by Keaton Weiss
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” said Joe Biden in Poland on Saturday in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House quickly tried to walk back the statement, insisting that “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.” The Democratic Party-aligned media is doing their part to convince their consumers that Biden’s remarks were merely an unfortunate gaffe, and not a reflection of the United States’ true policy aims.
Funny how one of the few times Biden was coherent enough to say what he meant, his team and their media mouthpieces were forced into damage control to try and convince the public that he didn’t really mean it. Comic irony aside, Biden’s assertion that Putin must go was a revealing articulation of the all-too serious intentions of the United States to provoke Russia into a violent confrontation for quite some time.
In 2008, George W. Bush supported NATO membership for Ukraine, knowing full well Putin’s vehement opposition to the idea. Shortly into Obama’s first term, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovitch was elected in Ukraine. Obama congratulated him on his victory, but four years later his administration would support his ousting via the Maidan Revolution which installed a more pro-Western government.
In 2015, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for a no-fly zone in Syria just days after Russia started bombing anti-Assad fighters in the country – a policy sure to result in a violent exchange between US and Russian forces. She would defend this position throughout the 2016 campaign, most notably in her third debate against Donald Trump.
After Trump’s victory but before his inauguration, Senators Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and Amy Klobuchar visited a Ukrainian combat outpost to express their support for their military. Referring to their ongoing struggle against Russia, who had annexed Crimea during the aforementioned 2014 uprising, McCain promised that “we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.” Graham added that they would “push the case against Russia” upon their return to Washington, and that 2017 would be a “year of offense.”
Of course, with Trump taking over for Obama just a few weeks after this meeting, those plans didn’t quite materialize. It’s hardly a coincidence that throughout his presidency, the main line of attack against Trump from Democrats and neocon Republicans was that he was a “Russian asset” doing the Kremlin’s bidding from his new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
When Trump and Putin appeared at a joint press conference in Helsinki in 2018, the political class roiled in anger as the two got along rather well – an event that would produce a barrage of headlines declaring Trump a traitor and a “Putin poodle” for not chastising Putin over his alleged interference in the 2016 election. One CNN article even suggested in its headline that the soccer ball Putin gave Trump as a gift was implanted with a listening device, even though the text of the piece itself explained that the transmitter chip in question was a standard feature of Adidas products – a QR code of sorts that allows customers to further explore their brand.
After their four-year tantrum of such laughably ludicrous Russia hysteria, the Democrats – thanks to a once-in-a-century pandemic which Trump seemed uniquely unequipped to handle – successfully won the White House again. With “Putin’s poodle” out of the way, the United States was once again free to carry on in its hostility towards Putin.
Notice in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Biden White House did nothing whatsoever of substance to try and prevent it. Biden warned of sanctions against Russia if Putin decided to invade, but simultaneously predicted he’d do so anyway. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on February 20 that “everything leading up to the actual invasion appears to be taking place.”
The nonchalance of the Biden administration in the weeks prior to the invasion was in stark contrast to the shock and horror expressed by similar figures in response to the infamous soccer ball exchange in Helsinki between Putin and Trump. To the political establishment, the prospect of America and Russia peacefully and cooperatively coexisting is clearly more frightening than that of violent confrontation, even if such conflict escalates into a third World War. This is obvious given their outrage and indignation over Trump’s soft handling of Putin, and their glowing praise the Biden administration as it refused to engage in the kind of serious diplomacy that might have prevented war between Russia and Ukraine.
And so of course, Biden meant exactly what he said when he advocated for Putin’s removal from power; it’s the logical “best case scenario” result of the kind of violet clash between NATO and Russia that major figures in both major parties have been instigating for years. Of course, his administration has neither a strategy nor a desire to end the violence. Of course, the Ukrainian people are nothing more than expendable pawns on their imperial chess board. And of course, none of this is going to get better before it gets worse.
The White House and their media stooges are now trying to gaslight the American people by convincing them they didn’t see what they just saw. It’d be easy – and accurate – to call this Orwellian. But perhaps the even more appropriate reference would be to the Marx Brothers, who in their 1933 film Duck Soup penned the now famous line, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes? This is the exact question the White House is asking all of us right now. But we know what we saw. We know what we heard. And those paying attention know that the United States has wanted war with Russia for quite some time, and now that they’ve got it, they of course want to see it through to its most violent conclusion.
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Image: Public Domain