By Stephen Bryen
There is a madness that has gripped official Washington foreign policy. It’s strange and unique.
In his latest protest, the president apparently told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would personally prosecute him if he invaded Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Blinken State Department claims that the United States guarantees Ukraine’s independence and its borders. On what basis is this claim made?
Meanwhile, it appears the State Department has warned the Russian ambassador that he may soon be expelled from the United States.
Not to mention that Blinken, not to be outdone by his limited-brained boss, warned Belarus that the United States and its allies would attack Belarus if it supported a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Has Blinken looked at a map recently? Does he know where Belarus is? How far is it from Vilnius or Warsaw? Does he really think that the Lithuanians or the Poles are going to join an American crusade against Belarus, exposing their countries to ruin?
Meanwhile, the US – in conspiracy with the EU – is promoting “tough” sanctions against Russia if it attacks Ukraine. These sanctions include the exclusion of Russians from the global banking system and the payment transfer system. But the Russians say, do this and we will cut off all gas flows to Europe. Germany is 50% dependent on Russian gas; Poland 60%. Others like Italy also badly need Russian gas.
The geniuses at the State Department have an answer. We will send LNG to Europe. But even if we had enough, which we don’t, Germany doesn’t have an LNG port, and the LNG has to be compressed and cross the ocean, which is very different from the regular flow through a pipeline.
Worse still, apart from the reckless assassination of the Keystone XL pipeline (one of the main reasons we now have high oil and gasoline prices), the geniuses of the State Department oppose now to an Israeli-Cypriot pipeline to Greece and Italy which would have improved some of the reliance on Russian gas.
But expecting rationality from this crowd of arrogant, foolish decision-makers may be asking too much.
Not only can the Russians shut down European gas, causing economic chaos, but they can do more without firing a shot. We can certainly expect that part of the Russian response is to turn our critical cyberspace-based infrastructure into waste, both in the United States and in Europe. No banking, no transport, no communications, no government and not many military. We are helpless because we rely on commercial IT products that are mostly made in China. Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Iranian hackers know what and how to do if they go wild. These guys have been training to disrupt American and European interests for years.
But what is impossible to explain is where do these immature and reckless threats come from? Why has the Biden administration gone so rogue?
Part of the answer lies in their utter helplessness, first demonstrated in Afghanistan. Now they are repeating the same mistakes with Iran, with the Houthis and now with the Russians. Indeed, the only country they seem to be afraid of is China. Sorry guys, Russia is a powerful country, and they hold most of the cards.
You never get into a fight you can’t win, and certainly not a fight you can’t control. The War Beast is a terrible thing, and once unleashed it’s virtually unstoppable, certainly unpredictable. In this age of nuclear weapons, American leaders, like Russian leaders, have a responsibility to avoid any conflict that could lead to a nuclear attack. Always keep in mind that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just the beginning of what could be. Today it’s awful, with hydrogen weapons 100 times more powerful.
In the power game, the United States has slipped badly. This is not news, this is reality. For the past twenty years, Washington has considered itself the best dog, the world’s policeman. But not more. For twenty years we have wasted trillions on stupid wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and have gained nothing except the loss of our prestige and the murder of tens of thousands of non-combatants through what is called damage collaterals.
Most of the atrocities have been covered up. Either way, the current generation of Washington leaders doesn’t care. They are trying to keep in power a distressed, mentally limited president who can no longer convince anyone, not the Russians, not the Chinese, not the North Koreans, not the Iranians, not our NATO allies. or anyone else, including the American people, who are all looking for shelter or are completely disgusted.
Bulgaria announced that it would not send troops to Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons there was no chance the UK would send troops to Ukraine. The Germans only want to send helmets. They will be needed.
Biden, Sullivan and Blinken miscalculated. Not only have they completely failed, but they cannot be trusted. Such a reckless policy could get us all killed.