Mr. Biden did offer stirring support for Ukraine and its fight for freedom, which received bipartisan applause. His Administration deserves credit for helping to rally Europe and other nations to impose sanctions and provide more military aid. He was properly condemning of Mr. Putin.
But his self-congratulation ignored the failure to deter the Russian autocrat. “We were ready” if Mr. Putin invaded, Mr. Biden said. But if the U.S. had been ready, Mr. Putin wouldn’t have invaded. The Russian invaded because he thought the West would do little. And Mr. Putin finds himself in a struggle now because of the bravery of 41 million Ukrainians, not the strength of Europe or the United States.
What we also didn’t hear was a vow that Russia will not be allowed to conquer and hold Ukraine. There was no warning to Mr. Putin not to launch missiles into residential neighborhoods or surround and starve cities into submission like a medieval siege. This was not Harry Truman at the dawn of the Cold War calling the world to meet a new danger.
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