Joe Biden’s visit to Europe: is the President a liability?

“Joe Biden’s visit to Europe at a time of acute crisis for the continent should have been a reassuring event,” he said The Daily Telegraph. The fact that it became an “embarrassment full of faux pas” is not only regrettable, but “dangerous”.

Biden’s staff has had to correct the impression conveyed by the president’s public statements on several occasions: at one point, it appeared to imply the deployment of US troops to Ukraine. Far more worryingly, in his big speech in Warsaw last Saturday, he added an unwritten remark in which he said of Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, that man cannot stay in power.” In other words, he seemed like a to demand regime change.

“The mere suggestion feeds the Kremlin’s paranoia that the West intends to destroy its country, a view that has been ingrained in the Russian psyche for centuries.” For a month, NATO supported a single, clear goal, Patrick Wintour said in The guard: “Defending the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”. Now the position has been blurred.

A US official tried to explain it away, saying, “The President’s point was that you can’t allow Putin to exercise power over your neighbors or the region.” But it was too late. The Kremlin propaganda machine ran the clip with Biden’s words over and over again. It will complicate negotiations: Putin can claim that talks are pointless, that it is “all or nothing”.

Biden’s remark has also revived claims he suffers from “serious cognitive decline,” Hugh Tomlinson said in The times. It was just his latest diplomatic misstep. In January he “appeared to throw Ukraine under the bus,” declaring that a “minor incursion” by Russia into its territory would not merit a strong international response.

Actually, that wasn’t a blip, said Jennifer Rubin The Washington Post. Biden explained his own words very well: he is not calling for regime change in Russia, but is expressing his personal “moral outrage” at Putin’s “brutality.” And who could disagree? In Berlin in 1987, Ronald Reagan called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”. At the time, his advisers thought he was too confrontational. But Reagan was absolutely right – and so was Biden. Joe Biden’s visit to Europe: is the President a liability?

Fry Electronics Team

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