Watching the Biden Administration do foreign policy, particularly in the middle of a crisis, is like watching a slow train wreck. You know they’re going to hit that car that’s lying up ahead in the tracks, but they just keep speeding headlong into it.
Unfortunately, we saw what a horrible debacle that turned into in Afghanistan — and it doesn’t seem like they learned anything from that with the way they are responding to the Russian threat on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been begging for the West, and specifically the United States, to put in pre-emptive sanctions to back Russia off. While Joe Biden has claimed that an invasion is imminent, he has refused to do that, which makes no sense — unless what he wants is war.
Blinken reiterated that approach on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, saying they wouldn’t impose sanctions until “the tanks are actually moving, the planes are actually flying, the bombs are actually dropping.”
“We don’t need your sanctions after the bombardment will happen, and after our country will be fired at or after we will have no borders or after we will have no economy or parts of our country will be occupied,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had said. “Why would we need those sanctions then?”
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As we also noted earlier, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin indicated that the sanctions being contemplated might be harder on the Russian people than on Putin himself.
Blinken tried to justify the Biden approach.
“Biden has said while we believe President Putin has made the decision, until the die is cast, until that die actually settles, and until the tanks are actually moving, the planes are actually flying, the bombs are actually dropping, we’re going to do everything we can with diplomacy and with deterrence and persuasion to get President Putin to reverse the decision that we believe he’s made,” he said.
“The purpose of the sanctions in the first instance it to try to deter Russia from going to war,” he continued. “As soon as you trigger them, that deterrent is gone. Until the last minute, as long as we can try to bring a deterrent effect to this, we’re going to try to do that. As to laying out in detail what the sanctions will be, two things – first, Russia generally has a pretty good idea what we’re going to do, but we don’t want to lay out the specifics in advance, because that would allow Russia to try to plan against them.”
But, that makes no sense. You wouldn’t do anything to put them off, but then you’ll drop the sanctions on them after they are already invading and committed to it? Can we say that the folks in the Biden Administration are not terribly bright here? This doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand, and it’s no wonder that Zelensky is infuriated by all this weakness. Indeed, they already relaxed sanctions, such as on Nord Stream 2, in 2021.
Zelensky notes – quite accurately – that the United States made certain commitments to Ukraine for giving up their nuclear weapons years ago as part of the Budapest Memorandum. Under that agreement, the U.S. said that they would help back Ukraine. Because of that commitment from us, Ukraine gave up their weapons which could have helped them now.
Guess who was a big part of that denuding of Ukraine’s defense? Barack Obama, when he was a junior senator from Illinois. We paid a lot of money to help them get rid of conventional weapons that they could have used when Russia invade Crimea in 2014. Obama then was, of course, basically missing in action, leaving Ukraine twisting in the wind, despite his part in helping leave them defenseless.
Zelensky said he wants new security guarantees from Budapest memorandum signatories. He said that if Ukraine didn’t receive renewed, actual security guarantees from the signatories – the U.S., the U.K., and Russia – all provisions of the 1994 agreement will be void.
Blinken also appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, where he was asked a good question about why is Putin making moves now, when he didn’t under President Donald Trump?
Because the whole thing about Trump being a Putin stooge was just so much nonsense. Biden, and Obama before him, are the ones who have bent over for Putin at every turn, and he knows that he can just walk all over them and they wouldn’t respond. Biden keeps showing that again and again. But, folks on the left don’t want to deal with that reality. When you show weakness as Biden constantly does, people will have you for lunch.