You would think that Joe Biden wants war between Ukraine and Russia, he keeps hyping the question so much, despite the Ukrainians trying to downplay the immediacy of the threat. As we reported earlier, on Friday, the Administration urged Americans to leave Ukraine.
But Biden was on a phone call with Vladimir Putin Saturday. That always has to be a concern when Biden is let loose because he's already said things that have gummed up the works and made things worse on the matter. He seemed to give Putin a pass, if Russia just committed a “minor incursion” of Ukraine.
Now, it's hard to know at this point precisely what he talked about because the White House isn't going to tell us of the gaffes; we're just going to have to hear about it in time.
But the readout of the call doesn't exactly scream like the strongest thing, nor did it show that the call achieved anything at all beyond Biden being able to say that he made it.
This is not exactly making Putin quake in his boots:
READOUT: In phone call, Biden warned Putin of "swift and severe costs" if Russia invades Ukraine and said that the US seeks diplomacy but is “equally prepared for other scenarios” pic.twitter.com/ApqKtVIPBX— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 12, 2022
Readout of President Biden's Call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia about Russia's escalating military buildup on the borders of Ukraine. President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia. President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia's standing. President Biden was clear with President Putin that while the United States remains prepared to engage in diplomacy, in full coordination with our Allies and partners, we are equally prepared for other scenarios.
Does he think Putin is going to be deterred because he, Biden, says there might be “suffering,” or it might “diminish Russia's standing”? Putin doesn't give a darn if Biden says mean words to him. What he is seeing is that Biden hasn't been willing to up the sanctions now, before an invasion, to stop him from bad behavior. Biden is just going to wait and be reactive.
Even the execrable Natasha Bertrand of CNN couldn't find that this achieved anything.
Biden’s call w/Putin this a.m. was "substantive" but “there was no fundamental change in the dynamic that has been unfolding now for several weeks," per official— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 12, 2022
"Russia may decide to proceed with military action anyway," official said. "Indeed, that is a distinct possibility."
One more thing that all this furor does: it shows once again who Russia is afraid of. They didn't take precipitous actions like this when President Donald Trump was in command. But with Joe Biden, here they are.
Trump himself also points to why Russia has become emboldened: because they've seen the incompetent Biden in action. Thanks, Democrats!
What nonsense. Vindman used to say that Putin was aggressive because Trump was his stooge and we needed Biden to restore deterrence against Russia. The opposite happened. Putin waited for the Biden presidency to escalate. Total empirical refutation of Trump Derangement Syndrome. https://t.co/bw7iqVLq08— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) February 11, 2022
Trump says the blame for the situation belongs to the Biden administration and tied it to the August withdrawal from Afghanistan – claiming that both China and Russia were watching closely.
“How we got here is when they watched Afghanistan, and they watched the most incompetent withdrawal in the history of probably any army let alone just us, and President Xi [Jinping] and President Putin – watch what happens with China very soon with Taiwan – and they watched that, and they said: ‘What's going on? They don't know what they're doing.' And all of a sudden I think they got a lot more ambitious.” [….]
“I think Putin really wanted to negotiate for a period of time, but when he watched Afghanistan when he watched that unbelievably bad withdrawal, incompetent, where they took the Military out first, where they left $85 billion worth of equipment behind for the Taliban to have and to use and of course the deaths that happened – when they watched all of that I think they got emboldened.” […]
“This is just an exercise, he's not going to tell him anything and I don't think at this point Putin's at this point going to be listening,” he said.
That's pretty accurate analysis, along with seeing how Barack Obama folded like a cheap suit in 2014, and knowing that Biden was his VP. We wouldn't be seeing this if Trump were there.
But, pulling out these folks doesn't sound very smart.
Meanwhile, it's gotten to where Biden has no credibility even with the Ukrainians. They are demanding to see the evidence that he claims to have about the invasion because they're not seeing the same things.
The messaging spooked the Ukrainian government, which demanded to see intelligence that Russia is planning to invade on Wednesday.
Diplomatic sources told DailyMail.com it was part of a strategy designed to deny Moscow any attempt to launch a ‘false flag' operation as justification for attacking Ukraine.
So, are they saying this claim of an imminent threat is all some sort of ruse, thinking that will ward Putin off? That would be an incredibly bad move by Biden — and no wonder the Ukrainians would be upset.