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Foreign Policy Begins with Big Stick Diplomacy

As Ash Wednesday began the Lenten season last week, my thoughts and prayers were with the people of Ukraine. At press time, it was estimated that over 1.5 million Ukrainians had fled their country, leaving most everything behind. Those who are bravely staying to fight the Russian invasion face a battle they can’t win without help from the outside world.

So many thoughts have crossed my mind regarding Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the live war games exercise, which will end with the death of thousands of innocent people and the Russian Flag again flying over Ukraine.

President Biden, NATO, and all those claiming to be helping Ukraine are simply not doing enough. You must close the airspace over Ukraine. You must freeze all Russian assets and close down all opportunities for Russia and Russian-based businesses to continue to operate. The only thing that President Biden is doing is providing lip service and the threat of tough sanctions and economic punishment. I have no idea how this will stop Chinese banks from doing business with Russia and its most wealthy.

There are no negotiations to be had with Vladimir Putin or the Russian leadership. Like I stated last week, they understand only one thing, fear of an opposing military and the alliance of nations combined with the threat of military action on the table. When you let it be known that there will be no troops on the ground in Ukraine, that you will not close the airspace over Ukraine, and you will severely limit military supplies to Ukraine, you are empowering Vladimir Putin. I am not suggesting war with Russia; however, world history explains where this can lead. Hitler told all he was stopping with the invasion of Poland prior to WW II.

President Theodore Roosevelt’s policy of ‘speak softly and carry a big stick,’ has never applied more. The words that those behind President Biden chose for addressing the Russian attack during last week’s State of the Union address coupled with President Biden’s rant of sound and fury symbolizing nothing that ended the address were just that. The equivalent of yelling loudly while carrying a Wiffle ball bat. When you have already gone on record that the United States military is not an option, there is nothing you can say or scream to Vladimir Putin that he will do anything but scoff at.

When somebody is willing to invade and kill innocent people, they only understand one thing — and not buying Russian vodka, isn’t it. Without the fear of a big stick, NATO can accomplish nothing. Whether this is right, wrong, or indifferent is a question for another day. Since World War II, the United States of America has provided that big stick. It goes without saying we need an alliance with NATO, the Baltic States, and those closest in geographical area to Russia, but the pure and simple truth is the United States military has been the peacekeeper and provider of that fear factor, aka big stick, around the world.

We have gotten the American Military out of Afghanistan. I disagree with the way it was done. But it’s done. Our leader cannot relocate our armed service personnel and put them in the same position around the globe where their hands are tied by political red tape, and they cannot do the job they are trained to do. The pure moving of American troops with no policy to back them up will accomplish nothing.

One of my other thoughts of the ongoing situation in Ukraine is this just didn’t randomly happen. This invasion has been pending for a long time. When the powers that be were considering how to exit Afghanistan, why didn’t it cross anybody’s mind to move the military equipment and weaponry to Ukraine? Even if it was outdated, inadequate, or just plain junk, it is better than what Ukraine has. This would have also been a far better idea than leaving it behind in Afghanistan, where you knew it would eventually fall into the wrong hands and be used against the innocent.

The answer to that question is probably the same as why current leadership doesn’t want the fear of boots on the ground or the closure of air space over Ukraine. We do not want this to upset Vladimir Putin. The movement of military equipment could be perceived as a possible pending attack against Russia. We don’t want Putin to ever feel threatened or actually think we would defend Ukraine. For the same reason, the Biden administration doesn’t want American or ally pilots intercepting Russian fighters in Ukrainian airspace.

A final thought, my Father and I have written many times over the years why our Nation must be energy independent. If $4.19 per gallon gasoline, $4.89 diesel fuel, and $4.15 a gallon heating oil don’t prove how flawed the current administration’s energy policy is, I’m not even going to try to explain. Even more alarming is the fact that President Biden hasn’t said or done anything that takes into consideration how quickly this will cripple the American economy and our Nation.

Increasing petroleum costs will affect our American way of life in every way possible. This will be especially felt by the Americans who work the hardest to provide the most needed services that have already become an everyday struggle due to the handling of COVID.

Can you imagine if our last President’s administration would have gotten off to the 14-month start the Biden administration has exhibited? I guarantee you would not be witnessing the love fest between the mainstream media and the current occupier of the Oval Office as seen on TV.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb