Understanding DIME; Trump gets it; Biden does NOT and that’s why Putin, Xi and Kim, are beating him up and taking his lunch money.
Back last February, and in a vain attempt to put lipstick on sow a that he himself sired, President Biden held a press conference to announce sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in a clear attempt to overthrow its government. Surprisingly, Biden even took questions, after a rambling speech where he touted the new sanctions that are tougher than any others proposed, including denying Russian access to SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) which he is not doing. We’ll get into that in a moment.
Of note during the press conference, the deference usually shown to Biden by the legacy press seemed if not absent, then greatly attenuated. Rather than the usual…take your (predetermined) turn and obsequiously ask your (Psaki approved) question, the event was starting to look (almost) like a Trump press conference–except that Trump didn’t need note cards with reporters’ names and the (pre-approved) questions they would ask. Then there was this.
During the question and answer that followed his remarks, one reporter, asked, “Are you urging China to help isolate Russia?” His response? “I’m not prepared to comment on that right now.” With most administrations, Democrat or Republican, I might be willing to give a sitting POTUS the benefit of the doubt. After all, his response might easily be understood as avoiding upsetting ongoing, sensitive negotiations. However in this case, my default position is to be extremely suspicious of everything that comes out of Biden’s mouth or that of his propaganda minister, Jen Psaki. So, I did a little digging around and came to the conclusion that if indeed the Biden team or Biden himself had made such an approach to Chinese officials or even Xi himself, they were likely told the diplomatic equivalent of, “Pack sand.” And…right from Reuters shortly after a later Presidential news conference:
Ahead of Biden’s remarks on Ukraine, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called on “all sides to exercise restraint to prevent the situation from getting out of control,” but bridled at journalists’ characterisation of Russia’s actions.
“This is perhaps a difference between China and you Westerners. We won’t go rushing to a conclusion,” she said.
“Regarding the definition of an invasion, I think we should go back to how to view the current situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainian issue has other very complicated historical background that has continued to today. It may not be what everyone wants to see.”
While we know that China is not our friend, why would they come down relatively speaking, on Putin’s side. A little more digging came up with this little gem from Fox News, published just 4 days ago:
Sergey Mochalnikov, the head of the Russian Energy Ministry, announced the deal on Friday. The new deal will add to an already lucrative deal Russia signed with India in Nov. 2021 to supply 40 million tons of coal.
“Now, an intergovernmental agreement with the People’s Republic of China is being developed and the figure is 100 million tons,” he said. “In the coming years, consumers should receive as much coal as they need.”
How does all of this relate to the unenviable and mostly self-inflicted position the Biden team finds itself in? Simple. It has to do with understanding that in the international arena, seemingly unrelated decisions can have far-reaching consequences. Those in turn, can affect a country’s ability to work its will on the international stage. This is what we are seeing right now.
And, it’s getting worse, with Ukraine engaged in an existential fight for its very existence…a fight that would likely not happened if Biden had any knowledge of how this stuff actually works. Yesterday, I wrote a little explainer on how this works and how President Donald Trump had the ability to synchronize the various elements of national power, while Joe Biden seems to be flailing.
So, let’s talk D.I.M.E. Back when Trump was in charge, he was able to leverage a burgeoning economy (Economics). led by the energy sector, to flat out eliminate the ability of the Saudis, the Russians or anyone else to hold us hostage to the fossil fuel supply chain. This enabled him to deal from a position of strength as he demonstrated more leadership by publicly demanding (Informational/Diplomatic) NATO members start paying their fair share of defense costs (Military)…which they acceded to.
Bolstered by that success and others along the way, Trump used his “Leader of the Free World” bully pulpit (and long-standing legislation) to send a message (Informational) to all and sundry, by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel. This demonstration of strength upset the longstanding belief that the so called, Palestinians were entitled to some sort of veto in that matter. The end result of that resulted in the “Abraham Accords,” in which several Arab countries, long-standing enemies of Israel, began to establish diplomatic relations with her. The possibility of peace was at hand in the Middle East because Donald Trump was able to synchronize all the elements of D.I.M.E.
Now let’s have a look at the situation in Ukraine and how we got where we are today. Again, we will use the D.I.M.E. construct. And once again, it starts with the “E,” economics led by another “e,” energy. While President Trump used a newly gained energy surfeit to insulate us from the actions of other international producers (including both Russia and Saudi Arabia) . Biden, through his executive orders and regulations promulgated by his cabinet secretaries and bureaus, voluntarily ceded our energy independence back to the oil cartels (Economics (energy)).
Another of Biden’s executive orders did further damage and not only diminished U.S. energy leverage, but it actually helped Putin. By removing sanctions on the Nordstream pipeline, Joe Biden effectively ceded energy supremacy in Europe to former KGB Lieutenant Colonel, now President of Russia, Vladimir Putin (Economics (energy)). The effect of that? When Biden attempted to get buy-in from our NATO partners for real sanctions against Putin’s Russia, the most effective one (SWIFT) as noted above, was taken off the table by the Germans and others whose economies depend on Russian Petro/Ruble/Dollar transactions (Economics & Diplomatic).
The situation in Ukraine is a self-inflicted wound. While the left attempts to deflect from the situation, claiming that in this situation Trump would be able to do no better. I disagree, but that isn’t the issue here. The real issue is that if Trump were still President, we wouldn’t BE in this situation in the first place. Sadly, we can look forward to more of this. Remember China telling us to “Pack sand” above. What does that tell us about possibilities vis-à-vis Taiwan? While most thinking Americans have long held doubts about Biden’s ability to deal rationally with one issue at a time, we should expect that the team he hires be competent to handle multiple aspects of international relations at once to keep us in a position to exercise our national will. The ineptness–and in some cases, downright venality of the Biden team, portend bad days ahead.
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