We are at war.
We are at war with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
We were in a state of Cold War with Russia for years. Trump was part of it. Brexit was part of it. Putin subverted democratic processes, subverted the Internet, and subverted markets long before his invasion of Ukraine.
The invasion made this a hot war.
There is no alternative to Ukraine’s complete victory. Anything that leaves Putin in power only means we’re going to be here again. He isn’t like Hitler. Putin IS Hitler. It no longer matters that he has nuclear weapons. He may use them if we retreat, he may use them if we advance. We can’t limit our response to his threats. Putin’s victory would destroy humanity in any case, wrecking the climate in a global conflict of all-against-all.
It's time to go all-in.
The President’s oath requires him to fight all enemies, “foreign and domestic.” We have domestic enemies. This includes most of the Republican Party, rebuilt by Trump into a pro-Putin autocratic rump. Their tactics are Putin’s tactics. They escalate regardless of facts on the ground, knowing that their control over information will keep their people on-side. They demand complete surrender, a total reversal of the 20th century. We need to identify Trumpism with Putinism, explicitly, loudly, if we’re to win this conflict. We need to go after all Putin’s western allies, including the Murdochs, with everything we have.
It's also time for Biden to call for energy conservation. Every gallon of gas you don’t use puts a thumb down on Putin’s power over our economy. It’s the only way forward. Slow the return to the office. Shame those who drive gas guzzlers. Oil prices impact all prices. It was the economic equivalent of pot in the 1970s, of crack in the last decade, and of fentanyl today. Treat it that way.
Finally, America also needs to acknowledge its strength. We recently approved another $40 billion in aid to the region. Russia’s entire military budget is roughly $60 billion and might rise 20% because of the war. The U.S. Defense budget for this fiscal year is $750 billion.
We are in a third World War. It is not just being fought in 10,000 places. It’s also a propaganda war, a cyberwar, an economic war, and a political war. A total war.
Some days I feel Joe Biden is going through the FDR years on fast forward. He got the economy and pandemic under control in one year, something that took FDR 8. Now he faces a global conflict whose results will be known by the end of 2022.
There’s no alternative to victory.