After many blunders, missteps and sometimes extreme policy decisions during his nearly 15 months as president, I believe Joe Biden gets an "A" for his current handling of the Ukraine crisis.
This past Monday Biden signed into law the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, a measure designed to streamline U.S. support for that country.
The law revives a World War II-era program that helped supply allies in their fight against Nazi Germany, and permits the president to lend or lease defense equipment to Ukraine without the normal bureaucratic red tape.
As Ukraine continues to suffer from an unprovoked Russian invasion of their sovereign territory, and an unimaginable devastation brought against its civilian population, Biden has been standing strong.
The new lend lease received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress, with the Senate passing it by unanimous consent and the House approving it 417-10.
Vladimir Putin violated international law when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Twenty-eight years ago, the United States entered into an agreement with the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. It became known as the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.
The agreement provided that in recognition of the end to the Cold War, and in return for the new independent state of Ukraine relinquishing all its nuclear weapons, the countries agreed, among other matters, to respect the sovereignty and borders of Ukraine and not to threaten or attack it.
Ukraine met its part of the deal — it promptly gave up approximate 1,800 nuclear weapons.
Under Putin, however, Russia has little use for agreements, or for truth.
With long-held designs on subjugating all of his neighbors, Putin concocted claims Ukraine was going to join NATO (it wasn’t) and that Nazis controlled the country (how insane is that?).
In his latest remarks in Moscow, Putin now claims that Ukraine and NATO were planning to attack Russia in the near future and that he had no alternative but to act.
In the same speech he even weirdly claimed Ukraine was trying to get nuclear weapons to attack Russia.
Initially, Biden’s response to Russia’s threats, and eventual invasion, was tepid and unclear.
It appeared we were witnessing another Afghanistan fiasco with the State Department urging Volodymyr Zelenskyy to flee his country.
"The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride," the Ukrainian president defiantly replied.
At the time Biden seemed to be channeling President Barack Obama, who gave lip service but little else as Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.
But this time, Europe acted aggressively against Russia, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leading the charge.
Ukraine discovered it was not alone.
And Biden became a new man: he started heavily arming Ukraine, sharing anti-tank and Stinger missile systems, sending advisers and even sharing military intelligence.
Today, Putin appears shocked by the U.S. response.
Desperate, he and his surrogates have been raising the specter of nuclear attacks on Ukraine and even Western targets.
Putin has proven himself so untethered from reality, the use of such weapons cannot be dismissed.
But the alternative, appeasing Putin again, as we did in 2008 with their invasion of Georgia and again in 2014, would only embolden this man.
Contrary to claims of some conservatives, Biden has never wanted war with Russia.
Soon after becoming president, as an act of goodwill, he lifted Trump-imposed sanctions on Russia’s Nordstream 2 pipeline.
Putin sees goodwill as weakness. Biden apparently has learned his lesson.
Since the opening stages of the war, Biden’s response has been strong and measured.
He ignored calls for a dangerous NATO-enforced no-fly zone, but is helping in every indirect way.
Polls show overwhelming, bipartisan support for this approach.
This week Congress is moving to pass a new $40 billion military aid bill to Ukraine.
This is a small payment for our security and freedom. Acting strong now could help prevent a larger war.
In all of Putin’s major speeches — including his national broadcast soon after the war began and in his Victory Day remarks this week — he has taken the position Russia is at war with NATO and the U.S., Ukraine is just a proxy.
For that reason, we must continue to see Ukraine as the frontline in our own struggle to keep the West free, and continue our aid to this embattled nation.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc., a leading news company that operates Newsmax TV and Newsmax.com. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.
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