Russian troops have invaded Ukraine from three directions in an all-out war. Ukrainians have had to rush into full civilian mobilization in an attempt to survive it. At stake is the post-Soviet world order that provided for at least some semblance of diplomatic engagement over use of arms between major powers.
Those life-and-death issues aren’t the big priority, at least not to former Secretary of State John Kerry. This morning, he expressed hope on BBC Arabic that Putin will remain a partner with the West on … climate change.
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on BBC Arabic: The Ukraine Crisis Could Distract the World from the Climate Crisis While Having Massive Emissions Consequences #RussiaUkraineConflict #UkraineRussie #UkraineRussiaCrisis #ClimateCrisis @JohnKerry @ClimateEnvoy pic.twitter.com/nsOC1iZeGm
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) February 24, 2022
“Massive emissions consequences” from the war that Kerry only lightly acknowledges in this interview? Sure, that’s one outcome of a massive invasion of a sovereign country, I suppose. But Kerry’s response gets worse than that, as Stephen Hayes notes with this eye-popping pull quote:
""I hope President Putin will help us with respect to what we need to do to stay on track with the climate." https://t.co/5zSNMQCdRN
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) February 24, 2022
This isn’t just some idiotic congressional back-bencher. John Kerry fronted the US State Department for four years, ran for president in 2004, and has been at the forefront of the Democratic Party’s foreign-policy establishment almost as long as Joe Biden has claimed to be. On top of that, Kerry is at the moment a member of Joe Biden’s administration as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and a sitting member of Biden’s National Security Council.
Vladimir Putin just launched the largest war of aggression in Europe since Adolf Hitler, and the official position of the Biden administration is that climate emissions is a more pressing issue than Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s almost impossible to overstate how vacuous this position is. While every government in Europe is speaking out on the need to stand with Ukraine, Biden’s closest foreign-policy advisor is publicly pumping up Putin as a partner.
It’s an utter disgrace. Putin’s killing Ukrainians and destroying their country; he’s not a Western partner on anything, a point that should have been clear since the 2008 invasion of Georgia and the 2014 seizure of Crimea and de facto partition of the Donbas. Kerry’s suck-up to Putin and his focus on his hobby-horse agenda at this moment demonstrates a fundamental unseriousness in this administration that can and probably will provoke tyrants to test the limits of Western power, as Putin is clearly doing in Ukraine.
If we truly want to contain Putin, we need to mobilize American oil and gas production and flood the world markets with it. We need oil at $40 a barrel or less to choke off Putin’s petro-state income and starve his military of resources. We can no longer afford the luxury of rich private-jet-setting dilettantes putting money in Putin’s pockets by limiting Western production. Kerry should have been put out to pasture years ago, but that need is now acute and immediate if Biden wants to be taken seriously at all by opponents and enemies.
Here’s what the message should be from every Western administration today:
Our mission is clear – diplomatically, politically, economically – and eventually, militarily – this hideous and barbaric venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure. pic.twitter.com/nmFhpDrDEy
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 24, 2022
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