He came, he saw, he confused.
Joe Bidens speech to arms Poland has long been lofty rhetoric about the virtues of democracy, but pitifully short of what else the West will do to help Ukraine defeat the Russian invasion. But when he got to the finish, most of it was forgotten.
What mattered most and will be remembered for a long time was a single line from the President of the United States said about the President of Russia: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
As part of the speech and the Massacre of Ukrainian civiliansit is impossible to construe this line as anything other than a call for regime change, a move that would dramatically up the ante on Russia at a time Biden has been struggling to lower it.
It also raises the question of whether overthrowing Putin, an issue never mentioned before by the White House, is suddenly the new policy of the United States and NATO.
Shortly after the speech, an aide to Biden told Pool reporters, “The President’s point was that Putin must not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He wasn’t talking about Putin’s power in Russia or regime change.”
slips on the world stage
Incredible. So what Biden said so clearly is not what he meant at all.
How the heck can such a line be so explicit that it could possibly lead to World War III, gotten into a presidential speech when the simple meaning wasn’t the intent? Even if the speechwriters made mistakes, did no one in the White House, the State Department, or the Pentagon read the final draft?
Was it Russian disinformation, how Emails from Hunter Biden? Or maybe the dramatic line just went into the speech by itself?
Then again, maybe it wasn’t in there at all. Maybe the idea just popped into Biden’s confused brain and he added it on the spur of the moment.
However the White House finally declares itself, it will not be good enough. Not for a long time.
This was at least the fourth time in the three-day trip that something Biden said had to be retracted, cleaned up, clarified or refuted.
No, there will be no food shortages in America, despite what he has implied.
No, American troops in Poland are not headed for Ukraine, despite what Biden has told them.
No, the United States will not use chemical weapons even if Russia does, although the President appears to be threatening to do so.
And now no, we are not pushing for regime change in Russia.
It’s one hell of a way to end a journey that is the most important of Biden’s presidency. He is awash with voters on nearly every domestic political issue, some with one-sided fringes, and his party could face a mid-term wipeout that would largely neutralize his tenure.
So much for the smooth process
Presidents who get into trouble at home often turn to foreign policy, where they alone command the stage and have far more power. In a way, Biden had no choice, as the televised brutality of the war in Ukraine overshadowed everything in Washington, including the confirmation hearings of his Supreme Court nominee, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who will become the court’s first black woman should.
While the White House initially tried to keep the focus on the home front, more recently it took the opportunity to show Biden leading the free world against Russia. The trip to Brussels to meet with NATO leaders and then to the perimeter of NATO’s borders in Poland to meet with Ukrainian refugees appeared destined to give the president a political boost at home .
The photo ops were great: holding a refugee child, eating pizza with troops deployed to Poland, huddled with the other members of the world’s most powerful military alliance.
All of this would come together on Saturday, with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pledging the speech would “capture the urgency of the challenge ahead of what the conflict in Ukraine means for the world.”
It had some success toward those goals, but even before the botched end, the big picture that Biden was painting was hollow. He spoke as if it were his job to convince people at home and in Europe what was at stake, but they already know that.
The vast majority of the American and European public has seen the gruesome Russian bombings of hospitals, schools and homes and needs no convincing that Putin is the villain. They are beyond that and want their governments to step up the significant military and humanitarian aid they have already provided to heroic Ukrainians.
Perhaps more than its leaders, the public believes that Ukraine can actually win the war and wants the defenders to have the tools to do so. The Ukrainians want that too.
The US wants real leadership
As for Biden, a recent Fox poll showed that Americans believe the US should do more to defeat Russia by a margin of 63-32%.
His journey was intended to respond to this demand and be a trumpet call for a united front. Instead, he offered another drip-drip aid package that won’t change the facts on the ground now, or maybe ever.
Predictably, everything was wrapped in its usual startling incoherence.
Given the stakes, an insecure trumpet is worse than ineffective, it is dangerous.
For Putin, the garbled message means he has nothing new to fear.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/26/president-bidens-putin-speech-in-poland-is-a-catastrophe/ President Biden’s Putin speech in Poland is a disaster