As Russia invades Ukraine, amasses troops on the Polish border and threatens to use nuclear weapons, some reflections on President Joe Biden’s rejection of the Army’s findings on the bug out in Afghanistan are in order.
One of the most important characteristics of effective leaders, whether in government, business or the military, is a firm grasp of reality. The best decision makers look at the facts whether they like them or not and act on them. Leaders who think they can alter reality by simply ignoring it or, worse yet, rejecting it have started down a one-way street to disaster. Such is the case with Biden.
Reality is clear. At home, Biden’s socialist policies have resulted in an unprecedented level of inflation, empty grocery store shelves, a tyrannical response to the COVID pandemic, supply-chain tie-ups and thirty members of his own party giving up their seats in Congress rather than run on his record. Yet, with his leftist house of cards collapsing all around him, Biden continues to ignore reality and claim things are going great. Americans are standing outside in the rain getting soaked while Biden sits in the Oval Office claiming it’s a bright, sunshiny day.
As bad as Biden’s rejection of domestic realities is, it pales in comparison to his rejection of the Army’s findings on the Afghanistan debacle. Why? Because his rejection of the Army’s report may have even worse consequences in the long run than his failed socialist agenda. While Biden may have learned nothing from the Army’s findings, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping certainly did. The most important fact they learned is Biden is a weak, feckless president who lacks the foresight, vision and courage to stand up to their expansionist plans.
Putin and Xi have been emboldened by Biden’s rejection of reality. The president has unified our enemies rather than our allies. The hostile actions of Russia and China have already begun with Ukraine and Taiwan, but they won’t stop there. Russia hopes to eventually dominate all of Europe, and China plans to dominate the rest of the world, including the United States. Thanks to Biden, both are making progress.
A hard reality Biden refuses to accept is you cannot stop Russian or Chinese aggression with empty words or symbolic sanctions. Sanctions that hurt the Russian people don’t trouble Putin. Sanctions must be hard felt. Biden must lead in removing ALL of Russia’s banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications and placing strong sanctions on Russia’s oligarchs, including Putin. Anything less is like beating Putin with a pool noodle. Further, Xi must be shown conclusively the cost he will pay for invading Taiwan.
Another reality Biden cannot grasp — or refuses to — is Putin and Xi do not think like rational leaders of democratic nations. Putin couldn’t care less about his people suffering. Suffering is a fact of life for the citizens of Russia. Biden gives the world words while Putin makes brutal war on the Ukrainian people. In the irony of ironies, the strongest response to Russia’s aggression came from the president of France who, when Putin threatened the use of nuclear weapons, reminded the Russian tyrant NATO is nuclear armed, too.
Beyond sanctions, Biden needs to embrace reality and do what is necessary to nullify Russia’s gas and oil stranglehold on Europe. He should complete the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, lift his disastrous “green” sanctions on America’s energy independence and export American liquified natural gas, crude oil and coal to our European friends. Until he is willing to take these important steps, his administration is helping finance Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine.
Oliver L. North is a combat-decorated U.S. Marine, No.1 bestselling author, and founder and CEO of Fidelis Publishing LLC and Fidelis Media LLC. Find out more about him at www.olivernorth.com. David Goetsch is a Marine Corps veteran, member of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, professor of business, Christian counselor, and author of 76 books. Find out more about him at www.david-goetsch.com.