Even former President Donald Trump’s most ardent critics — who ranted about a cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin — must be perplexed why the Russian leader didn’t push into Ukraine when Trump sat in the Oval Office.
Why now, and not then?
The only thing that has changed in the last 14 months is the United States of America’s leadership. pic.twitter.com/wqqL5AjAF7
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) February 23, 2022
President Joe Biden’s lifelong foreign policy blunders are troubling enough, but on the particular issue of Putin’s Russia, Biden has been continuously wrong.
Just a few weeks into his administration, then-President Barack Obama dispatched then-Vice President Biden to Germany for a foreign-policy speech; Biden argued it was “time to press the reset button” after eight years of President George W. Bush’s supposed hostility toward Russia.
Does this “return to normalcy” concept sound familiar?
During that time, Biden also spearheaded an ignoble effort to give Russia membership in the World Trade Organization.
The inconsistent Obama administration wanted to dump the Magnitsky Act, which barred villainous Russian officials from our financial markets. Bipartisan pressure ultimately caused them to backtrack.
A decade ago, Obama notoriously told his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, that he would have more “flexibility” on missile defense after the 2012 elections.
Obama canceled vital missile-defense systems to our Czech and Polish allies, while the Trump administration sold Patriot missile systems to Poland four years ago and, perhaps more importantly now, defensive anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.
Led by Obama, Democrats mocked then-candidate Mitt Romney for claiming in a presidential debate that Russia was our top geopolitical threat. They were wrong.
A smug Biden went on television and lauded Putin, saying that “we have disagreements with Russia” but they were “working closely with us. This is not 1956.” About 16 months later, Putin’s special forces invaded Crimea.
Likely to protect his failed Iran Nuclear Deal, Obama and Biden allowed Russia to easily work with Syria’s totalitarian government. The Trump administration, which didn’t genuflect to Iranian mullahs, killed hundreds of Russian mercenaries in Syria.
The president has failed to deter Russian aggression. That includes energy.
Bowing to the misguided eco-lobby, Biden ignominiously killed the Keystone XL pipeline his first day in office, leaving the U.S. more at the whim of Russia and the Middle East. By waiving Trump-era sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany, Biden also fortified Putin.
Hapless Secretary of State Antony Blinken was dispatched to Iceland last May to “reinvigorate U.S.-Russia relations that have been in a deep freeze for years.” Clearly, this failed, too.
And the kicker:
“Putin knows that when I am president of the United States his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over,” Biden boasted two years to the day Putin invaded Ukraine.
Now, despite neo-isolationist claims, America is not going to go to war in Ukraine.
But actions matter.
Trump was too sycophantic toward Putin four summers ago in Finland, but it was Biden, Obama, and the left who for years gave the Russian thug whatever he wanted.
Trump uses lazy verbiage, but our theme is that in foreign policy, actions matter, and the 45th presidential administration was staffed well and simply was more successful around the globe.
FLASHBACK: In 2002, Biden praised Putin for Russia “moving toward greater acceptance of the rule of law, free trade, and a market economy.” pic.twitter.com/a7eDnk2mOs
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 23, 2022
Biden has been appeasing Russia for decades, so why would it surprise us that Putin decided 2022 is a time to strike?
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.