The Passover story and punishing Putin

Tucker Carlson had as his guest Jonas Max Ferris, an investment adviser, and asked Ferris for his opinion about the sanctions from America and the European Union that are intended to break the Russian economy.  Ferris pointed out that, while the sanctions are hitting the ordinary Russians very hard, and probably making them more hostile to the West than to Putin, the fact that Russian oil and gas still flow freely to Europe and will soon be heading to China and India means that Putin, personally, has more than enough funds to keep his policies going.  And that, in turn, made me think of the message in the Passover story.

So far, only a limited part of the interview is available on Tucker's or Fox News's sites.  In the part below, Ferris speaks about how the West is isolating Russia, which empowers Putin — and makes bargains available for him:

In another part of the interview, Ferris pointed out that Putin's military excursions into surrounding regions have always occurred when fuel prices are high.  (Did the Democrats know that might happen when they destroyed America's energy independence on Biden's first days in office, inevitably driving up fuel prices?)

Even as Western nations huff and puff about the horrors Russia is inflicting on the Ukrainian people, Biden only reluctantly cut off Russian oil, Europe has refused to do so, and both India and China have entered into agreements to buy from Russia.  So, while the Russian people are being bankrupted, the money is still flowing into the coffers upon which Putin relies for his war machine.  And that, believe it or not, ties in perfectly with the Passover story in Exodus.

The central part of the Exodus story is the ten plagues that God, through Moses, brings to Egypt as Moses begs the pharaoh to release the Jewish people from slavery.  Each of the plagues is dreadful: the Nile turns to blood, and frogs proliferate, as do gnats and other insects.  Livestock die off; people are afflicted with boils; hail destroys the crops; locusts eat what the hail doesn't destroy; and, eventually, darkness envelops the land.

Image: Pharaoh Putin by Andrea Widburg.

The Egyptian people must have suffered terribly, and yet, repeatedly, Pharaoh refused to let the Jewish people go.  People hostile to the Bible have accused this narrative of revealing God to be a vicious sadist.  People dismissive of the Bible contend that the escalating plagues are merely dramatic license to make a slave escape seem more exciting and religiously inspired.  And people trying to give the story a rational basis to justify belief have posited all sorts of scientific explanations coinciding with the Jewish break for freedom.

I believe, though, that there's a much more profound reason for these escalating plagues.  All of them cruelly affected the Egyptian people, but Pharaoh would have been insulated from these effects.  Like all tyrants, he did not exist as his people's servant; they existed as his servants, and he was not particularly concerned with their welfare, provided he remained safe.

It was only with the tenth plague — the death of the firstborn as a punishment, not just for Pharaoh's enslaving the Jewish people, but for his earlier edict to kill all male Jewish babies — that the plagues finally hurt Pharaoh.  He, clearly, was not his father's firstborn child, but he lost his own firstborn child, as well as many of his courtiers.  Suddenly, the Jewish God was playing tough — not with the Egyptian people, but with Pharaoh which point Pharaoh finally caved.

This is the lesson of the tyrant: if the people suffer, so be it; if the tyrant suffers, he will likely back off.

Currently, the West is inflicting financial pain on the Russian people but is unable to inflict direct financial pain on Putin.  Both because of European need and new markets in Asia, Putin is protected.  He still has money coming in.

The only way to hurt Putin directly is to stop the flow of cash for oil and gas — and the only way to do that is for America to begin producing like mad to bring prices down.

And yet that's the one thing Biden won't do.  He'll punish the people and leave the tyrant untouched.  Maybe that's because he has pharaonic dreams of his own...

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