Select Page

Biden gets his orders from Putin

Biden gets his orders from Putin

President Biden engaged in a 45-minute phone call that was requested by Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Based on reports from both sides, they covered the same ground and there were no resolutions of the array of existential problems that have developed out of Putin’s increasing aggression and belligerence.  Even as both sides said nothing new was brought to the table and nothing was resolved, both sides inexplicably said that the conversation was “productive.”  Maybe Putin just wanted to extend a New Year greeting to Biden.

Interestingly, this call came ahead of a series of meetings between Russia and the United States – including between Biden and Putin.  So, why the call now?

Media pundits failed to explain it.  A few thought that Biden wanted to use the occasion to underscore the threatened consequences if Putin invades Ukraine.  But it was not Biden who requested the call.  It is Putin’s reason that matters – and he is not a man who would be making a holiday social call.  Putin obviously saw a benefit – and advantage – in requesting that call.

Since neither side covered any new ground, it is reasonable to assume that perhaps the importance of the call to Putin was not talking to Biden – but speaking to a larger audience, including NATO nations and the world-at-large.

The call was a net gain for Putin because he achieved some not-so-obvious benefits.  He was able to draw a line in the sand regarding Ukraine – no western weapons in Ukraine and no military forces on the eastern edge of NATO.  Ukraine can never become a NATO nation.  Instead, Putin reaffirmed his contention that Ukraine is part of the Russian sphere of influence – and a potential satellite state of the new Soviet Union, although that was only implied.

Putin did not rule out further military action in Ukraine.  In response, Biden did not rattle the sword, but threatened Putin with a money bag – otherwise known as sanctions. One only needs look at the effectiveness of all those sanctions imposed against Russia in the past to judge their success of them.  Yes … Biden and the pin-striped pants folks at the State Department assured us that THIS TIME they will have a real impact.  Uh huh.  We have heard that before.

Putin also won because he proved that he could be on an international platform with Biden and not worry about the American President raising such issues as election meddling, cyber-attacks, American political prisoners, human rights, international assassinations, democratic principles, the fate of opposition leaders in Russia, the German pipeline and Russian support of terrorist nations such as Iran. And no talk about Russia getting out of the Crimea.  It would seem that Putin’s threats against Ukraine have taken all those other pesky issues off the table.

We should recall how the left-leaning media and the Washington establishment – especially the pin-stripers over at State – lambasted President Trump for engaging in one-on-one meetings with heads-of-states without advance bureaucrat prep work and without an objective goal – a deliverable, as they say.  It is bad memory that enables such hypocrisy.  But I digress.

Through the phone call, Putin was establishing the framework for the future talks – HIS framework.  Biden was like the weakling facing the bully.  “You do that, and you just wait and see what happens to you,” Biden figuratively warns.  With any bully, that is not a credible threat.

Biden claims to be speaking for our NATO allies – but is he?  I would argue that Biden does not have a solid commitment from NATO.  Some of the smaller and more vulnerable nations in the east may push back against Putin’s ambitions – and maybe France and England, to some extent.  But what about all those other nations – Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, etc.  After all, Ukraine is not a NATO nation, so there is no Article 5 obligation to defend them.  With Biden taking military intervention off the table, there is no chance that NATO will do anything more than criticize Putin and impose a few sanctions.  Will Germany terminate the oil pipeline deal that is enriching Russia?  After all, the German pipeline deal would be helping to finance any invasion.

And what if Putin pulls back on the threat to invade Ukraine – for now.  He will still have had a huge victory.  No more military support for Ukraine – back to the old Obama policy of sending them blankets as military aid.  No admittance to NATO.  And no threats of those nasty sanctions to be used against all the other Russian aggressions.  They were taken off the table to buy TEMPORARY peace in Ukraine – while leaving that nation defenseless from some future invasion.  Putin’s deal is to render Ukraine defenseless for some future invasion.  

In short, Biden does not want western military equipment and personal at his border in Ukriane.  He wants his military in western Ukraine on the border of NATO.  That should keep Biden awake at night – at least during the day.

It seems that 2022 will be an existential year for Ukraine.  Will it be an independent democratic nation by this time next year? Or will it be the latest captive nation in Putin’s new Soviet Union?

It appears that Putin is playing chess – virtually the Russian national sport – while Biden is playing tiddlywinks.  It would not be the first time an old and weakened American President got rolled by a Russian dictator.  Check out Stalin and Roosevelt at Yalta.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Ben

    Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia. As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing….” (May 3, 2019)

    * “So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki. Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!” (July 18, 2018)

    * “I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also). The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong! Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing…” (March 21, 2018)

    * “The man has very strong control over a country,” he said. “Now, it’s a very different system and I don’t happen to like the system, but certainly in that system, he’s been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader.” (September 7, 2016)

    * “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!” (December 20, 2016)

    • larry Horist

      Ben …. same old crap. What does anything you wrote have to do with my commentary. I write about Biden and Putin and your write about Trump and Putin. I guess you did not have a good answer so you just deflect. Classic whataboutism. In terms of Trump and Putin, we actually may have some common ground… but that is not what you seek. Attack… attack … attack. That is why you are not a worthy debater.

      • Ben


        In this case, whataboutism is sufficient. Your buddy Joe often writes about hypocrisy.

        Once again, I just try to keep things fair and balanced. I don’t recall you writing an article about trump’s love for strong armed dictators, including Putin ( I may have missed it), but to write this article while not addressing the previous president’s comments on the subject seems… partisan. Oh, never mind.

  2. frank stetson

    Do you have no memory whatsoever Larry?

    Sure, sanctions have not turned the tide, but they have only killed a few Americans too.

    I dunno Larry, as just a citizen, I really don’t notice much difference except Trump was fawning over Putin like in puppy love, and Biden keeps issuing the same old “if you do it, we will sanction, and all cards on the table” while reacting to Russia’s recent build up on the Ukrainian border.

    Sure, sanctions probably hurt the little people in Russia more than the Oligarchs who probably can’t visit the US anymore anyways, but they have only killed a few Americans too.

    Can Trump and his enablers like you really say that: Remember the bounties???

    No wonder Trump and his enablers hate CNN: And that was just the first two years.

    Should we go to Trump’s huge success with North Korea ending there nuclear program for at least 60 seconds…?

    No Larry, your memory loss is memorable; at least let Biden face a real Russian showdown before you throw down without even thinking about the past four years.

    • larry Horist

      Frank … I see you jointed Ben in using whataboutism to avoid dealing with the points of my commentary — with a measure of ad hominim attack.. Maybe you forgot what I wrote … one of those short-term memory deals. And that your often eschew personal attacks … unless they come from you.

      • frank stetson


        I just think your writing about the present as if the past never occurred is deceitful, especially in this case. There is no whataboutism, a cute conservative buzzword. There is only what happened which I summed to: “I dunno Larry, as just a citizen, I really don’t notice much difference except Trump was fawning over Putin like in puppy love, and Biden keeps issuing the same old “if you do it, we will sanction, and all cards on the table” while reacting to Russia’s recent build up on the Ukrainian border.”

        Seems like I added a Trump perspective that I can understand you want to forget to what we both see with Biden re: messages and the value of sanctions. I still say Biden, as perhaps ineffective as he might seem right now with Russia, is still a breadth of fresh air for he that Larry no longer mentions.

        Remember 1.6.2020; prayer vigil at 5:30PM today. Moment of silence, any moment now :>)

        As far as ad hominem and personal attacks, honestly, wtf are you talking about? Alluding to memory loss may seem personal to you Larry, at least you seem to have heightened sensitivity, but really —- personal attack? You need to walk a mile in my PBP boots before you can say that.. :>)

        Really happy to dialogue, perhaps next time you will actually discuss the topic, what I actually said, and any differences or clarifications you need.