Joe Gilbertson | Jun 20, 2022 | 12
Biden tough talk is disingenuous … and dangerous
It is almost impossible to believe that President Biden – in addressing the Russian invasion of Ukraine – could be both disingenuous and dangerously incompetent at the same time.
The first problem is that all his tough talk in the past has not been met with the promised appropriate actions. The threats of sanctions are now described more as “symbolic actions” that were never intended to deter Putin from launching and escalating his dirty little war against the free people of Ukraine. Biden’s harsh threats turned out to be more duplicitous than meaningful. His talk rose to the occasion, but his actions did not.
Consider this carefully. Biden recently said that sanctions are never a deterrent. That means that when he talked tough about sanctions, even he did not believe they would deter Putin from invading and escalating. So, if sanctions were pre-determined to be useless as a deterrent what would top Putin. The only other option is military action – and Biden repeatedly assured Putin that neither the United States nor NATO would confront Putin in the field of battle. Ergo – Biden gave Putin the green light.
While in Poland – following his meetings with NATO leaders – Biden intensified his rhetoric against Putin. Over more recent days, he had called the Russian despot a “killer “and a “war criminal.” In his last day in Poland, Biden used his speech to Ukrainian refugees and the world to take the rhetoric further – even though his actual response to the invasion remained timid.
In what was described as an “unscripted” portion of his address, Biden declared that Putin cannot be allowed to remain in power. There can be only one meaning to that statement – or at least the words, themselves. To anyone with a high school diploma, that means regime change. Biden declared that Putin must be removed as the leader of Russia.
Of course, when viewed in conjunction with Biden’s actions, the statement was empty rhetoric – provocative empty rhetoric. In the world of Biden gaffes, it was a doozy. It stunned the world leaders and most assuredly pissed off Putin – even though it did not engender any fear of sudden removal from office. Most experts say that such a hoped-for event is not likely in the near future.
While many of the usual pundits in the American news media were in high praise of Biden’s meetings and speeches in Europe, many were critical of his unscripted gaffe. CNN was particularly harsh on that point – declaring that it was an unfortunate statement that overshadowed Biden’s accomplishment in Europe. They said it would be used by Putin as domestic propaganda to show how America is threatening him – and therefore, Russia.
Biden’s gaffe was so bad that by the time Biden left Europe both the State Department and the White House folks had to do what they have done with past Biden gaffes. They “walked it back” – using the euphemistic terms meaning that Biden did not mean what he said. Essentially telling the world that the American President did not understand what he was saying.
They quickly issued statements that claimed that Biden was NOT calling for regime change even though there is no possible other reading of those words. Imagine that. The establishment bureaucrats in Washington were not only saying that what Biden said was wrong, but that THEY are to determine what it says. He was not supposed to go off the script they had given him.
This was not Biden – after some thought – correcting himself or apologizing for his misstatement. This was the folks back home declaring that what the President said was not only completely wrong but dangerous.
The gaff was so bad that Biden had to address the problem in open form with a carefully crafted and rehearsed statement. He assured the world that there was no plan for a regime change in Russia no matter what Putin does. It is up to the Russian people to make that decision – which is exactly what Putin said. If this was the early 1940s, Biden could have said that about Hitler. Let the German people deal with him.
But even as Biden walked back his statement, he firmly insisted that he was not … walking back his statement. He said the call to remove Putin from power was just a personal opinion – not a policy statement.
When I wrote that Putin needed to be taken out, THAT was a personal opinion. President’s words are considered policy.
After a history of not following up on tough talk and threats with tough actions, the last thing Biden should be doing is ramping up the tough talk. But then, we must recall that he was part of the Obama administration that declared that Syrian dictator Bashar al Asaad must be removed from power. Ironically, Obama is no longer President of the United States, but al Asaad is still the autocratic president of Syria.
Regime change is often a necessary policy when dealing with a rogue head-of-state. And does anyone doubt that Putin is a rogue head-of-state. The UN authorized regime change in Iraq when Saddam Hussein started invading neighbors. The United States took out Panamanian dictator Generalissimo Noriega when he was deemed to be a rogue leader. Neither Hussein nor Noriega was as dangerous and destructive as Putin.
It is also ironic that Biden’s words – if not his actions – were one-hundred percent accurate. The stability of the world will be at risk as long as the Madman of Moscow is in power. It is unfortunate that Biden’s tough talk is just that – touch talk.
So, there ‘tis.