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Putin and Xi align, rebuke United States

Published in Blog on May 16, 2024 by Jakob Fay

Two years ago, when Russia invaded Ukraine, conservatives blasted Joe Biden for “going soft” on Putin. Infamously, the president implied that the United States might turn a blind eye to a “minor incursion” into Ukraine — and his critics, primarily on the right, went ballistic.

A minor incursion! American conservatives and officials in Kyiv alike gawked. In other words, Biden might do nothing at all.

Nothing, that is, except embolden the Kremlin with overtures of Western pusillanimity.

The National Review
dubbed such careless, craven words a “gift to Putin.” And rightfully so.

But then, something flipped.

After a few taxing years of war — during which we debated (justifiably, I might add) how much funding was too much for Ukraine — a small subsect of conservatives made a remarkable shift: Putin, they suddenly determined, was actually the good guy — a woefully misunderstood traditionalist and bastion of Christian and Western principles.

Yes, Biden was wrong — cowardly, even — for going soft on Putin, but also… maybe Putin is actually kinda sorta cool!

According to this new view, “Putin, the Savior of the West,” simply wanted to purge Ukraine from the Nazis or something like that (and maybe rebuild the U.S.S.R., too!), and everyone started attacking him for no reason.

And how do we know this? Because Putin, the former KGB officer, can spout off random historical facts about Russia, of course!

(What’s that? He made it all up?? He simply parroted Communist propaganda??! No matter. At least he
sounded smart!)

But, why do I bring this up now? I mean, the right-wing love affair with Putin is old news at this point. Already, a few aspiring useless idiots nonconformists have moved onto bigger and better things (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for example!). But recent developments have exposed the dangerous chicanery behind cozying up to Putin — and it should call into question the right’s newfound Russian apologia.

For now, while long-time American alliances are unpredictably in flux, most Americans (thank God) still agree that China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, remains a formidable threat to American interests.

So why do we shrug off the close-knit ties between Russia and China?

On Thursday, the newly “re-elected” Putin met with Xi to shore up an already “warm and comradely” (Putin’s words) relationship between the two leaders’ countries. What followed: a spine-chilling game of patty-cake between two dictators who openly condemned the U.S.-led world order and, in no less than 3,000 words, lavished praise on each other.

“The United States still thinks in terms of the Cold War and is guided by the logic of bloc confrontation, putting the security of ‘narrow groups’ above regional security and stability, which creates a security threat for all countries in the region,” the duo agreed in a statement. “The U.S. must abandon this behavior.”

In stark contrast to their rebuke of the West, Xi hailed “the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation,” vowing to work even closer with the Kremlin in the near future.

Putin wholeheartedly agreed: “The talks we have just finished highlighted the great significance that Moscow and Beijing attach to the development and strengthening of comprehensive Russia-China partnership and strategic interaction,” he fawned. “This partnership can certainly set an example of ties between neighboring states.”

But wait. Aren’t we supposed to hate China — the U.S. rival behind spy balloons, espionage, TikTok data-mining, Wuhan lab leaks, and fentanyl — and love Putin? If Putin, unbeknownst to the entire Western world until five minutes ago, secretly sympathizes with America, why does he coddle a man who aims to immobilize our country?

Maybe, just maybe, there’s more to geopolitics than rambling about “history” to a clueless audience.

To be clear, this does not mean we must endlessly drain our coffers for Ukraine. That’s a separate debate altogether. But quibbling with Biden’s foreign aid donations does not have to drive us into the arms of a known tyrant. At the outset of the war, we seemed to understand that.

All we can hope for now is that Russia’s open camaraderie with China opens a few eyes to the alarming truth: the anti-U.S. world order is at war with the United States. And in such a showdown, Putin is not on our side.

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