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Joe Biden is no match for Putin’s impending demands

Whatever you read, watch or listen to you’ll find endless debates over the same question: What does Vladimir Putin want?

He’s massing troops on Ukraine’s border, making demands of Europe and America and issuing threats of all-out war. But what does he really want?

It’s the important question, but to answer it we must answer another question. It involves his calculations of what he can achieve and at what price, and goes like this: What does Putin see?

Weakness, that’s what he sees. Wherever he looks in the West, he sees feckless leaders who have a slippery hold on power and can’t even run their own countries, let alone marshal a united front against Mother Russia.

That’s what he saw in 2008 when he carved up parts of Georgia. It’s what he saw in 2014 when he invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

In both cases, the price he paid was minimal. So now he’s back for more.

The list of hobbled “international community” leaders he faces is more fitting for a hospital ward than a council of great powers. Starting with Boris Johnson in London and sweeping across Europe, most are not politically secure enough to lead their nations into any protracted conflict, or even threaten one.

Members of Estonian army during military training together with United Kingdom soldiers at Central Training Area.
​President Vladimir Putin has amassed more than 100,000 troops and heavy weaponry along Ukraine’s border and continues to add to the forces daily.
Getty Images

And with America under the unsteady hand of the second coming of Jimmy Carter, the alliance against Putin stinks from the head.

Biden’s wrong again

Robert Gates had it right in saying Joe Biden was wrong on national security and foreign policy issues for four decades, but neglected to point out another flaw: Biden is never in doubt.

Both deficits are on display in his botched handling of Putin and Ukraine. The invitation to a “minor” invasion was a gift to him and a nightmare for our supposed ally.

And just imagine how Putin views the disastrous way Biden cut and ran from Afghanistan.

Biden is a born-again globalist who boasted that “America is back” on his first visit to Europe after taking office. He interpreted the big smiles, the glad-handing and backslapping from allied leaders as proof they were happy to have him at the West’s helm.

He was right, but for the wrong reasons. European pols hated Donald Trump because he personally embarrassed them but most of all they hated him because he put America first.

Determined to strike a better deal for the common defense, he demanded they pay more for NATO, which they had pledged to do but never did. When they balked, especially Germany, he talked of moving 12,000 American troops out of Germany, suggesting the country would have to defend itself if Russia attacked.

U.S. President Joe Biden is framed by TV equipment as he speaks about his economic plan.
Biden has warned that an attack on Ukraine would spark “severe” economic consequences for Russia if it were to invade.
REUTERS

Trump also slapped sanctions on the Nord Stream 2, a Russian pipeline project that would mean Putin would control about 35 percent of Germany’s natural gas, which undercuts the whole point of NATO. Noting that a flick of the switch in Moscow would send Berlin into a deep freeze, Trump wanted Germany to buy American liquified natural gas instead.

Trump got it right

Biden, with a fetish to undo everything Trump did, rejected those positions. He canceled Trump’s troop withdrawal, even if Germany doesn’t pull its own weight.

And even as Biden killed pipeline projects and good jobs at home, he lifted the sanctions on the Nord Stream pipeline, reportedly as a going-away present to retiring German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It is a measure of the president’s unserious leadership that he now threatens to reimpose those same sanctions if Putin invades Ukraine. Merkel’s successor, Olaf Scholz, sat quietly at Biden’s side as he made that threat.

Because any stoppage of Russian natural gas would have a devastating impact on Europe, Biden and his team devised a backup plan that reveals how he has boxed himself into a corner with his incoherence on energy.

The White House is now beating the bushes around the world to round up enough gas and crude oil promises from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia to help Europe and especially Germany cope if Russia for any reason shuts down the pipeline this winter. Tellingly, American suppliers are apparently not on his list.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a joint press conference.
The US and its allies have pushed back against Putin’s demands that Ukraine and other former Soviet nations be barred from becoming NATO members.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The result is that while the globalists deluded themselves into believing that the message they were sending post-Trump was that America is again leading the world’s most important political and military coalition, they forgot that NATO is an illusion without strong American leadership.

And Biden is not strong by any definition and is certainly not the leader you want in a showdown with Putin.

Putin’s ruthless aims

Germany sees the writing on the wall. The government has gone totally dovish, refusing to allow other countries to ship defense weapons across its air space to Ukraine. For its contribution, Germany said it would give Ukrainians 5,000 military helmets. Helmets!

The Armed Forces of Ukraine launch a command and staff exercise.
Germany offered to supply 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine to help it defend itself against a possible Russian invasion, sparking outrage.
EyePress News/Shutterstock

Putin, it is safe to say, will not be deterred by virtue signaling. He is a ruthless autocrat who kills domestic critics and views military force as a simple means to a strategic end.

That end, besides staying in power, was revealed when he said in 2005 that the breakup of the Soviet Union “was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

He has spent much of the time since putting some of the Soviet pieces back together while settling for control and influence over other pieces. Hence the splintering of Georgia and the annexation of Crimea.

Members of Estonian army during military training together with United Kingdom soldiers.
Germany has refused to allow other countries to ship defense weapons across its air space to Ukraine.
Getty Images

So what does he want now in Ukraine? First and foremost, he wants to keep NATO out, but beyond that, it’s whatever he can get at a reasonable price in blood and treasure.

And if he doesn’t get it all at once, he’ll keep coming back for more until he is stopped. Assuming, of course, there is an alliance capable of and willing to stop him.

Nutso Cuomeback talk

Regrets, he has a few. Actually, only one. Andrew Cuomo only regrets he got caught groping the help.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrives to depart in his helicopter after announcing his resignation.
Cuomo maintained that he didn’t quit out of guilt, but that the allegations were causing a distraction from his duties.
REUTERS

The disgraced former governor claims he’s been “vindicated” because he wasn’t indicted, which reveals his sordid moral values.

He’s also floating trial balloons about a political comeback, with people close to him — a dangerous place to be— telling reporters he’s itching to challenge incumbent Attorney General Letitia James in the Democratic primary.

Naturally, his plan of attack is that James is a political hack, which conveniently leaves out the 11 women whose harassment claims her office confirmed. There’s also the little hurdle that the entire state and Democratic Party, including President Biden, told Cuomo to resign because what he did was wrong, even if not a crime.

Still, he should run. New York needs a good laugh.

Won’t Visit Until Safe

Count reader Mara Jacobowitz as another former city visitor. She writes: “Since I can’t vote in New York, while non-citizens residing are now eligible to vote in local elections, I will vote with my wallet. Until the city is safe, I will not visit. I pray for the new mayor and police commissioner and most of all for NYC’s Finest.”

Read More: Joe Biden is no match for Putin’s impending demands

2022-02-08 20:36:00

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