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SCOTT DREYER: Presidents’ Day, à la Biden & Putin

Shortly after the Nazi invasion of Poland that tragically gave the English language a new noun–blitzkrieg–Poet W.H. Auden wrote a poem entitled by that infamous date: “September 1, 1939.”

It begins with:

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Note that powerful line: As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade:

The “low, dishonest decade” was the 1930’s. To be fair, the US and much of the developed world was preoccupied with the ravages of the Great Depression, and it is hard to be concerned with international diplomacy when your and your kids’ bellies ache with hunger. Plus, WWI was a recent memory, and no one wanted a redo of that nightmare.

Still, once Hitler came to power in 1933, he began a campaign first of rearmament, then of territorial expansion, all breaking the terms of the 1919 Versailles Treaty. As I often pointed out to my students, Hitler did not come to power one day and start sending Jews and others to concentration camps, and attacking Poland, the very next day. No, it was a slow and gradual process, like the proverbial “frog in the kettle.”

Hitler gambled that the Western allies, especially Britain and France, would have no stomach to confront him, so he embarked on his step by step path to domination. First he took the Saarland in 1935, then Austria in March 1938, then western Czechoslovakia in September 1938, and the rest of that betrayed country in March 1939.

In other words, Hitler sought world domination one bite at a time, with no consequences until it was too late. When he viciously attacked Poland on that fateful September 1, 1939, Britain and France reluctantly declared war. However, it was too late: the Western allies could not help hapless Poland that found itself surrounded by Nazi territory to the west and south, Stalinist USSR to the east, and the Baltic Sea to the north.

The 1930’s policy called “appeasement” that was designed to keep Hitler happy turned out to be a colossal failure, and the world narrowly survived Nazi and Imperial Japanese domination. The ensuing six-year nightmare we now call “World War II.”

Today is Presidents’ Day in the US. Originally designed as time to celebrate the services and legacies of the February-born George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the day has now been expanded to commemorate all our presidents. This recent post cites the crucial role Harry Truman played in supporting the 1948-49 Berlin airlift that kept West Berlin and its population of 2.4 million souls alive and free.

Also today, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had this to say in a televised speech:

“I believe it is necessary to take a long-overdue decision to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.”

Simply put, Putin declared these two eastern regions of Ukraine with sizeable Russian-speaking populations to be independent of Ukraine, and now “independent.” Most international observers believe it really means Russia will now rule over these two regions.

During the 2012 presidential debates, President Obama (D) and his challenger Mitt Romney (R) discussed security threats to the US. Romney stated he believed  Russia posed the greatest threat to the US and Europe. However, Obama pooh-poohed the idea as nonsense.

Obama, with his Vice President Joe Robinette Biden, easily won that 2012 re-election, of course with the skids greased by a largely sycophantic media. And two years later? Putin annexed Crimea from Ukraine, proving for all to see Putin truly was a threat.

At which point, the Obama/Biden administration and national media all apologized to Romney and the American public for having ignored those prescient warnings.


Say what you will about President Trump, but Putin did not expand his borders during those four years. But here we are, thirteen months into the hapless Biden administration, and, like baseball great Yogi Berra said, it’s déjà vu all over again. Moreover, what many Democrat and media leaders (granted, they often seem to be two sides of one coin) tell us during the 2020 election? “Trump is a maniac who makes us all look like fools, so we need to elect Biden to be the adult in the room so the rest of the world will like and respect us again.”

After the 2020 election ABC News proudly crowed, “America Again.”

After the botched, disastrous Afghan pullout, how is that working for us?

On his first day in office, among his avalanche of executive orders, Biden killed the Keystone pipeline. That project was designed to bring oil through the US to help us maintain our energy independence, create high-paying jobs, and keep gas and other prices (and thus inflation) down for the rest of us. He and his allies claimed it was to fight “climate change.” However, Biden did allow a gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2 to bring Russian oil to Germany.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had wisely recognized the threat and had boldly worked to stop the Nord Stream 2 project, and succeeded in the final months of the Trump administration.

However, with Biden’s reversal of that policy, Russia can gain more hard-earned currency via its energy sales, West Europe will be more dependent on Moscow, and the US has a diminished position overall.

Moreover, we are supposed to believe that a pipeline carrying oil to the US would harm the environment, but a pipeline carrying Russian oil to Germany will not? This is proof enough that the “war on energy” is not about the environment at all, but rather about politics and power.

Many derided Trump and his supporters for his MAGA agenda, but when we realize Biden killed the Keystone pipeline but revived Nord Stream 2, it seems Biden’s policy is MRGA: Make Russia Great Again.

Speaking of Presidents’ Day, I wonder how many of our former chief executives, if they could see the state of our nation today, would be spinning in their graves?

Pray for America, and do your part.

–Scott Dreyer

Scott Dreyer M.A. in his classroom. Dreyer, of Roanoke, has been a licensed teacher since 1987 and now leads a team of educators teaching English and ESL to a global audience. Their website is


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