Biden v. Putin: The Ukraine cage fight
By Mark Alexander
Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin chatted for two hours on a video confab last Tuesday regarding U.S. concerns over the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine. I have been assured that Biden stayed awake for most it, but those Situation Room chairs are very comfy. It is no small irony that the call took place on the anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor — though I am certain that irony is lost on the Biden puppeteers who listened in: Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
As you recall, three weeks ago when Biden made a similar call to ChiCom tyrant Xi Jinping, Xi unwaveringly asserted his authority and power and signaled his disregard for Biden, as made clear by China's rapid military advances in recent months and its overt aggression toward Taiwan.
I suspect the call with Putin was characterized by equal defiance, given that every Biden word was fully anticipated and factored in by the Russians well in advance.
Understand that China and Russia are tag-teaming, testing Biden's lack of resolve to confront authoritarian tyrants, as aptly demonstrated by his surrender and retreat from Afghanistan. That test case demonstrated that Biden was not willing to take on the Taliban, a far less threatening adversary than Russia or China. If Russia moves on Ukraine, China is likely to quickly move on Taiwan, creating massive national security threats on two fronts. I am not a gambler and thus will not wager on the probability of who will move first, but there is no question Xi and Putin know Biden is a feckless appeaser.
As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) summarizes the "feckless appeaser" threat: "The weakness Biden has demonstrated, whether against Russia, whether against the Taliban, whether against the Chinese communists, that weakness is dangerous."
Why does Putin want Ukraine? One reason is the threat that Ukraine could become a NATO country, providing a military staging ground on Russia's western front.
But more to the point would be that Putin, now 69 with some ailments, would like to see the reunification of Ukraine with Russia as his legacy.
Russian analysts Eugene Rumer and Andrew Weiss note: "For [Putin], who dubbed the breakup of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, the ultimate prize would be bringing Ukraine and its capital Kyiv, which the official historiography portrays as the medieval cradle of Russia's greatness and statehood, back into the fold. ... He has long held that the ties between the two nations cannot be severed and that the Soviet collapse in 1991 was an invalid divorce. Just this past July, he published a nearly 7,000-word article denying Ukraine's right to exist as an independent country, asserting that the Ukrainian people aren't separate and distinct from Russians, and claiming that Ukraine can prosper and realize its full potential only as part of greater Russia."
Ahead of the call, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned Biden "not to make concessions at the expense of our strategic partner Ukraine in response to the Putin regime's provocative military build-up." McCaul added, "This would not only fail to de-escalate tensions, it would also embolden Vladimir Putin and his fellow autocrats by demonstrating the United States will surrender in the face of saber-rattling."
This assessment is shared by a large number of House and Senate members on both sides of the aisle, and it appears Biden got the message.
A policy readout on the Putin call asserts Biden "reiterated his support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy." According to his handlers, Biden also "voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia's escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation."
"If Russia decides to pursue confrontation, there will be serious consequences," warned Blinken. Putin must've been paralyzed with fear...
According to Sullivan: "President Biden was direct and straightforward with President Putin, as he always is. There was a lot of give-and-take. There was no finger-wagging, but the president was crystal clear about where the United States stands on all of these issues. I will look you in the eye and tell you, as President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today, that things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."
Them's fightin' words! (And we all know Bill Clinton was the last of the great Demo finger waggers...)
Sullivan, who may be next in line for a Durham investigation indictment, added that beyond sanctions against Russia, Biden would offer "defensive materiel to the Ukrainians above and beyond that which we are already providing," and "we would fortify our NATO allies on the eastern flank with additional capabilities in response to such an escalation."
As for Biden's prior Russian gas pipeline appeasement, Sullivan insists, "The fact is that gas is not currently flowing through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which means that it's not operating, which means that it's not leverage for Putin."
Biden already undermined that leverage when he green-lighted Putin's vital Nord Stream NG pipeline, lifting sanctions on that cash cow imposed by Donald Trump. For the record, no post-Cold War president has been tougher on Russia than Trump, despite the Demos' Russia collusion hoax, which undermined our national security strength with Russia.
Biden removed obstacles to Putin's 764-mile underwater gas line, enabling Russia to bypass Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus in order to supply natural gas to Western Europe — which ensures our European NATO allies are more dependent on Russia and less willing to confront Putin. He did so while simultaneously killing America's Keystone Pipeline, contributing to rapidly increasing inflation.
Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) accurately concludes: "In the middle of winter [Putin] will be able to starve Ukraine and starve Eastern Europe, and he'll be able to hold Germany's energy supply hostage. Putin knows that he can withstand UN sanctions if he has a fractured Europe, and Nord Stream 2 is exactly what's going to fracture Europe."
So, what's up on the Russian side of its border with Ukraine right now?
Basically an ominous threat of a 2014 repeat when, on the watch of spineless Barack Obama and his then-sidekick Biden, Russia invaded and annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, a strategically important peninsula along the northern coast of the Black Sea.
Currently, Moscow has amassed more than 90,000 troops on the Ukrainian border in preparation for invasion and is expected to build that force to the estimated 175,000 level required to declare that it's game on. For perspective, Putin took Crimea with about 25,000 troops.
In two months, the Russia/Ukraine border ground will be hard frozen — thus far easier for crossing with heavy armor, and that is the greatest threat window.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin observed: "This looks very familiar. It looks like a replay of 2014, because we've seen this before — we saw what the outcome was — we remain concerned."
Austin is never short when it comes to his keen sense of the obvious — of course it is a replay of 2014.
Since Obama and Biden enabled the last invasion, the U.S. has sent Ukraine almost $2.5 billion in military aid, and it is estimated that more than 10,000 Ukrainians have died in border skirmishes since 2014 — mostly in strikes by Russian regulars who wear no uniform insignia, the "little green men."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insists that Ukraine's army is a "highly capable and highly organized force that is confident in its potential and is able to derail any expansionist plans by the enemy." He added, "Ukrainian servicemen are continuing to perform their most important mission: to protect the freedom and sovereignty of the state from the Russian aggressor."
As George W. Bush's former ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, notes, "The Ukrainian military is much stronger than it was [when Russia seized Crimea] seven and a half years ago." Yet he adds, "They're no match for the Russian military."
Additionally, while Ukrainian forces are far better trained and equipped than the Afghan forces who quickly folded as soon as the Taliban arrived in Kabul, Ukrainian forces are confronted with the same concerns about Biden's lack of resolve.
According to Biden's CIA Director William Burns: "I would never underestimate President Putin's risk appetite on Ukraine. We don't know that Putin has made up his mind to use force. But what we do know is that he's putting the Russian military [and] Russian security services in a place where they could act in a very sweeping way." Burns added, "He may see this winter, tactically, as kind of offering a favorable landscape," and he "could act in a very sweeping way."
Actually, Biden and his handlers are the "favorable landscape" that will enable Putin and Xi to "act in a very sweeping way." Biden's public approval is underwater on just about every issue, including, most notably, confidence in his "leadership." Putin and Xi have added that domestic factor to their calculations.
And remember: Burns and Austin are the same Biden administration geniuses who were utterly unprepared for China's hypersonic missile test.
With Trump out of the way, and certain that Biden's socialist regime will bow to the ChiCom global agenda of military and economic dominance, in July and again in August, Xi "tested" hypersonic missiles.
That prompted Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, who has aptly demonstrated his incompetence by leading Biden's Afghanistan surrender, to conclude: "What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system. And it is very concerning." JCS Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten remarked that it "looks like a first-use weapon." Hyten added: "It went around the world, dropped off a hypersonic glide vehicle that glided all the way back to China, that impacted a target in China." It was literally a shot "around the world."
And just before she convened that group two weeks ago, Putin "tested" his sea-based hypersonic missile system.
Both of these missile tests were shots fired across Biden's bow, in China's case a warning not to interfere if it annexes Taiwan, and in Russia's case a warning not to interfere if it annexes Ukraine. There are questions about U.S. capabilities to defend against such weapons, but I doubt those questions take into account classified capabilities.
So what else can Biden do now? No doubt one of his brilliant national security strategists is considering bribing Putin to stand down, as Obama and Biden did with Iran in 2016. Recall that they loaded up a 747 freight liner with $400 million in palleted cash as part of their $1.7 billion nuclear appeasement (read: "empowerment") deal.
And how did that bribe work out? Rhetorical question.
For the moment, Israel is keeping Iran in check with direct hits on Iranian turf against key Islamist leaders and facilities. While Israel received the full support of the Trump administration, its actions to contain the Iranian nuclear threat are tolerated by Biden.
Putin knows that the most significant deterrent Biden has in his inventory would be to embed a contingent of U.S. forces with Ukrainian forces. Thus, any military incursion by Russia would constitute an attack against the United States. Biden is not about to go there, which is indicative of our assessment of Putin's resolve.
So where do things stand? Apparently, the Cold War was over, until it wasn't...
Eight years of Obama/Biden foreign policy failures are now being repeated by the Biden/Harris regime. Perilously, Joe Biden and his domestic enemies of Liberty have eviscerated most of Trump's rock-solid foreign policy with China and Russia, and we are likely to pay a very heavy price for that discard, maybe when the winter ground hardens on the Ukraine border with Russia.
Typical of the Democrats' illogic right now is this observation from Demo strategist Leslie Marshall, who declared this week that "regardless of who is president if [Russia] fears Joe Biden or not, they better fear the United States military." Well, yes, and NATO will fortify the large number of our aircraft ready to go and put our Black Sea fleet assets on alert. But let me take her assertion apart for you. "Regardless of who is president" is a tacit acknowledgement that our most significant enemies know Biden and his handlers are feckless idiots. And for the record, none of our military assets will be put into motion in Europe or the Pacific unless Biden authorizes that action.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is contemplating options for an evacuation of U.S. citizens in Ukraine if hostilities commence. Sound familiar?
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.