This should be a hopeful, happy period for America — on the verge of another warm, promising summer with its family moments, graduations, weddings, vacations.
But as the United States approaches its 246th birthday, this is also a precarious time because of an alarming, complex array of stubborn problems that look like they’ll be haunting us for a considerable period.
And now, with little attention paid to it, an ominous new national security challenge has emerged over Ukraine as a frail, fumbling president shows no signs of righting his addled mind. More on the new challenge in a moment.
Every president faces major challenges. Let’s be honest. No one in their right mind would vie for that impossible job.
He must cadge millions from suck-ups who want connections, promise things he knows damn well he can’t/won’t deliver, throw hard-earned taxpayer money after problems listed in the latest talking points, and basically kick all the cans down the road because that can be framed better than honestly admitting that very few of these problems are ever gonna be fixed.
And if they’re honest, most Americans would agree that this president for sure is not in his right mind. The world certainly sees it. Bad actors maneuver for advantage – Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, ISIS, and that odious al Qaeda that Barack Obama assured us was on the run 10 years ago when he couldn’t admit failure because, reelection.
Joe Biden’s talking points say our worst current problem is that Americans do not recognize his many successes. The actual worst current problem – mounting inflation – Biden blames on Vladimir Putin. Not only can Joe Biden not fix inflation, he caused it with his trillions of dollars in new spending that his media so helpfully detailed without warning.
Exactly one year ago now, Biden was reassuring everyone that the first ominous rumbles of inflation were transitory. They’d be gone by fall. He also promised to extricate all Americans and allies from Afghanistan and pronounced that disaster a great success.
Sadly, many of us have come to believe now that you can’t believe anything Biden says because eventually, he’ll change his mind or deny he ever said it, and no one will call him on that because of, well, wink-wink, his problem.
Next looms a recession, which somehow seems to regularly accompany Democrat presidents. Quick, write up another stimulus spending bill with money we don’t have.
Now, about Ukraine. Within 60 days of Donald Trump’s departure, Putin began assembling his invasion forces. Disbelief was prevalent among those who wanted to ignore Putin’s brutality in Chechnya in 1999, Georgia in 2008, Crimea in 2014, and eastern Ukraine’s Russian-fueled insurgents ever since.
To help Ukraine prepare for its neighbor’s aggressions, the Obama-Biden administration sent blankets and field meals. Thanks ever so much.
Trump changed that to real armaments, especially anti-tank weapons.
As we pointed out here, Joe Biden is chronically late for most everything from meetings to grasping the need for new policies to carrying them out. Mind you, he’s not late talking about anything, some of it true. He’s late actually doing anything about it.
So, even though Biden had been warning of a Russian invasion for months, he had not levied any new sanctions, and it took him a few weeks to decide on materiel help and then get the stuff moving into the embattled country.
Biden vetoed Poland’s offer of Soviet-era MIGs. But in March, he ordered $800 million more in weapons. He approved other Eastern bloc nations sending older Russian anti-aircraft systems and promised to replace them with more sophisticated U.S. systems.
By April, the aid had exceeded $13 billion. Now, Biden just asked Congress for $33 billion more. Even with Europeans also contributing, substantial additional arms and ammo are likely necessary as that war drags on because Ukrainians have been so effective and deadly in their resistance to a far larger force.
The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.
We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine.
A partial list of what Biden has already ordered to Ukraine is: 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems. Some 11,000 Javelin and other anti-tank weaponry. Sixty million rounds of small-arms ammo. One hundred unmanned aerial systems. Helicopters.
Those billions for Ukraine seem like a lot. And they are. Factcheck: But they’re actually only a fraction of what Biden gave the Taliban in modern U.S. weaponry last summer with his chaotic Afghan troop withdrawal.
Listen. Put me firmly among the three-quarters of Americans who support helping Ukraine’s invasion resistance. As a people, Americans instinctively admire underdogs, especially scrappy ones, and pretty much everything about Ukraine these days puts them in that admirable category.
Some of us recall that the infant United States was born as an underdog, declaring its independence from and launching a ragtag Revolution against the most formidable military power in the world, Great Britain.
We also recall that the United States, as we know it, might very well not be here today were it not for the military assistance of France, whose mighty naval fleet appeared off of Yorktown, Va. in the autumn of 1781.
That promptly prompted British Gen. Charles Cornwallis to surrender to the victorious revolutionaries of George Washington.
France, of course, had its own reasons for helping the underdogs. Just as the United States has its own reasons for assisting Ukraine’s resistance toward Russia. Visiting Kyiv, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said:
We want to see Russia weakened to the degree it cannot do the kind of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.
But there’s a serious catch: Whether Joe Biden realizes it or not, his impromptu generosity toward the country where his son Hunter had lucrative business interests combined with the billions he abandoned to the Taliban has drastically depleted the vital armaments and supplies for the military defense of his own country, the one he swore to defend “So help me God.”
As Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell put it the other day:
After just two months, our aid to Ukraine has drawn down a quarter of our entire stockpile of Stinger anti-air missiles and a third of our Javelin anti-tank missiles. Our eastern flank allies’ stockpiles of similar weapons have shrunk as well.
McConnell added ominously:
This would be less of a problem if we had a robust defense industrial base to quickly refill our armories. But defense manufacturers have admitted that the production lines for some critical components have dried up, and it could be years before they could replace the weapons we’ve sent to Ukraine….(My emphasis)
We cannot assume our adversaries will give us time to prepare for battle, or to restock in the middle of one.
Joe Biden is a longtime critic of the U.S. military. He was the only senior government official to oppose sending Seal Team 6 to hunt down Osama bin Laden 11 years ago last week and deliver a lethal 9/11 sentence.
We cannot assume that this spendthrift pol who shakes hands with invisible people will, without prolonged prodding, dutifully and belatedly see to restocking the vital armament supplies that he has so generously abandoned or donated to others.