Biden is bringing dominoes back into play – but the theory was wrong in Vietnam and it is wrong in Ukraine

Representatives from the Vietnam War’s four factions meet in Paris to sign a peace agreement during the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. On the left are representatives from South Vietnam; on the right representatives from the Vietcong. In the foreground are representatives from North Vietnam; in the background representatives from the United States led by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. (Photo by Bettmann/CORBIS/Bettmann Archive)


President Biden has told Congress that if they don’t give more billions of dollars to Zelenskyy’s government they will “kneecap” Ukraine.

Cut off the money, says Biden, and Putin will crush Zelenskyy’s failing army and keep going into NATO countries.

When that happens, says Biden, we will have “American troops fighting Russian troops” across central Europe.

Tell me if you recognise this plot line.

It is what is known as the domino theory. It was the theory that caused 58,000 American soldiers to die in Vietnam.

“Stop the Commies now in Vietnam”, said the Democrat President Lyndon Johnson and the rest of the war party in Washington, “or the other countries of southeast Asia will fall like dominoes”.

I know this plot line. I sat through the film the first time around.

The Vietnam Commies – Russian backed, as it happens — did win, but they didn’t keep going.

The 58,000 American soldiers died for a domino that never was.

Now we are listening to another Democrat president trying to scare Americans with another domino theory. It would mean more thousands of US soldiers dying for a country that is not their own and means no more to them than Vietnam meant to their grandfathers.

Which is why we must ask, is Putin’s fight in Ukraine in fact another fake domino?

Certainly, some of his more energetic propagandists are saying that the only way Russia can have security is if the Russian army continues its Ukraine victory all the way to the European coast.

Which is severe, but again we have heard this before.

Stalin was going to use WWII to roll tanks across Germany, which he planned to dismember. Even after Victory in Europe day, some strategists in Washington reckoned Stalin was still ready to move his forces west over all of Germany and beyond to control the Continent.

President Truman had a crisp reply to such a threat. He dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Stalin was smart enough to read those two cities as Moscow and Leningrad.

End of threat, no American soldiers needed for an American foreign policy victory.

Which is not to say it is time to threaten Russia with bombs, but it is time for an American foreign policy which is more intelligent than re-heating Good Morning, Vietnam.

Still, what can we expect? Biden is old. His head is full of foreign policy attitudes locked into his 1960s undergraduate brain by Lyndon Johnson Democrats.

One almost expects Biden’s next confused moment to be the announcement of a bombing raid on Cambodia.

Piling US troops into Europe would be Biden’s own version of Vietnam. He would announce he was sending American soldiers into a war to stop the domino effect. “Stop the Commies now in Ukraine or the other countries of central Europe will fall like dominoes”.

This is the President trying to scare Americans. But why, and why now? The war has been going for two years. Why frighten Americans, and a big chunk of Europe, with whatever version of the 101st Airborne Division the Pentagon decides to land at the Ukraine border with Poland?

This is crazy stuff, driven by an 80-year-old politician who has never known war. When Biden was a university student, he obtained five student draft deferments from conscription. Virtually all draftees were sent to war.

Which means, of those 58,000 dead in Vietnam, Biden made sure he wasn’t going to be one of them.

Back then, he didn’t think it was worth dying for a domino.

It is only now, when Congress says, “no more billions for Ukraine,” that Biden threatens to drop US soldiers into Europe if Ukraine loses the war to Russia.

Because that way Biden can pretend it was cutting off the cash that lost the war.

The truth is, Ukraine is already losing the war to Russia, even before Congress cuts the money. Therefore, Biden must find someone to blame besides himself and his ill-considered decision to flood Ukraine with money that was never going to buy victory.

Ukrainian soldiers, bless every one of those brave, mud-soaked, miserable fighting men, counting their desperate rations and diminishing bullets, cannot take back territory from the Russians.

Biden does not want to be blamed for backing a country that was never going to win. But if he can blame the Republicans – “Look, my fellow Democrats, we nearly were winning, but the House of Representatives cut the money and kneecapped the Ukrainians.” – he reckons he would look all right coming up to the election in November next year.

He would order in the US troops and blame the Republicans for “making him” do it.

If he can find enough soldiers, that is. On top of the money splurged by the US government on other people’s defence, there is the additional problem that the US armed forces are having a crisis over enlisting fighters.

Nobody wants to join. Or, at least, as the American Conservative wrote in a recent issue, “The services are facing a dwindling pool of largely obese, uneducated delinquents.”

Biden wants to find enough of these fat highly armed airborne illiterates to drop on Europe to fight Russia.

Europe had better realise what that would mean and pull the confused Biden away from the idea.

This Biden-does-Vietnam may be the final threat that drives European countries to arm themselves as mature countries do.

If there is any fighting to be done against Russia, it is for the Europeans to do it.

Otherwise, how are you fixed for Agent Orange?