Zumwalt: Invading Ukraine And The Fickle Finger Of Blame
Lt. Col. (Ret.) James Zumwalt
Lt. Col. James Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam War, the 1989 intervention into Panama and Desert Storm. He is a senior analyst for Ravenna Associates and heads a security consulting firm named after his father: Admiral Zumwalt & Consultants, Inc.
The Ukrainians are not the only ones finding themselves under fire.
With Russia becoming more and more isolated within the world community for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, America’s friends and foes alike are taking potshots at those they believe responsible for President Vladimir Putin’s madness in invading Ukraine. Rather than focusing responsibility where deserved, accusers look to place blame elsewhere.
Ironically, an enemy critic points the fickle finger of blame at a U.S. president whose main fault lies in doing nothing.
China’s embassy in Moscow claims the U.S. poses more of a threat to the planet than does Russia! In support of this, it provides a graphic listing the percentage of wars occurring between 1945 and 2001 supposedly launched by America–81%. Of course, such fake news fails to reflect what led up to these conflicts that left America with no other viable option than to fight.
China’s relationship with Russia is such that it refuses to even join the world community in calling the Russian military operation into Ukraine what it is–an invasion. Accordingly, Beijing announced it will continue “normal trade cooperation” with Russia.
There should be no doubt China’s U.S. finger-pointing is the act of a biased Russian ally. Indications are that China had asked Putin not to launch his Ukrainian invasion until after the Winter Olympics, which Beijing was hosting, so as not to distract from its opportunity to try to shine a positive spotlight of itself on the world stage. (China denies this.) Putin chose to honor this request as we now know China was also helping Russia fund the invasion.
This conclusion is reached based on the report that recent commercial deals between Russia and China significantly influenced the invasion from a financial perspective. Just prior to the Olympics, an energy agreement was signed between the two, earning Moscow $117.5 billion in exchange for oil and gas. This sizable cushion obviously was negotiated to help Russia ride out sanctions Putin knew the West would impose.
In yet another example of Russia/China cooperation, the suspension of operations by Visa and MasterCard in Russia resulted in Russia announcing it was switching to a Chinese credit card system.
China’s outrageous claim about America being a bigger threat to the planet than Russia is made at a time we have a “do-nothing” president in office who is either spineless or clueless about what is going on. Joe Biden’s foreign policy is one of simply telling Americans finding themselves in international hot spots to evacuate, failing then to bring the force of the U.S. government to help them do so.
A historic U.S. policy of “all for one and one for all” in ensuring the welfare of our citizens has transitioned into one of “every man for himself.” Little did we know the president who came to office campaigning on a policy of defunding domestic police forces would apply it to America’s international policeman’s role as well. Biden’s foreign policy has embarrassed us around the world, encouraging our enemies to pursue their sinister goals. It is symbolized by the tortoise, retracting totally into its shell at the hint of danger. How China perceives this as a world threat – especially by dictators such as its own – is pure propaganda.
Meanwhile, “friends” at home promote their own political viewpoints on whom to blame based on a deep seeded hatred of former President Donald Trump, whom they claim is responsible.
Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is one such critic playing politics. He had previously played a role in attempting to get Trump impeached while in office for having floated an alleged deal by Ukraine’s president, offering U.S. military aid in exchange for conducting a corruption investigation into business dealings in Ukraine of the son of then-Democratic presidential candidate Biden. Vindman outlandishly suggests, “It is because of Trump’s corruption that we have a less capable, less prepared Ukraine.” While “absolutely” assigning blame to Trump, Vindman makes no reference to the hands Hunter got dirty in Ukraine and the fatherly assistance helping him do so.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seeks to restore logic to the blame game, pointing responsibility at Biden for doing nothing, despite Zelensky’s urging, to impose sanctions on Russia before the invasion was launched, giving Putin a better understanding about how devastating they would be. Putin already calls the sanctions–yet to be maximized–akin to a declaration of war.
The only action Biden took prior to the invasion was, in typical Biden fashion, the wrong one to undertake. After our intelligence people obtained the Russian invasion plans, Biden decided to share them with China. What he expected to achieve by doing this is a mystery but Beijing’s reaction was unsurprising – it immediately turned the plans over to Russia which, as a result, now has a much better appreciation for our intelligence collecting capabilities.
Ukraine has given up hope our do-nothing president will do anything, evidenced by how Zelensky directly communicates with others, like Elon Musk, for assistance. When the Russians cut off Ukraine’s internet, Musk complied with Zelensky’s request to provide numerous terminals from his Starlink broadband satellite system, enabling Ukrainians to re-establish contact.
Historians of a future era, independently examining the facts surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will likely arrive at the conclusion Putin sized up Biden correctly. He was encouraged to act aggressively by Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal and singular destruction of America’s energy independence. He knew the law of supply and demand would kick in with America’s demand being met by Russia’s supply.
For Putin, invasion was a no-brainer. More than half of Russia’s exports (53.8%) in 2021 were fuel and energy products. With Russia able to get top dollar from friendly nations and desperate oil-starving unfriendly ones, countering the impact of Western sanctions, Putin saw his dream of reclaiming a piece of the Soviet empire coming true.
Sadly, Putin proved better at sizing up Biden than did the American people who voted for him.