Joe Biden tried to make the best of the latest awful economic report the other day. Reading what he’d been told, the president claimed wishfully, “Our jobs recovery is going very strong.”
Remember now, this is the guy who 11 years ago promised hundreds of thousands of “shovel-ready jobs” that didn’t actually show up until someone else was president.
The newest labor statistics actually showed that businesses created only 210,000 new jobs last month, about one-third the number expected.
Making his latest false claim, the 79-year-old Biden looked awful and sounded worse. He reported his kissy grandson gave him a cold. So, sounds scientifically like neither was wearing a mandated mask.
But Americans weren’t the only ones noting Joe Biden’s latest disturbing sign of weakness. The same day, U.S. intelligence leaked to the Washington Post ominous news of Russian troops –175,000 or more – massing on the border of independent Ukraine, seemingly for another annexation.
You may recall also aerial military provocations by China earlier this fall over democratic Taiwan, which Beijing maintains is inevitably destined for reunification with the communist mainland.
These aggressive moves do not gather much media attention since Washington media is predictably obsessed with Nancy Pelosi and the regular — and unnecessary — congressional confrontation over government funding.
But they are not coincidences.
Given the frighteningly fragile physical and mental health of the U.S. commander in chief, they are at worst preparations for invasion, possibly simultaneous. At best, they are feints to test the resolve of the oldest leader ever of the free world. The chief executive who can’t remember the names of people standing next to him.
And we are only 16 percent of the way through Joe Biden’s last term of office.
The election of Joe Biden – or more accurately, the un-election of Donald Trump – was an open invitation to the world’s miscreants to make their moves on a shaky, preoccupied United States with a foggy-minded leader.
You may have noticed North Korea has started testing ICBM’s again. The Taliban is in charge in Afghanistan, still holding hundreds of Americans that Biden promised to evacuate. And Iran is increasing its uranium enrichment to weapons-grade.
Vladimir Putin was a KGB colonel when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. That was devastating and virtually everything he’s done since as president and prime minister has been to recreate a greater Russia by weakening NATO and creating servant states of Russian neighbors.
In 2008, Russia’s military invaded Georgia and took over two provinces, which it holds still. Then, in 2014 with Democrat Barack Obama and sidekick Biden in office, Putin fomented insurgent instability in Ukraine, which was drifting toward NATO membership, with an armed rebellion in eastern Ukraine and also annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine.
Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, responded with economic sanctions. Hoo, boy, scary stuff that’s good for one or two news cycles in D.C. But accomplishes nothing real. You’ll notice Crimea remains fully part of Russia.
Now, it seems, Putin is positioning himself in coming months to take over all of Ukraine, a country slightly smaller than Texas with a population 50 percent larger. And not yet under the NATO defense umbrella.
The wily Russian leader is betting that all the angry words, new sanctions, angry warnings, and U.N. resolutions will mean as much as they usually do: Nothing.
Joe Biden totally botched the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer. But he still boasts of ending America’s longest war. How likely do you think it is then that Biden would commit U.S. troops just a few months later to another distant, foreign adventure protecting the sovereignty of a country where son Hunter no longer has financial interests?
Putin’s undersea gas pipeline to Europe, which Biden endorsed after killing the Keystone one at home, will give him additional energy leverage over any European resistance.
China, now with a military twice the size of the U.S., could also make the same logical calculation about Biden and claiming the sprawling islands of Taiwan, some just a mile offshore. Taiwan would put up a spirited, but hopeless fight — absent U.S. assistance.
According to intelligence reports and satellite images, Russia has called up reserves and is positioning some 175,000 troops and vast amounts of equipment on Ukraine’s borders, far larger movements than its apparent rehearsal buildup last spring.
In Europe last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned:
We don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade. We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so on short order should he so decide. We must prepare for all contingencies.
But he also warned Ukraine to be careful and avoid any tempting provocations that would fit Russia’s planned cover story. ‘We don’t like bullies, but, geez, be careful with Putin.’
As usual in these confrontations, Putin claims it’s the West doing the provoking and said he plans to ask Biden for a commitment in their virtual summit this week that NATO will not admit Ukraine. NATO’s 29 nations decide on membership, not the White House.
Asked about this Friday, Biden sounded less than forceful:
What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be, will be the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for Mr. Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.
The important thing is what Putin believes, not what AMTRAK’s biggest booster says.
If that’s Biden preparing “for all contingencies,” Putin won’t need all those troops. Recall in 1961, Nikita Khrushchev backed down in a confrontation over Soviet missiles in Cuba, which was 6,000 miles from Moscow but only 90 miles from Florida. Keep in mind, Kiev is 5,000 miles from Washington and next door to Russia.
And what else might Putin be plotting over Belarus and the Baltic states?
Sadly, this last 84 percent of Biden’s White House lease is looking to be a very long 37 months.