An imprisoned American came home last week, and for that we should all be thankful. But at what cost?
As an American, I am concerned about the weakness our nation has shown, particularly toward our biggest enemies. As the highest brass in our military becomes more woke every day, and as America caves to demands of our enemies, we’re very rapidly losing respect on the world stage militarily, diplomatically, and morally. As a Christian, my concern is that a weak America doesn’t just damage us as citizens, but also jeopardizes the safety and well-being of our allies, particularly Israel.
Though Israel has “grown up” a lot in her 74 years of statehood, becoming a military and economic powerhouse, she is still a tiny nation in a very dangerous and threatening neighborhood. So threatening, in fact, that Iran continues incessant threats to wipe them off the face of the earth. Particularly early on, had it not been for the US, perhaps Iran or any number of other radical regimes would have attempted to do so.
But now we watch America, under the weakest and perhaps worst administration in US history, make seemingly every wrong move to keep America safe, secure, and powerful. The latest example is the recent negotiation that freed WNBA star, Brittney Griner, from Russian imprisonment. While we should always be glad when an American is returned home from imprisonment in another country, it seems to me a pawn became a queen and the Russians checkmated America.
On February 17, Brittney Griner was arrested at a Russian airport, in possession of a cannabis vape cartridge, which she knew to be illegal. She was arrested and spent several months in a Russian prison, until the Biden administration negotiated her release. And what did Russia get in return? Only one of the most dangerous arms dealers on the planet! Known as “The Merchant of Death,” Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, is now free to pick up where he left off in supplying weapons to rogue players with the intent to harm Americans. (One such deal was for anti-aircraft equipment to shoot down American helicopters.)
Griner was simply a Russian pawn to get back their madman, but the Biden administration made her a queen. She checks off all the boxes. She’s black and was a very outspoken proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement, she’s homosexual and married to another woman, she was busted for drug possession, and she once vowed not to stand or be present for America’s national anthem as it played before WNBA games.
Meanwhile, another American, Paul Whelan, was arrested and jailed in Russia on December 28, 2018. Mr Whelan is a former Marine, accused (though no proof) of being a spy. Some will argue that Griner’s 9 months in prison were too much for such a “minor” crime. However, she spent time for a crime she obviously committed. Whelan, on the other hand, has spent the past 4 years behind Russian bars under trumped up charges! Unlike Griner, he’s a white male with a record of honorable military service who fought for the very flag Griner has refused to stand for. As viewed from the Biden administration, he checks all the wrong boxes, so apparently is not worth bargaining for.
Supposedly, the American negotiators attempted to get Paul Whelan released in the same deal, but the release of Whelan was a deal-breaker for Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime. So, hungry for a “victory,” and pressured by the WNBA, NBA, and “big voices” of radically liberal America, the administration gave up on Paul Whelan and settled for the release of only Griner in return for “The Merchant of Death.”
Now, every American on unfriendly soil becomes a potential bargaining chip for rogue regimes to kidnap and demand major concessions in return. That puts Americans at risk. As for Paul Whelan, there likely will not be a bigger bargaining chip for his release. If we were going to give up Bout, we should have at least gotten much more for him.
Finally, consider this: the Biden administration has sent over $60 billion dollars in aid to Ukraine (with another $40 billion up for grabs) in their war against Russia. With all that funding flowing to Russia’s enemy, and their madman back in business, how favorable do you suppose Russia will be toward American interests? Israel is one of America’s greatest allies, and don’t think for one moment Russia has ceased to care about the resources Israel possesses and that they want! Once Russia gets their fill of bombing the daylights out of Ukraine, where do you suppose the Russian czar will turn his focus next?
Will America be anywhere to be found? At the rate we’re going, it’s doubtful. Say hello to Ezekiel 38-39.
PS: A few personal words about Brittney Griner. I am not a fan of her or the WNBA. However, she is an American and I am glad an American is back home. I just believe priorities were all wrong in the negotiations, so we settled for too little and gave up too much. Nonetheless, I’m glad she’s home and I pray for her because, just like every one of us, she needs Jesus. I don’t know what has taken her to the place she is, but she is one troubled human being. Not only do I hope that she has greater appreciation for America now, but more importantly, I pray she seeks true freedom found only through salvation in Jesus Christ.