With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now in its third month, the demonization of all things Russian continues in the West. Russian athletes are prohibited from participating in sporting events, Russian artists prevented from performing, and an Italian university even “postponed” a course on Dostoevsky. As Tal Fortgang observes, “cancel culture is directed not at Russia the violent invader, but at people who have been made into avatars for Russianism.”Read More
Last week, President Biden gave a speech listing everyone and everything allegedly responsible for record high inflation. His list included corporate greed and price gouging, Vladimir Putin, and “ultra-MAGA” Republicans. The president said that his policies, and the nearly $7 trillion in spending he authorized, have nothing to do with inflation.
None of this holds up under scrutiny. While President Biden claims that corporations are ripping off Americans, the costs of their supplies have been increasing at a record rate. In reality, many companies that Biden claims are stiffing consumers have actually lost money because they don’t want to alienate their customers by raising prices too quickly.Read More
That the fraudulent, media-hyped Russiagate fiasco was a colossal waste of civic energy is now beyond doubt to all but the most bitter partisans. But scant attention has been paid to the way it enabled the tragic Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The premise of “Russian collusion” was that Vladimir Putin was assisting Donald Trump in defeating presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Even though there was no evidence of collusion, the Left still clings to the narrative that Putin wished Trump to win.Read More
From 1936 to 1939, the civil war in Spain became a European laboratory of new tactics, strategies, logistics, wartime morality, and weapons. Right-wing nationalists under General Francisco Franco finally defeated loyal supporters of an evolutionary socialist republic—but only after much of the Western world had variously weighed in.
The cost to the Spanish people of such brutal and vicious strife was horrific. Over 500,000 Spaniards would die in a little over two-and-a-half years. The country was left in shambles.Read More
Even a truncated Russian Federation has four times the pre-war population of Ukraine. It enjoys well over 10 times the Ukrainian gross domestic product. Russia covers almost 30 times Ukraine’s area.
And how does Ukraine expel Russian troops from its borders when its Western allies must put particular restrictions on their life-giving military and financial aid?
The interests of Europe and the United States are not quite the same as those of a beleaguered Ukraine. NATO also wants Vladimir Putin humiliated, but only if the war can be confined within the borders of Ukraine.Read More
Americans have less money than they had last year — though taxes haven’t been raised. So what’s the problem? Inflation, which has increased at a 40-year high annual pace of 7.9%. It acts as a hidden tax because we don’t see it listed on our tax bills, but we sure see less money on our bank accounts.
In fact, inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings for private employees are down about 2.5% over the last year. This means a person with $31.60 in earnings per hour is buying 2.5% less of a grocery basket purchased just last year. “For a typical family, the inflation tax means a loss in real income of more than $1,900 per year,” stated Joel Griffin, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.Read More
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Formin said Tuesday his country will “reduce military activity” in the Ukraine cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv in pursuit of an agreement to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The announcement follows what Russians are calling a productive day of diplomatic talks in Istanbul, Turkey, with the invasion now roughly four-weeks old.
Russian state media quoted Formin saying: “Due to the fact that negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, as well as on the provision of security guarantees to Ukraine, are moving into practice, taking into account the principles discussed during today’s meeting, by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing on the signing of the above agreement, a decision was made to radically, at times, reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv direction.”Read More
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday sued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several other Democrats on the grounds that they attempted to rig the 2016 presidential election by creating a false narrative that tied his campaign to Russia.
“President Trump is going on offense. He’s naming names,” Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington told “Just the News – Not Noise” hours after the lawsuit was first announced.Read More
In the early days of Russia’s war on Ukraine, President Joe Biden boldly declared he was ready to seize “ill-begotten gains” of the region’s oligarchs.
But in the years before Moscow twice invaded Ukraine, Democrats enriched themselves politically and personally from such oligarchs and businesses in the region while empowering Vladimir Putin with energy and technology deals that still haunt America today.Read More
As President Joe Biden prepares to go to Europe, we must recognize that, unless things change, there are likely to be two outcomes to the Russian war on Ukraine – and both are bad for America and the rule of law.
First, the terror campaign of destroying cities and killing women and children is having a devastating effect. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, out of compassion for his people, is talking more and more about a negotiated settlement. A negotiated settlement will clearly give Vladimir Putin most of what he wants. It will be a Russian victory – an expensive Russian victory, but a Russian victory.
A negotiated settlement with Russia winning will be a disaster for the rule of law. It will be a signal to dictators everywhere that with a weak American President and timid democracies, despots can attack their neighbors with virtual impunity.Read More
As Ukraine coverage blankets the news nonstop, I keep asking myself: are we really so gullible as to be hoodwinked by an administration and political class covering for their massive failures at home and abroad by mustering up a frenzy of dangerously jingoistic militarism? Not only have they escalated the situation and brought us to the brink of World War III but they have also imposed—and will continue to impose—senseless costs on an American economy already grinding to a halt.
I am not suggesting that any of Joe Biden’s major missteps, whether now or in the past, in any way excuse Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, which is in violation of international law and being conducted with reckless indifference to—indeed, the direct intent to inflict—civilian casualties. Although there is no question (details below) that Biden majorly provoked Putin, nothing Biden did stripped Putin of his agency in doing what he is now doing, much less did it demand he do it in the manner in which he is doing it.Read More
At a time of tectonic shifts in foreign policy alliances, with Russia and China forming a new pact and aggressively asserting themselves on the international stage, Washington’s national security community is splintered across the ideological spectrum on how best to counter the dual threats.
Yet, even before Russia invaded Ukraine, a group of national security practitioners, military veterans, and scholars began trying to move beyond their policy differences to help repair the damage inflicted by the last U.S. foreign policy failure – the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan nearly seven months ago.
When the Vandenberg Coalition, a group of primarily Republican experts representing diverse foreign policy views and approaches, began their Afghanistan assessment, its members couldn’t have known that international alarm over Russia’s bloody land grab would soon eclipse the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan. Some national security experts believe that the two U.S. foreign policy nightmares are inextricably linked – that America’s ignominious retreat in Afghanistan emboldened Vladimir Putin to move on Ukraine.Read More
For years, Beijing has pushed to have the Chinese yuan accepted as an international currency, while countries unfriendly to the U.S. such as Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and North Korea have been looking for a dollar alternative for international trade. Western economic sanctions against Russia are now accelerating talks between Moscow and Beijing about finding “workaround” solutions, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell is warning the invasion of Ukraine may step up Beijing’s efforts to cut its dependency on the dollar.
Over the past decade, it has irked Beijing that, in spite of being the number two economic power, China’s currency has never become truly international. Technically, the yuan’s admission to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights currencies (SDR) in 2016 makes the yuan an international currency. In practice, however, the yuan has very limited internationalization. Only 10.9% of the SDR is comprised of yuan. The only country which recognizes the yuan as an official currency is China, whereas about 15 countries use the U.S. dollar as their only official currency or an additional official currency.Read More
One. Reassuring an enemy what one will not do ensures that the enemy will do just that and more. Unpredictability and occasional enigmatic silence bolster deterrence. But Joe Biden’s predictable reassurance to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will show restraint means Putin likely will not.
Two. No-fly zones don’t work in a big-power, symmetrical standoff. In a cost-benefit analysis, they are not worth the risk of shooting down the planes of a nuclear power. They usually do little to stop planes outside of such zones shooting missiles into them. Sending long-range, high-altitude anti-aircraft batteries to Ukraine to deny Russian air superiority is a far better way of regaining air parity.
Three. Europe, NATO members, and Germany in particular have de facto admitted that their past decades of shutting down nuclear plants, coal mines, and oil and gas fields have left Europe at the mercy of Russia. They are promising to rearm and meet their promised military contributions. By their actions, they are admitting that their critics, the United States in particular, were right, and they were dangerously wrong in empowering Putin.Read More
The United States is at war with Russia. Without a vote in Congress, a specific announcement by the president, or even meaningful awareness on the part of the bulk of the populace, the United States has stumbled into conflict with another nuclear power.
True enough, American “boots on the ground” are not yet (openly) engaged in combat in Ukraine. But the devastating sanctions put in place unilaterally by Joe Biden on Russian property constitute an act of war nonetheless. On Tuesday morning, Biden announced he was unilaterally banning the importation of Russian fuel and oil products into the United States. This decision is a direct attack on the Russian economy. It is designed to dictate a certain political outcome to the Russian government.
Such a dramatic act, therefore, constitutes participation in armed conflict against the Russian regime. It is an act of war.Read More
President Joe Biden announced a ban on the importation of Russian oil, coal and gas as a response to the nation’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine just as gas prices in the U.S. reached a record high Tuesday.
Biden said Tuesday that the decision was intended to “inflict further pain” on Russian President Vladimir Putin and defund his war in Ukraine. He also acknowledged it would further raise the price of gasoline for Americans.Read More
Sometimes we need time to pass and distance to extend to gain fuller perspective on what we did not see contemporaneously from too close. Indeed, G-d tells Moses that no person can see His face (which I teach as meaning an up-close encounter) and live, but people can see the back of G-d’s head (which I teach as meaning a more distant previous encounter, growing ever more distant). See Exodus 33:18-23.
In their October 22, 2012, debate, Obama mocked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for expressing concern about Russia and Vladimir Putin:
Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.Read More
The best way to understand the current extraordinarily dangerous tragedy in Ukraine is to imagine a fight between a bear, a lion, and a bunny rabbit.
The bear of course is Russia, as President Ronald Reagan brilliantly evoked in his 1984 re-election commercial “The Bear.” As the narrator said:Read More
Going through Checkpoint Charlie into gloomy and dark, dank East Berlin was always frightening. The Wall itself was ominous, the guards were the fiercest looking on the planet, and the barbed wire and landmines were right there for everyone to see. All of us have seen jaw-dropping spy movies about the infamous Friedrichstrasse and what happened on the other side of it. They were commies, after all.Read More
According to the criteria for their respective medals, the Iraq War that began in 2003 lasted more than eight years; yet the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which commenced just weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has lasted more than 20 years. And despite the U.S. withdrawal, the destruction of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, and the loss of so much equipment to the Taliban, that war still has, at this writing, no official end date.Read More
President Joe Biden opened his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night saying that COVID-19 kept America’s political leaders apart last year but now we’re “together again.”Read More
ORLANDO, Florida – President Donald J. Trump was in full-fighting form, less than two years before the 2024 Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary as he whipped up a packed-out crowd into a frenzy at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference.
“The socialists, globalists, Marxists, and communists who are attacking our civilization have no idea of the sleeping giant they have awoken,” said the 45th president to the more than 5,000 conservatives at 95,000-square foot Gatlin Ballroom in Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek resort.Read More
I admit, I was surprised by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. I thought Vladimir Putin had decided, instead of invading, to recognize the separatist republics and send in “peacekeepers.” Given the binary choice of invading or losing face, Plan C seemed the most clever, something similar to the limited “hybrid” campaign in Crimea. Instead, he has launched a massive, multipronged attack on Ukraine with the goal of “demilitarizing” the country.
The best analogy is the Russian attack on Georgia in response to its attack on the separatist province of South Ossetia in 2008. There, Russia surprised the West with its swift, decisive, and effective action against the pro-Western Georgians. Russia succeeded in its aims to degrade Georgia’s military and strengthen the separatists. These actions sent a message to Georgian leaders and its neighbors that a dalliance with the West may come at a high cost if Russia perceives it as a threat.
A war of some kind has been going on for eight years in Ukraine. While the West is now hyper-focused on the Russian invasion and its costs, the people of Donetsk have been shelled nearly every day by Ukrainian forces since 2014. And the so-called Revolution of Dignity was the culmination of a months-long violent riot in Kiev.Read More
Over the past several months, senior Biden administration officials held six “urgent meetings” with Communist Chinese officials pleading with them to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade, according to the New York Times.
The Americans presented the CCP officials—which included the foreign minister and the ambassador to the United States—intelligence showing Russia’s troop buildup around Ukraine’s borders, U.S. officials told the Times.Read More
With a reconnaissance plane in tow Thursday, a small fleet of eight fighters deliberately probed disputed airspace before scrambled jets scared them away, an air-to-air episode that may be part of the larger international epoch which President Biden frequently describes as one of “democracy versus autocracy.” But these weren’t Russian fighters. They were Chinese.Read More
For all his caginess, dissimulation, and opportunism, Vladimir Putin is more or less predictable.
Putin’s aims? The Russian president’s two-decade dilemma has been how to reclaim the prestige and power of the former Soviet Union—but with only 75 percent of his country’s former territory and 140 million fewer people.
When does he strike?Read More
Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has already left at least 40 Russian soldiers and “a few” Ukrainian civilians dead as of Thursday, multiple sources reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine early Thursday as air strike sirens rang in Kyiv and Russian missiles reportedly struck multiple cities across the country.Read More
There is always a tweet, so says the online aphorism, developed during the chaotic Trump years, that now seems to hold true across administrations and perhaps even with increased significance after a Russian strongman decided to invade an eastern European neighbor over the holiday weekend.
The Russian in question is Vladimir Putin. The country invaded, Ukraine, or more specifically the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics that Russia recently recognized diplomatically. And the tweet, well, that came from Joe Biden.Read More
Russia’s months of military movements and Biden’s “strategic communications campaign” are psychological operations intended to intimidate Ukraine, Europe, and the rest of the world.
There won’t be a big war any time soon. The Kremlin’s low-cost, high-impact campaign might succeed if some Western leaders, especially in the United States, can help Putin.Read More
The crisis on the Russian-Ukrainian border has been a surreal spectacle for some weeks. This is not how invasions occur and wars begin. The potential aggressor does not mass large forces on the border of a possible target country before full international view and issue continuous statements to the international media about its intentions. And the senior military officials of great powers do not—as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley ( leading man of the Afghan debacle) and some of his colleagues have done—publicly speculate on the psychology and likely intentions of the leader of the country implicitly threatening to start a war. Whatever Milley’s talents may be, there is no reason to believe that mind-reading is among them. It is, in any case, not part of his brief to give regular bulletins on what he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions may be.
This is Gilbert and Sullivan warmongering.
If Putin intended to invade Ukraine he would do so as he did with Crimea in 2008 and attempt to achieve some element of surprise. Instead he has made an international public spectacle of amassing six to 10 divisions on the Ukraine border, which every informed person in the world knows is inadequate to defeat and dominate a resistant country of 40 million people. This is theater: Russia pretends to threaten to be going to war; America pretends to react strongly, the NATO allies send forces to neighboring countries that are not under threat while asserting that they will on no account deploy forces into Ukraine, but will apply sanctions to Russia; some even propose preemptive sanctions against Russia although it has not actually done anything objectionable. (Russia could never be more than moderately inconvenienced by sanctions, especially if China and Germany ignore them.)Read More
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned the West that its “panic” over Russia potentially invading his country risked hurting its economy, BBC News reported.
“There are signals even from respected leaders of states, they just say that tomorrow there will be war,” Zelensky told reporters at a press conference, BBC News reported. “This is panic – how much does it cost for our state?”
The Ukrainian criticized Western countries choosing to withdraw diplomats from Ukraine, calling the move a mistake, BBC News reported. “The destabilisation of the situation inside the country” is the biggest threat to Ukraine, he said.Read More
Five years after the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded collection of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories known as the Steele dossier was published by BuzzFeed, news outlets that amplified its false allegations have suffered major losses of credibility. The recent indictment of the dossier’s main source, Igor Danchenko, for allegedly lying to the FBI, has catalyzed a new reckoning.
In response to what the news site Axios has called “one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history,” the Washington Post has re-edited at least a dozen stories related to Steele. For two of those, the Post removed entire sections, changed headlines, and added lengthy editor’s notes.Read More
U.S. environmental policies pushed by the Biden administration and aimed at dramatically curbing domestic fossil fuel production have given Russian President Vladimir Putin more power on the world stage.
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has blocked domestic pipelines, ditched drilling projects, proposed sweeping regulations on the fossil fuel industry and attempted to ban oil and gas leases on federal lands while pledging to decarbonize the grid by 2035. But Biden has also turned to the Middle Eastern oil cartel the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, asking the countries to increase their production of oil and natural gas respectively.Read More
Just as the special counsel’s investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane—the FBI counterintelligence probe launched in the summer of 2016 to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—is showing signs of life, one of the central figures in the hoax is attempting to burnish his sullied image.
ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos has produced a documentary featuring Christopher Steele, the man responsible for the so-called dossier bearing his name. “Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier,” streamed on Hulu Monday night; promotional clips hinted that, far from a hard-hitting interview exposing Steele for the charlatan he is, Stephanopoulos gave Steele a chance to spin his story ahead of possible new indictments related to John Durham’s inquiry into the Trump-Russia election collusion hoax.Read More
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case.
Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Read More