Send Trump to Moscow to make a peace deal with Putin
It is greatly heartening to see how well the Ukrainians have been fighting off Putin's invasion. Even for someone like me, who is skeptical of Russia's real military capabilities, it was surprising to hear how badly this is going. Now, apparently, the Russians are already bled so badly that Putin may have to call in reinforcements from Belarus. The average Russian soldier has no stomach for this fight.
Almost as incredible, the new German chancellor has stepped up with powerful sanctions and weapons support, showing the leadership NATO has long needed. The last SPD chancellor was a Russian mouthpiece. Angela Merkel — Frau Dummkopf, as I call her — was long Putin's enabler, possibly part of her long suspected communist past.
These developments, assuming they're really happening, must also have sent a chill down Chairman Xi's spine. The Red Chinese plans to take Taiwan — the Republic of China (ROC) — were often said to be similar to what Putin has tried in Ukraine, using much of the same arsenal of missiles and airplanes, their war machines being inferior copies of Russian designs. They would want to use a barrage of short-range missiles to soften up the ROC army, then land airborne troops, to get a toehold for a months-long amphibious invasion.
Given the well armed and trained land, sea, and air forces of the ROC, and a million-man reserve, such an operation now looks like a suicide mission.
But Ukraine's troubles are only beginning. The Ukrainians can fight off the Russians trying to enter their big cities, but they are surrounded. Another week, and the food shortages will be severe. Lack of medicines will see older people dying of chronic diseases and worse. We could see a modern version of WWII's Leningrad siege, maybe even with the cannibalism, if this keeps going.
Somebody has to go to Moscow and talk to Putin, to at least get a ceasefire in place and allow humanitarian supplies to come in. There are only two people who have ever impressed Putin on the world stage enough to pull this off: Xi Jinping and Donald Trump.
Mr. Xi leads Russia's only important ally. And Mr. Trump, whatever some Americans think of him, dominates world opinion in a way nobody has since Ronald Reagan. Uniquely, he is seen now as likely to return to the presidency.
Mr. Xi won't lift a finger to help. Why would he? Mr. Trump, though, would be happy to lead a delegation to give this a try.
Right now, Old Joe is hiding away in Delaware, and Team Biden, Blinken, Klain, Wendy Sherman is still trying to do a sell-out deal with Iran. That's why Saudi Arabia won't increase oil production. Waiting for these folks to get the message and do something smart may be a long time in coming.
But perhaps with all the newfound courage among our NATO leaders, one or two of them can ask Trump to go visit Putin on their behalf. Making a deal with Trump instead of Biden could be just the kind of face-saving gesture that would entice Putin to stop the shooting.
As long a shot as this may be, I figure the odds are better than what I suspect Team Biden may actually be planning: sending Kamala Harris over to beguile Putin with her feminine charms.
Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.