Feb 24 2022
On the leverage that Russia’s energy reserves give Vladimir Putin:
“You're going to see global oil prices climb, which actually helps [Putin] because [the Russians’] main export is oil and natural gas, both of which will go up. There is reason to believe [the Russians] ordered some cash and gold reserves as a buffer between now and the time Europe has to capitulate.
“Over 40 percent of the natural gas going into Europe, even 50 percent in some countries, comes from Russia. There will come a time when they will have to cave in, because energy prices will be high, and people will be in the streets complaining, and that is what [Putin] is banking on.
“It is important to know that the U.S. has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in oil from Russia ourselves. In fact, as recently as yesterday evening, people were trading commodities, buying Russian oil, and so forth. You sort of sit there and wonder…. Joe Biden's waging war on oil and natural gas here in America, when under Trump in 2018, the nation for the first time in a long time was exporting more than importing…. In just two years, we have reversed that. It is … helping out Vladimir Putin, and it's one of the things that gave him great confidence in moving forward with this.”
On why President Biden has cracked down on energy production in America:
“For [Biden] to announce that we are going to expand production is to go to war with The Squad. You know, just today, there's an interview out there with John Kerry saying, ‘Oh, I hope this stuff with Ukraine doesn't distract from the global warming agenda.’ It is a radical … Far Left position, and either [Biden] does not want to take it on, or he believes it, and he wants to go along with [it].
“Last year, we bought 230 million barrels of oil from Russia. When [Biden] talks about working with the energy-producing countries, what he’s basically saying is that at a time when we’re producing less, he’s going to go around and ask other countries to produce more…. If you are [producing energy] in America, you have people chaining themselves to pipelines and protesting — the people that got [Biden] elected, people that volunteered and contributed to his campaign. If it’s happening halfway around the world, they won’t notice it, and they won’t care. They only don’t want it to happen here.
“Ask Europe what happens when you walk away from nuclear energy, coal, oil, petroleum, natural gas, and you depend on other countries to provide it. You get held hostage, and that is what has happened. You now become vulnerable to this sort of extortion, which Putin is holding over the head of all Europe right now.
On how the Chinese Communist Party views the Russian invasion:
“[The Communist Chinese] are probably not going to come out and cheer [the invasion] on. They will probably attack America, and say America provoked it. But ultimately, what China wants is to be nice to Russia on this, because they expect Russia to be supportive of them two, three, or four years down the road, when they make their move on Taiwan.
“[That moment] could be soon, but I think China's preference with Taiwan is to go to them and say, ‘Did you guys see what happened to Ukraine? NATO did not do anything about it. America did not do anything about it, and no one’s going to do anything about you guys.’ I don’t think we will finish this decade without [the Communist Chinese] acting on [Taiwan]. There's no doubt about it. The reason why I don't think [it will happen] overnight is because I think China actually believes they have a chance to get Taiwan to just cave in.”
On the possibility of a Russian conflict with NATO:
“If [Putin] takes all of Ukraine, it will put him right at the border of Poland, Romania, and so forth. Even now, those strikes they’re conducting near that border could lead to miscalculation.
“If he [makes] a move against a NATO country, one of two things is going to happen. There will be a war — that could prove to be catastrophic — or NATO will no longer exist. It will be proven to be a ‘paper tiger’ and just a piece of paper. The problem is, we have American forces embedded in those countries. We would have American casualties at that point. We would have Americans on the front line, and they’re a tripwire force. There would be a war.
“NATO has more conventional capacity than Russia, but it would not be a conventional war for long, before Russia escalated to tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield to try to force everyone to the negotiating table … escalating in order to de-escalate.”
On the costs Russia has incurred by invading Ukraine:
“The sanctions on the two big banks, the ones they just announced today — those are ones they should have declared three days ago. They should have released that in the middle of [Putin's] speech … as a message that we're not waiting around.
“We're not going to send American soldiers to fight in Ukraine. They're not a member of NATO, and we have no obligation [to defend them]. The Ukrainians aren’t asking for it. Still, if [the Russians] remove the government from Kyiv, there is going to be a government in exile. And we're going to work with those guys and we’re going to help them help themselves….
“Ukrainians will fight, and even if Putin takes over that country, he’s got to occupy it. And these people are not going to roll over. They are going to be shooting at him, they are going to be striking at him for months and years, for as long as they are there, and it's going to create real problems.”
On Ukraine’s chances in the forthcoming conflict:
“The Ukrainians have inflicted more punishment already on the Russians than the Russians thought they were going to have, and they're going to do more of it. These guys are brave people. Eventually, they'll be overwhelmed by just the sheer volume [of Russia’s forces].
“The U.S. now — not under Obama, but under Trump and most recently leading up to this — [together with] the U.K. [and] Lithuania — [has] been providing some of this weaponry that you’re seeing out there.
“There's no way Ukraine could win a straight-up … conventional war. But what they can do is inflict a tremendous amount of punishment, especially in an insurgency…. We’re going to see older men in their 70s and 80s out there shooting at these guys. They are not just going to lay around and let the Russians occupy and govern their country. Even now, I think they've had more success than the Russians thought they would have against them.
“We'll learn more as the facts will come out …, but this has been much longer and harder so far for Putin than he thought it was going to be. His defense advisors probably knew that [the invasion would be costly], but they don't tell him because they're afraid to give him bad news. And now it's bearing out.”
On the difficulty Putin will face in occupying and governing Ukraine:
“I don't think [Putin] had any fear going in, and I'm not sure how much of this real-time information he's still getting, though I'm sure he's getting some of it. My point is that [if you take over a country,] now you’ve got to run the place.
“If anyone knows how painful it can be to occupy a country that doesn't want you there, it's the United States. We’ve had to go through that in multiple places. And it's Russia who had to feel that in Afghanistan as well. Putin will have to face that factor.
“He’s [also] going to have to face the fact that even as we speak …, there's a growing number of people in Russia that are protesting…. Some of these are 16-year-old kids, 17-year-old kids that [Putin] sent over [to Ukraine] as cannon fodder. There are going to be some body bags coming back, and some angry Russian moms asking, ‘Why did my son die to take over a country that doesn't want it?’”