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Biden issues more worthless sanctions against Putin

Biden issues more worthless sanctions against Putin

Following his well-established policy of too little/too late, President Biden issued 500 sanctions on Russian entities and individuals.  That brings his total sanctions to approximately 17,000.  The latest round was not because of the invasion of Ukraine, but for the death (murder) of Russian dissident leader Alexei Navalny.

Biden specifically told Putin that if Navalny were to die in prison, the actions taken by the United States and other Western nations would be “devastating.”  Once again, Biden’s tough rhetoric has not been fulfilled by his actions.

You may recall that Biden promised to hit Putin with every sanction possible at the onset of the invasion – and they would be devastating.  Based on the periodic imposition of new sanctions, we can safely say that Biden was lying in the beginning – and now there were even more sanctions on the shelf to be imposed.

According to the experts, the impact of these new sanctions will not be felt for a month or even years – if at all.  That has been the history of all those 16,000-plus previous sanctions. They have totally failed to cripple the Russian economy or reduce Putin’s capacity and willingness to pursue the war in Ukraine.

Biden’s threat of devastating responses if Navalny died in prison did not prevent Putin from having him killed.  Biden has yet to produce a devastating response.  The 500 new sanctions are far from devastating.

Interestingly, the wealthiest woman in Russia, oligarch Elena Badturina – a friend of Vladimir Putin and widow of Yury Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow – has not suffered any sanctions.  What is interesting about that is that she is also the woman who provided Hunter Biden’s business with $3.5 million for reasons still unknown.  That is one of the issues being investigated in Congress.

The sanctions have not only not prevented Putin from carrying on his dirty little war, but the Russian economy has been growing and prospering.  One can debate whether Putin is winning the war, but he certainly is not losing it.  And all the sanctions that were to devastate Russia have hardly had any discernible impact.

This is because many nations are simply ignoring the sanctions.  Russia had more than $100 billion in oil sales in 2023.  India – ostensibly an ally of the United States – increased its purchase of Russian oil by 13-fold since the invasion of Ukraine. Iran and North Korea both provide weapons to Russia. 

What should the United States do?  How about we make it our policy to actually defeat Putin?

We should declare it US and UN policy that Putin keeping any troops in Ukraine is unacceptable.  And then start implementing an effective series of actions to prove we mean it.

The unified plan should be to interdict shipments of oil and weapons that violate the sanctions … sanction nations ignoring the sanctions on Russia …  ship those jet planes to Ukraine and all the sophisticated weaponry and ammunition necessary to overcome Russan advantage in personnel and equipment …  use western intelligence to target Russian assets more effectively… remove the restriction of striking military targets inside Russia … terminate the policy that prevents direct involvement by the United States and NATO … use propaganda to foment dissent inside Russia … and more.

While Congress shamefully debates financial aid to Ukraine, we should seize the $350 billion in Russian funds in foreign banks and give it to Ukraine.  What would be more ironic than to use Putin’s own money against him.

Just the fact that Putin could be convinced that American threats are not empty, he would lose a lot of support.  Countries such as India would have to reassess their relationship with Russia. At this point there is no downside to ignoring American leadership.  Which means America is NOT leading.

Unfortunately, we are facing having a President too compromised and too weak to lead (Biden) and a potential future President questioning the entire idea of American aid to Ukraine (Trump).  Instead of rising to the occasion, America may be ducking – and that is catastrophe news for Ukraine, the United States and the world democracies. 

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

6 Comments

  1. Joseph S. Bruder

    Russia’s oil sales for 2022 were supposedly in the $320B range, now they’re in the $100B range. Short of blasting ships out of the sea, we can’t stop tankers going between Russia and China, or even stopping India from buying Russian oil. India is part of the BRIC economic zone, and regardless of what you think, the US can’t order a country not to buy something they need. 17000 sanctions is not nothing. The Russians were occupying part of Ukraine during Trump’s administration – how many sanctions did Trump put on Russia? And didn’t Trump promote Russia several times on the international stage? And profess his respect and love for Putin dozens of times? And what about Trump’s secret meetings with Putin, or the meeting where he tore up the translator’s notes? Or he let them into the Oval Office and compromised some intelligence assets in Russia? And just recently, Trump ordered Republicans not to give Biden (and the entire country) a win on border security, and at the same time torpedoed military aid to Ukraine. And who the hell knows what secrets Trump has already sold to the highest bidder, copied right there in the bathroom of Mar a Lago. Or just let out in the open on the stage of the Grand Ballroom, where anyone could have gotten TopSecret documents for the price of a membership. And if you’re going to talk about Biden’s supposed crimes, let’s take a look at the $2B that Jared got from the Saudis, or the hundreds of millions that Ivana got from the Chinese, or the money that Trump got from the Saudis for his golf deals? They were actively in Trump’s cabinet, working their own side deals. Why don’t you ever talk about that?

    “How about we make it our policy to actually defeat Putin?” OK, that’s pretty much the US policy. Somebody let the Republicans know… Biden may be slow and careful, but he’s also trying to prevent Putin from going nuclear. Republicans are not being slow and careful, they are blocking everything that Trump (Putin’s boy toy) tells them to.

    “While Congress shamefully debates financial aid to Ukraine…” Wrong, there is no debate. Trump ordered Republicans to stop supporting Ukraine, and Johnson is blocking all votes that might help accomplish that. But you’re partially right – it is shameful what the Republicans are doing.

    “The Russian economy has been growing and prospering” – what evidence do you have for that? Do you believe everything that Russia claims about its economy and the war? Russia has lost almost half of its wartime assets and is unable to replace them, not to mention 400,000 soldiers. In major cities water systems were freezing solid and steam heating systems were exploding. Russia survives purely on huge oil reserves, but that doesn’t sound like a major economic power.

    “Just the fact that Putin could be convinced that American threats are not empty, he would lose a lot of support.” Really? Putin is playing the long game, because he has Trump in his pocket. Trump has convinced his MAGA idiot followers (including most of the Republicans in Congress) that Russia is just defending itself and the US and NATO are wrong for supporting Ukraine. That’s a major propaganda victory for Putin. Besides, Putin is a dictator, he doesn’t give a shit about support – anyone who openly crosses him gets poisoned or pushed out a window.

    “Elena Badturina … who provided Hunter Biden’s business with $3.5 million…” This is an outright fabrication created by the House sham investigation. She gave (or invested) $3.5M in a company called Rosemont Seneca Thornton, which the “Committee for Finding SOMETHING, ANYTHING on Biden” calls Hunter Biden a cofounder and part owner, neither of which is true. They base this on a “confidential” document that is “on file” with the committee. So, another lie, happily repeated by Larry. And Badturina was married to the mayor of Moscow, but now lives in Austria. There are dozens if not hundreds of rich Russians living all over the world, including probably a few dozen living in Trump Tower in NYC. Try chasing them down… Unless they are actively moving money around, it would be hard to catch them. I would bet that a decent share of those 17000 sanctions that Biden has already put in place is targeting identified Russians living outside of Russia. How many of those Russians have given money to Trump, through campaign contributions (which Trump pockets), or through shady real-estate deals?

    In your zeal to blame Biden for Republican failures, Larry, you (as usual) omit large parts of the story. The sin of omission is called lying. Either that, or your grip on reality is failing.

  2. frank stetson

    +1 Mr Bruder. Poned……

    I agree with Horist that team Biden has some ‘splaining to do about the sanctions. I have said too many times that Team Biden needs some PR, marketing and messaging help. They suck not only at blowing their own horn, but explaining things in simple unspun terms. Bad enough that Biden should clean house there. I agree with Horist that my first takeaway with the 500 new sanctions comes from that famed announcement by the prophet coach Micky in Rockey II: “what are we waiting for?” Biden should have explained why it took three years to come up with these. Some, I guarantee, make sense on the timing but without the sound track, we are left to make it up ourselves. With that admonition in mind:

    Facts are our friends and Hoirst is spinning away as noted in detail by Mr. Bruder.

    On the simple issue of who’s tougher than who on Russia via sanctions:

    Raw count
    Trump: 52 sanctions
    Biden: thousands, over 500 last month alone.

    Coalition Countries
    Trump: none
    Biden: US, UK, EU, Australia, Canada and Japan, and other countries with more than 16,500 sanctions in total.

    Not chump change as Hoirst spins

    In terms of who is tougher on Russia, the answer re: sanctions is glaringly apparent in just the raw sanction count alone. The fact that we are not unilateral anymore now that the Nationalist Republican Party does not hold the Presidency means we actually have the support of NATO and other countries across the globe. Trust me, if I detailed the “quality” of the sanctions, Trump and the Republicans would fall even farther behind.

    Next, the effects although I would love to see Tom’s STS score on this one……

  3. Mike f

    As I am strongly pro-Ukraine and anti-Putin, I am frustrated by the lack of very decisive action by Biden. However, I am smart enough to look at the alternative and realize that having a Putin-ass kissing President in the Oval Office, leading a group of very low IQ elected Republican congressional officials who don’t understand what is at stake here is infinitely worse than what we have today. You should think about that in November Larry, but I know you won’t…

  4. Darren

    Actions speak louder than words. The act of Sanctions does not mean anything when dealing with foreign powers.
    Only hitting them in the Pocket book counts, and Biden has lined Putin’s Pockets with Oil Gold.
    So, so much for worthless Sanctions gentlemen.
    Larry has it ALL CORRECT, and if you want to play Devils Advocate, go right ahead as that is once again
    how the Dem leadership has set this up. Republicans are not as gullible in swallowing the he is a great guy ACT!
    NO money in Putin’s Pocket, that is the first and far most important Sanction, but Biden avoided that one at all costs.
    The Cost though is costing the United States People. Let send 10 more Billion
    to Ukraine, is that the plan, we have to keep the war going?
    Page 1, Democratic play book on governing.
    Just watch our Border.

    • Mike f

      The very action of sanctions are aimed at the oligarchs pocket book. I don’t think they have been as effective as they could be, but you Darren seem to embody the new Republican mantra-just let Putin do what he wants. My comments were aimed at Larry-pointing out that fools like you in the Republican Party he still supports don’t understand foreign policy or the risk that Putin represents, but he will continue supporting republicans because he always has..

  5. frank stetson

    Some facts for Horist to kvetch about my feelings of Horist and me as a fictional person.

    In the first year of sanctions, Russian GDP crashed. Economy shrunk by over 2% answering that ole question: are you better off today? Today, via workarounds, they have regained GDP parity. That means it took two years just to get back to where they were.

    Remember, our GDP under Biden grew a lot in the same period. So, we grow, they stagnant. Even with the work arounds and black market sales.

    More than a million young, and better educated Russians, have fled the country.

    Russia has slashed its health care funding.

    Over 70% of Russian bank assets are frozen

    Over 50% of Russian foreign currency assets are frozen

    Hundreds of foreign firms have pulled out

    Yes, Russia evades and is supported not only by China, North Korea, and Iran, but perhaps even by US companies like Pepsi. The fact they brought their GDP back to status quo from before the war speaks to that. But there is no doubt the Russian economy and people are feeling the pain and the pain is increasing.

    Final Note: ask yourself this. If Trump is a real patriot, and best buds with Putin, why doesn’t he do anything but campaign on his perceived failure of America against a guy, his buddy, that he calls a great guy that he can do business with. Why doesn’t Trump make the deal? Will he only help if we make him King?

    He constantly tells us that if he were President there would be no Ukraine War (can you say Crimea), no war in Gaza (wonder where Jared is spending the Prince’s billions), Iran would not fund Hamas (they did on his watch), and China would pay. If he’s this magical, this much a patriot (I saw the playing cards), why oh why does he not step up and help?

    Fact is Trump had one crisis on his watch and over a million of us died with his response. One of the worst responses of any developed nation on the globe. That’s what Mr. Wonderful did for you.

    Yes, I think Biden best explain why we waited so long for these 500 sanctions, but I am glad he did it and the other nations rssponded with more sanctions too. Yes, I would like to see us amp up the war, put a no-fly zone in for example OR even put Ukraine into Nato. It’s just time to escalate and finish this. But Horist is wrong, on the facts, as to the effect of the sanctions.

    Darren: pssst keep up, border crossings and got-aways significanlty down last month or two. Hope it continues.