Good evening and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Yesterday morning, Joe Biden’s secretary of state, a man called Tony Blinken, went on to the Sunday show over at CBS News to announce new policy toward Russia. Going forward, Blinken explained, the Biden administration will use Poland as a cutout to send fighter jets to the government of Ukraine. Those jets will be used to fight the Russian military. Blinken announced this in a calm, even tone that suggested this was conventional procedure, business as usual, nothing to worry about, just another weekend at the State Department. But in fact, it’s not typical. It’s a very big step. It could turn out to be a pivot point in history and for that reason, we want you to know entire exchange.
CBS ANCHOR: If, for instance, the Polish government, a NATO member, wants to send fighter jets, does that get a green light from the US or are you afraid that that will escalate tension?
SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN: No, …that gets a green light. In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to backfill their needs if, in fact, they choose to provide these fighter jets to..the Ukrainians. What could we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to…the Ukrainians?
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a media conference in Brussels on March 4, 2022. (Olivier Douliery, Pool Photo via AP)
“Are you afraid that will escalate tension?,” asks the scriptwriter, because even a CBS News anchor knows that sending fighter jets to a war usually does that. “No,” replies Tony Blinken, “that gets a green light.”
It’s a remarkable exchange. What are we watching here, apart from a conversation between two incredibly shallow people who have limited contact with reality? What we’re watching is the beginning of a war between the United States and Russia. If that sounds jarring, what else would you call it? Now you may support everything that Tony Blinken just said. Maybe you do support it, but let’s not lie about what’s happening. Let’s be as honest and clear-eyed as we can be, especially now, because it matters. The Biden administration just inserted itself with force into the middle of a hot war between two foreign powers. That means the United States is now an active participant in a war. We are at war with Russia. Whether or not that war has been officially declared, whether or not Congress has authorized that war, all of that is irrelevant. That war is happening right now as we watch.
Why is no one in Washington saying anything about this? Because they support it. They always have. Almost five years ago, way back in 2017, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California came on this show for another Russiagate debate, one of many. He came to let us know how Vladimir Putin had gotten Donald Trump elected president. It was all as stupid as you remember, it until the end of the interview when Swalwell said something odd and interesting. Swalwell explained that because Putin had installed Donald Trump secretly in the White House, the United States should now “do everything we can to expand NATO’s role.” In other words, we should let Ukraine join NATO. That’s odd. Why would he say that? Why would a policy so seemingly obscure— NATO, Ukraine, What?— Why would that be a priority for some forgettable congressman from the East Bay?
Well, simple, because getting Ukraine to join NATO was the key to inciting war with Russia. We didn’t get it at the time. Now it’s obvious. Vladimir Putin just invaded Ukraine because he didn’t want Ukraine to join NATO. Putin certainly had other motives as well. People always do have multiple motives, but that’s the main reason Russia invaded. The Russians don’t want American missiles on their border. They don’t want a hostile government next door.
Now that’s true, whether you’re allowed to say it in public right now or not, it has been true for a long time. A lot has been written about this over many years by serious people. No one who knows anything and is honest will tell you Putin invaded Ukraine simply because he is evil. Putin may be evil. He certainly seems to be, but he also has strategic motives in doing that, whether or not you agree with those motives, that’s irrelevant. Those are the facts. So, with those facts in mind, the Biden administration’s behavior in the days before the Ukraine invasion tells you a lot about what motivated them.
With Russian troops amassed by the thousands on the Ukrainian border, Joe Biden sent Kamala Harris, the least capable diplomat in Washington, to explain America’s policy to European heads of state. At a public press event at the Munich Security Conference, Kamala Harris encouraged Ukraine to become a member of NATO. “I appreciate and admire President Zelenskyy’s desire to join NATO.” Message: Up yours, Vladimir Putin, go ahead and invade Ukraine. And of course, Vladimir Putin did that just days later.
In this photo, Feb. 27, 2022, taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)
So, the invasion was no surprise to the Biden administration. They knew that would happen. That was the point of the exercise. We watched all this happen. We missed it. How? Honestly, because it was insane and therefore very hard to take seriously. Why in the world would the United States intentionally seek war with Russia? How could we possibly benefit from that war? We still don’t know the answer to that question, but it is obvious that permanent Washington has been fixated on war with Russia for a very long time.
A couple of years ago, you may remember, we’d forgotten, they impeached a sitting president. Why? For threatening to withhold military aid to President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Failing to back a proxy war in Ukraine was the one thing Donald Trump was not allowed to do as president. Again, they impeached him for it and no one said much about it, even in his own party, because, of course, they supported war with Russia too— maybe even more than the Democrats did. As far back as 2016, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina— hysterical little Lindsey Graham— was jumping around, acting out his war fantasies in front of foreign soldiers in Ukraine. If we saw this tape at the time, we don’t remember seeing it – back in 2016, Ukraine seemed like a faraway place. We should have paid more attention.
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Your fight is our fight. 2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of … Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price.
“Your fight is our fight.” That’s a very strange thing for an American lawmaker to say to a foreign military. Why would the Ukrainian government’s fight in 2016 possibly be our fight? On what grounds is it our fight? What does that even mean? We don’t know. And yet now it is demonstrably true. Ukraine’s fight is our fight. Ukraine’s war is our war. It’s here, but most Americans did not see that coming—yet permanent Washington certainly did. Permanent Washington understood that the second Vladimir Putin’s forces rolled across the border into Ukraine we would inevitably be on a course toward war with Russia. They knew. Here’s the president of the August Council on Foreign Relations on the day of the invasion.
RICHARD HAASS: We need now a response of necessity to his war of choice, and there’s got to be to raise the economic costs at home, to raise the military costs on the ground. I hate to be so blunt, but, you know, the most vulnerable thing that the Putin’s vulnerable to is dead Russian soldiers. So, we have to make sure Ukraine has the means to…resist.
“Dead Russian soldiers.” At the time, that seemed a little bellicose right out of the gate. It had just happened. Maybe there’s some way to deescalate this. The invasion is terrible, but isn’t America’s role as steward of the West to make things better? Wouldn’t a prompt Russian withdrawal from Ukraine be the wisest course for everyone, including and especially the Ukrainians on whose behalf we claim to speak, but whose country would be leveled by a protracted war? You would think so, but that’s not what anyone in Washington wanted. They wanted a war and now they have one.
So, where’s this going? That’s the question for the rest of us who had no role in making these decisions. Well, it’s worrisome. You should keep in mind that the U.S. government is currently run by the same people who planned the Afghanistan withdrawal, the ones who tanked the U.S. dollar, the people who run Baltimore, the ones who tried to send crack pipes to junkies, these are people with a long history of destroying things and no history at all of building anything. So, a lot could go wrong.
They tell us that Vladimir Putin is unbalanced. We’ll take that at face value. We know that Putin has thousands of nuclear weapons. Putin has said that if he is pushed, he will use nuclear weapons. It could be wise to believe him.
Harry Kazianis does believe him. Kazianis is a foreign policy analyst in Washington. Like a lot of people in his business, he regularly participates in government-sponsored war games. These are designed to map out what would happen if various countries fell into conflict with one another. A couple of years ago, not long ago at all, Kazianis participated in a war game predicated on a war with Russia.
He wrote about this the other day in The Federalist. “In the course of what we call the NATO-Russia War of 2019, we estimated one billion people died.” One billion. “And if we aren’t careful, what happened in a simulation could happen if a NATO-Russia war erupts over Ukraine.”
That war has just erupted. The fact that no one in charge seems to worry about where this could go should concern you quite a bit, but nuclear war is not the only risk. The economic consequences of this war are already profound. They’re history changing, actually and if you don’t believe it, check out commodity prices. They’re out of control. Wheat is up nearly 60% over last year. That’s the highest price ever recorded for wheat. It’s not good news if you plan to eat and it won’t get better. Russia is one of the largest fertilizer producers in the world. So, for example, a ton of Urea fertilizer that cost American farmers $265 per ton last January now goes for $846 this year. And thanks to sanctions, that number will get much higher. No one who farms has ever seen anything like this. You probably don’t farm, but you do buy groceries. It’ll be obvious to you soon.
In fact, thanks to Biden’s foreign policy, everything you buy is shooting up in price and shockingly fast. Gasoline is now higher than it’s ever been in the history of gasoline. In Los Angeles, it is selling for $7.29 a gallon. So if you make under $100,000 a year and most people in this country do, that qualifies as a crisis for you, but for the people in charge, it’s not high enough. They’d like to make it worse. Their latest idea, that a lot of people seem to be buying, is that we have a moral obligation somehow to stop buying Russian oil. It’s tainted.
OK. What would happen if we did that? Well, needless to say, oil prices would jump likely to over a $150 a barrel, even higher prices for you, but then if that boycott spread and moral boycotts tend to and Europe joined it, buckle your seatbelt.
We talked to someone in the energy business this morning, energy traders, to get a little perspective on this. He said a total boycott of Russian energy would cause “an absolute global disaster.” That means recession, depression, uncontrollable inflation and the rest—economic devastation to us and our allies. And at that point, in fact, we’re already there, we’d be forced to make up the difference by getting more oil from other countries because we need the energy. Batteries aren’t going to supply it. So what would those countries be? Well, let’s see. They would be pretty clear: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela.
To repeat, in order to wage a moral boycott, we become more dependent on Saudi Arabia, governed by Sharia law; Iran, a rogue state; and Maduro’s Venezuela because this is a moral statement we’re making. This is a moral victory so feel good about it as you go bankrupt. That’s the short term picture. The long term picture of war with Russia is even scarier than that. Thanks to Biden’s policies, Russia and China now form a bloc against the United States. This was the nightmare scenario, now it’s real. Just today, the Chinese foreign minister described Vladimir Putin as China’s “most important strategic partner.” So are we going to see a boycott of Chinese goods in the United States? They’re making this war possible. Oh, don’t bet on it, that would be racist.
But we should prepare to lose our position as holder of the world’s reserve currency. That is happening in slow motion. It’s unmistakable. Now the Biden people seem to have no idea this is going on, or maybe they want it to happen. Joe Biden was up there at the State of the Union bragging about how he took 30 points off the Russian ruble in a single day. Hurray! Good for us, but once we stop celebrating our win, the destruction of the Russian economy, they deserve it, you got to wonder, is there a downside to this? Could it be a pyrrhic victory? Let’s see. These policies have driven Russia, China, India, Turkey and other countries to accelerate their flight from the U.S. dollar.
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin during their meeting in Moscow, Russia (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Now, to be clear, that’s the majority of the global economy. This may be the most reckless and destructive thing any American president has ever done to the United States. If the war in Ukraine ended tomorrow, we would live with the consequences of that loss of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency for the rest of our lives.
No one in Washington is even acknowledging this is happening. They’re looking for more moral victories to win. And the companies love it, the woke companies, Apple, MasterCard, lots of other American companies, are taking victory laps for their role in punishing Russia. Great. Punish Russia. We’re not against that, but you’ve got to wonder. You’ve just seen a handful of woke corporations crash a country and impoverished its citizens indiscriminately. Now that country is Russia, so most of us aren’t even thinking about the precedent it sets. We’re fine with it. It’s Russia. Who cares?
But is it possible these same techniques might be used someday against someplace or somebody that you care about? What if one morning you woke up and they decided that you’re Vladimir Putin and you must be erased? Could that happen? Don’t think about it. You probably aren’t able to think about it clearly right now, even if you try. Why? Because there’s a moral panic in progress.
For the record, this is the third moral panic we have had in the United States of America in less than two years. You don’t want to live in a country in which moral panics break out regularly, by the way. Moral panics diminish the people engaged in them and hurt the people who don’t. They’re degrading. They’re crazy. They’re the opposite of what you want. You want to live in a country where wisdom and restraint and rational behavior and decency determine the outcomes, not screaming. But we live in a country of moral panics.
The first one began in May of 2020 with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. That changed America completely. The second moral panic was COVID. You’ve lived through that. So for nearly two years, the shouting has not ended. Hysteria is now the official language of public discourse in the United States. That’s not good for anyone, except those benefiting from it. Who is benefiting? Anyone who lies for a living. The liars have perfect cover. Ask yourself: How much of what you first heard about BLM, and then about the coronavirus turned out in the end to be true? How many of the first stories were true? Not many. It was almost all lies, but you didn’t know that at the time because you were busy being yelled at. If you dared to point out that actually all lives matter, they denounced you as a racist. If you expressed concern about vaccine mandates, of course, they called you an anti-vaxxer.
Sound familiar? The pattern never changes. Hey, maybe war with Russia is not a good idea for the United States. Say that out loud some time. It’s not an extreme position. Most Americans would agree with you, but you will immediately be denounced as a tool of Putin. What is this? It’s name-calling as a means of social control. The people in charge have decided their primary job is to decide who you should hate. In an environment like this, everything feels like propaganda and that’s because much of it is.
On Thursday, we told you that Russian forces had bombed a nuclear reactor in Ukraine. That seemed to be true. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine had said it repeatedly, but it was not true. No reactors were hit. An unnamed Ukrainian official claimed that radiation levels in the area had risen. That turned out to be untrue as well. In the words of Mark Nelson, who is a nuclear energy analyst, “I’m afraid to say, this looks like a coordinated effort to induce panic.” Of course. It was what we call disinformation and it was designed to get you to support a war against Russia. Now, maybe you support a war against Russia anyway, but you should at least know that you’re being lied to and manipulated, which you are. Read this from Good Morning America the other day:
ABC CORRESPONDENT: Ukraine’s mothers, daughters, teachers, politicians, beauty queens, now on the front lines defending their country under siege and there is Anastasiia Lenna, a former Miss Grand Ukraine. Photos of her on Instagram in fatigues, rifle in hand. Underneath, patriotic hashtags.
Miss Ukraine with a rifle defending her homeland. Is there anything more inspiring than that? It would be more inspiring if it was real. It wasn’t. It was fake. Miss Ukraine was not defending her homeland. That wasn’t a rifle. It was an airsoft gun. So the whole thing was not a news story, though you read it as such. It was a propaganda shoot. It was meant to deceive you. It was meant to make you want war with Russia. Sympathize with one side over the other.
It works. That’s why they do it. It’s why the tech companies have censored so many news sites recently, including from Russia, but not exclusively from Russia. Now we’re supposed to think this is a victory over Putin or something, but a victory for what? Less information? Fewer perspectives? If getting to the truth was the point of the exercise, we as American citizens would be able to read whatever we wanted to read. That was the rule for centuries in this country. It no longer is because truth is no longer the point.
Instead, Twitter and Facebook are proudly censoring any information that might “undermine trust in Ukrainian government.” Really? Since when are we required to trust the Ukrainian government or any government? Don’t ask.
By the way, over the weekend, because everything in America is unintentionally hilarious now, the New York Times attacked Vladimir Putin for censorship. Turns out he engaged in censorship and tries to control his people can read.
This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Lost in the relentless focus on war in Ukraine, by the way, is any perspective about the world or war, which is always lacking in D.C., but never more so than now. The fighting in Ukraine is terrible, of course, you’re seeing it happen. No decent person could fail to be moved by the images, but it’s not unique. It’s not the only war in recent memory or even currently in progress right now.
Many thousands died in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war that was between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ever heard of it? It ended less than a year and a half ago. No coverage. There’s been a gruesome war underway in Ethiopia for a couple of years now. It’s n progress as we speak. Tens of thousands, women have been raped by militiamen, many of them intentionally infected with AIDS. Can it get worse than that? How many people have died in the war in Ethiopia? We don’t really know, because no one in our media cares enough to keep track. It’s just Ethiopia. We do know that hundreds of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the war in Yemen. It’s a war the Biden administration has continued to fund. It doesn’t get a lot of attention. It’s just Yemen. Who cares?
All human life is equal. All of us are equal in the eyes of God. The death of someone in Ukraine is exactly equivalent to the death of someone in Yemen in its importance, period.
But hardest of all to ignore, though our media have pulled it off and ignored it, is the civil war that’s underway 100 hundred yards from El Paso, Texas, right now: the Mexican drug war. That’s what we call it. It’s likely killed more than 100,000 people.
In 2019 alone, close to 10,000 Mexican citizens just disappeared, most of them young men. More journalists are murdered in Mexico every year than in any other country in the world. The pictures are awful, but it’s not a crisis. It’s totally normal, says the Biden administration. Open the southern border. The border we care about is Ukraine’s.
Now, Republicans in Washington, to their eternal shame, have no problem with any of this. In fact, many of them are more for war with Russia than Joe Biden seems to be. That is a disgrace. It will hurt them in the midterms. It will hurt them on some deeper level because it does not serve the interests of this country, a war fought on behalf of democracy that ignores the will of the country fighting it? At some point soon, we’ll explain exactly what’s going on here, but it’s enough to know Republicans are not representing their voters when they move to a position that’s way more warlike than Joe Biden’s, when they embrace the lunacy that could really hurt this country, that aren’t representing people like Bryce Mitchell. Bryce Mitchell seems like a Republican voter. He’s a 27-year-old mixed martial arts fighter. He is a cattle farmer from Cabot, Arkansas. The other day, someone asked him what he thought about Ukraine at a press event. Here’s what he said:
REPORTER: Well, I just wanted to get your thoughts on the whole Russia and Ukraine situation.
BRYCE MITCHELL: You know, here’s my first thought, is I’m not going nowhere to fight none of these wars for these politicians. I’m staying at home and when the war comes to Arkansas, I will dig my boots in the ground and I will die for everything I love, and I will not retreat. If this country is invaded and everybody’s saying, “Well, … we got to evacuate, we got to leave. We got..” I will not. I will dig my boots in the Arkansas soil and I will fight for the people that I love, for the land that I love, and the way of life that I love, but I’m not going overseas to fight. I don’t know what’s going on to be honest, brother. I really don’t. There’s so much stuff and I don’t think nobody knows what’s going on fully. There’s been so much political corruption in that area. You got Biden and his son making a sh– ton of money off of using our tax dollars to bribe their people. That’s treasonous, in my opinion. So you got [Joe] Biden and his son using our tax dollars. Hey, if ..Ukrainian government, if you don’t do this, we’re taking your tax dollars. He shouldn’t be giving our tax dollars to that country anyway. We got veterans out here sleeping on the street and you’re going to give our frickin tax dollars to these Ukrainians and… brother, I don’t know what’s going on over there, but I’m not going over there and fighting.
Tell us how he’s a Putin stooge, Lindsey Graham and David Frum and Anne Applebaum, Liz Cheney. Tell us how he’s immoral. When the war comes to Arkansas, he said, “I will dig my boots into the ground and I will die for everything I love.” That’s the American position. Fight to the death to defend what you love, your people, your family, your country, to defend it. That’s why we call it the Defense Department. It is not called the Department of Nation Building or the Bureau of Trans Evangelism. Bryce Mitchell may not have good grammar, but he understands exactly what’s going on here, even if the people who claim to represent him and our country have no idea.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the March 7, 2022 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”