Potential 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has been a good governor, but with global conflict on the rise, what experience does he have with foreign policy? Since the answer is none, how can he be a viable 2024 Republican presidential candidate?
With such a void, his comments make news. A Reuters dispatch claimed that DeSantis asserted on the Fox News Channel “that Russia does not pose a threat to Europe and that Biden should be focusing more on China.” If this is what he really said, he is not qualified for the presidency.
Fox News reported the governor as saying, “They [members of the Biden administration] have effectively a blank-check policy [on Ukraine] with no clear, strategic objective identified, and these things can escalate, and I don't think it's in our interests to be getting into a proxy war with China, getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea.”
Crimea was part of Ukraine and seized by Russia. Does he favor the liberation of Crimea? Or not?
DeSantis was also quoted as saying, “So I think it would behoove them to identify what is the strategic objective that they're trying to achieve, but just saying it's an open-ended blank check, that is not acceptable.”
But what does DeSantis propose? If he doesn’t favor the no-win strategy of Joe Biden, would he supply better weapons to Ukraine?
His comments included this quotation: “I don’t think that they [Russia] are the same threat to our country, even though they’re hostile. I don’t think they’re on the same level as a China.”
On what basis does he make this claim? Russia has invaded another country in Europe and has more nuclear weapons than China.
What’s more, Russia has infiltrated our FBI—as proven by the phony Steele dossier that was written in Moscow and used by the FBI to destroy former President Trump. How does DeSantis propose to weed out the Russian agents in the American intelligence establishment?
What DeSantis does not seem to understand is that the fall of the old Soviet Union was a deception, arranged by authorities in Moscow to confuse the West about changes in the Soviet Union and now Russia. A Soviet KGB defector by the name of Anatoliy Golitsyn wrote two books, New Lies For Old and Perestroika Deception, trying to alert the American intelligence community and the American people to the plot.
James Jesus Angleton, former head of counterintelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency, took Golitsyn’s allegations very seriously and this search eventually led to uncovering such notorious characters as FBI counterintelligence special agent Robert P. Hannsen, a Soviet/Russian mole inside the bureau whose record of treason spanned 22 years, from 1979 to 2001. Robert S. Mueller, the Russia-gate special counsel, became FBI director after Hannsen was caught, but Mueller failed to reform the bureau to catch any future spies.
Golitsyn’s charges were ridiculed as a fantastic “Monster Plot” by skeptical CIA officials who thought the KGB incapable of planning and carrying out such a plan.
Now we know better.
Still, the disinformation persists, especially among so-called “conservatives” in the orbit of Tucker Carson and Stephen K. Bannon.
Neil Patel, co-founder with Tucker Carlson of The Daily Caller, insists that “the American and European response to Russia’s Ukraine incursion has driven Russia and China closer together. He says “the current strategy is drawing China and Russia closer together.”
In fact, both communist countries have been strong allies since a Russian operative, Grigori Naumovich Voitinsky, founded the Chinese Communist Party in 1920.
Our 2014 book Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire points out that Russia has had a strategic partnership with Communist China going back decades. Back in 2007, for example, Russia and China conducted an eight-day military exercise, "Peace Mission 2007," with other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. (Iran is an observer state.)
It doesn’t get much closer than that. And yet Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have gone beyond that, declaring a "no limits” partnership weeks before the invasion of Ukraine.
China’s new "Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis" doesn’t call the Russian aggression an “invasion” and doesn’t call for a Russian withdrawal. But it calls for an end to U.S. sanctions against Russia over the invasion.
Equally ominous, on the eve of the first anniversary of the Russian war on Ukraine, the government of South Africa, which receives billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid, joined Russia and China in military drills. This is not too surprising, since South Africa went communist under pressure from the West. But our policymakers would prefer treating the communist regime in South Africa as a shining example of black majority rule.
DeSantis needs to understand that Russia and China are, to this day, members of the world communist movement.
The role of Russia is confusing to some, since Russia has moved into a different phase of communist revolution, having neglected the capitalist stage of development outlined by Karl Marx, and is now trying to reclaim certain nationalistic tendencies offensive to liberals in the West in order to rally its dispirited and demoralized populace. China, on the other hand, has managed to fool the West into financing its capitalist stage of development on the road to world communism.
If DeSantis wants to be taken seriously on global affairs, he needs to articulate why China and Russia both pose a threat to America and the world. He could begin by countering the communist propaganda that the expansion of NATO membership to countries on Russia’s border somehow provoked the Russians. In fact, the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, brokered by President Bill Clinton, included Russia’s promise to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in exchange for sending its nuclear arsenal back to Moscow. Russia violated that agreement, leading to invasions of Ukraine in 2014 under Obama in 2022 under Biden.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but has every right to join.
Poland, an anti-communist nation, certainly is a NATO member. By supporting Ukraine, we also support Poland and other nations—including the Republic of China on Taiwan and South Korea—always in danger of communist aggression.
DeSantis should understand that former President Reagan would never hesitate about addressing the communist threat.
At the same time, as governor of Florida—a state full of refugees from communism—DeSantis should understand that the crisis stems in part from communist advances in the Western hemisphere.
The background is that, after Obama Secretary of State John Kerry declared in 2013 that the Monroe Doctrine was dead, Vladimir Putin traveled to Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, and Cuba. This wasn’t an accident. The Obama administration was inviting aggression against the U.S. and the immigrant invasion through the southern border. The Monroe Doctrine was supposed to protect U.S. national security interests in the Western hemisphere by prohibiting foreign meddling in America’s backyard. Since 2013, the situation has deteriorated.
Considering these facts, how does DeSantis play down the threat posed by Vladimir Putin? It makes no sense.
With an Emerson College survey in January finding Trump with a 26-point edge over DeSantis, 55%-29%, the Florida governor has a lot of ground to make up. Making gaffes and sounding incoherent on foreign policy won’t help.
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.