In recent weeks, Ukraine has launched a series of drone strikes on Russia’s oil refineries. Oil revenues fund Russia’s war effort in Ukraine, so by targeting that industrial infrastructure, Ukraine hopes to limit the aggressor’s ability to wage its war.

Western sanctions imposed on Russia following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine have not had the intended deterrent effect for two reasons. First, some nations, notably China and India, have continued to buy large quantities of Russian oil, providing a market and revenues that have allowed Russia to sustain its war on Ukraine. Second, weak enforcement of the sanctions has limited their effectiveness.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives continue to block the $60 billion U.S. aid package to Ukraine. That is depriving the Ukrainians of the critical supply of ammunitions they need to defend their country. They have run perilously low on artillery shells and have had to ration them in recent months, while Russia is advancing on the war front because it has ramped up its domestic production of weapons and is also being heavily supplied by Iran, North Korea, and other friendly countries.

In 1994, the U.S. pressured Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons and send them to Russia in exchange for security assurances. Knowing the character of their belligerent neighbor, the Ukrainians knew the risks associated with such a move, but they reluctantly yielded to the U.S. demand. They hoped that if they came under a future attack from Russia, America would honor its commitment to defend them. Our lackadaisical attitude towards Ukraine today shows that those fears were warranted.

Feeling helpless and at risk of losing their sovereignty, the Ukrainians have taken matters into their own hands. They have quickly learned how to manufacture drones, which they have deployed in those attacks on Russia’s oil refineries. Under the circumstances, it is difficult to see how anyone could question their strategy.

It was absolutely shocking therefore to read a report in the Financial Times two days ago that the U.S. has urged Ukraine to halt its strikes on Russia’s energy infrastructure. Biden administration officials are said to fear that such continued attacks would risk provoking Russia into taking retaliatory actions. That is utterly absurd. Putin’s Russia doesn’t need provocation to showcase its brutality. Any observer of the war over the last two years should know this.

In the last two winters, Russian forces have repeatedly bombed Ukrainian civilian energy infrastructure. Heating and electricity supply systems have been destroyed. The obvious goal has been to freeze Ukrainians to death, sap their morale, and force them to stop fighting back. While there is no international community to speak of these days, one would have expected that such barbarity would at least catch someone’s attention. But no one, including the UN, said much about it. Brave Ukrainian engineers kept working round the clock, under heavy bombardment and constant threat of death, to repair the systems and provide heat and electricity for their compatriots. All that started long before Ukraine began striking Russian oil facilities.

The most appalling thing about the Financial Times report was its reference to gasoline prices. Apparently, the administration is seriously worried that the drone strikes will disrupt global oil supply and ultimately drive up pump prices in the U.S., thus jeopardizing President Biden’s reelection chances.

Do we just care about ourselves? A country and its people are fighting desperately with bare hands for their very survival because we won’t honor our commitment to defend them. And we are here worrying about paying a few more cents per gallon for gasoline?

Putin’s goal is complete subjugation of Ukraine. Nothing indicates that he will be satisfied with anything less than that. The brutality of Alexei Navalny’s treatment and his recent killing explain why the Ukrainians are fighting like hell to avoid falling under Putin’s thumb. Would any of us just stand by and watch such a person, who cannot be reasoned with, kill our mothers and daughters out of fear that our intervention would risk retaliation? How dishonorable would that be?

We have been talking endlessly in this country over the last decade or so about global warming being the defining issue of our time. And we all say that fossil fuels are the biggest contributors to climate change and so we must curtail our use of them. Furthermore, we are fully aware that the best way to limit consumption of any product is to raise its price. Why then are we unwilling to put our money where our mouths are? We happen to be the voters the administration is supposedly afraid of and is bending over backwards to lower gasoline prices to please.

We can’t have it both ways. The Permian and other energy basins across America have more proven oil reserves than we need. The administration cannot throw all sorts of roadblocks in the way of America’s energy producers in the name of fighting climate change, and then go around begging nations like Saudi Arabia to boost oil production, or placating Vladimir Putin, so Americans can enjoy low prices at the pump.

The world and life in general are maddeningly complex so sometimes individuals and nations have to make certain unprincipled choices in order to meet some basic objectives. But we all need to be careful about how low we stoop when making such moral compromises. American hypocrisy is the thing most people around the world cite as reason for their hatred of our country. I wonder what the Ukrainians thought of us when the Biden administration officials gave them that “advice.”