Ukraine War, February 22, 2024: The failure to press the countries of the Global South on sanctions and condemnation of Russia

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1) Edward Wong and Michael Crowley, “U.S. Campaign to Isolate Russia Shows Limits After 2 Years of War
Many nations insist on not taking sides in the war in Ukraine, while China, India and Brazil are filling Russia’s coffers,” New York Times, February 22, 2024 (Updated 1:56 p.m. ET);

2) Rajan Menon, “Putin Has Already Lost,” New York Times, February 22, 2024;

Mr. Menon is the director of the grand strategy program at Defense Priorities, an American foreign policy think tank.

3) David E. Sanger and Steven Erlanger (reporting from Munich),”As Putin Threatens, Despair and Hedging in Europe; There is a dawning recognition that the continent urgently needs to step up its own defense, especially as the U.S. wavers, but the commitments still are not coming,” New York Times, February 18, 2024;

4) Aliss Higham, “Putin Ally Vows Nuclear Strike on Washington if Ukraine Wins,” Newsweek, February 18, 2024 (11:56 AM EST);

5) Luís Panlo Beauregard, “Biden llama a Putin “loco hijo de puta” durante un acto de recaudación de fondos para su campaña; El Kremlin responde que el comentario degrada a Estados Unidos y presenta al presidente como ‘un vaquero de Hollywood’,” El País, el 22 de febrero 2024 (Actualizado a las 11:22 EST);


Edward Wong and Michael Crowley report in the New York Times on the current state of the West’s failure to enlist the support of countries in the Global South in the sanctions regimes against Russia and condemnation of its war of aggression against Ukraine.

Rajan Menon in an op-ed in the Washington Posr writes that Putin has already lost the war in Ukraine, a mistaken reading of recent events that would come as quite a surprise to the Ukrainian troops retreating from Avdiivka which has just fallen to advancing Russian troops.

Menon writes from the long-term perspective of  big-picture rational analysis.
He may be right in some long-term strategic perspective, provided we don’t all die in a nuclear war in the meantime.

A similar article might have been written in 1943, after the tide of war had turned against Germany in World War II.  There is one big difference, however.  Adolf Hitler did not have nuclear weapons.

That is not to say that Joe Biden and NATO should continue to cave in whenever Putin issues nuclear threats.

Like a cuckoo clock, Dmitry Medvedev pops out and issues nuclear threats whenever Putin feels threatened and wants to scare Biden into not taking a particular action.  Some of his recent threats seem to be aimed at scaring Biden and NATO into not deploying F-16 fighters in Ukraine in significant numbers, as they could have a major impact on the battlefield.

Not to disappoint, Biden evidenced his slipping grip and advancing senility by calling Vladimir Putin a “crazy SOB”. SOB means “son of a bitch”.

With a disastrous foreign policy record going back decades, Biden has no way left to sanction Russia other than to call Putin names like a little boy in a fourth grade schoolyard fight.

This is the last — and there’s a existential threat: It is climate. We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict. But the existential threat to humanity is climate.
Putin just murdered the leading opposition leader in Russia. Surely he’s wincing under the biting force of Biden’s schoolyard taunt.
–White House, “Remarks by President Biden at a Campaign Reception,”
Private Residence, San Francisco, California, February 21, 2024

Biden has a great domestic policy record. It’s just that his foreign policy has been a total disaster, which more and more observers are beginning to notice as the chickens come home to roost.

Ukraine is losing territory (e.g., Adviika) because Biden and the West did not ramp up munitions production in time.

Ukraine has not received $60 billion in U.S. military aid because Trump’s followers in the House of Representatives are blocking it.

Ukraine received too few modern weapons too late because of Biden’s restriction, i posed because of his excessive fears of Zputin’s nuclear threats.

Biden failed to deter Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, notably be declaring that NATO forces would not get involved if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Biden showed what staying power the U.S. had by abandoning its allies in Afghanistan, and withdrawing in a manner guaranteed to cause the fall of tge Afghan government headed by elected-President Ashraf Ghani–by withdrawing all U.S. contractors, without whom the Afghan air force could not fly, whereas without tge Afghan air force the Afghan army could not fight.

Biden was the lead on Ukraine policy when, after invading and annexing the Crimea, Russia invaded the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine, Baracka Obama insisted on calling it an “incursion” instead of an invasion.

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