The mainstream media was wall-to-wall with praise last week for Joe Biden's visit to Ukraine in observance of the first anniversary of the Russian-Ukraine conflict. Except it wasn’t the first anniversary. Let me say that again. It wasn’t the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Fact is, the Russo-Ukrainian War began nine years ago on February 20th, 2014.
That Russian invasion was the latest of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, which began centuries ago. Ukrainians spent much of the 20th century, mounting insurgencies against the Soviet Union invaders, beginning with their embrace of the advancing German armies, they saw as liberators during WW2, until the collapse of the USSR's communist reign of tyranny and terror in 1991. Ukraine then regained its tentative sovereignty.
But the rise of Putin to the office of Russia's prime minster in 2008, and president in 2012, put the reacquisition of Ukraine squarely in his sights. The reasons for this are complex.
For one, religious beliefs shape the world around us, motivating good deeds but also fueling conflict. Putin wanted to reignite Russia’s Christian Eastern Orthodoxy and Kiev plays an important role as the epic center of Russian Orthodox spirituality, with origins dated to 988 A.D., when Christianity was adopted as the religion of the Kievan Rus (Rus Vikings). After Kiev was besieged by the Mongols in the 13th century, the church moved to Moscow.
Secondly, Crimea has strategic value for Russia. It’s control of Crimea gives Moscow continuing access to the naval base at Sevastopol, home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol's warm water port, natural harbor and extensive infrastructure make it among the best naval bases in the Black Sea. The port of Sevastopol has always given the Russian navy access to anywhere in the world, specially in winter, when all other ports are frozen.
And of course, there is the U.S. and it’s involvement in Ukraine, which has a 1,426 mile border with Russia. Would you like to see Russia or China in a cozy relationship with Mexico? I didn’t think so. Fact, Obama’s administration shamelessly interfered in Ukraine’s internal political affairs.
Putin knew that then-President, Barack Obama, and his then-VP,Joe Biden, would most likely present no physical resistance, and forced the "annexation" of the very strategically important Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea using ethnic Russian separatist forces to seize the ethnic Russian city of Luhansk and the administrative region of Donetsk, in Ukraine's Donbas region.
The 2014 invasion of Crimea by Putin, was in part, retaliation for the fabricated “Maidan Revolution of Dignity,” which culminated in the exile of the legitimate, pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, with the help of Obama’s CIA. He was replaced by the West friendly President, Petro Poroshenko, who served until Zelensky took office in 2019. It was a year later after Poroshenko took office that Joe Biden, threatened to cut $1 billions dollars in aid, if Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor looking into Burisma and Hunter Biden, wasn’t fired. He was as Biden later boasted.
Putin's 2022 expansion in Ukraine, what Biden referred to as a "minor incursion," occurred after Biden had assured voters 18 months earlier: "Vladimir Putin doesn't want me to be president. ... If you're wondering why? It's because I'm the only person in this field who's ever gone toe-to-toe with him." He added that if Trump was reelected, "Imagine what he can do… Imagine what can happen to Ukraine." How did that turn out? It’s a rhetorical question.
When Trump was in office, Putin did nothing. Trump was unpredictable. But power does not tolerate a vacuum, nor an inept and vacuous appeaser. Consequently, weakness invites aggression. As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) summarized the "feckless appeaser": "The weakness Biden has demonstrated, whether against Russia, whether against the Taliban, whether against the Chinese communists, that weakness is dangerous."
Last February, Putin did exactly what he told Biden and the rest of the world he was going to do: expand his territorial conquest of Ukraine in what was the largest Russian invasion since its attack on Poland in 1939. Anyone who believes Putin would invade Ukraine if Trump was still president, is pathologically delusional. Putin's "minor incursion" is the direct consequence of an incompetent commander-in-chief in the White House, a career conman politician, who has spent fifty years in D.C. enriching himself and his family of grifters, long before being elected to the most powerful office in the world, by the Democrat’s reliable, federation of voting fools.
Today, 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 either Russia's Putin or China's Xi. Clearly, Biden's demonstrable ineptitude in Afghanistan emboldened Putin on Ukraine and it’s only a matter of time before Xi moves on Taiwan.
What Biden's ineptness created was a much stronger alliance between Russia and China — what any seasoned national security analyst recognizes as the most dangerous threat to the U.S. since the Soviet Union's collapse. That would be just one of many reasons Biden has been unable to keep his public approval rating above 42% over the last 18 months.
Last week, on his visit with Zelensky, Biden declared: "I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about U.S. support for Ukraine in the war. [Putin is] counting on us not sticking together. He thought he could outlast us. I don't think he's thinking that right now. God knows what he's thinking, but I don't think he's thinking that. But he's just been plain wrong."
As National Review's senior political analyst Jim Geraghty notes, "Biden wants to be perceived as Winston Churchill, but it is very hard to cultivate a Churchillian image when you're habitually indecisive.”
Indeed, Biden was very late to the front with sufficient military assistance for what is a very strategically important proxy war with Russia. Biden provided just enough funding so Ukraine would "not lose" instead of ensuring it could win. As one colleague on the ground put it, Biden has been "stringing it out," but the resulting "gradual escalation has become economically and morally challenging."
Only in recent months, has Ukraine allegedly scored repeated "victories" against Russian invaders, with estimates now being that nearly 1,000 Russian regulars are being killed daily. Though Ukraine is suffering several hundred casualties daily, at present, Russia can sustain the losses.
The United Nations is expected to vote on a resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities and a peace agreement that ensures Ukraine's "sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity." A majority of the 193 member countries will vote for that resolution, though it will be of no consequence given that Putin will not stop.
House Foreign Affairs Committee is asking Biden to increase our nation's military and financial commitment to ensure Ukraine's victory. The four congressional aid packages since the conflict began now total about $113 billion, about $50 billion in direct military assistance and the balance in humanitarian and government support.
There are however, very legitimate questions about whether that non-military funding is going where it is intended, or landing in the pockets of corrupt officials. After all, Ukraine is the poorest and most corrupt country in Europe. There is no way around that fact. An inconvenient fact when Ukrainian government officials are buying up multi-million dollar properties abroad, particularly, Switzerland.
Analyst Doug Andrews, has questioned the dollars being allocated to Ukraine, noting what those "U.S. taxpayer funds could've done elsewhere — like, for example, securing our southern border, hardening our infrastructure against an electromagnetic pulse attack, or, if this administration is so hungry for conflict, why not fight a war against an enemy that's responsible for the deaths of 300 Americans every single day: the Mexican drug cartels and the Chinese manufacturers of fentanyl?"
Good question, but I would challenge the notion that those dollars should have come from Ukraine aid rather than from hundreds of billions of Biden's wasted boondoggle bucks in his latest bloated and inflationary budget — now estimated to add $6 trillion to the current $31.6 trillion national debt.
Moreover, Gov. Ron Desantis, a leading voice of the Republican Party, gives voice to an objection we all have: "[Biden's] very concerned about those borders halfway around the world. He's not done anything to secure our own border here at home." He is certainly right about the direct threat posed by Biden's open border policy. There are certainly legitimate questions about our assumptions and objectives in Ukraine.
Obama's former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who was previously CIA director, noted at the time of the 2014 invasion that Biden has been "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." He doubled down on that assessment after Biden's deadly and disastrous surrender and retreat from Afghanistan in 2021, noting also Biden's opposition to "every one of Ronald Reagan's military programs to contest the Soviet Union."
For perspective, we must uniformly understand, that this is a proxy war with Russia. We must also agree on that it is one, we would not be in, if not for Biden's weakness and ineptitude.
Our military involvement in Ukraine is a complicated one. It has both good and bad. Pros and Cons. Regardless of your particular political ideology, you must accept this. We must also strive to not be disingenuous. We have caused a lot of the trouble Ukraine is facing today with it’s neighbor.
As for the good, we are doing the morally just thing to help a country defend itself against an invading aggressor. But should have a clear strategic picture of what an eventual win would look like. We are materially and financially supporting a people who genuinely seek their liberty. Whether the Ukrainians can ensured this by good governance, given their history of shocking corruption, remains to be seen.
We are also aware of NATO’s bility to make a mess of things. It is not clear that this crowd would fare well in a hot war with Russia or China, even if there wasn't anything else going on in the world. So, is the Russo-Ukrainian war an endless proxy war for the U.S.? Hopefully not.
That being said, we believe the most dangerous threat to U.S. national security has been and remains the boundless incompetence of Joe Biden— and his equally inept foreign policy advisors. And I stand by the assertion that everyone who voted for Biden, voted for the terror that now besieges Ukrainian men, women, and children, and voted for the bloodshed that is still to come.
Not to mention, our own domestic economic disaster. Oh, and don’t forget Red China. It is the only country in the world today, enriching its treasury, advancing it’s technologies and preparing its military for a conflict with the United States.
Inspired by the writing of Mark Alexander