Guest Post by Becky Behrends, M.D. and Vice President of Research for Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity (MC4EI.com)
Last week, Russia unleashed a massive attack of 81 missiles, including hypersonic missiles, which destroyed the city of Marinka in Donetsk, which had been home to 10,000 people. The city is in ruins. All the buildings and trees have been destroyed. It is uninhabitable. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been shelled as well, creating the risk of a Chornobyl-type disaster. Bakhmut is toast after Russian air attacks demolished it. Fortunately, most of the civilians in the above-mentioned cities were evacuated before the infrastructure devastation.
President Biden remains clueless about Ukraine and the long-term consequences of his policies.
Let’s give some historical context to this.
Vladimir Putin has long made his intentions known, just as Hitler did in 1925 with his publication of Mein Kampf. In 2005, Putin stated that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” He has been intent on restoring Russian hegemony in the Eastern European nations ever since.
Enter the hot mic episode in S. Korea in which President Obama whispered to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, “This is my last election, and after my election, I’ll have more flexibility.” What resulted was more like “flaccidity.” The Russian reset was a mistake with no serious response from NATO or the US when Putin made territorial grabs in South Ossetia, Ukraine, in 2008 or seizing of Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014. Legacy media, of course, laughs at the notion of a connection between Obama’s hot mic debacle and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Obama scrapped Bush’s missile defense plan for Poland and the Czech Republic. Result? Green light to Putin and his designs on Ukraine. All part of the Obama trend of courting his adversaries while smacking down his allies.
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Now fast forward to Biden. In his characteristic blustery fashion, Biden talks loud and carries a twig- to put a twist on the proverbial expression.
He fecklessly withdrew the US military from Afghanistan and left billions in high-tech military equipment. Putin took note and, within a year, asserted his aggressive intentions into Ukraine again.
Two Democrat Presidents were asleep at the wheel. Note that no invasions of Ukraine happened on Trump’s watch.
The US has spent over $100 billion in Ukraine. And with no apparent end in sight. Whatever Ukrainian President Zelensky wants, he gets. The US sent Humvees. “Not enough; we need Abram tanks.” Then, “we need Patriot missiles. Then, “why haven’t you given us F-16 jets?” Meanwhile, the US is $33 trillion in debt. At the same time, the US is dangerously depleting its military arsenals. You cannot just ramp up production quickly to replenish stockpiles of sophisticated weaponry such as missiles and drones. Biden and crew think that pouring limitless arms into Ukraine will weaken Russia. But Russia has far many more ground troops, a much greater GDP, 7000 nuclear weapons, and is in a much better situation to win the war by slowly destroying Ukraine in a long siege. Putin and other dictators who are students of history understand that the US does not have the stomach to wage long-term wars, whether it’s Vietnam, Iraq, or the sudden dangerous US departure from Afghanistan. All they have to do is wear us down.
Zelensky says he wants ‘every last Russian out of Ukraine.’ But that would require using massive amounts of offensive weapons to take out Russian supply lines within the borders of Russia and taking out their naval fleet of ships in the Black Sea. Russia would not tolerate an invasion of its “motherland.” Biden administration has laughed off Putin’s warning about using tactical nuclear weapons if needed as just a lot of posturing and saber rattling. Really? Do we really want to push Putin to the wall to see if he will or will not make good on that threat?
Meanwhile, China is standing by and watching with great interest. When the US gets depleted enough militarily, China will likely make its move on Taiwan. And the US will not be in much of a position to counter it.
A recent bombshell interview with the former Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, revealed an unusual amount of detail from his efforts to mediate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine early in the war last year. The peace talks were viewed as a failure. But the truth is that the US and NATO governments blocked it. This has been largely unreported by the legacy western media. The peace agreement between Putin and Zelensky would have had Russia withdrawing to its pre-war line, retaining control of Crimea and parts of the Donbas. In return, Ukraine would not seek NATO membership. So, what happened?
Almost without warning, the then UK prime minister Boris Johnson appeared in Kiev and told Zelensky that the West would not recognize any peace deal he signed with Putin because the faltering, troubled performance of the Russians had shown them that Putin was weaker than they had thought. They felt that Zelensky should press through and end the war not through negotiation but through an actual military victory. Of course, this meant the US and NATO would supply the military assistance needed. But, of course, this has mostly fallen on the backs of the Americans. Bennett said there were two camps in regard to how they viewed the Ukraine war. There were those who wanted to fight Putin so as not to “reward” an aggressor state and those who viewed a prolonged war as no good for anyone’s interest. The UK’s prime minister adopted the aggressive line. The French and German leaders were “more pragmatic” and feared there would be a long, drawn-out conflict.
And what about Biden? He was “both.” What does that mean?? What kind of “leadership” is that coming from an American President?!!
University of Ottawa political scientist Ivan Katchanovski stated:
“The omission of the bombshell story that the British prime minister basically broke the real possibility of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict helped to prolong this war with devastating consequences for Ukraine.”
What is the fallout? Russian bombing has destroyed at least half of the energy infrastructure in Ukraine. Thousands of homes and buildings have been destroyed. Their economy is in tatters. They have suffered over 100,000 deaths or casualties of soldiers and over 100,000 deaths of civilians. Eight million refugees have left Ukraine (population of 40 million).
More than 200,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded. Russia has a long history of sacrificing soldiers. General Eisenhower asked Russian General Zhukov, during WW 2, “How do you go through the German mine fields because they are a huge problem for us? Zhukov replied, “We just send a bunch of troops through, and after they get blown up, then other troops follow where the bodies are.” In other words, humans are used as minesweepers. After all, “mothers will produce more sons.” They don’t value life the way we do in the West.
Russia is noted for launching “spring offensives” after the mud dries and troops can maneuver better on the ground. Putin claims that he has 300,000 new troops, better trained and ready to go into battle. What Russia has lacked in quality of their soldiers is made up by quantity.
There is no doubt that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine should be condemned and denounced as it has been.
But the question is, what is the endpoint or strategy of the US? And should the price to be paid include a massive loss of life and total destruction of Ukraine? Or should the Biden administration be engaged in more timely and smart negotiations? When Biden took over the US Presidency, many Democrats gloated, “now the adults are back in charge!”
As was said recently by the Wall Street Journals Gerard Baker:
“The president needs to explain urgently to his fellow citizens how exactly the arms and money spigot for Ukraine isn’t draining the country’s military capabilities and its reserves of strategic capacity for the long twilight struggle with China.”