Elections 2024. Early Forecast

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Dianne Feinstein (D) announces she will not run for reelection as California Senator. Age is the key factor. She will be 90 later this year.
Nikki Haley (R), 51, steps out as a candidate for president, challenging Trump who is 76.
Tim Scott (R), 57, is to announce his own candidacy in the next week or two.
Ron DeSantis (R), 44, is sure to follow as will others.
The political engines, never dormant, are revving up again and favor the younger.
Meanwhile, in the Democratic party, all would be challengers wait for word from Biden. Will he or won’t he, run for president again? He will be 82 in 2024.
Biden has done a good job, but it’s time to cede the space and not hinder the new aspirants.
The longer he delays his decision, the greater advantage to the opposition.
Democratic would be challengers need time to get themselves organized, fine tune their message and smooth out the inevitable kinks.
Republicans aspirants have it easier for the upcoming election.
Trump has so damaged the party that whoever looks half way decent is a viable contender.
Lamentably, so far, many seem unwilling to criticize him openly and harshly.
Trump will lose in the primaries anyway, but if he miraculously does not, then he will be trounced in the general election. And, of course, he will go on to claim that the election was fraudulent.
Ideally, what Biden should do is decline to run again as soon as possible – like next week – and then commit to prepping all the Democratic newcomers. Not just Kamala Harris.
Biden would be making a great contribution to the nation if he made a point of periodically gathering all would be Democratic challengers and schooling them on how he’s conducted his presidency on both national and foreign affairs.
Mr Biden has much to teach, and doing so would strengthen the positions of democratic candidates as they fight off the opposition and themselves.
Because Mr Biden’s performance has covered so many aspects, such mentoring assistance would help build formidable candidates.
I don’t recall any sitting president ever doing that unless it was done in private.
This upcoming election is for Democrats to win handily, provided they’re disciplined enough.
The likelihood is that inflation will be under control well before election day. So, too, will Covid, while our investments in infrastructure and climate change will be moving along.
Biden should not be looking at the 2024 election as a contest he should win but as one the Democratic party should win.
Even if Biden is not challenged from within the party, the contest against the Republican nominee will be exhausting, which will take time away from major concerns, chief among them the war in Ukraine.
As we stand, there remain within Europe bitter differences as to whether to fully support Ukraine.
There have been delays in supplying armaments essential to hold back Russia and one day boot them out of Ukraine entirely. This has given Russia additional advantages.
So focused attention on the war is essential, as well as explaining its importance to the American people.
Ukraine’s heroic defense of their land is a major contributor to the political stability of the world.
Russia continues its attempt to destabilize neighboring countries, as recent evidence suggests has happened in nearby Moldova, whose government is pro-western.
It is conceivable that the war will come to an end during Biden’s term if he were to stay on task and is not distracted by running for a second term.
And winning the war would make for a great gift to all of us.

More Shootings

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Yet another one, this last at Michigan State University. As of this writing, it appears that the shooter was not linked to the school.
And we still don’t have effective gun control laws.
What will it take?
‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,’ says the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
But I say to you that there’s no ‘well regulated Militia’ in this country. That the estimated 350 million plus guns in private hands are not necessary for the security of America and instead act against it. And that the right to bear Arms creates far more problems than it solves.
Therefore, the Second Amendment is toxic to the country as it permits the killings of thousands of innocent people every year.
On January 6th 2021, an assault on Capitol Hill in Washington DC took place.
Our sitting president at the time was an influential factor in such assault.
Where the hell was the ‘well regulated Militia’?
The intent of the calculated aggression was to overturn a legitimate election.
Where was the ‘well regulated Militia?’
Nowhere, because it doesn’t exist. It is not real and will not come to the assistance of any movement that threatens our political system because owning a gun is not enough.
In the face of a threat to our political system what is needed are educated minds, people with a commitment to the laws of this nation who have invested in cultivating their sense of civic duty to assist their brothers and sisters.
In the face of a threat to our nation, what will be needed is people to speak up whenever there is corruption in government, what is needed is the courage to protest and stand side by side against would be oppressors, so the pillars of our nation are not undermined and destroyed.
Gun owners and all those gun bearers throughout this land did nothing to stop the injustice of the Capitol assault as it unfolded, except perhaps scratch their heads in puzzlement.
But those same gun owners will fight to the end any attempted restriction on their right to buy guns. Regardless of whether the buyer has the integrity to handle a gun or the emotional makeup to show restraint.
The gun lobby is a drag on the development, political and economic maturation of this country.
It is not an asset but a detriment.
It keeps us from connecting with each other.
What it does do is help us hide from the call to civic duty to our fellow human beings.
The freedom to buy guns must be restricted because the deaths of innocent people at the hands of the misguided or confused, envious or angry, is a deep wound being inflicted to the essence of who we are.
Very often, at the heart of the motivation of the shooters, is a profound sense of envy at having fallen behind and not being part of our national project.
That task of building ties to our fellow citizens is essential. It cannot be left to government.
Defenders of gun laws need to ask themselves, which is more important, my duty to my brothers and sisters, or the right to own a gun that breeds isolation.
The price of liberty is measured in the courage to stand against injustice, whenever and wherever it happens.
The price of liberty is also measured in our ability to hold our pain, and not give it to others.

Oscar Valdes is the author of Letters to a Shooter (available on Amazon) and other self published books.

Russians, Resist!

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You don’t have to take up arms against Putin, resist instead.
Stop building armaments. Stop pumping oil. Don’t go to work.
Resist and you will help paralyze the economy.
Soldiers in the battle fronts, put down your guns.
Refuse to be an accomplice of Putin.
Refuse to kill Ukrainians.
Refuse to allow Putin to send you into battle.
Value your life.
If you are not free to say what you wish then you are a pawn of others.
You are not your own person.
If you have not developed your own thoughts then you are letting Putin think for you.
To become a true human being you must do your own thinking.
If you think you have a right to kill Ukrainians then you have consented to be degraded by Putin.
Russians, let your anger rise! It is anger you need to be who you truly are, not what Putin wants you to be. Rise and be an example to other enslaved nations.
Your leader is a small man, envious of other leaders because he hasn’t been able to guide your nation to where it could be, given all your resources and human capital.
A small man who has kept you isolated instead of joining the rest of the world.
But he is clever, a clever murderer, and he’s managed to mislead most of you.
Russians, you are not innocent in this war.
You can’t just say you were following orders.
Ukrainians did no harm to you and there you are choosing to kill them.
How long will this go on?
It is unbelievable that you have been so passive.
It will be almost a year since the war started and aside from the people who have chosen to leave and a few scattered protests, there has been complete silence in your nation.
Do you just swallow everything that Putin says?
In Iran massive protests shook the nation after Mahsa Amini’s death for not following the rules of proper dress.
Even in China, there were protests against the covid lockdowns.
Meanwhile, in Russia, silence.
‘Yes, sir’. ‘No, sir’.
‘Go kill Ukrainians!’ ‘Yes, sir’.
‘Fire missiles into their apartment buildings, into their schools, into their hospitals’.
And you do whatever your highness, Putin, says.
There are world leaders who want Putin to win this war. People like Xi Jinping and others.
Which is not difficult to understand because the Chinese are not free people either.
And in the United Nations representatives from all over the world talk and talk and solve nothing. Zero. But they eat very well and sleep comfortably at the end of the day.
And you watch it all quietly. Nothing stirs in your heart and minds.
Are you alive or just robots?
I have to remind myself that Alexei Navalny is still in prison.
Have to remind myself that in him lies the future of Russia.
That’s the true Russia!
Fight Russians! What are you waiting for?
Let the spirit of Navalny rise, stop the killing of Ukrainians and join the world!

DeSantis and Disney

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The Florida governor is riding high.
‘So there’s a new Sheriff in town and that’s the way it’s going to be,’ he said the other day.
He’s taken on Disney and their ‘Reedy Creek Improvement District’, a legal authority granted to the entertainment company in the 1960s so they could set up a futuristic city in the Orlando area - Epcot - which never materialized and the project became instead another theme park.
Disney World packs a lot of punch and the special district status may grant financial advantages that lessen competition.
On those grounds alone those privileges could be challenged, but DeSantis’ tiff with the organization is about hitting back because Disney came out against a Florida law passed in March 2022, the ‘Parental Rights in Education Act’, which barred ‘classroom instruction … on sexual orientation or gender identity’ from kindergarten through the 3rd grade, while prohibiting also such instruction at any grade level if done ‘in a manner that is not age or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.’
The LGBTQ+ community, which is fighting against prejudice and for societal inclusion nationwide, justifiably saw it as a violation of free speech and have been critical of the law.
They are right.
Sexual orientation is largely established before we start primary school. Discussion of the differences others show allows for the development of tolerance and respect and so prevents prejudice with all its lasting damage.
The strong pushing for the passing of the law tells me such parents are not trusting themselves or their children.
But this is a pyrrhic victory for DeSantis. It exposes his own prejudices and it will carry through into the presidential race. We’ll see more as the campaign unfolds.
Disney was right in opposing passage of the law. They had to answer to their workers who have a broader perspective than the Florida governor and made their case clear.
Meanwhile, Disney will have to contend with their restricted governing powers. The district they had controlled will now be renamed ‘The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’ which will be subject to more state control and its board members will be appointed by DeSantis instead of the company.
Perhaps there will be more competition, but judging by Disney’s success, whoever has been part of that enterprise was doing a good job.
There are still options for Disney. If profoundly dissatisfied, they can pull out and move to an adjoining state where they could get a better deal. I’m sure it’s crossed the minds of their executives.
I don’t see Florida as the showcase state it is being made out to be.
Their demographics are skewed by an excess of retirees. Like Texas, it doesn’t have state taxes. But are those signs of being an outstanding state? No.
And regarding Covid: the battle against the virus was won by scientists, not by politicians.
So ride on, Sheriff DeSantis. You might be looking at a long stay in that saddle. Which will give you time to gallop on down to Mar-A-Lago and discuss with Trump all that could have been if either of you had been more inclusive as leaders.

Why Are We Fighting?

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The answer is not clear to many because we are being indecisive.
One sign of such indecisiveness has been the reluctance to offer Ukraine the proper weapons to counter Putin’s offensive.
It took forever to agree to sending in the tanks.
It is taking forever to agree to sending in the planes.
Forever to agree to the fact that Russia should not be allowed to be firing missiles into Ukraine from their own territory while insisting that the West should not aid Ukraine with weapons that can land in Russia proper.
Why not?
Are with Ukraine or not?
What are we afraid of?
It is not enough to say we are afraid of Putin. Not enough because he can be confronted on the matter of nuclear weapons.
Our nuclear weapons are just as good as his and China’s. And it should be clear also, that so long as China is around, they will act as a check on Putin because if we’re fired upon then China becomes a target. A target because of their assisting Russia in the killing of Ukrainians and thus a threat to all of us.
No one wants a nuclear war. But we are here because of previous indecisiveness.
In 2014, Putin invaded and took over Crimea while Obama was president. That is on us. On Europe. On the West. We let the bully take a bite out of someone’s else’s land and get away with it. It should have been dealt with on the spot but it was not.
All those high ranking thinkers in Europe and the West kept justifying the buying of oil from Putin, the shaking hands with him as he ruthlessly silenced his population. And Putin knew it. ‘The West is weak’ he concluded. ‘I can take them’.
So here it is.
And he’s not far from the mark because if Trump had won the election in 2020
he would not have objected to Putin calling him up to tell him he was thinking of annexing Ukraine. The mastermind of Make America Great Again would have said to himself, ‘what I really mean when I say MAGA, is for us to stay home and tend to our own garden’. But that won’t do because we live in a big world and with ability comes responsibility. And we have plenty of ability. Trump missed that.
A huge miss. Which is why he should be out of politics altogether.
So why are we fighting?
Because we owe it to Ukraine, who helped break the denial we were in, thinking that coexistence with Putin was possible, thinking that he would be considerate and reasonable.
The world we live in is not like that. If we leave it up to the Chinese they will enslave us.
And so will Putin.
This denial was worse in Europe, which has a long history of it.
Peaceful coexistence is out, so we must invest in being properly armed.
Yet even today, chancellor Scholz in Germany acts with timidity and so Macron in France.
Macron even took the lead for a while in persuading the West to consider Putin’s ‘feelings’, how he should not be humiliated – the poor and frail thing. Since then Macron’s backed off a little but not much.
Recently, in talking about sending more armaments to Ukraine, he spoke of being ‘open to the possibility’ of providing such help. Still tentative, the French President. Never mind the mounting toll of dead Ukrainians. Macron must have thought that we can dilly dally so long as those croissants are warm for breakfast.
As far as Chancellor Scholz is concerned, he should step down and let someone else take over in time of war, such is his difficulty making choices.
Yesterday, the British stepped forward and offered to supply planes. But it will take time to train the pilots to operate them. Time that equals more dead Ukrainians.
Biden replied that we would not be sending F-16s. Again, the fear of upsetting Putin.
Meanwhile, Zelensky, who feels deeply the continued loss of life in his great land, keeps begging for assistance. Begging. On his knees for his dear land.
‘We will do the dying, but please give us the weapons,’ he keeps imploring us all.
‘Trust that we will give all we have in pursuit of victory.’
True, there has already been much assistance from the West and because of it Ukraine stands today, but there should be more.
If there is more, then this war can come to an end soon.
So, please, let us help Ukraine win the fight of their lives.
We owe it to them.
I repeat, we owe it to them because they are helping us break through the denial that both Russia and China are not rapacious adversaries.
We must stand up to Putin. To Xi Jinping. Even if it inconveniences us.
Ukrainians are doing the dying.
Surely we can put up with some more discomfort.
Let us give Ukraine all the help they need.
Let us say to Russia, ‘if you don’t stop firing missiles into Ukraine from your own territory, then we will arm Ukraine so it can do the same.
And we will give them planes.
And the moment Ukrainians succeed in pushing you back to behind your borders, we will give them full NATO protection because they deserve it.’
The blood Ukraine has shed and will shed, has lifted them as a mighty example of heroism.
They need us now.

The Time is Now

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Last night, President Biden gave a good performance in his State of the Union address.
He was forthright and spunky. And with good reason. He has a record to be proud of.
Here was a true leader of the Free World listing the nation’s achievements and the challenges ahead.
Many Republican attendees had trouble with the speech. Trouble with Biden. Trouble with everything because it’s now been decades since they’ve had a leader with the same heft and they have to contend with their envy.
And it doesn’t look good for them in 2024 either.
Which brings me to the question of succession.
For all his solid performance I think Biden should not run for reelection.
But walking away when you’re on top is not easy. I’m reminded of boxers who keep fighting even though age tells them that they’re past their prime.
Fighters like Joe Louis, Roberto Duran, even Muhammad Ali. But not all fall into the trap.
Rocky Marciano, an undefeated heavyweight champ during the 1950s, retired at the top of his game at age 31. Never went back to the ring.
Biden is now 80. By the time of the next election he will be 82. So during a next term he would celebrate his 83rd, 84th, 85th and 86th birthdays.
Biology is against him being able to keep up with the pace of the presidency.
If there is a crisis in Africa during the middle of the night, his aides would have to wake him up. Another crisis in Asia a couple of hours later, he would have to be awakened again. And then he’d have to be in shape to be at the meeting with the prime minister of Germany at 9 am.
Followed by cabinet meetings in the afternoon. Etc.
As President he would be continuously on the spotlight and every advanced age dysfunction, small as it may be, would become a distraction and a source of criticism.
If there were no other people around to step up and replace him, then his remaining on the job would make sense. But that is not the case.
There are now several good candidates eager to jump in and make a run for the presidency.
They are waiting for Biden to decide if he will run again.
Out of respect they are giving the President time to reflect and make his choice.
But if he decides to run again he should be challenged. And forcefully.
I have admiration for Mr Biden. Yet my sense is that he will choose to run again.
And that will not be good for the party.
So this is the time for the daring to step up and go for it.
Years ago, I think 2006 or so, when Obama had just begun to serve his term as Senator from Illinois, George Will, having heard of Obama’s wish to challenge Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination, wrote a piece where he said to Obama, ‘this is the time.’
And so I say so, too
This is the time for daring democratic contenders to step up and make their claims.
Do not wait for Biden to decide. Step up now.
If you do so, there is the strong possibility that such move will give Biden pause and help him make the right choice and not run again.
I do not think he will put himself through a primary process to become a candidate again.
Instead, he will reckon that it is time for a younger candidate, one he could advise and mentor for the benefit of the nation and the world.
The time is now for democratic presidential aspirants to all step up and say, ‘It is our time.’
Do not give the Republican party, a party still partly beholden to Trump, the opportunity to take advantage of fissures within the Democratic party.
The time is now.

Mr Biden. To Run or Not Run Again.

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Tough decision.
Here’s my take on it.
You’ve done a very good job as President. At a time of much national doubt you stepped in and took control.
Your performance in leading the West to stop Russia from running over Ukraine and annexing it has been admirable. To me it is the shining achievement of your term.
The energies that you have awakened will be critical in the contest with China. A contest the entire world is watching as other nations look for direction.
There was a general malaise in our country in the wake of the Trump years and you have stepped in with aplomb and dignity. And so the democratic party had a solid performance in the recent midterms.
You have taken decisive steps to boost our technology sector – to expand our chip manufacturing capacity – and committed to climate change and infrastructure rebuilding.
We have moved past Covid and your choices were sound.
Even in Afghanistan, which stirred much condemnation due to the haste of the pull out, I believe you were right in your choice.
Putin did not invade Ukraine because of your getting us out of Afghanistan, he invaded Ukraine because he thought Trump’s isolationist bent had lasting roots in our nation and that such sentiments would neutralize efforts to go to Ukraine’s assistance.
You still have all this year and all the next one to press on with your work.
But this should be it for you. You’re now 80 and will be 82 where you to be reelected.
Confronted with a much younger Republican adversary, the disparity in age will be glaring.
The Republican party deserves no such advantage.
There is much you must do in the next 2 years. And a key task is that of bringing the war to an end. The world is aching for such an outcome.
For you to be running again would take away energies from that work. You would be needlessly distracted with electoral stuff.
As we stand, with your sterling performance, the Democratic party has the edge.
Moderate Republicans will find it hard to forget that Trump has been associated with the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6th, to the astonishment of most Americans.
Moderate Republicans will find it hard to forget that Trump still has a good deal of influence over Senators and Representatives.
In consequence, I do not think that Trump will end up being his party’s choice. His time is past.
But it will take longer for that party to recover from its malaise.
So this is the time for you to pass the baton. The time for you to announce that you will not run again and let the contestants to succeed enter the race and fight for funds and supporters.
Your example will remain a potent stimulus, a legacy distinguished and honorable, shining its light on the presidential contest and favoring the democrats.
There are many candidates who will step in to follow in your footsteps and who will be inspired by your performance.
And while this next presidential term is for democrats to lose, the contestants should get into the race as quickly as possible.
So you must clear the way as soon as possible.
A word about Vice president Harris.
I sense that you would like to be the one who made possible that our nation has their first woman president and that she be an African American.
But that honor cannot be inherited. It must be fought for.
It is very hard to shine while working in the shadow of the president, so I’m sure we have yet to see VP Harris’ capabilities on display.
I am sure as VP she has learned a great deal from you so let us see it.
Let her enter the fray and have at it with other contestants.
The time is now.
Best of luck.

Violence and Impoverishment

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Violence is a sign of it.
A few days ago I read of a physician in Dana Point, California, struck from behind by a car while he was riding his bike, then stabbed in the back and shot several times. He died from his injuries. He was 58 and practicing emergency medicine in the area. No ties between the killer and the victim have been established.
That same day I read of a whole family, including children, being killed by gang members in Central California. The same article spoke of the existence of over 30 thousand gangs in the nation.
In Miami, a man was convicted of manslaughter for hitting another who fell back and injured his brain, later dying. The conflict had started over a traffic dispute. The SUV where the assailant was travelling blocked the way of the other vehicle at an intersection. The other driver got out to complain. Words were said, then the man found guilty of manslaughter stepped out of the SUV and struck the complainant. He was sentenced to 5 years.
The less the restraint the more the societal impoverishment.
At the national level, Mr Trump is a known factor in the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6th, 2021. He, too, is a sign of impoverishment. National impoverishment.
And yet he’s announced his candidacy for president. Some people have even donated to the campaign.
At the international level, Putin chooses to attack Ukraine and is now guilty of the murder of thousands of Ukrainians and thousands of Russians. A sign of impoverishment on a grand scale. Russia, for all its riches, is presently a poor nation.
Here in America, we must be careful not to become one, for we keep killing each other. At a mall, at a dance hall, at a subway station, a school, on the street, anywhere.
Not being able to resolve our differences is a sign of societal impoverishment.
Opposing sides have chosen to give up on dialogue. Chosen to devalue the importance of it.
A nation filled with the talent to devise highly sophisticated technology, to make enormous advances in the world of genetics, artificial intelligence, space travel, medicine, transportation, automation, has not found a way to improve conflict resolution between human beings.
We have not found a way to square with our emotional world and acknowledge that, not being able to dialogue is a sign of impoverishment. Emotional and cultural.
We bleed because of it.
And, it seems, we haven’t bled enough. Because we have yet to face the insanity of not having the courage to sit down and talk to each other.
We urgently need leaders who have this courage.
Men and women who are not afraid to speak to their constituencies.
Men and women in positions of leadership who can look their supporters in the eye and say to them, ‘Compromise is hard work but it must be done. Without it we will not go forward. If you disagree with me and don’t want to vote for me next time, so be it. But that’s what I will try hard to do. Sit down with the opposition and find common ground.
At times we will want to vent our emotions – have our catharsis – but without emotional control, without continence, without respect for the other side, no matter how flawed we think they may be, we cannot move forward. A balance is needed between the two. We’re missing that balance. We talk about compromise but we want the other side to do most of it. It will not work that way.’
That is the kind of leadership we need. Men and women willing to risk the support of their constituents to find common ground. Leaders who can educate us.
Those leaders do exist. They live in our midst.
During the Depression in the 1930s, our nation went through very hard times. And a leader emerged to guide us through it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt did so. We went on to overcome the Depression and then lead the Free World in the fight against Fascism in WWII.
Nations respond to leaders who have a deep commitment to all its citizens, not just a special group.
Leaders who are not beholden to their constituencies but who dare do what needs to be done in the interest of the nation.
We need them urgently.

The Three Things to Win the War

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One – Give Ukraine all it needs to push Russia back to behind its borders.

Time is critical. Zelensky has called for fighter jets.
The sooner we provide them, the quicker the benefits.
We don’t have to idealize Ukraine to acknowledge their tremendous courage,
their commitment to defend their land and affirm their right to self determination.
They have their flaws, like all of us do, but they have made their choice.
Victory or death. And they have been brilliant.
Can anyone recall any western nation making that choice since the end of WWII, as they fight a foe much more powerful militarily than them?
No western nation has done that.
Does Russia have the commitment Ukraine has?
The majority of Russians have been living in a trance induced by Putin. They have swallowed whole the lies they have been fed.
It will take some time for that nation to come to terms with the historical costs of such passivity. Eventually, other leaders will arise and the necessary self scrutiny will take place. Meanwhile, all consenting Russians are accomplices in the atrocities committed against Ukraine.
A Russian not lifting a finger to dissent with Putin is an accomplice of his.

Two – Stop Russia from firing missiles into Ukraine from Russia itself.

This is unacceptable. It keeps happening because we’ve been afraid to confront Putin.
Why are we allowing this advantage to the Russians?
We should say to Putin, stop firing missiles from your territory or we will provide Ukrainians with the same capability.
Since when are Ukrainian lives less dear than those of Russia?
With their actions, Ukrainians have been loudly saying to the world, this war is winnable.
They are right and in need of our full backing.
Ukraine is standing today because of the effort made by the West to arm them. But we also have pressing problems of our own that need our resources and attention, the more reason to bring the war to an end as soon as possible.
So let us gather our own courage to put limits on Putin.

Three – The moment that Russia is pushed back to behind its borders we should declare Ukraine to have all the protections of a NATO member.
Given all the sacrifices Ukrainians have made and the atrocities committed by Putin and his fellow Russians, Ukrainians are deserving of such protection.
I am sure this could be agreed upon.
Turkiye’s president may object, as he has in blocking Sweden’s and Norway’s membership, but the man likes to play both sides and has yet to agree to the sanctions on Russia imposed by the West. So NATO should boot him out of the organization, let him cozy up to China instead and good luck with that.

This war should not go on and on. Ukrainians have limits. The nations forming part of the western alliance have limits, too.
The sooner the war ends, the better for all.
We should give Ukraine everything it needs now.
Ukraine’s commitment to succeed can push back Russia to behind its borders, and with NATO’s protections have the security to start rebuilding what will be a remarkable nation, the envy of all Russians and all other nations living without human beings’ basic freedoms.

Bolder, Mr Biden.

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After long delays the approval for sending tanks to Ukraine was given. But it will take months before they arrive. A delay measured in lives lost.
The delay was largely due to German obstructionism. Chancellor Scholz, for whatever reasons, putting up obstacles to assist Ukraine.
This delay has given Putin an advantage. Not only can they keep firing missiles from their own territory but, with greater number of soldiers, now they can push more effectively against Ukraine’s resistance.
Zelensky has called for fighter jets and longer range missiles to defend his nation.
We should give them to him as soon as possible.
Mr Scholz will likely put up other obstacles to not do what is needed, but if Germans themselves don’t bypass him, then we should. How? One option is to come to a consensus that, in the upcoming rebuilding of Ukraine, contracts to companies to do the work be awarded in proportion to how helpful their nations of origin were in assisting Ukraine. Scholz’s obstructionism should put German companies at the bottom of the list.
Ukraine’s enormous effort, dying in defense of democracy, is being underestimated.
So far, we have been intimidated every time that Putin talks of his nuclear weapons.
We cannot allow him to brow beat us.
His threats need to be met with resolve. And arming Ukraine with all it needs, short of nuclear weapons, is the answer
At this time China is going all out to bypass the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Putin. They are afraid of a victory by Ukraine because such victory will empower the growing resistance in China against the dictatorial powers of their communist party.
Ukrainians have made the commitment to push back Russia to behind its borders. Doing so will transform not only Ukraine but also Russia.
By now we know the courage is there. What is needed is to arm it.
For that, Western boldness is needed.
There are nations in the alliance that will prefer to scream loudly against such a position but to delay assistance is the equivalent to siding with Putin. We cannot allow it.
So it falls to you, Mr Biden, to be bolder in the interest of all nations.
Imagine the power of a fully recovered Ukraine with all its borders reclaimed and rebuilt with the assistance of the West?
Such light will shine so bright that it will move Russians to carefully examine why they have subjected themselves to the authority of Putin. They will realize they have consented to devaluing themselves by not fully exercising their political and economic freedoms.
When that starts to happen, if Putin has lasted that long, he will be asked to leave.
The same process is likely to happen in next door China and other nations farther away.
Ukraine’s uniqueness deserves all the support it needs and the resulting benefits will be great.
A nuclear war is a very distant possibility because China will act as a check on Putin.
China does not want a nuclear war. They know that if one is triggered, they would be caught in it because we would have to fire on them also.
You have done a great job, thus far, Mr Biden. Greater boldness is needed to finish the job.
You can do it.