Hey Ukraine, Thomas Friedman Has Got Your Back
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman has weighed in on the Russia/Ukraine conflict, and his ideas about what role the US should play in this situation are interesting -- not good, just interesting. I readily admit that I am not the political wonk that the vaunted New York Times columnist believes he is; I am but a simple stay at home wife and mother who keeps a close eye on the goings on in that incestuous bastion known as Washington D.C. And even though Friedman’s March 4th column titled ‘Why Putin Doesn’t Respect Us,’ makes some good observations, for the most part it’s littered with typical lefty solutions that the last 5 years has proven does not work.
I agree with Friedman that going to war with Putin is not in our best interest, and that we need a long term strategy to deal with the problem that is Vladimir. But as is expected, Friedman rides off the rails and into the fast lane of liberalism where tax increases and environmental restrictions are the answer to every plight we confront today. Friedman suggests the long-term strategy should be:
“...investing in the facilities to liquefy and export our natural gas bounty (provided it is extracted at the highest environmental standards) and making Europe, which gets 30 percent of its gas from Russia, more dependent on us instead. I’d also raise our gasoline tax, put in place a carbon tax and a national renewable energy portfolio standard — all of which would also help lower the global oil price (and make us stronger, with cleaner air, less oil dependence and more innovation).”
You want to frighten Putin?” Friedman continues, “Just announce those steps.” Really ? Raising taxes on Americans and going green will scare the pants off Putin? In what Universe?
Every liberal’s wet dream involves getting completely off of oil and fueling the entire nation if not the world with some kind of renewable magic energy. The cost of such a venture is never mentioned, nor the reality of getting off a fuel that is plentiful, if only we had politicians that would allow companies to drill for that liquid gold. I don’t know what the hell a “National renewable energy portfolio standard” is, but it sounds like mumbo jumbo meant to make those that recycle religiously and drive hybrid cars feel better about their attempts to save the world from global warming. Friedman's ideas might sound good at swanky dinner parties, but in the real world it smacks of weakness, and with all due respect Mr. Friedman, our weakness is the reason Putin doesn’t respect us. I’d like to see Friedman explain to Americans that we have to raise gas taxes even higher just so we can put a scare into a dictator masquerading as the president of Russia. Maybe we can pay for the sky rocketing costs of oil, food, and the increase in insurance premiums thanks to Obamacare by selling blood, so we have enough petrol to get to jobs that were once full-time, but have now been reduced to part time work.
The real solution is leadership; currently we have none coming from this administration. Our Commander in Chief draws red lines in disappearing ink, then hopes no one notices when he moves them. The former Secretary of State’s best qualification for being in office was that she was the wife of a former president, so of course she should be rewarded with a cushy job that allowed her to travel and meet new people. But her main claim to fame is that she ignored requests for tighter security at the consulate in Benghazi, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including the US ambassador. But that’s not all, she let her underling lie about a video causing the violence; then when questioned by Congress, screached that none of it mattered now. And for the piéce de résistance, our current Secretary of State thinks climate change is as big a threat as terrorism. Does this worry anyone else besides me? I’m sure Putin sees this crowd and knows that if he’s going to strike, the best time to do it is while this current bunch is in charge.
Of course the left will want to shield Obama from any responsibility, by comparing his feeble reaction to Putin with that of George W. Bush who was in office when Putin invaded Georgia in 2008. But they purposely leave out the fact that Bush only had months left in his final term to deal with this difficult situation, while Obama is at the beginning of his final term. By the time Putin invaded Georgia, Bush was forgotten by a media that was already coronating Barack Obama and watching the clock wind down until Dubya said adios to the White House. Obama’s term has been full of “It’s Bush’s fault” and Putin’s no dummy -- he’s been watching this man-child president make a mess of every foreign policy attempt he’s made. So Mr. Friedman, we could raise taxes yet again, and do all the environmentally safe extractions that you recommend. But it won’t send Putin running in fear, not as long as the man in the White House continues to show the world that he isn’t serious about coming up with any real solutions.
Alice Nelson writes movie reviews at DVD Verdict