Finding Biden Administration policies to criticize is like harpooning a blimp at three feet. One can’t miss. Biden’s inflation-inducing spending programs, his failure to control the border, his stifling of oil and natural gas production at home while encouraging its production by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, his student loan forgiveness program, and a probable assault on the civil liberties of students accused of sex-related offenses on college and university campuses are among many policies that may well in the future be judged failures. Yet among his policies and programs, his decision to arm Ukraine with modern sophisticated weapons systems to repel the Russian invasion and his firmly expressed determination to defend Taiwan should China invade it stand out as sound policy choices worthy of praise.
President Biden understands that Russian President Putin wants nothing more than to restore Russia to the status of the old Soviet Union, the collapse of which, said Putin, was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the Soviet Union. Yet to truly attain Soviet-era status, Russia would have to reabsorb not only Ukraine, but all the other independent republics which broke away from Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed—including our NATO allies, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which the United States would be obligated by treaty to defend against Putin’s efforts to make them once again Russian possessions. And our NATO treaty obligations would also require us to defend Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania against Russian efforts to reduce them to the satellite status they had to endure during the Cold War. But should Ukraine successfully repel the Russian invasion—which should be seen as the first step in Russia’s attempted reconquest of territories lost—Putin may well be deterred from further implementation of his imperialistic program. So Ukraine is fighting not only its own battle, but ours as well.
And Ukraine’s recent battlefield successes—with American-supplied weapons systems—shows the wisdom of Biden’s polices. But not only is Ukraine recapturing territory originally lost to Russia, but in doing so it is producing more political instability within Russia itself. Putin’s decision to mobilize reserves is proving wildly unpopular, provoking mass protest demonstrations and a mass exodus of draft-age men to countries where they cannot be caught and forced into battle. And all the while ultra-hardliners are faulting Putin for his ineffectiveness in failing to subdue Ukraine, while more and more of his former allies are “falling” out of windows or out of boats or down stairways. Well done, President Zelensky. And well done, President Biden.
A decisive military defeat of Russia may also deter Chinese President Xi from a much -threatened invasion of Taiwan to bring it under communist rule: If Xi can see the damage inflicted on Putin and Russia by those determined to preserve their independence, he may well be deterred from his own plans of conquest, especially if he knows the United States will be aiding Taiwan.
The visits of Speaker Pelosi and other members of Congress were especially fortuitous in that they underscored our links with Taiwan and our determination to help keep Taiwan free. So, too, were President Biden’s promotion of a diplomatic boycott of the Peking Olympics last winter, as well as his recent comments in an interview recently broadcast on CBS’s 60 Minutes, wherein he explicitly promised that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be resisted with American troops. Such a promise made in the blunt and uncompromising language Biden used is exactly what’s needed to counteract Xi’s saber rattling. Again, President Biden—well done.
So those who would criticize the bulk of President Biden’s ill-conceived domestic policies should, in the interest of fairness, acknowledge the wisdom and success of his foreign policies too. Russia and China pose the greatest threats to freedom and peace throughout the world. President Biden, to his credit, recognizes this fundamental fact and is acting with the determination and effectiveness one should expect from the leader of the Free World.
Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present). He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014. He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.