What does President Joe Biden have in common with a Chinese spy balloon? They are both full of hot air and are drifting towards an undeclared war.
Biden’s foreign and defense policies are a tragedy of errors. The balloon illustrates how tragic. It should never have entered U.S. airspace, but because he waited days to take action, Biden will undoubtedly go overboard and look for a proxy war with China: can you say Taiwan?
The American left loved to vilify the great President Ronald Reagan as a trigger-happy cowboy who was determined to start a war with the Soviet Union. Instead, he pushed the communists to the fiscal wall and began serious negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev which eventually ended the Cold War.
The Democrats said President Donald Trump was going to spark a conflict with North Korea. Rather, he was the first chief executive in decades to understand this bizarre but belligerent combination of Marxism and isolation. North Korea’s missile testing ended.
If there is any president who is marching us to Armageddon, it is the current occupant of the oval office, President Joe Biden, whom the brilliant impersonator and comedian Rich Little recently quipped is doing the job of three men: “Larry, Moe, and Curly” of the iconic Three Stooges.
Biden is already setting the stage for a potential Third World War by dramatically overplaying America’s and NATO’s hand in Russia’s war on Ukraine. More about that later. But now, by bungling the comical farce of China’s spy balloon over the United States, he is looking for a nuclear war on two fronts.
Biden finally ordered the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to shoot down the balloon on Saturday after it coasted from Alaska, through Canada, and across the North American continent. It is both sad and comical to watch Pentagon spokesman Brig.-Gen. Pat Ryder brief the national media about the situation.
When the legendary Gen. Curtis LeMay was chief of staff of the USAF, public affairs officers used to go before the press corps to describe the latest speed record attained by American pilots or to explain how the Air Force had successfully deployed in support of this operation or that.
But now they go before journalists and try to convince them that the U.S. could not shoot down a balloon because the resulting debris might have hurt school children in Montana, a state with one of the lowest population densities in the Union.
It was hard not to laugh with Ryder talking about all this highly classified activity around a balloon. Thank God, it didn’t crash near Roswell, NM or this would swiftly degenerate into an alien crash site story.
When the military was finally allowed to obliterate the balloon, they had to use an F-22 fighter jet when a pop gun might have served the same purpose.
Now that the United States appeared so pathetically weak in the face of Chinese spying, there are increasing calls to double down on efforts to arm Taiwan and provoke a war with China.
That’s really stupid because it is by no means certain that America could win a war with China. The Chinese are ready for war and America is not. The American military is prepared to deal with the imaginary scourge of white supremacy within its ranks and throughout the American hinterland, and it is extremely adept at identifying white privilege and microaggressions, but it probably hasn’t been less ready for war than in the dying days of the conflict in Vietnam.
The U.S. saved Taiwan from an invasion by communist China in 1949 by protecting the island nation with the U.S. Seventh Fleet.
But it is not 1949 when China did not possess the atomic bomb. It’s 2023 and China possesses a nuclear arsenal.
And we do not want a nuclear war under any circumstances – with China or Russia.
Yet the Biden administration and the fellow traveling warmongering Republicans who want to keep sending billions of dollars in direct funding as well as weapons to Ukraine are pushing us all to the brink of nuclear catastrophe.
This is by no means hyperbole. Even the academics who rule the Doomsday Clock have set the dial at 90 seconds to midnight. We used to hear all about that clock during the height of the Cold War, when people were watching things like “The Day After” on television.
But 90 seconds is closer than it's ever been. I have little patience for people — usually those with no defence experience or expertise — who insist this latest confrontation with Russia is the latest manifestation of Pax Americana and that NATO is doing its job to contain Russia. It’s 2023, not 1955, and Russia is not the Soviet Union and NATO is not the same organization.
I spent years peddling NATO’s talking points as a military public affairs officer — when these talking points were relevant. In the Cold War NATO possessed a cold salience in maintaining collective security and keeping the peace. NATO was relevant when NATO was containing communism.
NATO is not preventing a potential Third World War by containing Russia. It's fomenting a Third World War by creating the same conditions that existed in 1914 when Europe was a powder keg of weapons, armies and alliances. The First World War was a historical catastrophe that created the Bolshevik regime in Russia, destroyed the British Empire, planted the seeds of Nazism and made the Second World War inevitable.
We are sleepwalking into a conflict with Russia — the most nuclear-armed country in the world — by thinking we can quietly and seamlessly arm Ukraine and wage a proxy war with Russia, and not expect it to retaliate.
The expansion of NATO to virtually every country in Europe is just so strategically inept that you couldn’t make up such a monstrosity in fiction. It is either incompetence or a deliberate calculation for war.
NATO’s Article 5, that an attack on one member nation is an attack on all member nations means that the United States will be fighting Russia if Ukraine is made a member of the club. It also means that we will be fighting if Russia invades any other NATO country. Do you want to fight and die for Albania? How about Estonia or Lithuania?
This is madness.
But why are NATO member states proliferating when the U.S. promised to do exactly the opposite?
Damn good question.
In 1990, the administration of President George H.W. Bush promised the dying Soviet Union that NATO would not expand into territory that had been in the Soviet sphere of influence.
The newly formed Russian federation dissolved the Warsaw Pact in 1991 thinking that NATO was as redundant as the USSR was in the dustbin of history.
But it wasn’t.
You can argue that neither Bush nor then-Secretary of State James Baker were serious about containing NATO expansion. But that is irrelevant. Russia believed then and believes now that the West was damn serious about it.
By expanding NATO in this manner, the West perhaps ruined its chances to transform Russia into the truly democratic state it can and should be. God knows, the Russian people endured a communist revolution, Stalin’s murderous purges and Gulags and bore the brunt of the Second World War in the last century. They deserve better.
Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been seeking a mission.
It has largely been effective in peacemaking efforts in Europe. I served in one of those missions to Bosnia in 1996.
It has been grossly ineffective in attempting to humiliate Russia by further encirclement. Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine proves that.
It may be true Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a violation of international law, immoral, brutal and worthy of serious condemnation.
But it is not worth a nuclear war. In 1914, there was much ado about Austria’s ultimatum and subsequent invasion of Serbia after the latter country was linked to the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
Britain was outraged over Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and declared war on Germany, ensuring that a European conflict became the global one where millions of soldiers lived in trenches stuffed with mud, shrapnel, dead bodies and disgustingly corpulent rats.
And we are no more making “the world safe for democracy” in Ukraine any more than we were by fighting the First World War. Ukraine is a corrupt republic ruled by rich oligarchs who are feathering their nests with the tax dollars and weapons we are sending them without any strings attached or basic accountability.
In 2022, the U.S. sent nearly $50 billion in aid to Ukraine, including almost $30 billion in military assistance.
But they have made an historical hero out of retired actor and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who struts from one photo op to another in his martial activewear. Does he own a suit?
Biden needs to learn something from Democratic presidents in the past. No one was more committed to fighting the Vietnam War than President Lyndon Johnson. But he sacrificed his presidency by not enlarging the war into China or the Soviet Union and thereby sparking the Third World War.
But Johnson had his wits about him and just as NATO seems to be sleepwalking into war with Russia, Biden appears to be sleepwalking at every appearance, shuffling around like an inmate in a nursing home.
The Republicans need to provide some sanity to this political vacuum. And they are largely not doing so but seem intent on being a cheering section for Biden’s worse impulses.
The GOP needs to focus on America’s sovereignty and the fact that there is an undeclared war on our southern border that the Biden administration has left undefended and in utter chaos. That’s the crisis. That’s where their attention should be – not in joining the march to Armageddon.