The bombs are real, but what's coming out of DC is theater
I thought and hoped Putin was posturing or that, even if he wasn't posturing, NATO would get its act together and either promise to keep Ukraine neutral or become so threatening that Putin would decide that invading Ukraine was too risky. Alternatively, I figured that the most that Putin would do would be what Biden called "a minor incursion" and lay claim to the land closest to Russia. I was completely wrong. Putin, instead, mounted a blitzkrieg, similar to Germany's attack on Poland in 1939. The bombs are real. Unfortunately for Ukraine and, probably, the whole world, what's coming out of Washington is not real at all. It's just theater.
The weirdest part of the theater was Biden's national address (of course). Putting aside the bizarre grinning during what should have been a solemn occasion, Biden began by announcing that he was imposing "strong" and "severe" sanctions against Russia. Working with G7 members and the European Union, Biden announced financial sanctions. These plans boil down to cutting some banks out of America, making it hard for Russia to do business in the Western world, freezing sales on some items, etc. It's standard fare for freezing a country out of the marketplace.
All of that is small potatoes, though, because Russia's real wealth lies in the fossil fuel it sends to Europe and even to America. When President Trump left the White House, America was a net oil exporter. Within one day of entering the Oval Office, Biden reversed that by shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, ending drilling leases, etc. We're now importing fossil fuels, including a much higher amount from Russia.
In 2014, John McCain, a man not known for his wit, accurately characterized Russia as "a gas station masquerading as a country." That was before Green madness began peaking thanks to a mentally troubled Swedish teen and her apocalyptic (and entirely wrong) pronouncements. Because of little Greta, European nations (except for France) killed their own energy sectors, including clean-burning nuclear energy. Europe is dependent on Russian gas, with Germany leading the way. That's part of why NATO has been relatively quiet about Putin's activity.
Image: Biden address on Ukraine. YouTube screen grab.
So if you really want to hurt Russia and make its incursion into Ukraine too costly, you would do two things: block Russia from selling fossil fuels, and ramp up energy production in America to Trump-esque levels. (It wouldn't hurt for Germany to bring some of its nuclear plants back online, too.)
But funnily enough, that's not Biden's plan. First, the administration halted all new oil and gas leases on federal land. Second, during the national address, Biden stated, "You know, in our sanctions package, we specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue." In case you're wondering whether Biden was saying that Russia would be allowed to continue to sell his most important asset, yes, he was:
Reuters's @SteveHolland1: "Targeting the Russian energy industry is totally on the table? is that what you are saying, Daleep?— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 24, 2022
WH's Daleep Singh: "What I'm saying that our measures were not designed to disrupt--in any way--the current flow of energy from Russia to the world." pic.twitter.com/IqkxZTGaKp
In other words, America, the G7 nations, the E.U., and all the others are making sure the money still flows in Russia's coffers, although our energy prices will escalate hard and fast. Europeans will still be pumping Russian gas into their cars. I get that it would be disastrous if Russian gas, which accounts for about 40% of Europe's gasoline, were suddenly to stop, but it's still not a sanction to keep Russia in funds.
Even Biden in his own loopy way understands that all these sanctions are meaningless. When a reporter noted that earlier sanctions hadn't stopped Putin and asked how and when this ends, including whether it ends with nuclear war, Biden suddenly announced that "no one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening."
In addition to useless sanctions, it also turns out that Biden hasn't really been sending much in the way of weapons to Ukraine. According to Erik Prince, the U.S. military has been retiring superb planes that could easily have been sent to Ukraine as far back as December, but the Biden administration did nothing.
Tucker brings on Erik Prince, who claims he pitched a plan to the Administration in Dec to have 140 fighter planes that were about to be retired from service sent to Ukraine, flown by mercenary pilots, and that Putin wouldn’t have invaded if Biden had agreed to his plan. pic.twitter.com/vz7c8vBLwk— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) February 25, 2022
For all of Biden's bluster, we're not imposing the sanctions that will really bite and we didn’t send weapons that would make a difference. No wonder Ukraine president Zelensky is impotently raging against Biden and other Western leaders, saying his country is "left alone" to face Russian troops. At the end of the day, Russian gas is more important to the world than what Ukraine currently offers.