DENVER—As I’ve told ALL ISRAEL NEWS readers before, when a major world leader says or does something that deserves credit, we will tell you.
And when he or she says or does something foolish or dangerous, we will also tell you.
We play it straight here, calling balls and strikes honestly and fairly as we see them, to use an American baseball analogy.
Example: recently we sharply criticized the German government for refusing to send Ukraine defensive weapons and only sending them 5,000 helmets, calling the move a sick joke.
Yet a few days later when Berlin suddenly reversed course and decided to start sending significant supplies of weapons to Kyiv — including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin anti-tank missiles — we told you that, too.
Even better, Berlin has also just decided to increase its annual defense spending from only 1.53% of its GDP to more than 2% of its GDP, just as its NATO commitment demands and as former President Donald Trump kept pressing them throughout his administration.
Then, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made his first state visit to Israel, reaffirming the strategic importance of Germany’s ties with the Jewish state, which we immediately reported.
These are good and important moves – Scholz is finally beginning to realize how serious the Putin threat really is to NATO and how essential a strong Israel is to Germany’s security and prosperity, as well as to Germany’s moral conscience.
BIDEN’S LATEST BLUNDERS
So here’s my dilemma.
It seems like any time that my colleagues and I get ready to write about something positive that U.S. President Joe Biden has just done to strengthen Ukraine – and yes, he has actually done a number of things right – we can barely get the article written and published before Biden does something almost immediately foolish or dangerous.
It keeps happening over and over.
EXAMPLE: THE FIGHTER JET FIASCO
On Saturday, March 5, ALL ISRAEL NEWS reported on two calls that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made – one with 280 members of Congress, and the other with Biden at the White House. In both calls, Zelenskyy pleaded with Washington to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine so that Russian fighter jets and combat helicopters could not keep attacking Ukrainian civilian population centers.
We also reported that Zelenskyy argued that in lieu of a no-fly zone, would Washington at least provide him more fighter jets so that his pilots could defend Ukrainian airspace?
That request received bipartisan support, as we reported.
“With planes and drones, President Zelenskyy indicated that Ukraine would be a more effective fighting force,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican. “So, let's get them the planes and drones they need.”
"President Zelenskyy made a desperate plea for Eastern European countries to provide Russian-made planes to Ukraine,” Sen. Maj. Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, added. “These planes are very much needed. And I will do all I can to help the administration to facilitate their transfer.”
On Sunday, March 6, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken shocked everyone by going on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” to give a green light to NATO countries to provide such fighter jets to Kyiv.
ALL ISRAEL NEWS immediately reported this very positive development.
Indeed, I began working on a column praising Biden for such boldness.
After all, with U.S. encouragement, Poland immediately and publicly agreed to give all 29 of its Soviet-era MiG-29 jets to Ukraine, so long as the U.S. would replace those with F-16 fighter jets.
But by Wednesday, Biden had suddenly reversed his decision. Now he’s giving NATO a red light, telling them not to transfer such planes.
Hundreds of Ukrainian men, women and children are dying from Russian bombing.
Poland is prepared to give Zelenskyy what he needs to protect his people.
Biden’s own secretary of state gave the go ahead – and did so publicly.
Now Biden is reneging on the desk?
Isn’t it obvious?
Biden fears Putin will see this as an escalation.
This is a serious blunder.
By backing down to Putin, and breaking his word, Biden adds to the growing global perception that he is weak and cannot be trusted.
MORE EXAMPLES: BIDEN, BANS AND SKYROCKETING OIL PRICES
For much of the past year, Biden was criticized for lifting Trump’s sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline built to bring Russian natural gas to Europe.
Trump – and Zelenskyy – repeatedly warned that the pipeline would make Europe too dependent on Moscow, but Biden didn’t listen.
When Russia seemed poised to invade Ukraine several weeks ago, Biden threatened to shut down the controversial pipeline, yet many in Europe didn’t believe him.
Nevertheless, to the surprise of many – myself included – Biden kept his word when Putin made his move.
So, on Feb. 26, I reported that “Christians in Ukraine are telling me they are seeing ‘miracles’ happen. Yes, they believe their people are brave and resilient. But more importantly they believe that God is helping them. They’re shocked and encouraged, for example, that the U.S. and Germany have finally shown sufficient backbone to freeze the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe.”
Next, on March 2, I wrote a column for ALL ISRAEL NEWS urging Biden to ban the import of all Russian oil and gas into the United States. I praised Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat, for urging Biden to take this bold and decisive action.
“The entire world is watching as Vladimir Putin uses energy as a weapon in an attempt to extort and coerce our European allies,” Manchin had said.
“While Americans decry what is happening in Ukraine, the United States continues to allow the import of more than half a million barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products from Russia during this time of war,” Manchin added. “This makes no sense at all and represents a clear and present danger to our nation’s energy security.”
Manchin went on to say, “The United States can and must ramp up domestic energy production and increase access to our abundant resources and technologies to both protect our energy independence and support our allies around the globe. If there was ever a time to be energy independent, it is now.”
To that I wrote, “Manchin is absolutely right. Biden should ban Russian oil imports. He should dramatically expand U.S. oil and gas production. He should restart the Keystone XL pipeline. He should support the EastMed pipeline that would pump Israeli gas to Europe. And, if needed, he should buy additional oil from America’s moderate Arab allies – not from Putin.”
“Will Biden listen?” I asked. “There’s not a lot of reason to be optimistic, but let’s pray that Biden wakes up and does the right thing.”
Four days later, Zelenskyy made this same appeal in his calls to Biden and Congress, and ALL ISRAEL NEWS reported this.
“The president emphasized that the oil and gas sector of Russia needs to be sanctioned,” Sen. Graham said after the Zoom call on Saturday. “Anything that could hurt the Russian economy will help the Ukrainian people and may make this war more difficult for Putin.”
On Tuesday, to my shock, Biden announced that he was, in fact, going to ban all Russian oil and gas imports, and we reported this immediately.
Biden deserves credit for this move, and I don’t hesitate to give it to him.
Oil prices have now hit $123 a barrel, even reaching $130 on Monday.
Gas prices are skyrocketing throughout the U.S. and in some places in California, gas is now more than $7 a gallon.
Yet rather than encourage more U.S. production of oil, Biden wants to turn to enemies like Iran and Venezuela for help in pumping more oil and offsetting the supply from Moscow.
Iran has killed more Americans than Russia.
And both Iran and Venezuela are allies of Putin.
Biden wants Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to pump more oil to help, but Biden has been so hostile to both – especially to Riyadh – that neither country’s leaders want to take his calls.
Meanwhile, Biden’s climate change policies are working to impede domestic oil production, further limiting supply and thus further driving up prices.
Consider just a few headlines of Biden's moves over the past year:
• Biden Administration Halts New Drilling in Legal Fight Over Climate Costs — The Interior Department is pausing new federal oil and gas leases and permits after a judge blocked the government from weighing the cost of climate damage in decisions (New York Times, Feb. 20, 2022)
• OPEC Says To Biden: If You Want More Oil, Pump It Yourself (Forbes, Nov. 9, 2021)
• Keystone pipeline officially canceled after Biden revokes key permit (CNBC, June 9, 2021)
• Why is Biden halting federal oil and gas sales? (Associated Press, March 24, 2021)
• Four Texas Democrats urge Joe Biden to rescind executive order pausing oil and gas leases on federal lands, waters (Texas Tribune, Jan. 27, 2021)
Biden has certainly done some things right in this Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We’re reporting on them and giving him credit when it’s due.
But let’s be honest: Biden is also making one blunder after another.
Ukraine is paying the price in lives and property and freedom lost.
Americans are paying the prices at the gas pump.
But the cost to American credibility – and deterrence of other our other enemies like Communist China and the terrorists in Tehran – is rising quickly.
No wonder the Bible commands us to pray for our leaders.
And to pray without ceasing.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.