By John J. Duncan Jr.
Unfortunately for the American people, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have been very good for each other.
When President Biden came into the White House, one of his first actions was to shut down a major oil pipeline. That and other regulatory actions he and his administration have taken have driven up the prices of oil and gas. This has made Putin, already one of the richest men in the world, even richer.
Putin, in turn, has given President Biden the opportunity to appear strong and decisive and has, at least temporarily, gotten problems like inflation, crime, and our southern border off the front pages.
Our leaders would never admit it, but there is nothing like a war to make people in Washington feel powerful and important.
Especially dangerous at a time like this are chickenhawks who have never served in the military. They all want to become modern-day Winston Churchills and be regarded as world statesmen and show how tough and strong they are.
The most anti-war president we have had in the last 150 or so years was Dwight Eisenhower, a man who spent most of his career in the military. Everyone knows about his warning at the end of his presidency about the military-industrial complex. But probably the most anti-war speech ever given by an American president was when Eisenhower spoke to the American Association of Newspaper Editors in Washington on April 18, 1953.
This was really Eisenhower’s first major speech as President. He said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
He talked of all the good things that could be done with the money spent on bombers, fighter planes, and destroyers and added that “the world in arms….is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
He also once said to his Chief of Staff, “God help the nation when it has a president who doesn’t know as much about the military as I do.”
Most Americans feel great sympathy for the people of Ukraine. We have sent them many billions over the last few years. The total GDP of Ukraine is only $155 billion. I went there a few years ago, and the country even then was going through a depression much worse than our Great Depression. Conditions there are not much better now.
Russia has a total GDP about seven percent of ours. It cannot afford to do much for or get much from Ukraine.
William Taylor, a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine said on CNN on Feb. 24th that Russia went into Afghanistan strong, stayed several years, and came out weak, leading to the breakup of the Soviet Union. He predicted that much the same thing could happen now with Russia’s takeover of Ukraine. It could turn out to be like the dog catching the bus. What now? Strong now, weak later.
Unfortunately, with a debt of over $30 trillion, the U.S. cannot afford to be the policemen of the world.
In a well-respected book called “The Inevitability of Tragedy,” Barry Gewen wrote, “In foreign policy, choices usually come down to the bad and the less bad.”
China is a much greater threat to the U.S. than Russia is. And the leaders of China have been wise enough to not get into any military war for almost 70 years. China is slowly taking over the U.S. through finance, technology, medicine, and buying up much of our land.
The Biden Administration is showing great concern for the sovereignty of Ukraine and the freedom of its people. They need to show more concern about the sovereignty of the U.S. and the freedom of our people.