Say It Ain’t So, Joe! Part II

I have one theory why Biden may have been much more concerned with the Ukraine’s borders and not our southern border. I call it the “wag the dog” theory, and the diversion or “dog” is obviously the Ukraine as the White House apprehensively approaches this November’s mid-term Congressional elections with the prospect of certain defeat. Biden’s domestic policy failures in regard to inflation, illegal immigration, high gasoline prices, Covid-19 and especially Afghanistan have been extremely abysmal. Inflation is now at an annual rate of 7.5%, the highest since 1982, and a minimum of 1,028,000 illegal aliens have crossed our southern border, and have been residing in the U.S. since the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2021. Now Biden can possibly scapegoat Putin for our continued economic woes, and also make himself appear much more presidential as commander-in-chief in an attempt to improve his poll numbers.

Unfortunately, Biden’s disastrous Afghan debacle last August has made both Russia and Communist China increasingly view the U.S and especially Biden as a paper tiger, who clearly shows all the overt symptoms of cerebral decline or early dementia, and a feckless vice president, who is an inexperienced foreign policy lightweight. Both Russia and China could use much stronger nondiplomatic language other than “paper tiger,” and that word is simply “weak” or perhaps a vulgar expletive beginning with the letter p. Both Russia and China along with North Korea and Iran also realize that it is only a matter of time before someone in Biden’s Cabinet invokes the 25th Amendment, and Russia especially realized that February 24 was the perfect time to reinvade the Ukraine.

President Biden needs to recognize in view of our unprecedented $30.3 trillion national debt that the Ukraine is outside of our national security interest. Russia views the Ukraine as almost as the U.S. views Alaska or Texas. The notion of either one of these two states existing independently from the U.S. is simply nonnegotiable. As Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger  and others have all suggested, the only way to have truly de-escalated the present war between Russia and the Ukraine was to have negotiated with Putin, exclude the Ukraine (and most likely Georgia) from any future NATO expansion, and have the Ukraine adopt a policy of neutrality similar to Sweden, Austria or Finland.

Putin has been extremely bitter, and feels that NATO has “screwed us over” because he feels that NATO (i.e. the U.S.) lied to Russia in 1997 about NATO’s eastward expansion. Plus, last July Putin explicitly wrote, “Russians and Ukrainians [are] one people – a single whole,” and the “true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only [my emphasis] in partnership with Russia.” On February 21 Putin spoke on Russian national television, and belligerently stated that the Ukraine potentially (as a NATO country) held a “knife to the throat” of Russia, and mendaciously stated three days later that the Ukraine needed to “denazify” despite President Volodymyr Zelensky being Jewish!

I am no fan of the kleptomaniacal, autocratic, and multibillionaire dictator Putin, but he is making a valid point. Despite a breakdown in diplomatic negotiations, it strongly appears that last week’s timing of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine depended much more upon the frozen Ukrainian steppe in order to avoid the notorious rasputitsa or heavy spring (or fall) mud, which could have seriously hindered the traction of Russia’s tanks and armored personnel carriers like it did to Nazi Germany during Operation Barbarossa from 1941-44. Then there is also the undeniable fact that the six former Warsaw Pact countries of East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia (Czechia and Slovakia), Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria are now all NATO members; and that is excluding the eight additional former Eastern Bloc countries or newly created nations of Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia, who have all joined NATO since 1999. Do the arithmetic. Fourteen countries have joined NATO since 1999 almost doubling the size of the military alliance since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. It is a no brainer. Russia feels a “little” hemmed in by a total of thirty NATO countries on and just beyond its western border, and lied to by the West about NATO’s eastward expansion.

Unfortunately, now that Russia has declared war on the Ukraine, I predict that the only real winners besides Russia will ultimately be Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and other international defense contractors, who all manufacture assault rifles, bullets, rocket-propelled grenades, Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger surface-to-air missiles because of an expected and expensive protracted urban and rural insurgency throughout the Ukraine. That is simply because the Ukraine’s military is grossly inadequate. It is a shame that their soldiers and civilians will ultimately be the real losers with their country possibly suffering a massive humanitarian disaster not seen since Stalin’s Holodomor of 1932-33 or Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Ukraine from June 29, 1941 until October 28, 1944.

Russia’s invasion could possibly result in tens of thousands of dead and potentially a million or more hungry and destitute refugees being resettled throughout Europe, the U.S. and other countries. Almost as dire is that the Ukraine, which “sends more than 40 percent of its wheat and corn exports to the Middle East or Africa,” temporarily might also stop being the breadbasket of Europe and elsewhere. That alone could create a huge regional hunger problem requiring the U.S. and other countries to export more wheat, corn and soybeans etc. to both the Middle East and Africa, and thereby significantly raising the price of U.S. grain.

If American consumers think that they will be immune to this war in eastern Europe, they are sadly mistaken because this war could cause our economy much economic disruption causing us to be subject to possible debilitating cyberattacks, higher prices for food, additional supply chain problems, and especially much higher prices for gasoline, which would be above the already predicted $120 per barrel by June 2022. Other problems could also include higher prices for electricity, air conditioning and heating because the U.S. have might have to export much more liquified natural gas and oil to Europe in order to compensate for the expected slowdown or shutdown of natural gas and oil exported from Russia to Europe. Now may truly be the time to reopen the Keystone XL pipeline since Europe presently obtains “nearly 40 percent of its natural gas and 25 percent of its oil from Russia.”

May God help Taiwan because Xi Jinping of Communist China will be closely watching the outcome of this avoidable and tragic Russo-Ukrainian war, and especially the response of the U.S. along with our NATO, Asian and other allies. Maybe it is high time for Biden to send an aircraft carrier and two destroyers into the Taiwan Straits as a symbolic gesture of support for Taiwan and show of American resolve? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

– Robert L. Maronic / Roanoke

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