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February 24, 2022

Russia Invades Ukraine

The invasion hasn’t surprised anyone, nor has the inability of the American president to ward it off.

Barack Obama just called. He said his speechwriters want their snarky “Russia” punchline back.

Rarely are leftists proven so grievously wrong as Joe Biden’s then-boss was a decade ago, when, during the third and final of their presidential debates, Obama ridiculed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his characterization of Russia as our nation’s “number-one geopolitical foe.”

“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” sniffed His Brilliance, and the Leftmedia loved it. They lapped it up. Today, though? Mostly crickets and tumbleweeds.

In the early morning hours local time, Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead for Russian Federation forces to attack its neighbor, Ukraine, a country with nearly 44 million people and a 1,200-mile shared border with Russia. In doing so, Putin has embarked on the largest such military operation on the European continent since World War II.

As Fox News reports:

The wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday hit cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling, as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee. Ukraine’s government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border in a “full-scale war” that could rewrite the geopolitical order. … The attacks came first from the air. Later Ukrainian authorities described ground invasions in multiple regions, and border guards released security camera footage Thursday showing a line of Russian military vehicles crossing into Ukraine’s government-held territory from Russian-annexed Crimea in the south. … The Russian military claimed to have wiped out Ukraine’s entire air defenses in a matter of hours, and European authorities declared the country’s airspace an active conflict zone. Russia’s claims could not immediately be verified, nor could Ukrainian ones that they had shot down several Russian aircraft, according to The Associated Press. The Ukrainian air defense system and air force date back to the Soviet era and are dwarfed by Russia’s massive air power and precision weapons.

Russia’s actions could be read as both offensive and defensive — both a grabbing of Ukrainian territory and a wiping out of Ukraine’s means of counterattacking.

The Russian Defense Ministry, whose every word must be taken with a bottle of salt tablets, issued a statement paraphrased by The New York Times: “Its forces had destroyed more than 70 military targets in Ukraine, including 11 airfields, three command points and a naval base. Russian forces also downed one helicopter and four Bayraktar TB2 drones.” The spokesman claimed a “piloting error” cost Russia its only lost fighter jet.

Here, then, was the execution of an event that the world had seen coming for weeks. Yesterday, in an address to the citizens of Russia and its “friends,” Putin said, “It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory. We do not intend to impose anything on anyone by force.”

We have a choice: We can believe Comrade Vladimir, or our lyin’ eyes.

Putin continued his harangue, lashing out at the U.S. and its Western allies as “an empire of lies,” railing against NATO’s “eastward expansion” and its “efforts to bring the alliance’s infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders,” and invoking the attack by Nazi Germany on the then-Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, as the reason for his aggression today. “The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people,” he said. “In the first months after the hostilities broke out, we lost vast territories of strategic importance, as well as millions of lives. We will not make this mistake the second time.”

Perhaps believing that a mere historical mention of the Nazis was insufficient, he went on to claim, “The leading NATO countries are supporting the far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine.”

From there, Putin asked the Ukrainian Armed Forces to lay down their arms, calling them “Comrade Officers” and again harkening back to Hitler: “Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine.” In fact, the “demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine” is Putin’s stated goal.

Perhaps no one has yet told Putin that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the man ostensibly leading this seizure of power in Ukraine, is himself Jewish.

Finally, Putin threatened the West:

I would now like to say something very important for those who may be tempted to interfere in these developments from the outside. No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken. I hope that my words will be heard.

In sharp contrast to Putin’s long-windedness was the aforementioned Ukrainian president, Zelensky, who took to the air for a brief, stirring, and resolute speech that he hoped would find its way to the Russian citizenry:

“Your leadership,” said Zelensky, “has approved them to move forward onto the territory of another country. This step could become the start of a big war on the European continent. … You are being told that this is a plan to free the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free. … The Ukraine on your news and the Ukraine in real life are two completely different countries — and the main difference is that ours is real. You are being told that we are Nazis. How could a people that lost more than eight million people in the fight against Nazism support Nazism? How could I be a Nazi?”

Zelensky made clear that the Ukrainian people want peace. “But,” he said, “if these forces attack us, if you attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives, the lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. Not attack — defend. And in attacking, you are going to see our faces. Not our backs, our faces.”

This, then, marks the long-anticipated second phase of Putin’s Ukrainian annexation, with the first phase having been his 2014 annexation of the strategically crucial Crimean Peninsula. Why did Putin wait so long to pick up where he left off? Clearly, he was waiting for another Democrat cupcake to settle into the Oval Office. First Barack Obama, who forcefully sent blankets and MREs to Ukraine to punish Putin in 2014. Then Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom Putin clearly respected, and both of whom warned never to underestimate Putin. And now Joe Biden, the cognitively addled American president whose fecklessness and see-through tough talk obviously hasn’t fazed the Russian dictator a bit.

There’s a story floating around the Leftmedia fever swamps about how Mike Pompeo lavished praise upon Putin recently. As columnist Byron York points out, it’s rubbish. Pompeo was asked, during a deep-dive 45-minute interview, “Do you consider Vladimir Putin a shrewd or a reckless leader overall?” To which he replied, “Very shrewd, very capable. I have enormous respect for him. I’ve been criticized for saying that. … He is very savvy, very shrewd.” Saying as much about a nuclear-armed geopolitical foe doesn’t mean he’s your drinking buddy. It just means you don’t take him lightly. And besides, Joe Biden said of Putin: “He’s bright, he’s tough, and I have found that he is … a worthy adversary.” Where’s the outrage?

As The New York Post’s Kyle Smith puts it: “Weak, inept, confused, tired, clutching a note card like an unprepared student … Long before our president invited a Ukrainian invasion by suggesting a ‘minor incursion’ would be fine, Vladimir Putin had his number. If anything stops him, it won’t be fear of the wrath of Joe Biden.”

Finally, a word from Mark Alexander: “It will be interesting to see how Biden spins his feckless response to Putin’s invasion into a standing ovation during his State of the Union speech next Tuesday. It can’t be stated strongly or often enough that, as was the case with our Afghan allies’ bloodshed in the wake of Biden’s surrender and retreat from Afghanistan, every drop of Ukrainian bloodshed is the direct result of Biden’s abject ineptitude attempting to appease Putin.”

UPDATED with a few more words from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and a rebuttal to a Leftmedia smear of Mike Pompeo.

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