Biden administration on the wrong track on relations with Russia
If I was in Ukraine, I would head to Kiev airport. One way or another, the Russians are coming.
And when Joe Biden says he supports you, it’s time to fly away.
One can only hope that the evacuation of desperate Ukrainians will be more orderly than Biden’s shameful retreat from Kabul.
It should be. On the one hand, the United States has no troops in Ukraine and no interpreters or allies to leave behind, as Biden did in Afghanistan.
But there is hope. The United States can set a quiet tone by playing soothing tunes from Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s playlist over the airport speakers. This could prevent asylum seekers from swarming the runways or clinging to planes.
The Blinken playlist contains songs from the Spotify streaming platform that Blinken listens to as they travel the world. The information was released by the State Department. Honest.
Vladimir Putin may be on the verge of unleashing terror in Ukraine, and China’s Xi Jinping could invade Taiwan any day, but Blinken apparently thinks music has the power to “appease the wild beast.” “. Or, in this case, two beasts.
It’s like playing the violin while Rome burns, with Blinken playing the disc jockey. That’s not to say Blinken, or Biden, is Nero, but you understand the drift.
Accompanying the State Department’s music press release, Blinken said, âPart of my job is to promote interpersonal diplomacy and forge bonds with other nations through a shared love of culture, education, music, food and more.
Looking more like a Coachella organizer than a Henry Kissinger, Blinken added, “Here are some of my favorite songs from this year from American artists that I hope people around the world will enjoy listening to as well,” he said, posting his music information.
Next thing you know, Blinken will be performing a song with Putin and Xi.
There is no doubt that the Americans and their allies still stranded in Afghanistan are listening.
Putin must have turned to his boyfriend Xi and asked him, “Is this guy serious?”
Perhaps the 30 foreign ministers of NATO countries have asked the same question. These are the leaders who gathered virtually on Friday to assess the Russian-Ukrainian situation and the threat of a Russian invasion.
The meeting was a precursor to more substantial and direct talks between the United States and Moscow.
It would all be weirdly funny if the world weren’t about to ignite.
What’s not funny is how Vladimir Putin, the Moscow player, cornered Biden and forced him into a no-win situation. Either Biden and NATO give in to Putin’s demands – or at least some of them – or he will invade Ukraine. Putin has an army of 100,000 on the border
Will Biden stop him? No one stopped Putin when he invaded Georgia, no one stopped him when he invaded Crimea, no one stopped him when he launched previous incursions into Ukraine.
And no one is going to stop him now, not until he gets at least some of his demands met, one of which is to limit NATO’s expansion to include Ukraine.
Biden rightly promised that no American troops would be sent to Ukraine. He is not a member of NATO. And the United States doesn’t need another Afghanistan.
Yet he vowed that Russia would pay “a heavy price” through severe economic sanctions if the Russians invaded it. Following his phone call with Putin, Biden said: “I am not going to negotiate here in public, but we have made it clear that he cannot – I stress he could not – act on Ukraine. . “
These are the same threats Putin ignored when he invaded Crimea.
In addition, Biden has so far shown that he is more willing to lift sanctions against Putin and the Russians than to impose them.
One of Biden’s first acts as president, as a gift to Germany’s Angela Merkel, was to lift US economic sanctions that halted construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The completed pipeline now feeds the Germany, ally of NATO, in energy of Russia, adversary of NATO.
What did Biden get in return? Nothing. Putin doesn’t give, he takes.
Hope there are shortcuts to Kiev airport.
Peter Lucas is a veteran political journalist and columnist from Massachusetts.