Kudlow: Putin is a war criminal, killer and a crook

The question about, “What is President Joe Biden’s policy aims regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war?” is still unanswered. Nothing in these NATO meetings suggests a Reagan-esque “we win, they lose.”

Biden’s press conference in Brussels was so vague, ambiguous, bewildering and incoherent that it probably left Vladimir Putin smiling. And then a remarkable statement to US troops in Poland:

PRESIDENT BIDEN: You’re going to see when you’re there, you’re going to see women, young people standing in the middle, in the front of a damn tank saying I’m not leaving.


US President Joe Biden speaks while meeting with business leaders and governors in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

When you’re there? Does that mean we’re sending troops into Ukraine?

The White House motorcycled full speed to run that one back later, but why did Biden say it? It’s part of his “inconsistency and bewilderment” to quote my pal Guy Benson.

That brings up Biden’s confusion about deterrence. Again, at his news conference, he denied sanctions would deter the Russian invasion. So, why do it? But wait a minute—his top security officers disagree with him. Where does Biden come up with this stuff?

PRESIDENT BIDEN: I did not say that, in fact, the sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter.

SULLIVAN: The president believes that sanctions are intended to determine.

BLINKEN: The sanctions are designed in the first instance to try to deter Russia from taking further aggression, from engaging in a massive invasion of Ukraine.

BLINKEN: The purpose of the sanctions in the first instance is to try to deter Russia from going to war.


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on the occasion of their meeting, in Tallinn, Estonia, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Raul Mee)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on the occasion of their meeting, in Tallinn, Estonia, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Raul Mee/AP Newsroom)

As far as helping Ukraine is concerned, so far there’s no announcement of transferring the Soviet MiGs from Poland to Ukraine or the S-300 anti-air missiles from Slovakia to Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy made a tough speech asking the NATO Alliance to do more, “You can give us 1% of all your aircraft, 1% of all your tanks. 1%!” Well Biden didn’t come up with 1%, nor did he slap sanctions on Russian oil and gas, nor did he call for secondary banking sanctions, nor did he suggest escrow bank accounts to hold European energy import cash and prevent financing of Putin’s war machine.

Slapping sanctions on a bunch of Russian politicians has no meaning. Kicking Russia out of the G20 is of no importance.

Zelenskyy wants military hardware and financial assistance and when we give it to them, we slow-walk it at best and the US does not comply with Zelenskyy’s request.

Zelenskyy is a world hero, a man of incredible courage and leadership. The Ukrainians are showing incredible bravery and courage in fighting off the Russian hordes. Truly, the whole world has come to love the Ukrainians and their leader.

I do not believe Joe Biden’s foreign policy really wants the Ukrainians to win. I think he prefers a standoff, a stalemate.

I think he is intimidated by Vladimir Putin. There’s no “we win, they lose.” There’s no “tear down this wall.” There’s no evil empire going on here.

Finally, if Biden and the NATO Europeans want to do something concrete against the war criminal Vladimir Putin, then I have one suggestion: sixteen his yacht! A $700 million luxury yacht, that everybody knows is owned by Putin. It’s moored in Marina del Carrara off the Tuscan, Italy coast. It’s 459-feet long. It’s called “Scheherezade.”

It’s horribly furnished. It’s obscenely expensive. Its Russian crew members are so fed up with Putin that they’ve left their jobs and it’s time for Joe Biden to seize it!


Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he attends the G20 summit via videoconference in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (Evgeniy Paulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP/AP Newsroom)

The US has sanctioned Putin. NATO has sanctioned Putin. Italy has sanctioned Putin. Sanctions mean seizing assets. Putin is a corrupt oligarch in addition to being a war criminal.

So, Joe, sixteen the boat. Ding the dingy! Do something to punch Putin in the face and importantly, develop and spread the narrative that Putin has stolen the money for his yacht and lord knows what else from Russian working people. He may be worth a couple hundred billion dollars.

He has siphoned off oil and gas money and probably lots more over the years. In other words, yes, he’s a war criminal. Yes, he’s committed crimes against humanity, but he is also a corrupt, crooked, kleptomaniac, who after serving in public offices his whole life, has enough money to buy a $700 million yacht.

In other words, he’s bad. He’s a killer and he’s a crook. He is completely corrupt. That’s a narrative the US and NATO should be pushing. That $700 million yacht is proof positive, which reminds me of a fabulous hit Broadway show that people of a certain age will well remember. It was called “Fiorello” and unfortunately the mayor seemed to have a bit of corruption problem himself.


“Mr. X, may we ask you a question? It’s amazing, is it not? That the city pays you slightly less than 50 bucks a week, yet you’ve purchased a private yacht. I am positive your Honor must be joking! Any working man can do what I have done. For a month or two I simply gave up smoking and I put my extra pennies one by one into a little tin box, a little tin box that a little tin key unlocks.”

Right Mr. Putin? A little tin yacht, a little tin yacht. I put my extra pennies in a little tin yacht that a little tin key unlocks to the tune of a $700 million yacht and probably a fortune of a couple of hundred billion dollars that you stole from Russian working folks. If President Biden wants a copy of the lyrics from “Fiorello” we are happy to oblige.

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the March 25, 2022, edition of “Kudlow.”

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