Is This World War III?

We don’t need to dwell on the question of who is at fault for the war. Suffice to say, if you voted for Joe Biden, or called the theft of the 2020 election a conspiracy theory, then changing your Facebook profile picture to include a little Ukrainian flag won’t quite make up for it. All those people who bewailed Donald Trump as a threat to humanity and a Russian pawn should be upset right now, watching their friends in Washington, D.C., bring about everything they claimed was going to happen under the previous administration. Instead, these people are trying to figure out how they can still blame Trump while he looks on from his comfortable compound in Mar-a-Lago.

CNN claims Trump is endorsing Putin when he points out how much smarter Putin is than Biden, but it doesn’t stick. The lie lacks conviction. It’s obvious to most people that Biden can say “We won’t defend Ukraine” only so many times before Putin says, “Well, OK, then . . .”

Now we cap off a year of smashing our economy with a new world war. But is it a world war? It could be, but there is still time to prevent it.

Last March in this publication, I explained how America’s weakness and Europe’s greed would lead to a new global conflict with Russia and China. Here we are at its doorstep. Part one of the predicted disaster—Russian aggression westward—is reality. But part two—Chinese aggression eastward—hangs in the balance. 

The decisive factor will be how Putin fares in Ukraine, and how we respond in America. Biden’s February 22 speech in which he said that the Ukraine crisis is “unfolding largely as we predicted” wasn’t exactly helpful. A threat to cut Russia out of the international banking system, or to restrict high-tech imports, ignores the obvious fact that Russia can increasingly rely on China for what it needs in both these departments. Our offer to the Ukrainian president to help him flee the country is the opposite of helpful, suggesting that we view Ukraine as a lost cause. 

The American government is fronted by an illegitimate imposter and run from the shadows by faceless officials. We are, for the moment, out of the game. China has a two-year window, running up to the next American presidential election, in which Beijing can invade Taiwan with impunity. If that happens, then World War III is an inevitability: We may be able to postpone the final reckoning, but there will be no avoiding it. America won’t enter the war over Taiwan itself, but Taiwan won’t be the last thing China invades, just as Ukraine won’t be the last thing Russia invades. But we’re not quite there . . . yet.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s response to the U.S. offer—that he needs ammunition, not a ride—is exactly the right message. The distribution of weapons to Ukrainian citizens so they can defend their homeland is exactly the right message. 

At the moment, Zelenzkyy’s manly attitude and the heroic resolution of the Ukrainian people are the only thing standing in between us and another general war. They need more from the West than encouraging social media posts and financial sanctions. As Biden said, in one of those rare moments when incompetence collides with indiscretion like two clown cars at the circus, “no one expected sanctions to prevent anything from happening.”

If we took the situation seriously—and if we don’t, know that Russia and China will very soon compel us to do so—we would break off diplomatic relations with Russia and get our European allies to do the same. If that seems extreme, think how much more extreme it will be when Russian troops are in Western Europe. Don’t fool yourself that Putin’s ambition stops at Ukraine’s borders.

We should tell China that we will respond to an invasion of Taiwan in the same way—by breaking off relations and moreover by expropriating all American assets owned by the Chinese and canceling all American-Chinese debt. If that sounds like an act of war to you, what do you think the invasion of Taiwan would be? An irrelevance that doesn’t concern us?

If Trump were president, none of this would be happening. Once he is president again, if we can get there before China gets involved, we’ll have reached another base safely in our trip around the perilous modern world. In the meantime, Ukraine needs our support. Our real support. 

We can fight Russia there, or we can fight Russia in Finland or Poland or Germany—or possibly here. We can fight China in Taiwan, or we can fight them in Japan or Australia or the Marianias—or possibly here. And fighting them here doesn’t mean they have to blow us up with missiles. They could just release a biological agent that kills millions of people.

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About Dan Gelernter

Dan Gelernter is a columnist for American Greatness living in Florida.

Photo: MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES via Getty Images

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