Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Putin’s Grave Miscalculation
- War In Ukraine: Week Two by Col. Kenneth Allard
- Stop honking and let him finish
- Jan. 6 prosecutors "...have blood on their hands"
- And much more
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected].
Putin’s Grave Miscalculation
As we enter the fifth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I’ll remind you that we can’t do constantly updated coverage here, but Fox News has a page with all the latest bulletins.
Also, a reminder that fast-breaking news coming out of a war zone may be unreliable or propaganda, so take everything with a grain of salt until confirmed. For instance, a story that I hope turns out to be wrong was the claim that 13 Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island were killed after responding to a Russian warship’s surrender demand by telling them to “Go (BLEEP) themselves.” It now appears possible that they may be alive and taken prisoner.
As of this writing, the capital city of Kyiv is surrounded, but has yet to fall to Russian troops. Meanwhile, the nation’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, is enduring heavy shelling from Russian rockets.
If Putin assumed it would be easy to overwhelm Ukraine and install a puppet government, he gravely miscalculated. The Ukrainians are fighting back hard, exacting heavy losses from the Russian troops. Their bravery and the senseless carnage are causing the world, including many Russians, to turn against Putin and rush to Ukraine's aid.
US intelligence says that Belarus is expected to send troops into Ukraine. Some sanctions that really hurt Russia were finally imposed, like the US and EU blocking certain Russian banks from the SWIFT system that enables them to operate globally.
The US also froze Russian central bank assets held by Americans.
The hacker group Anonymous is believed to be responsible for taking down the websites of major Russian state-controlled or aligned news sites.
In what many analysts think is a sign not only of Putin's iron grip on Russia weakening but of the people’s awareness of his weakening, thousands of Russians are risking jail to publicly protest the Ukraine invasion. Two Russian billionaires also called for an end to it.
And astoundingly, over 150 senior Russian officials signed a letter blaming Putin personally for the invasion, calling it an “unprecedented atrocity” with “no justification,” and urging citizens not to back it.
And a huge salute to the Ukrainian people, who are giving an example for the ages of guts and defiance of tyranny. They’re standing in front of tanks. Elderly ladies are asking Russian soldiers, “Why are you doing this?” which forces them to admit they don’t know. Some reportedly gave the Russians flower seeds to carry on them and told them that flowers will grow from their fallen bodies and their deaths won’t be a complete waste. And a video went viral of a Ukrainian soldier warning the Russians to surrender now because Ukraine treats POWs pretty well, but if they don’t, “Welcome to hell” (talk about messing with the enemies’ heads!)
In addition to praying for Ukraine and doing all we can to hamper Putin, I hope that amplifying this message of the hardcore resistance of the people not only fires up opposition to Putin in Russia but also makes Beijing rethink its threats to invade Taiwan. Putin thought America had a weak President, and he was right, but he miscalculated in thinking that his only opposition would be the heads of other nations. He forgot that the ultimate superpower is the people, and if they refuse to be enslaved to tyranny, they are a mighty force.
I hope this also serves as a chilling warning to every despotic national leader, power-mad bureaucrat, wealthy elitist or tech billionaire who thinks they are also so high and mighty that they can boss around seven billion people and they’ll just meekly bow down and take it.
No Ronald Reagan
Gina Loudon at Townhall.com takes a look at how Ronald Reagan brought the Soviet Union to its knees without firing a shot using tactics that could work again today. Unfortunately, Joe Biden is no Ronald Reagan.
War In Ukraine: Week Two by Col. Kenneth Allard
As he often does, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates succinctly summarized the Ukrainian crisis, telling CNN’s Fareed Zakaria “Our long holiday from history is over.” He should know, having long shaped the structure that suddenly collapsed when Putin savagely invaded an inoffensive, neighboring republic. In a flash, seven decades, innumerable precedents, conventions, untold trillions in defense expenditures, and a pervasive sense of peace vanished in the roar of missiles reaching their targets.
The burning question: How long could the courageous but over-matched Ukrainians hold out before Admiral Nelson’s famous dictum caught up? “Numbers annihilate.”
But from the conflict’s first hours, Ukrainian fighters seemed determined to walk a hero’s path running from Bastogne and the Alamo back to Thermopylae. Thirteen Ukrainian border guards achieved immortality when their wonderfully obscene response to a Russian warship quickly galvanized global websites. There were startling reports of Russian transports being shot down, of armored columns ambushed and destroyed. Yet even as the bristling combined arms force bore down on him, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskiy provided a classic demonstration of courage under fire, coolly dismissing an American attempt to evacuate him. “I need ammunition, not a ride!”
Defying early assumptions of Russian cyber-war, the global info-sphere instead carried resounding messages praising Zelensky and his embattled cohorts, while universally condemning Soviet-style aggression. That’s the thing about genuine heroism: Its blinding light immediately reveals and shames anything less. That is why, as the war grinds into its second week, Vladimir Putin is in real trouble. Not only has the outside world turned against him - the ruble plunging to all-time lows - but internal dissent is growing, thousands of peace demonstrators arrested on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. A star Russian athlete even used his television time to write “No war, please” on the camera lens. Were these people no longer afraid of the gulag and the dreaded secret police?
Far more serious was Putin’s chilling announcement that Russian nuclear forces had been placed on high alert. Was this anything more than an obvious intent to intimidate, invoking the nuclear genie to distract from Russia’s lack of progress on the ground? If so, it didn’t deter Germany - Europe’s center of gravity - from announcing that it would now support the Ukrainian resistance with anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons. Berlin’s stunning reversal - from what had been a deeply ambiguous neutrality - may have been a mortal blow to Putin’s reputation for winning by intimidation. With growing diplomatic and economic reversals now added to military ineffectiveness, there were immediate questions about the strongman’s own survival. Senior American officials like Condoleezza Rice were even wondering about Putin’s mental stability.
So is he crazy or just incapable of making sound decisions? Either way, one looked for answers from Russian history, where popular “elections” mostly ratify previous decisions of the ruling elites. So it was that Nikita Khrushchev, in October, 1962, boldly gambled and placed Soviet missiles in Cuba: but he was forced to withdraw them when confronted by President Kennedy, backed by American military might. Not many months later, Khrushchev was gone, quietly replaced because of his “adventurism” in Cuba. So why should Putin’s fate be any different?
That answer may well depend on the battles now immediately before us. Russia can reinforce its advantages in armor, artillery, hyper-baric rockets and long-range fires to trash major population centers like Kharkov and Kiev - all of it viewed in exquisite detail by an aroused global audience. NATO countries on Ukraine’s borders can reinforce the resistance by covert infiltration routes - also subject to Russian counter-attacks and increasing risks of escalation. The courageous persistence of Ukrainian fighters has already been established: but how long before Nelson’s Law takes effect? Can they win a longer insurgency?
It is a dangerous time, perhaps our most perilous since the Missiles of October, but there is no conceivable way of turning back. Watching these events unfold over this momentous weekend, I kept comparing Putin to the mad Inspector Javert from “Les Miz.” A single tune kept replaying in my mind and perhaps you heard it too:
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
NOTE: Colonel Allard is the author of Command, Control and the Common Defense, winner of the 1991 National Security Book Award. After leaving active duty, he became an on-air military analyst for the networks of NBC News
Jan. 6 prosecutors "...have blood on their hands"
I am so sorry to have to start your week with this startling and awful piece of news. But Matthew Perna, one of the defendants charged in the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, hanged himself in his garage Sunday morning.
With the wall-to-wall coverage of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the sad story of one victim of our “justice” system won’t get much attention in the mainstream media --- perhaps not even in the conservative media --- but it must be told. Julie Kelly at American Greatness broke the story early Sunday, with a tweet: “Getting reports a January 6 defendant just committed suicide. If confirmed, this defendant committed no violent crime and walked through an open door with Capitol Hill police present. Biden’s DOJ has tried to destroy so many lives over the past year --- they may have another victim.”
She went on: “If what I am hearing is true, the Biden regime and news media have blood on their hands. [She mentioned that at least one other Jan. 6 defendant has committed suicide.] When confirmed, this story should outrage every single American. And when I say these prosecutors are sadistic, I mean it.”
Sunday afternoon, Kelly did confirm that Perna, 37, had killed himself, and she tweeted: “This is true. I cannot express the rage I feel after speaking with his family. More on this tomorrow.”
But she went ahead and wrote more on Sunday, offering more details on his specific case. Apparently, all the man did was walk through an open door on the Senate side of the building, along with hundreds of other people, as Capitol police stood to the side. This is seen in the security video that was finally released in October over the objections of Biden’s “Justice” Department.
Parna was completely nonviolent and vandalized nothing. He left, Kelly said, after about 20 minutes, though the original complaint says he was there for just 5-10 minutes. Oh, but he was –- gasp! –- wearing a red “MAGA” hoodie sweatshirt, which some would consider the mark of a violent domestic terrorist as well as a capital (Capitol?) crime.
Less than two weeks later, Perna learned he was on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list for January 6 participants, and he immediately contacted the local FBI field office and voluntarily submitted to questioning.
Acting swiftly, on January 18, six FBI agents arrived at his house and arrested him. On February 25, a grand jury indicted him on four counts.
Julie Kelly was able to speak Sunday with his devastated aunt, Geri Perna, who told her he had suffered a year of “legal and public torture.” His hometown paper, the Sharon Herald --- that’s Sharon, Pennsylvania --- would publish articles on its social media account about him, she said, and he would receive “horrible and brutal” replies.
(We saw that by Sunday night, the Herald had already posted his brief death notice. The funeral is Wednesday.)
Perna’s aunt said through her sobs that “they broke him.” Her nephew “had run out of hope. I know he couldn’t take it any more.”
According to a story in the Post Millennial, Perna had been indicted on four counts: Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds; and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building. It sure seems that the only thing he might have actually done was the second one, Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building --- and apparently he hadn’t even known it was restricted. He also maintained that he hadn’t intended to go into the building but was pushed inside by the crowd. Even so, in December he went ahead and pleaded guilty to all four charges.
Together, these four charges can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison (!) and a fine of $250,000, plus some additional penalties. Sentencing had been scheduled for March 3, which is also the anniversary of his mother’s death seven years ago.
But the U.S. attorney in Washington DC who is handling all the January 6 cases, Matthew Graves, asked for a delay in sentencing so he could make sure all the defendants were “punished equally.” He requested “additional time for the Government’s internal review process to be completed.” From what Graves and his prosecution team have written about their approach to these cases, specifically the “obstruction” charge, it might be assumed from this that they were looking at strategies for treating all defendants equally HARSHLY, as “domestic terrorists” and threats to democracy. Kelly’s report has the specifics.
Independent journalist Tayler Hansen, who was inside the Capitol that day and captured video evidence of the actions surrounding Ashli Babbitt’s death, quoted Perna’s family as saying prosecutors had informed him they would be pursuing additional charges, and that Perna just “couldn’t take another day.”
Our friend Brandon Straka, founder of the #WalkAway Movement for those fed up with the Democrat Party, was outside the Capitol that day and also faced prosecution/persecution by the “Justice” Department. He was arrested on January 25 of last year after the FBI had investigated his social media feeds, and he cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty in October to Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. After his own experience, he sees very well how being targeted in this way can lead to the emotional destruction of a human being. “I don’t know Matthew Perna,” he tweeted, “haven’t studied his case or accusations against him. But he’s killed himself and I understand why. I had the same thoughts many times this past year. The deafening silence of Republicans & conservative media for ppl dragged through this hell is unbearable.”
Do you hear that, Republicans and conservative media?
Another January 6 defendant, 61-year-old Marine John Anderson of St. Augustine, Florida, died last September while waiting for his day in court. We’ve been unsuccessful finding a cause of death for him, as it was not disclosed at the time –- was it suicide? –- but he maintained his innocence until his death. This is another case of someone not entering the Capitol complex of his own accord; he was pushed forward into the tunnel by the crowd and then brought farther inside by Metro Police after being rendered unable to breathe by a direct hit in the face with pepper spray. (The protester who was wielding the spray, aiming at cops, hasn’t been charged.)
Anderson’s attorney, Marina Medvin, has set up a page telling his story. I encourage you to read about him and remember him --- and the outrageous way he was treated. This should NEVER happen in America, let alone to someone who did nothing wrong and who had loved and served his country.
Upon his death, the government dismissed all charges against him.
Stop honking and let him finish
While I’m supportive of the truckers who have joined in the People’s Convoy that’s heading for Washington, DC, the writer Bonchie at Redstate.com makes a good argument that any plans to use it to disrupt President Biden’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday would be counterproductive.
His point is that Biden and the Democrats are in free-fall right now. The last thing we should do is hand them an issue to grab onto.
For the past year, I’ve talked about how the people who entered the Capitol on January 6th derailed investigations into the 2020 election by handing the Democrats the “insurrection” narrative that they’ve been beating like a dead horse. It’s a stone-cold lock that the Dems and their media mouthpieces will treat the truckers’ convoy as “Insurrection II” (the Capitol Police have already put fencing back up around the Capitol to make it look like an armed fortress.) That will be the big story, rather than Biden’s speech, which they would welcome any chance to bury.
From all that we’ve seen and heard out of Biden, I suspect that it would be far better for freedom-loving Americans if everyone actually saw his speech. In short, when your opponent is talking himself out of a job, don’t honk your horn and drown him out.
I Just Wanted to Say:
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