Sixteen days ago, Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine, viciously and with neither provocation nor justification. Two days ago, Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital, killing at least three, including a girl, age 6. Additional dead, almost surely, lie beneath the rubble.
One wonders if Putin counts the pregnant women and newborns in this atrocity among the "band of drug addicts and neo-Nazis" whom he claims to fight.
Mass graves are brimming with Ukrainians as they haven’t since squads of actual Nazi Einsatzgruppen machine-gunned Jews and tossed them into lime-dusted pits.
As the most ferocious combat rages in Europe since 1945, President Joe Biden’s response has been tepid, at best.
Early on, Biden offered to evacuate Ukraine’s intrepid president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Mocking Biden’s cowardice, Zelenskyy replied, "I don’t need a ride. I need ammunition."
Poland this week offered Ukraine 28 Russian-made MiG 29 fighter jets, via the U.S. military base in Ramstein, Germany. Ukrainian pilots could have traveled there and flown the planes home, to keep US personnel out of combat. Regardless, Biden’s Pentagon stopped this proposed transfer, feebly questioning the jets’ utility.
General Tod Wolters, U.S. European Command chief, stated Thursday in Stuttgart: “The transfer of MiG-29 aircraft will not appreciably increase the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Air Force."
Perhaps. But we know this: The transfer of zero aircraft would appreciably increase zilch.
Biden’s previous financial sanctions have not slowed Putin, who has seized Chernobyl and assaulted two Ukrainian nuclear power plants. The Russian oil-ban that Biden unveiled on Monday could have made this thug squirm, were it the first of two shoes that needed to drop.
The oil ban was neutralized by the fact that China and other buyers are expected to purchase the petroleum that America now will not import. Rather than a devastating blow, Biden handed Putin, at worst, an inconvenience.
The other oil-related shoe that needs to drop likely will remain in the president’s hand.
He could give Putin a behavior-changing migraine by reversing Biden’s idiotic, indeed provocative, Day One decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline. Even before the inaugural balls began, this executive order started to unravel the elusive energy independence that President Donald J. Trump finally delivered.
As Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, observed via Twitter, "We import 595,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia." Keystone can carry 830,000 barrels daily, more than enough to offset Putin’s petroleum. "Relying on Russian oil is a choice. And it’s a stupid one."
Biden also should approve oil-production permits on federal land, broader oil-deregulation, and a stand-down order to his appointees at the Federal Reserve and other agencies. They should stop their socialist, command-and-control campaign to block the oil and gas industry’s access to banks.
Love it or hate it, the oil sector remains legal. As such, its players should be free to seek capital wherever they wish. If Biden wants to forbid oil and gas, he should ask Congress to pass such a prohibition, and he can sign it into law.
Biden could open America’s fossil-fuel spigots before dinner tonight. Global prices would plunge, quickly reversing their climb from $53.16 per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude on Biden’s first day in office to $106.15 on Thursday — up 99.7 percent. Such an oil-price collapse would drain Putin’s coffers more swiftly than a gas tank machine-gunned in a crime drama.
This step also would comfort America’s beleaguered motorists, now wilting beneath average gasoline prices that have soared steadily under Biden from $2.39 per gallon of regular on January 20, 2021, to $4.32 Thursday — up 81%. "Putin’s price hike," as Biden calls it, began 13 months before Russian tanks penetrated the Ukrainian frontier.
Lower fuel prices would reduce today’s overall 7.9 percent inflation rate, the worst assault on American buying power since the 7.6 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index in February 1982.
All of this would help reverse Biden’s poll numbers, just about the only thing getting drilled into the ground these days.
Instead, while treating American oil and gas as poison and that industry’s workers as filthy, Biden begs Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to increase their pristine, beautiful production of the very same substance. Perhaps Biden believes that American oil yields dreaded carbon dioxide while Arab oil burns lavender-infused oxygen.
Nonetheless, in a humiliating slap at the President of the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that those Gulf State leaders have ignored Biden’s phone calls.
Such disrespect likely stems from Sunni Arab revulsion with Biden’s related move: Shaking his empty gas can before the Death to America crowd. Unbelievably, Biden is pleading with the ayatollahs to drill, baby, drill. Remember: Iran tops the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.
This makes less than zero ecological sense. If oil is evil in Texas, it’s at least as evil in Tehran. And shipping petrodollars to those who call America the Great Satan and Israel the Little Satan will make it easier, not harder, for the Khomeinists to lob atomic bombs at Jerusalem and, potentially, Washington, D.C.
Biden also is on bended knee asking Venezuela’s Communist, pro-Cuban government for more oil. Why does Biden love Latin narco-terrorists more than U.S. oil workers? Perhaps Biden finds Caracas’ Marxism alluring. (Don’t believe the "moderate Biden" myth for a minute; Grandpa Lunchbucket always has been a leftie, as confirmed by his 13% American Conservative Union lifetime rating and his final, 2008 annual score: zero.)
Over breakfast last week in Florida, a retired CEO explained how Biden could deal Putin a devastating blow:
Biden and other key officials should unveil a major incentive to those who know where Putin has stashed his fortune of up to $200 billion, Forbes estimates.
While Putin built Russia’s war machine, he surely had help concealing his ill-gotten gains. Whether Putin preferred secret bank accounts, shell companies, clandestine real-estate holdings, Dutch masters, or glistening jewels, his henchmen surely know where the loot is buried.
To get clean hands on Putin’s booty, Biden should rally NATO’s heads of state, European Union luminaries, and others repulsed by his war crimes to declare this:
Anyone who surrenders Putin’s assets — bank account numbers, monthly financial statements, penthouse leases, Vermeers, sparkling diamonds, bearer bonds, etc. — will be granted a 5% bounty on such riches, tax free. The remaining 95% immediately will aid Putin’s Ukrainian victims.
While brave Ukrainian fighters — military and civilian — have repulsed his armor, what could throw Putin's tanks into full retreat is his fear of landing in the poor house, with emptier pockets than those fleeing Ukraine.
By tonight, such crippling fear could ring in Putin’s ears like air raid sirens.
All that’s missing is America’s rarest commodity: Bold leadership from the seldom-seen president of the United States.
Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Read Deroy Murdock's Reports — More Here.
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