The official American response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been lackluster, chaotic, confusing, and ineffective. The Biden administration has been leading from behind and telegraphing weakness since the first signs of Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders. I have longed for any sign of boldness from my country and was ecstatic when President Biden called for regime change in Russia last Saturday. That balloon quickly burst when, in less than 24 hours, his handlers scrambled to walk back his remarks, thus reestablishing America’s role as virtually irrelevant in this world crisis. Let’s look at why this perception of U.S. weakness will eventually invite expanded war with Russia.
When it became obvious months ago that Putin was planning to invade his innocent neighboring country, America should have slapped excruciatingly painful sanctions on Russia rather than promise to do so “if” they invaded. We should not have officially assured Putin that no U.S. military would enter Ukraine. What a green light and relief that was for the monster dictator. The resources we have poured into Ukraine to better equip them for the fight have helped immensely in thwarting Putin’s intended scorched-earth rout of the country. However, those resources, more and sooner, would have likely ensured a Ukraine victory by now. The Biden administration’s reluctance to challenge Putin early on delayed the requested support until the invader had a far superior advantage. Putin is determined to reorder Europe to the borders of the former imperial Soviet Union. And America and NATO appear to be allowing him to take this major first step to that end.
This scenario has been played out before with disastrous results. In the 1930s, a despotic German dictator was aggressively plotting to return his nation to the glory and territory it lost in World War I. As a war-avoidance appeasement to Hitler, the western world, led by Great Britain’s prime minister Neville Chamberlain and accepted by our president, Franklin Roosevelt, agreed to let the dictator conquer parts of Czechoslovakia. That consolation from America and the other democratic nations fueled Hitler’s continued invasions into Poland and other eastern European countries. The weak initial responses to Hitler ultimately resulted in the U.S. and its European allies being forced into defending Europe in the protracted World War II. It also emboldened Japan to follow Hitler’s example in the Pacific. The tragedies of World War II could possibly have been avoided had America and the western European democracies stopped Hitler at his first incursion into Czechoslovakia.
At some point, Putin must be stopped. If he succeeds in Ukraine, it will only be a springboard for further encroachments into other European nations. It’s the dilemma of the 1930s. The free world can crush him now or face him in an all-out war involving many nations and possibly employing nuclear weapons.
So, yes, Mr. President, this man cannot remain in power! Have the guts to stand by your statement. Tell your handlers to back off. Lead the other NATO nations and the European Union to do whatever it takes to drive Putin’s army out of Ukraine. Sadly, flaunting our power for righteous good as the greatest nation in the world is little more than a dream anymore. America is only as strong as its leadership. And, presently, our leadership is weak and cowardly.