I once dated a gal (we shall call her Elvira) who got offended if I said anything complimentary of someone she didn’t like. Since she didn’t like “Mary Sue,” it was my duty to hate Mary Sue. If I said that’s a pretty rose bush in front of Mary Sue’s house that was akin to saying “I hate you Elvira,” and I want to run off and marry Mary Sue. This is much the way the national news media and our idiot elites in Washington react when discussing Russia and Ukraine. If one does not goose step in total black and white agreement with their narrative, then one loves Putin and wants to marry him.
No problem in the history of the world has ever been solved without truth being the essential ingredient of the medicine that cures the ill. Rather than demonizing one side of history, it is important to understand what events influenced people to think and act the way they did. I am not mad at King George for the Royal Navy shelling my family’s house in 1812, I understand why this was done. In order to prevent actions we don’t like from happening again, we must understand why they occurred.
Let’s look at Ukraine and Russia. The Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, author of Dead Souls, is considered the godfather of the great Russian literary giants. There’s just one problem, he was not Russian, he was Ukrainian. Gogol personifies the historic, cultural and ethnic ties between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire for 263 years. It was the land of the Cossacks. Before 1654, it was ruled by Poland. It asked to become a duchy of Russia and to be under the Tsar’s protection. The 1654 Pereyaslev Treaty granted these wishes as well as a large degree of autonomy. Gogol spoke Ukrainian and Russian. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Romanov dynasty and the Eastern orthodox church. He, as did many Ukrainians went to St. Petersburg to make his mark on the world. Ukraine was a cohesive cog in the Russian Empire until the 1917 Revolution when it broke off, but independence was short lived. Civil War broke out among its people. By 1922, Poland annexed half the country and the rest became part of the communist Soviet state. Before being swallowed up by the USSR, it had been known as the “bread basket of Europe.” It had a prosperous middle class, the kulaks, who grew grain and were proud owners of their own land. The Soviets (including Ukrainian Soviets) committed mass murder against the kulaks to get them off their land and if that wasn’t enough, proceeded to starve millions of other Ukrainians by purposefully manufacturing a famine. Millions upon millions died. The Soviets grabbed the other half of Ukraine during their domination of eastern Europe after WWII. Many Ukrainians treated the Germans as liberators in 1941 such was the hatred towards the Soviets.
Crimea belonged to Russia since 1783, but in 1954, Nikita Khrushchev ceded it to Ukraine. Shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, Ukraine became an independent country in 1991. Although there have been high hopes of Ukraine morphing into a western democracy, and there have been legitimate efforts by a significant percentage of the population to these ends, these efforts have not materialized. Much like Russia, it is run by corrupt oligarchs closely aligned with the political class. Many of these oligarchs align themselves with both Russia and Ukraine, and identify with the side that best serves their corrupt interests. In 1994, Bill Clinton convinced Ukraine to destroy its nuclear missiles, a deterrent that might well have prevented Putin’s recent invasion. Ukraine is rich in natural resources. Andrew McCarthy, Peter Schweizer and other investigative journalists have uncovered an astonishing level of influence peddling and corruption among the American political class, most notably the Biden family which has received enormous pay offs from corrupt Ukrainian companies and oligarchs.
Winston Churchill stated that Russia is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Anyone who has read the great Russian 19th century authors can readily attest that the Russian mind is different, not necessarily bad, but different from our western ways of thinking. Russians are a proud people who have suffered enormously over the centuries. Ethnicity and culture are important elements of the Russian mindset. Kiev is the historic center of the ancient beginnings of the Russian people and has a mystical importance, much like Jerusalem for certain religions. Russia has been invaded from the west many times. Geography has not been kind. No warm weather ports. No great mountains to lend defensive protection from a western army. It has always been vulnerable to invasion. Napoleon and Hitler’s invasions are particularly in the consciousness of every Russian such was the death and destruction from those campaigns. It is hard for the modern western mind living in luxury, ordering Uber eats with their iPhones to even imagine the violence, starvation and mass murder the Nazis imposed on Russia.
Serious people understand these issues, but we don’t have serious people running our government. We have snippy Elvira and Mary Sues, unable to acknowledge realities or process nuances without having a conniption fit. Vladimir Putin has eyes. He knows of the Biden family’s corrupt pay-to-play schemes in Ukraine and around the world, and likely knows a man who is willing to sell out his country for money has no inner core other than political survival. Afghanistan was a living color short film of Biden’s incompetence. Our frail and cognitively depleted president should have been deeply entrenched in the Russian/Ukraine controversy on his first day in office. But instead of being a serious person, he allowed himself and his government to be swept up by the infantile woke ideology of the Left. Transgender pronouns became more important than the security of Europe. Defund the police. Cheering Marxists who destroy our cities. Division. The farce of climate change. Critical Race Theory for the military instead of martial discipline and training. The absolute sissy-ness of Covid fear.
How ridiculous do our leaders look sitting 25 feet apart in meetings wearing masks? An image of weakness for the world to see. Men who are willing to fight wars don’t live in fear over a virus that has a .001% chance of killing them! Pictures are worth a 1,000 words. What do you think goes through Putin’s mind when he sees these images of Secretary of Health Rachael Levine, White House social media star Benny Drama and Deputy Secretary of Energy and drag queen Sam Brinton. He salivates. He howls with laughter. He also knows a country that won’t protect its own borders against an invasion of 2 million unvetted people will not protect Ukraine’s. Threatening sanctions is like threatening to hit Putin over the head with a feather. They don’t work. They are symbolic and just another faux tool of the political class to make it appear that they are serious people. Putin invaded Ukraine because Biden is weak and his government is a clown show.
Y’all might want to consider making me President by acclamation. For years, I have seen this day coming. I am not blowing my own horn as much as I am suggesting how foreign policy should be conducted. Here’s what I would’ve done. Putin stated repeatedly that Ukraine must not become part of NATO. It does not make me a Putin stooge to acknowledge this legitimate concern. Due to Ukraine’s instability, it likely would not be a desirable member anyway. Just agreeing to this one condition (even with fingers crossed) likely would have prevented Putin’s invasion. Being a non-NATO member would not have prevented me from delivering defensive weapons into Ukraine. I would not have compromised my credibility by engaging in any business deals with anyone in Ukraine. Instead of engaging in corruption, there would be no foreign aid without structural reform creating a strong competitive private sector. I would force European allies to act like adults, pay their fair share of military expenses and step up to the plate and protect their vital national interests.
About the time Ukraine became part of Russia, Oliver Cromwell was busy killing 600,000 Irish. He took their land and settled it with Protestants. 340 years later, the Irish were still pissed about it. The IRA was bombing up a storm. They killed Lord Mountbatten. But then Ireland enacted free market reforms. It wasn’t poor anymore and you know what happened, Catholics and Protestants suddenly didn’t care about 340-year-old grudges. This is what happens in free, non-corrupt societies. People pursue happiness instead of hatred. Yet Joe Biden and his corrupt Washington cronies didn’t lift a finger to make Ukraine a free, non-corrupt society. They descended upon it like vultures and engaged in corruption themselves. Our political elites believe that the United States can throw money at foreign governments to solve international problems. The solution for peace in places like Ukraine and Russia is always economic freedom. Capitalism and free markets are a win-win enterprise, a salve that heals old wounds. Our mission should always and unabashedly be to make troubled countries more like the United States. Western elites are often heard preaching fuzzy feel good words like “democracy” and “the people,” and then they give away billions to be squandered. The stupidity is staggering. Happiness and freedom always start with being “secure in property” and enjoying the “availability of capital.” This is what makes countries strong and gives them the resources to protect themselves.
Instead of doling out taxpayer money to corrupt dictators, President Rob, would use this money to bullhorn their citizens and leaders on the virtues and benefits of capitalism. Nothing would foster our foreign policy objectives more than to incessantly and obnoxiously cheerlead, nudge and coerce our adversaries to adopt these policies.