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Noem: Let Ukraine Die, Keep Putin in Office

Sending Mark Vargo to southeast Asia to fight Communist Chinese influence is a cool idea. But sending weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian tyranny is a dumb idea, says South Dakota Governor-cum-foreign policy expert Kristi Noem… or so we may surmise from her confusing and partisanly blinkered responses to Tucker Carlson’s questions:

Q: Is opposing Russia in Ukraine a vital American national strategic interest?

A: “The primary external threat to the United States in Communist China. Our opposition to Russia has heightened this threat for a number of reasons. One, it’s pushing Russia into an alliance with China – meaning Russia may soon draw from China’s large weapon arsenal. Two, we’re weakening our own military by sending weapons to a corrupt country. And three, we’re taking our eyes off the ball and allowing China to put favors in their bank. This should be Europe’s fight, not ours. We should not waste taxpayer dollars at the risk of nuclear war.”

Q: What specifically is our objective in Ukraine, and how will we know when we’ve achieved it?

A: “The American people didn’t get us into this war – Joe Biden did. Biden has this fantasy that he can do the same kind of thing to Russia that Ronald Reagan did to the Soviet Union; that, somehow, through American military weight, we’re going to bring Putin to his knees. His fantasy is wasting a lot of American money and killing too many people. If we had a President who pursued peace through strength, Putin never would have dared to invade Ukraine. The only way to avoid these kinds of conflicts is to project strength. That’s why voters must remove Biden and the Democrats from office.”

Q: What is the limit of funding and materiel you would be willing to send to the government of Ukraine?

A: “We’ve already over-extended ourselves in our largesse to Ukraine. And the Ukrainian government is not made up of angels – they have a long history of corruption scandals, and recent news indicates that this issue is ongoing. The federal government is closing in on $200 billion in aid to Ukraine. We haven’t spent that much to protect our border in the last 5 years combined. We must question whether we should prop up a corrupt regime to our own financial detriment” [Questions from Tucker Carlson, answers from Gov. Kristi Noem, tweeted by Tucker Carlson, 2023.03.13]

Noem says opposing Russia makes China stronger…so when Russia does something awful that threatens American and global peace and security, we can’t oppose it? We should let the Russian threat run rampant toward Europe just so we can focus all of our belligerence  on China, which isn’t invading anyone right now and produces all of our iPhones and other consumer goods worth buying?

Noem says we’re weakening our own military by sending war gear to corrupt Ukraine… but if that logic holds, won’t we also weaken China by tricking them into sending war gear to corrupt Russia?

Noem invokes Reagan as the proper model for standing up to the Russians… but didn’t he do the same thing Biden is doing, sending military support to foreign nations facing Russian military aggression to wear down the Russian military machine in proxy wars?

Noem says the only way to avoid conflicts is to project strength… but isn’t that what Biden is doing, not just projecting American strength but rallying NATO allies to project their strength to make clear to Russia that they stand against a unified West? And if we’re rallying lots of countries to help Ukraine preserve its independence while Russia can only get bad guys like Iran and China to send guns to its side, aren’t we going to see the bad guys wear down sooner than the many more good guys who are working together?

Noem says Ukraine is corrupt (although there is no evidence that our military aid has fallen to fraud or misuse in Ukraine)… so we should let Russia take it over and change its regime? But Russia is corrupt, too, and Russia’s corruption poses a far greater threat to Western democracy than whatever graft Zelenskyy is fighting in Ukraine, so shouldn’t we support regime change in Russia, too?

Q: Should the United States support regime change in Russia?

A: “Not at this time, as it could lead to an even more destabilized Europe and cause escalation up the nuclear ladder” [Carlson/Noem, 2023.03.13]

Noem brands Volodymyr Zelenskyy as too corrupt (Kristi, have you watched Servant of the People, the TV comedy show Zelenskyy made becoming president, a show that we may read as Zelenskyy’s manifesto against corruption?) to work with to serve American foreign policy interests, but she advocates leaving Vladimir Putin in power (and does so by overhyping the risk of nuclear war)?

I am stunned by the short-sighted hackery of Noem’s pronouncements against Zelenskyy, Ukraine, and the greatest heroes of this decade in the battle against tyranny, against a nation that darn near everyone thought would die within a week under Putin’s onslaught but which stands now more than a year later withstanding the brutal attacks of the Russian war machine thanks to their spirit and our bullets.

At the very least, Noem and her gaggle of advisors should be embarrassed to cobble together such a contradictory and counterfactual assessment of global security issues. Sending guns and tanks to Ukraine is one of the most cost-effective investments America can make right now in promoting its own interests, not to mention doing the right thing. Noem should be ashamed to offer such aid and comfort to the Putin regime. She should be ashamed to undermine American support for Ukraine just to get more attention for herself and her pretense to foreign policy expertise.


  1. e platypus onion 2023-03-15 08:28

    Grifter Noem Nothing can’t govern. She can’t unite people to work together. so she has to bitch about something she has no control of now or in the future. Pure misguided politics by one of this nation’s worst governors. Stone waste of wasicu!

  2. Pat Bilek 2023-03-15 08:32

    Our governess wanders aimlessly into the deep, dark forest of foreign affairs and exposes her ignorance and naivety in the process. Did I mention she lacks compassion?

  3. jim 2023-03-15 08:35

    There it is. I knew it was coming. When she was hanging out with Putin apologist Tulsi Gabbard, it was only a matter of time.

    She’s supporting Russia’s side in an attack on a free country, murdering their civilians and driving millions from their homes. Putin wants to reconstitute the Soviet Union and Kristi wants to leave him unchallenged. Then she claims to be doing so in the spirit of Reagan.

    Next, she will be denying the reality of January 6th. It’s time for Thune, Rounds and Johnson to stand up to her.

  4. Donald Pay 2023-03-15 08:56

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what a train wreck!!! Scary how much she doesn’t know, and even scarier how much she doesn’t know she doesn’t know. Her confabulations make you think she needs to convert that TV studio into a rubber room. You wonder how much money Noem has collected from the Ruskies for that bit of fellow travellerism. Run the tyrant flag up the pole and Noem and Tucker salute. She ain’t a red-blooded American, that’s for sure.

  5. sx123 2023-03-15 08:58

    Hugely disappointing we haven’t been leading negotiation, but rather seem to be fanning the fire. Our strategy does not appear to be working, or if it is, it’s a twisted strategy. Way too many people dead.

    And if we did blow up Nord Stream, that’s unimaginably bad (against Germany?!) it’s, uncharted waters.

  6. Vi Kingman 2023-03-15 09:02

    Noem has absolutely no clue.

  7. leslie 2023-03-15 09:30

    Well, Sen Rounds can’t be relied on for much, considering recent bank failures* he instagated:

    “… final rules enacted since the passage of Dodd-Frank have so far unleashed a bureaucratic nightmare, the cost of which is being handed down directly to the American people.

    According to the American Action Forum, these rules have cost Americans $24 billion in compliance costs and burdened job creators with 61 million new hours of paperwork. [new jobs?]

    South Dakota’s banking industry has been hit hard by this, spending too much time and money on regulatory compliance.

    At a Senate Banking Hearing, we heard from one bank that because of Dodd-Frank, now employs more compliance employees than actual loan officers.

    I have introduced amendments and legislation to take apart provisions of Dodd-Frank. One of my amendments, included in this year’s budget resolution, would provide help for people in rural areas seeking a mortgage to purchase a home. Additional legislation would repeal the so-called “pay ratio” rule in Dodd-Frank. This redundant provision requires companies to recreate already available public information on employee salaries. These are examples of why the entire law needs to be re-examined and changed so that we can truly recover from the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 and not continue to bog down our job creators with overly burdensome federal mandates.

    As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I have been working with others to change our banking regulations. Earlier this year, we passed S. 1484, The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, that would provide much-needed regulatory relief to the financial services industry and the consumers they serve.

    Dodd-Frank has many flaws which are limiting American growth and productivity. In the five years since Dodd-Frank was enacted, it has placed undue burden on our economy, failed to protect taxpayers from future bailouts of the financial industry and unfairly punished South Dakota consumers who bear the brunt of the increased compliance costs. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to promote legislation that helps reduce red tape and overregulation.”


    Silicon Valley Bank, grew to a $214 Billion institution, but, “Regulators shuttered SVB Friday and seized its deposits in the largest U.S. banking failure since the 2008 financial crisis and the second-largest ever. The company’s downward spiral began late Wednesday, when it surprised investors with news that it needed to raise $2.25 billion to shore up its balance sheet. What followed was the rapid collapse of a highly-respected bank that had grown alongside its technology clients.”

    Anyway he’s busy on Faux Banana Republican cable “News” pushing, well of course, guns, internationally, because, well, NRA and Mike are all about “Come take it, and my dog bites” yet today he has de-toothed banking regulations aimed at his billionaires.

    $24 million in increased industry banking regulation costs sacrificed for just the single $214 Billion of growth for ONE aggressive venture capitol bank (of three banks, just now that just tanked and was seized after last week’s BANK RUN! Sounds like a Koch Industries which reaped billions of new profits in return for its millions invested in buying Republican favor!

    Mike is blaming the regulators. Ironically.

  8. leslie 2023-03-15 10:00

    Mike of course is broader in advocacy than just billionaires, banks and guns, he also wraps himself in the flag, never having served, but spikes it against abortion in the military! He wrote the Secretary Dept Defense last week: “these policies will force military commanders that hold sincere pro-life beliefs to choose between their beliefs and their command. The recent actions of the Department of Defense on this issue are an affront to many devoted and loyal patriots serving in our armed forces.”,%202023%20Letter%20to%20Secretary%20Austin.pdf

  9. All Mammal 2023-03-15 10:18

    Level the Kremlin and be done with Putin Annie. Save the planet. Divvy up the spoils to the hungry and cold. We have to learn lessons from the past that when a psycho killer has eyes on world domination, like Hitler did, it is our duty to protect the vulnerable.

    It is not healthy for our governor to have nothing better to do but languish around her mansion, needing attention. Get a hobby, or better yet, get a job, lady.

  10. Jake 2023-03-15 10:35

    Shame, being ashamed, or even thinking that ” perhaps i myself need to re-think ‘ My’ position” is somehow like cryptonite to a MAGA Republican like Noem, trump, and Carlson, et al!! This “Fox interview by Carlson is as perverse as the Fox standards, whick are at the bottom of the sludgepot sewer. She rises to the bait in his questions like a hungry 4 pound bass hits a small frog in a stock pond on a hot July afternoon!
    She, moreso than many, should be eternally grateful to Biden and “blue state” Democrats that work so hard and diligently to be able to send her little “red state” 53% of her state’s budget in the form of federal government payments. Her gratitude can only be expressed as criticism because her hero’s are all like her; takers only.
    If she thinks she’s positioning herself to be a critical thinker on the national scale (VP hopeful as she is)-she has to go aways to even match up to that other female governor from Alaska (Palin) that flamed out as being a nothing-burger also…

  11. Richard Schriever 2023-03-15 10:36

    sx 123 – “…..we haven’t been leading negotiation…..” So, you’re saying that when (not an IF in this case, but a when, a certainty, a present reality) your neighbor builds a fence on your side of the property line – and just starts using 1/3 of your back tard, and tosses a barrage of racks through your windows every night, you would want me to “talk to him about it” rather to tear out his fence and confiscate all his rocks, and maybe stand guard for a bit? I mean, just talk to him and see if maybe he’ll at least stop throwing rocks in exchange for keeping your yard?? Seriously? Negotiate a settlement???

  12. Richard Schriever 2023-03-15 10:39

    sx 123 PS, your neighbor would really like your garage as well. Just thought I’d let you know how the “negotiations” are going. What do you think? Sound good?

  13. Richard Schriever 2023-03-15 10:46

    Governor of one of the most corrupt states in the union – which is almost wholly dependent on federal largess for survival complains about federal support of a corrupt state. BTW, the current admin of Ukraine has made huge strides in ferreting out the corrupt elements there, who were mostly hold-overs from the Russia-supporting prior generations. Where is Noem’s anti-corruption effort in SD?

  14. David Bender 2023-03-15 11:23

    Putin will stop with Ukraine. Well he surely won’t go any further then Moldova. Hungary will be the where he stops. Kristi needs to revisit her European history class.

  15. DaveFN 2023-03-15 12:11

    “…from her confusing and partisanly blinkered responses to Tucker Carlson’s questions”

    might perhaps better read

    “…from her confusing and partisanly blinkered responses to Tucker Carlson’s confusing and partisan blinkered questions.”

    It takes two to cook up and package such Q and A vomit.

  16. CK 2023-03-15 13:00

    I do not think China will aid Russia. It is simply not in their best interest. Kristi is clueless, and is only offering red meat to the base.

  17. Arlo Blundt 2023-03-15 13:32

    Governor Noem is a nimrod when it comes to foreign policy. A Putin apologist. She is on the side of slaughter and totalitarianism. If a political leader in America cannot discern who is battling for democracy and self determination in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, by this time, they should be removed from office through our democratic process.

  18. larry kurtz 2023-03-15 14:14

    Maybe Mrs. Noem will tell the brass South Dakota doesn’t need an aggressive military posture West River so they can keep their silly, old B-21s.

  19. Jake 2023-03-15 16:17

    Arlo, I agree with your post 100 %! Trouble is, in SD the democratic process is so weighted down with the Republican Fox News versions of what “truth” is: thus we have a huge voter block of majority citizens who have drank the GOP Republican Kool-Aid for so long that when they vote in the democratic process they vote the way Fox News Channel and the state GOP (one and the same) want them to vote (always against anything progressive, Democratic, or simply for their own good.

    And, anyone who is following the 1.6 billion lawsuit by the voting machine company against Fox News would know that the “news” their intrepid reporters concentrate on is only “balanced” to GOP talking points that Rupert Murdoch wants talked about. Reporters who don’t follow Murdoch’s rules are quickly fired.

    Fox news is only different from the super-market tabloids of the recent past because it caters to catchy advertisements and is on TV .

  20. Willy 2023-03-15 16:18

    It’s too bad that she made the comments on the same day that Gov DeSantis made his (exact same?) despicable comments about Ukraine. It’s too bad because sane Americans are shutting him down. They don’t know yet the depravity of SD’s governor. Thanks for getting the word out, Cory.

    In response to DeSantis, Zelenskyy invited him to Ukraine to convince him to change his mind. He shouldn’t bother with Noem. Afterall, does she have a mind to change?

  21. buckobear 2023-03-15 16:32

    Time for SDSU to call back that work participation BA degree she was awarded.

  22. O 2023-03-15 17:44

    It seems that Carlson needed some new fawning material for Putin to broadcast in Russia: this should fit the bill nicely. In the safe world of Fox talking heads, I’m sure this came off well. One wonders how well it would play in an open, contested forum with real push-back from informed opposition. If Governor Noem is looking to get into the Big Show, that has to be a consideration.

  23. larry kurtz 2023-03-15 19:28

    No doubt Mrs. Noem will say it’s an Alaskan dispute when Vlad the Impaler sends his navy up the Yukon River.

  24. larry kurtz 2023-03-15 19:58

    Mrs. Noem has to know Russia is a far greater threat to America than she’ll admit.

  25. Francis Schaffer 2023-03-15 21:36

    I don’t believe these are Kristi’s original thoughts.

  26. Mark Anderson 2023-03-15 21:46

    KRISTI! Off the top of her head she had to out DeSantis the demagogue in foxie land. What’s really unfortunate is they all love the taste of Putins prick, it’s a phallacy and they know it but they suck it and can’t stop.

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-16 05:05

    DeSantis’s headline-dominating (and Kristi-outshouting) diss of Ukraine gave Thune and Rounds the opportunity to speak up for rational foreign policy without sounding like they were directly addressing their home governor’s quislingism. Alas, their responses are notably oblique:

    Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said he also had a “different view” than DeSantis.

    “I would argue, and I think the majority of people in this country recognize how important it is, that Ukraine repel Russia,” Thune said.

    …Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said the perspective was a “concern,” but added that access to classified briefings could change things. “There’s going to be an educational process,” he said. “Any one of the individuals who has an interest in working as the next president of the United States really needs to get a full briefing before they decide to make up their minds on this particular issue” [Caitlin Vilek, Jack Turman, and Alan He, “GOP Senators Push Back on Ron DeSantis over Ukraine,” CBS News, 2023.03.14].

    I wish Republicans would have the courage to say the plain truth: DeSantis and Noem are pandering idiots who are aiding and comforting Putin and ignoring the enormous value of keeping Ukraine free and democratic.

  28. e platypus onion 2023-03-16 09:44

    Inbred magats all fruit of spineless Casper Milquetoast’s loins.

  29. Joe 2023-03-16 11:21

    We see the governor is putting her poli sci degree to good use. /s

  30. sx123 2023-03-17 04:01

    Richard, if my hypothetical neighbor, who is a lot bigger then I, wants my backyard so badly that death would result if I didn’t let them use it or give it to then, I would do whatever to prevent death. I certainly wouldn’t engage in a years long war over it .
    But that’s me. I don’t care about stuff. People have only one shot at the universe and most things fought over aren’t worth dying for, especially if there are alternative possibilities..


  31. John 2023-03-17 08:35

    George Will excoriated Noem and her new sunshine, DeSantis,
    “Last week, a Republican evidently seeking Biden’s office made a momentous foreign policy pronouncement for (you cannot make this up) Tucker Carlson to provide to Fox News viewers: Ron DeSantis termed Russia’s attempted murder of Ukraine “a territorial dispute.” In 1938, Neville Chamberlain expressed similar thinking about Adolf Hitler’s “dispute” with Czechoslovakia: “A quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.””

    One has to wonder if Noem and her pal Dusty Johnson also merely think that China is just “Asia’s problem”.

  32. OLDTIMERdon 2023-03-17 18:31

    What confuses me is how normally sensible folks from SD accept the bilge spouted by Noem. Good grief it is sickening. Let her and her bed buddy frolic on the taxpayers dime somewhere else.

  33. Mark Anderson 2023-03-24 21:39

    Well I must say Noem knows corruption.

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