Bad Vlad and Joe the Schmo - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Bad Vlad and Joe the Schmo

Do you suspect Ukraine presently nurses a case of buyer’s remorse over the millions of dollars it paid Hunter Biden? Maybe spend that money on an M1 Abrams next time.

A grafter refusing refund after services unrendered becomes a grifter.

Biden, Inc. merely feasted on Europe’s breadbasket. Vladimir Putin more violently pillages it into Europe’s basket case.

Putin justified the invasion as a means toward the “demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.” The fact that Ukrainians elected a Jew as their president tends to undermine the latter supposition. That Russia plays the Harlem Globetrotters to Ukraine’s Washington Generals undermines the former.

The Russian invasion coming under Joe Biden’s watch further highlights his weakness — exposed so painfully in Afghanistan — as a leader.

Ukraine counted the death toll after the first day of the full-scale invasion at 137. A U.S. defense department official on Thursday pegged the number of missiles fired into the country at more than 160. The Russians now control an important cargo airport outside of Kyiv, the small but strategic island of Zmiinyi in the Black Sea, and, strangely, the defunct Vladimir Lenin Nuclear Power Plant at Chernobyl. By the time you read this, their conquest bags more and bigger prizes.

The Big Guy surely feels the pain of the Ukrainians. Yes, there are other fish kleptocracies in across the sea. But the reputation of Joe Biden’s protection racket just took a bigger fall than Mankind did when the Undertaker threw him off that cage.

Just a few years ago, Joe Biden, as his son pocketed millions from Burisma, positioned himself as a shot-caller in Ukraine. Now he passively watches in impotence.

“I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars,’ ” Biden boasted to a Council of Foreign Relations audience in 2018 of his threats to Ukraine’s leaders. “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in’ — I think it was about six hours — I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch — he got fired.”

The last of Vice President’s Biden’s many visits to Ukraine came just days before he left office. “Four days before Biden arrived,” Peter Schweizer wrote in Secret Empires, “Burisma made a dramatic announcement: the Ukrainian criminal investigations into the company and its founder had been ended by Ukrainian government prosecutors.”

Tellingly, Russia invaded Ukraine not while Donald Trump led this country. Hillary Clinton called Trump “Putin’s puppet.” This got lost in translation by her intellectually challenged successor as Democratic Party presidential nominee whose attempt at plagiarism morphed the insult into “Putin’s puppy.” The Russian invasion coming under Joe Biden’s watch, aside from making a farce of such rhetoric resting on a “dossier” they surreptitiously concocted against Trump, further highlights his weakness — exposed so painfully in Afghanistan — as a leader. Next to his Barney Fife Jimmy Carter looks like Sergio Oliva.

He talks sanctions, but Russians spend about 0.7 percent of their GDP buying our stuff and receive the rough equivalent of 1.5 percent of their GDP from us buying their stuff. He talks shutting out the Russian government from the credit of the U.S. and its allies. But they do not borrow as recklessly as we do. In 2020, for instance, our deficit spending represented more than a sixth of our economy; their deficit spending — which followed two years of surpluses — amounted to less than 4 percent of GDP. He talks about putting American troops in the Baltics. None of them even border Ukraine. He talks.

Atop strong signals of weakness in Afghanistan, the actions Biden took to pave the way for the invasion include waiving sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline bringing Russian oil to Europe (as he inexplicably blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline in North America around the same time). Another, earlier Peter Schweizer book, 1994’s Victory, offers a template from the Cold War — the Reagan administration’s pressure on oil producers to increase supply as a means of diminishing Kremlin profits — to curbing Putin’s power. But with Joe Biden unwilling to open the oil spigot at home, the prospect of him succeeding in doing this abroad appears bleak. The degree of truth in the late John McCain’s quip describing Russia as “a gas station masquerading as a country” means that the West’s independence from Russian oil serves as the most powerful weapon to wield against Putin short of actual weapons.

Only in an abstract sense does military intervention in Ukraine serve our just interests, so going there with guns and bombs — few people not named Vindman advocate this — comes across as not only Team America: World Police but foolish in that when we fire at Russians, as opposed to Serbians or Iraqis, they fire back with comparable firepower. Sitting on the sidelines should not imply neutrality or approval. The Russians, without provocation, just invaded a sovereign nation. This amounts to a great injustice. Given that country’s historic territorial ambitions, and the misery it caused to neighbors both post- and pre-revolution, a former KGB agent gobbling up territory once ruled by the Soviet Union strikes as an awful, terrible event. Just because this conquest harms the bottom line of Biden, Inc. does not mean the critics of the corrupt president should cheer the broader development.

Daniel J. Flynn
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Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor of The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Harvey Milk, Jim Jones, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018), The War on Football (Regnery, 2013), Blue Collar Intellectuals (ISI Books, 2011), A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, New York Post, City Journal, National Review, and his own website,   
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