the world stage in terms of instability and crises. The center of gravity is Asia, and Biden has no friends there at all. Russia doesn’t need money to protect its sphere of influence or even negate the US military threat. Russia has the best cruise missile in the world and can stop the US Navy from operating in the Koala peninsula and Black Sea with only 20% of its fleet budget using a bastion strategy. You can stick your head in the sand and keep telling yourself Russia just has rusted out junk, but USNI and STRATFOR support my assessment versus yours, Nuland’s, and Jen Psaking.
So you were in the room when President Obama made the decision to take out OBL? There was Joe Biden on one side and everyone else on the other side – or maybe Joe was offering another opinion? Probably you are just repeating what the Russians want you to repeat.
And America is awash in ammunition – if some Russian ammo doesn’t get here we are gonna survive somehow.
And Angela Merkel is doing this and that? The Angela Merkel that USED to be Chancellor of Germany? Are your Moscow handlers a bit behind the times?
President Biden has NO friends in Asia – not Japan? South Korea? Can you admit that you are pushing the story that your boss in Moscow wants to push?
Stop it! Charlie is beyond reason and engaging someone like that only feeds hir delusions of sanity.
“gnome” didn’t have much to say, didn’t mention our “non-friends in Asia” like Japan. Gnome also was surprised that Angela Merkel isn’t Chancellor of Germany, they thought that she had that position for life (like their boss Putin). Probably gnome is still waiting for direction from Moscow about what to repeat today.
One thing you can depend on with pResident Xiden. Whatever he does will be wrong, late and stupid. Nobody and especially not a disarmed Europe will stop Putin from building back the old Soviet Union. Taiwan is toast and its Taiwan’s own fault. Why didn’t they build a Swiss-type militia when they had the chance? The only way to stop Red Chinese aggression is to give Taiwan a half-dozen nukes. Doubt Xiden or whomever pulls his strings is up for that.
The so-called Ukraine government” is composed of corrupt CIA puppets, who seized power in a “color” coup during the temporary power vacuum that was created by the collapse of the USSR. Ever since, our clients have been milking us and diverting all economic and military support to corrupt cronies and swiss accounts. Meanwhile doing the old “shuck and jive” routine to look good for western media and diplomats. They are the best friends money can buy. In contrast, the solidarity of Russia and Ukraine are based on blood and language and religion. A cultural unity and a history of common defense and policy spanning many wars and thousands of years. The Ukrainian population will not fight their Russian brothers who recently rescued them from the Nazi’s at a cost of 20 million dead. Once the Russian tanks move and the end game is clear, our the puppets will surrender or run, just like our stooges ran from Afghanistan. When this happens, the Biden swamp and NATO will “tut-tut”, and make big talk about imposing “harsh and punitive” sanctions. These “face-saving” gestures will make for much high mirth and high fiveing in Moscow. We are a joke.
The base fact is that Kiev is 400 miles from Moscow and >7000 miles from Washington. The territory has little or no strategic value for our forces or homeland. We are grossly overextended and falling behind technologically. The expense of defending the sacred borders and independence of our creation are becomming prohibitive. The current policy is not worth the bones of a single American GI.
Is Micah a Russian troll? Most Ukrainians want Russia to go away, the Russians treated them brutally before and during WW II. No Russians died to free Ukraine, they died to re-impose Russian oppression.
@ Charles David Phillips You are right about their being an enmity, but there are also bonds in that complicated relationship. Ukrainians, it should be remembered, signed on with the SS and Nazi Germany and joined Hitler’s fight against Russia during World War II. So both sides brutalized each other. And to top it off, with no prodding from Hitler, the Ukrainians took it upon themselves to slaughter all the Ukrainian Jews they could find. Still many neo-Nazis in the militias fighting the ethnic Russian enclaves. The USA, by supporting the neo-Nazis in Ukraine is pouring fuels on the fires of enmity and thereby seeking to weaken Russia at its borders. It will not work, because Russia is too strong. The USA is like the late Roman Empire occupying Britain in ancient times, overextended but macho and arrogant; intent on hanging on until it runs out of resources. Eventually, the USA will tire of Ukraine, like it tired of Libya and Afghanistan.
That is either the most uninformed, intellectually lazy report I have ever read or, its simply propaganda. Bearing in mind that just a few hours ago the EU President ordered NATO troops to move forward to the eastern front to confront Russian soldiers who have been stationed there since 1952 makes it sure smack like propaganda!
Robert – wow what a poorly thought out comment. Everyone except Russian trolls knows that the EU and NATO are separate organizations; the EU has three “Presidents” and which one are you talking about? No one in the EU can order NATO troops to do anything, NATO has its own chain of command and the EU is no where in that.