or one thing, they played right into the Kremlin narrative of an aggressive Nato hell bent on destroying Russia.
The “evidence” of Western conspiracies is being disseminated through compliant, state-sanctioned media.
Trouble is, it’s true. Not the part about plots, any intelligent consumer of information can see that. No, the truth is that the US President said the words. After that, all it takes to create a pro-Kremlin problem is rhetoric disguised as analysis.
Like T-80 armor parts in northern Ukraine, Moscow has these scattered in abundance.
The second reason Mr. Biden’s blip had to be brought back so quickly by a frantic White House press machine was that it served to further isolate the Russian leader.
One should not delude oneself into thinking that anything negative about Putin’s state of mind could lower the threshold at which he decides to use nuclear weapons.
The US leader has form here.
Elisabeth Braw, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said, “Biden tends to articulate things that we know to be true but that as president he shouldn’t be saying.”
Mr Biden’s comments on the “small invasion” ahead of the outbreak of hostilities, in which he suggested that a Russian military campaign on the eve of a full-scale invasion would spark heated debates about how to respond within NATO, were a “painful truth”. , she said.
“Now he’s done the same thing again. To most viewers of the war, it’s obvious that one man is behind it: Putin.
“It would be to everyone’s advantage, including the people of Russia, if he were no longer in charge, but when you’re the President of the United States, you can’t articulate that you want another country’s democratically elected leader — like democracy.” in Russia – gone.”
Mr Biden’s words were “a gift” to Mr Putin, Ms Braw said, as “he no longer has many forms of escalation”.
“The Russian government is ready to use everything from what the Ukrainians are doing to JK Rowling as a propaganda tool.”
“They are so opportunistic in using public debate to justify what they are doing in Ukraine,” she says, adding menacingly, “or planning.”
“The result of this will be that Western politicians will not say anything publicly in case Russia pounces on it and uses it as an excuse for any action they want to take.”
This is unfortunate, because then politicians and high officials would prefer to stick to “wooden, boring statements” when it is important that everyone affected by the war has access to information.
The next week will be crucial to see if Mr Putin builds on Mr Biden’s comments to amplify any perceived threats to his rule.
“If Russia’s performance becomes terrible, Mr. Putin will be grasping at straws. He is able to absorb these remarks, which present him with an unexpected opportunity. It’s out there now, it can’t be left unsaid,” Ms. Braw said.
Mr. Putin sees himself as the embodiment of the Russian state and equates anything that threatens his rule as a threat to the country.
Mr. Biden’s previous use of the terms “butcher” and “war criminal” and references elsewhere to the International Criminal Court only fuel this paranoia.
It is alarming that Mr. Putin and others in Russia’s security establishment seem to take pleasure in reminding the world that threats to their state could justify the use of nuclear weapons.
In an interview with CNN last Tuesday, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, repeatedly refused to rule out that Russia would consider using nuclear weapons against what Moscow saw as an “existential threat.”
Any action or statement deemed to escalate to the point that Mr Putin believes his rule may be in jeopardy should be handled with extreme caution.
Mr Putin has not always been so overtly equating his own survival with that of the state, but “has been on that path for the past several years,” Ms Braw said.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/joe-bidens-words-a-propaganda-gift-to-putin-and-they-cant-be-unsaid-41493456.html Joe Biden’s words are a propaganda gift to Putin – and they cannot go unspoken