Eighty-two years ago a chubby, stoop-shouldered, funny-faced man with a speech impediment took a new job. The man was 65-years old and until a year earlier was generally considered to be a crackpot and a political has-been. His taking the new job was one of the most momentous events of the entire 20th Century.
The man was Winston Churchill, and the job was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. On May 10, 1940, the British looked to be finished. They stood alone against the vicious and victorious Nazis.
Two weeks after Churchill came into power, France was knocked out of the war, and 340,000 British troops had to scramble to escape over the beaches at Dunkirk. The Germans had absolute control of all of Europe. It seemed impossible that Britain could survive. With almost no hope left, the nation turned to Winston Churchill, the one man who had spoken the truth for years, saying nasty things about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, even though it cost him in terms of political success and personal reputation.
Churchill’s first speech to the British people as PM laid out his program bluntly, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” He followed that with another speech shortly thereafter: “. . . we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
In other words, his plan for success: Complete and total defiance.
“We shall never surrender.” When you have nothing left but defiance, commit to it with everything you have. Like Prince Hal in Shakespeare’s Henry V, Churchill used language to rouse the fighting spirit he believed was still alive in the British people, saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” And the line that summed up his personal career and the spirit that led the British people to victory: “Never, never, never give up.”
Churchill would later describe what he did this way, “It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”
The President wanted to get to the trenches. He’d already walked for half an hour in his helmet through the mud, surrounded by generals and guards, and he insisted they continue. On the far side of some sagging power lines, the group could see the start of the Russian positions, well within reach of the snipers who had killed three Ukrainian soldiers two weeks before. But Volodymyr Zelensky refused to stop.
“Our guys are over there, right?” the commander in chief asked one of his generals, who was advising the group to turn back. “They’ll hear I came all this way and didn’t come to see them. They’ll be upset.” Then Zelensky spun around and continued hiking through the brush.
Was this an act?
By the time Zelensky came to power, Ukraine had been at war with Russia for more than five years. The death toll had topped 13,000, with almost nightly shooting or shelling across the front lines, a jagged tear between the once fraternal nations. No one knew at the time that the war would soon become incalculably worse. But during his first trip to the front, Zelensky was aware the Russian troops were already massing by the tens of thousands on the other side of the border.
“They want us to be afraid,” Zelensky said at the end of the trip. “They want the West to be frightened of the strength and power of Russia. There’s no big secret here.” Zelensky understood that showing his fear would play into Russia’s hands, though he admitted that the threat of an invasion scared him. “What’s frightening is that their intentions may not end” with a show of force at the border, he stated. “There could be a broader military plan.”
About 10 months later, in the early morning hours of February 24, Russia put that plan into effect. Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, his chosen term for ousting the first Jewish President in its history and installing a regime loyal to Russia in his place. The invasion thrust Zelensky into a different role, one that at first seemed ill-suited to his character. His friends and advisers have often stated that Zelensky has thin skin. He suffers from the actor’s malady: an abiding need to be liked and applauded. “We try not to let him look at Facebook,” one adviser said because critical comments from strangers were liable to depress him.
But as the Russian bombs began to fall on Ukrainian cities and troops moved to surround the capital, the President underwent a transformation. Before the eyes of the World, he came to embody a struggle that most Western statesmen had long forgotten how to fight, the one that is sometimes required to keep tyranny from killing off democracy. Zelensky not only rallied his own people to defend their nation, inspiring them to toss petrol bombs at Russian military vehicles and stand in the way of tanks. He also galvanized the world’s democracies in ways that seemed unthinkable just a week before.
President Joe Biden
United States citizens know much about Joe Biden. He’s been in the public eye for approximately fifty years: thirty-six of those in leadership in the United States Senate and eight as Vice President for former President Obama.
With all that time in D.C., most Americans knew Biden as a mouthy, loud, and blustery Democrat who tried several times to get into the White House only to be rebuffed by the discovery by Americans that Biden was a bit different than his public persona declared. He got his wish in the runup to the 2020 election as the Democrat Party leadership called his number to take to the debate stage to silence the “Orange Man” and win back the White House.
In his first year as president, almost every one of the considerable achievements for the U.S. working class created by Donald Trump were reversed by this political “lifer.” Biden spurned the Peoples’ representatives constitutionally charged to create the structure of government for the People — the U.S. Congress. Biden, acting solely, sent the U.S. into a slide into a darkness that few thought could ever happen.
Before the calendar rolled over welcoming his second year as President, Joe Biden discovered the Great Bear from the North set its sights on the nation of Ukraine. Russia prepared and implemented a ruthless and unprovoked invasion of this sovereign nation, warning the world of impending World War.
Joe Biden did NOTHING to prepare for what could still become World War III. And Joe Biden could have stopped it.
Rather than my pontification from a personal position, Newsweek inked the story better:
“President Biden had tough words about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. “Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways,” Biden said. “But he badly miscalculated.” Calling the Russian attack premeditated and unprovoked, Biden touted European unity against Russian aggression and announced that he would ban Russian planes from American airspace and join 30 other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from petroleum reserves to help curb rising gas prices as a result of the war.
Unfortunately, while Biden has correctly identified one of the major lessons for the West about this war, his solution not only misses the mark but reveals how much worse the situation is thanks to Biden’s own actions.
American foreign policy over the past 100 years has consistently led to one obvious conclusion: Energy independence is critical to the national security and interest of the United States. Finding yourself at the whims of energy producers has forced the U.S. into unsavory relationships with OPEC states and even Russia for far too long.
This is something President Trump realized and moved to fix—with great success. The U.S. went from being energy-dependent to being the largest producer of oil in the world during Trump’s tenure. Throughout his Presidency, U.S. oil imports shrank from 28 percent of daily use to 11 percent. By withdrawing from the overregulation of the Paris Climate Agreement, opening ANWR, and planning for the future by approving the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines, Trump continued the previous march towards energy independence and set up the future for more of the same.
All that was reversed on Biden’s first day in office. On day one, Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, signed executive orders to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and a moratorium on ANWR drilling, and a blanket executive order to review and roll back any energy or climate-related policy from the Trump Administration.
And the results were immediate: Just over a year into the Biden administration, we’ve gone from independent and the largest exporter of oil in the world to purchasing on average 529,000 barrels from Russia every day in 2020. The Energy Information Administration’s estimates are even higher, putting U.S. imports at 844,000 barrels per day from Russia.
Meanwhile, the Keystone XL pipeline — which Biden canceled with the stroke of a pen — would have provided nearly 900,000 barrels per day, solving America’s energy dependence all on its own.
So while Biden is proudly touting the release of 60 million barrels of reserve oil, this was a problem that only needed solving because of actions that he himself took to cancel the path Trump chartered to energy independence. Bowing to the green lobby, Biden crippled our energy independence and has resorted to half measures to correct for it while civilians in Ukraine die.
The woke Left might like to believe that conservatives oppose things like the Green New Deal because we hate the environment, but the truth is, we oppose them because we hate war. And we know that doubling down on “green energy” is just not going to cut it when it comes to one of the most important things to American peace.
And yet, instead of recognizing this and perhaps recommitting to the Keystone Pipeline, the Biden Administration is doubling down. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki for example told ABC that the lesson of Ukraine is that we need to reduce our dependence not just on foreign oil but “on oil in general.”
It’s not just the United States. In the past year, Germany has shut down three of its six remaining nuclear reactors and plans on shutting the other three down before the end of this year. So instead of relying on their own energy production, they now get the bulk of their energy from Russia. What that means is that penalizing Russia and cutting it off from the international market isn’t only going to hurt Russia; German families are going to feel that pain when they try to fill their cars with gas, or their homes with heat.
Maybe, just maybe, the West shouldn’t have outsourced its energy strategy to a dictator from another country, someone they all claim to have known was a dictator. What was the plan exactly? To lure Russia into being nice by giving them all this power over the West while cutting off our own ability to supply energy to ourselves and others?
Make no mistake: Putin’s aggression is fueled by the euros Russia is paid for gas. And what the West needs to combat Russian aggression is stability and independence. Instead, the Biden Administration and Germany have been captured by a Left-wing green agenda, sacrificing energy independence and strength for the approval of progressives pushing the Green New Deal. And now Ukrainians are paying for it with their lives.
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once testified before lawmakers that he wanted “to understand white rage.” Forget about white rage; Biden and the EU’s outrage at Putin’s unconscionable actions in Ukraine is weak rage.
We are now seeing what the West’s weakness has begotten. This is the hallmark of this administration and the West at large: a series of incompetent and feckless foreign policy moves that stem from and reinforce failed green energy policies and identity politics at home.
And our enemies know it. Chinese President Xi Jinping has operated on the narrative that the West is in decline for years now, and President Biden has proven him right again and again — in Afghanistan, with energy, and now with his handling of Russia. That’s why Xi doesn’t have to say anything; he’s just sitting back and letting Biden’s incompetence make his point. Any new negotiations China has will no longer be hindered by the real threat of American interdiction.”
Someone artfully called Zelensky “Churchill in a t-shirt.” The reference ties the fortitude of Churchill to that of Zelensky and that Ukraine’s president is often seen wearing a t-shirt under a sports coat. Ukraine’s “guy” has taken on the world’s number one dictator refusing to turn tail and run. Zelensky is living this war — at least until Putin’s thugs find him and assassinate him — as a TRUE leader of a nation. He stayed behind. He is “leading” his nation, including Ukraine’s military. True leaders always find ways to lead when hope seems to be lost.
Ukraine’s Churchill spends hours every day on the phone speaking to other leaders around the world, thanking some for what they have done in their assistance in this war while asking others for specific help in areas to assist his people in their defense of their homeland against an unprovoked invasion by Putin.
When asked on Thursday by a reporter in a bunker somewhere hidden in Ukraine if Zelensky had spoken to Joe Biden, Zelensky was gracious and smiled when answering the reporter: “Yes, I’ve talked to the President. And I don’t lie. We had a pleasant conversation. I wish we had talked BEFORE the invasion occurred.”
President Zelensky smiled as he answered the question.
More than half of the U.S. have declared their disdain for how our President has done little, if anything, to help Ukraine. His feckless list of sanctions levied against Russia were nothing more than a symbolic gesture. Why? Everyone knew none of that would stop Putin. And Putin knew just how weak our President is. Putin had already invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea from Ukraine when Obama and Biden were in office in 2014. Biden and Obama did NOTHING then! Putin knew, this time, he could snatch as much of the Old Soviet Union as he wanted without the United States interfering at all. And, so far, he’s correct.
President Biden could have sent Russia to its knees overnight by doing just one thing at the beginning of this. He could have unilaterally obliterated Russia’s access to world markets to sell his number one asset: oil and gas. That in addition to cutting Putin off from access to his international financial abilities to buy and sell would have quickly ended this war. And Biden can still make it happen.
There are those who will say now, “Biden has done just that!” But that’s not true. The U.S. is still purchasing hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil every day from Russia! And our European NATO partners are also dependent on Putin for their oil and gas.
Winston Churchill was well before my time. But Crimea and Ukraine are in my grill today. History taught me that Churchill was a true leader who stood against the evil he faced in an unblinking fashion. Volodymyr Zelensky is hunkered down today with his people in Ukraine, talking publicly to Putin every day offering to meet with the dictator face-to-face.
I dare not speak for others about this, but I KNOW there are many Americans who echo my sentiments: “Churchill in a t-shirt” is doing a better job for his people than is Joe Biden for Americans.
The Ukrainian people must certainly be proud.