(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
Vladimir Putin is a brutal, violent, vicious dictator. There's no doubt about it. There's only one bad guy in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. This war is on him. But the feelings of impotence as we sit in the most powerful nation on earth and helplessly watch an enemy ruthlessly bomb an ally should serve as a wake-up call. When America is weak and inconsistent, the world is more dangerous. Our nation's politicians and business elites have made years of stupid decisions that have weakened this country to such a degree that we are paralyzed when a madman with nuclear weapons is on a rampage.
In 1994, the Clinton Administration led other world leaders in convincing Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for Russia, the U.K., and the US guaranteeing the country's security. Had Ukraine kept its nuclear weapons, it is highly likely that this war would've never happened in the first place. Ukraine entered into the Budapest Memorandum under the belief that they would be protected if attacked. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in February “Ukraine has received security guarantees for abandoning the world's third nuclear capability. We don't have that weapon. We also have no security.” Our inconsistency and unreliability as a partner have left an ally vulnerable to the whims of a lunatic.
Fast-forward to today and our leaders are still making inconsistent and stupid decisions. The Biden Administration foolishly kneecapped our ability to produce our own oil, taking us from energy independence back to dependence in the blink of an eye. As late as a few weeks ago, we were still buying Russian oil, helping to fund Vladimir Putin's unjust war in Ukraine.
Our arrogance in thinking that destroying our own economy could solve climate change while China, India, and Russia openly pollute the skies led us to pursue self-destructive policies while our enemies sold resources to our allies. It was our leaders who sat idly by while our friends in Europe became addicted to Russian oil. Instead of producing enough energy to sustain ourselves and our friends, we've allowed our energy policy to be dictated by progressive elitists who have the resources to isolate themselves from the consequences of their stupid decisions.
Elites in both parties thought it was a great idea to let other countries produce things while we morph to an information and services-based economy. Doing that enriched the power of the elites at the expense of the working class. It also ensured that in times of crisis we would be at the mercy of the countries that made things. Our leaders shipped jobs overseas, destroying many American cities and enriching countries like China. They in turn use our own money to compete with us and align themselves with countries like Russia.
Biden and the rest of the world leaders refused to provide Ukraine with the weapons they requested until the war had already begun. They sat idly by while Putin amassed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's border. Biden refused to kick Russian banks out of SWIFT until other countries forced his hand. He refused to ban Russian oil imports until political pressure became too much to handle. Putin believes that the President of the United States is weak, and as a result, he went in for the kill.
Bad decision after bad decision has led us to this point: betraying the guarantees that we gave an ally, our president embarrassingly begging our enemies to produce more oil, watching helplessly as Putin attempts to rebuild the Soviet Union and our nation doing the bare minimum in response. “Leading from behind” never makes the world a safer place. Projecting weakness does not prevent wars. It creates them.
Darvio Morrow is the CEO of the FCB Radio Network and co-host of The Outlaws Radio Show