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Last night, President Biden gave his first State of the Union Address. At least, I think he did. I tuned in to watch, and something bizarre happened. I believe due to some weird atmospheric anomaly, my satellite dish picked up a SOTU Address by a totally different President Biden speaking from an alternate universe.

In this parallel universe, the alt-President Biden spent the past year strengthening international relations and the past few months working with our allies to get sanctions in place that have Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian invasion plans on the ropes. In our universe, our President Biden pulled a botched Afghanistan withdrawal without consulting our allies and signaled that America was an unreliable partner (there was also that business with the submarines that ticked off France.) Our Biden admitted just last week that the sanctions, which he waited too long to impose, didn’t work, as Putin enters his seventh day of ramping up his horrific assault on Ukraine.

In the alternate universe, a record number of new jobs were created last year. In this universe, people returned to their old jobs that were artificially shut down by the government, but we’re still millions short of where we were before the pandemic.

In the alternate universe, the House chamber was filled with unmasked people. In our universe, many kids are still forced to wear masks in school, despite even “Saturday Night Live” now admitting they made very little difference.

In the alternate universe, alt-President Biden promotes buying American and cracking down on illegal immigration. In our universe, Trump did those things and Biden called him a racist and a xenophobe.

In the alternate universe, inflation can be cured by ordering businesses to lower their costs while also forcing them to raise wages and pay much higher taxes. In our universe, inflation is caused by the government printing too much money, and wages and taxes actually are two of the biggest costs of doing business.

In the alternate universe, COVID is not a reason for Americans to be divided. In our universe, it’s a reason to demonize people, fire them from their jobs, and refuse them medical care.

In the alternate universe, Biden denounces illegal immigration and skyrocketing crime and calls for more funding for police and gets standing ovations from the Democrats. In our universe, Biden opened the borders, denounced our border guards as whip-cracking racists, wants to tear down the border wall, and secretly disperses illegal aliens by plane all over America under cover of darkness. And the crime waves are in Democrat-run cities where leftist DA’s have actually made crime legal while Democrats defunded the police. Democrats applauding our Biden for vowing to crack down on illegal immigration and fund the police would be like a gang of arsonists applauding their leader for vowing to do something about the problem of how it’s getting really hot in here.

In the alternate universe, President Biden will take action to reduce the cost of insulin. In our universe, Biden reversed a Trump executive order that reduced the cost of insulin.

In the alternate universe, Biden will take swift action to fix long-standing problems like infrastructure and veterans’ care that in our universe dragged on for eight long years under Obama and Biden.

In the alternate universe, “Build Back Better” and the federal takeover of elections are apparently still alive.

In the alternate universe, the Trump-era tax cut benefited only the ultra-rich. In our universe, it gave a huge amount of tax relief to the poor and middle class, with many having their income tax burdens eliminated entirely, while the rich ended up paying a larger percentage of taxes.

The alt-VP Harris stands and applauds the ideas of cracking down on crime and funding the police. Our VP Harris raised money for a fund to bail rioters out of jail.

In our universe, the people looking at an empty chair where family members used to be included the families of 13 military members needlessly killed in Afghanistan. Since they weren’t mentioned, I assume (and hope) that never happened in their universe.

And the most glaring differences of all: in the alternate universe, the state of the union is strong, and President Biden is competent, popular, gets thunderous applause and standing ovations, and can talk for a solid hour. Oh, and Ukrainians are known as “Iranians.”

Now, the big question: How do I get out of this universe and live in that one until 2024?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its sixth day Tuesday, with Putin showing no signs of backing off despite worldwide condemnation, accusations of war crimes, and banking and oil sanctions devastating the Russian economy and sending the ruble plummeting in value. Even Switzerland dropped its famous neutrality and cut off Russian access to Swiss banks.

This is the link for the latest bulletins from Fox News:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-day-6

With his belief that this would be a quick and easy invasion blowing up in his face, Putin seems to be getting more dangerously angry and irrational. He’s even put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert. This article by Dennis Santiago at Redstate.com contains valuable information about the relative strengths of the Russian and Ukrainian forces, Putin’s thinking and his tragic miscalculations, and what should be done next to get him to climb down.

https://redstate.com/dennis_santiago/2022/02/28/analysis-as-russias-ukraine-campaign-struggles-the-west-must-neuter-putins-nuclear-threat-n529736

Here are some of the latest developments: The European Union accepted Ukraine’s emergency application for admission, which would allow it access to Europe’s power grid and ally it further with the rest of Europe against Russia.

Satellite images show Russia has sent a 40-mile convoy of “killing machines” to threaten the capital city of Kyiv, and Russia state media are warning of imminent attacks on the city.

Elon Musk sent a shipment of his Starlink Internet terminals to Ukraine at President Zelinsky’s request, to restore Internet access cut off by Russia.

https://nypost.com/2022/02/28/elon-musks-starlink-satellite-internet-terminals-arrive-in-ukraine/

There is a claim that a militia of mercenaries known as the Wagner Group has been flown in from Africa with orders to kill President Zelinsky and other prominent Ukrainians. Key line: “The Kremlin once again denied it has any influence over Wagner and suggested that (its reputed boss Yevgeny) Prigozhin only provides catering services to the Russian government.” I assume that “catering to Putin” means assassinating people.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10559811/Putins-militia-orders-kill-Zelensky-Blood-thirsty-mercenaries-Wagner-Group-revealed.html

The CEO of Shell Oil announced that Shell is cutting its business dealings with Russia and pulling out of the Nord Steam 2 pipeline project.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/shell-is-pulling-out-of-russia-dumping-gazprom-deal

Here’s a photo that went viral that gives you an idea of Putin’s unstable frame of mind.

https://twitchy.com/sarahd-313035/2022/02/28/recent-photo-of-russian-president-vladimir-putin-suggests-that-theres-something-to-all-those-rumors-that-hes-losing-whats-left-of-his-mind/

And as I always remind you, breaking news from a war zone often is unreliable. It can turn out to be an honest mistake or well-disguised propaganda. For instance, we already mentioned that the Ukrainian troops on Snake Island who defied the Russian warship were captured, not killed as originally reported. We’ve also learned that the former Miss Ukraine hadn’t actually joined the fighting but just posed with a prop rifle in a show of support. But all things considered, I'd still rather have her fighting beside me than Justin Trudeau. There are other stories, too, that we didn’t cover but that have since been debunked or amended. The National Pulse rounds up a few, some of them actually from movies or video games.

https://thenationalpulse.com/2022/02/28/pro-ukraine-propaganda-floods-social-media/

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

Don't Blame Trump

February 27, 2022

For anyone foolish or desperate enough to try to blame Donald Trump for Vladimir Putin choosing to invade Ukraine while Biden is in office (looking at you, Hillary), here’s some video from a 2018 NATO summit meeting where then-President Trump called out European leaders to their faces for not contributing enough to beef up NATO defenses and for enriching Putin by letting themselves be so dependent on Russian oil and gas.

https://www.westernjournal.com/video-trump-2018-spreads-like-wildfire-proof-wanted-hurt-russia-nato-nothing/

FYI: If you’d like to know who’s really responsible for Putin’s well-stocked arsenal and his sway over European nations through control of their fuel supply, read this:

https://the-pipeline.org/how-the-greens-brought-war-to-ukraine/

It’s about how the environmentalist Green Party movement became so powerful in Europe that grown-up politicians quaked when Greta Thunberg said, “How DARE you” to them. They started shutting down clean nuclear power plants and relying on windmills and sunbeams. And when Biden decided the climate was a bigger threat than Russia and shut down our energy industry, Europe (and, incredibly, the US) were left dependent on Russian oil.

And here’s Mark Thiessen with the American perspective on how Biden’s war on fossil fuels has weakened America and strengthened Putin. I’m amazed that this appears in the Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/24/biden-climate-gas-prices-russia-sanctions