The choice Biden—and the world—faces in Ukraine
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President Joe Biden loves to say that “America is back,” bragging that with him in charge we can resume our rightful place as leader of the free world.
But he needs to start acting like it instead of just talking about it. Talk about the brave Ukrainian people. Give them the weapons they need to defend themselves and do it quickly.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden announces the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day for the next six months from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as part of administration efforts to lower gasoline prices, during remarks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File photo
Don’t just rant about how evil Russian President Vladimir Putin is, and mutter about regime change. You can take steps to reduce Putin’s energy revenue. Russia receives more than a billion dollars per day from oil and natural gas exports. European nations are projected to pay Russia nearly half a trillion dollars in 2022 to buy Russian energy. They are funding Putin’s war machine. Putin’s revenues could plummet if Biden stopped his war on fossil fuels. If reports that Russia uses chemical weapons are confirmed, it could be a game changer. This means that Putin will not stop fighting despite international pressure. He will also not hesitate to use weapons-of-mass destruction. He is not troubled by war crimes against civilians. There are two ways to stop Putin. One, by defeating him militarily on the battlefield and two, by reducing his income so that he can no longer afford to fight.
If we fail to supply weapons and refuse to cut off Putin’s incomes, Ukraine’s fate will be sealed. Russia will die.
But this won’t be the end. The Ukraine war has far-reaching consequences that go beyond Ukraine’s borders. A Russian victory could be a devastating blow to democracy and the liberal order of the world. We would be back in a world where might wins over all and bullies win.
The West is in a difficult situation. Everyone wants Ukraine to win, but not at any significant cost or risk to them. No NATO member, not even the U.S., wants its own forces to join the fight and risk triggering another world war. President Biden is concerned that Ukraine’s supply of weapons could lead to a Russian attack against NATO or an escalation to weapons o mass destruction.
If Russia succeeds in its nuclear blackmail, all other nuclear powers will soon realize that they can do whatever they want. A nuclear weapons state is a dangerous target.
At a similar time, European countries that rely on Russian energy for everything, from heating oil to electricity generation, balk at the imposition of oil and natural gas restrictions. Although sanctions may reduce Russian revenues, European leaders worry that a sudden cutoff in Russian energy could cause economic devastation. So the war continues.
In this latest phase, the Russian forces have pulled out of Kyiv and western Ukraine. They left behind destruction and death. They are now focusing on the eastern and southern Ukraine. Putin has appointed a new general to lead the war. This man is known for his warfighting skills, which are not in conquering other countries but in destroying civilisations. Putin will use his army to destroy the Ukrainian army if it fails to defeat it, just like he did with Syria fifteen years ago and Chechnya fifteen years ago.
Putin has set a deadline for his war. People across Russia will be celebrating their victory over the Nazis in World War II on May 9. Putin has painted himself into a corner by describing the whole Ukraine operation as a noble effort in order to rid Ukraine’s Nazi leaders. He must show progress in defeating Ukraine’s “Nazis” on the anniversary of Germany’s defeat. (It is not important to mention that President Zelenskyy, a Jewish grandson of Holocaust survivors, is a member of the “Nazis” in Ukraine.
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP).
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Some in the Biden administration, perhaps President Biden himself, hold out hope that if things get bad enough in Russia, with sanctions causing increased economic hardship added to mounting war casualties, Putin will be pushed out. It is possible, but it is unlikely that it will happen in time to save Ukraine. Putin’s popularity has increased since the invasion.
In the coming days and weeks President Biden and other western leaders must make a choice. Will they give Ukraine the weapons that it needs to defend its self? Even though Ukraine might not win, they would still have a fighting chance. Is Biden prepared to put an end to his holy war on fossil fuels, and allow American energy companies to increase production and exports. We could help Europe to get off Russian energy while also denying Russia huge profits.
If President Biden does neither, the harsh reality is Putin is likely to destroy Ukraine. In a few years, the Russian bear will be hungry again and will return for more.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.