Earlier today, my colleague Bonchie posted on the imbecilic statement made by Joe Biden at the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday. Apparently, Joey SoftServe went off-script and proclaimed, when speaking about Russian President Vladimir Putin, “this man cannot remain in power.” See Here’s Why Biden’s Putin-Regime Change ‘Gaffe’ Was So Egregious.
Pointing out stupid statements by Biden is a rather pointless exercise. He says something so profoundly stupid or dangerous or counterfactual with such frequency that you are overwhelmed by the volume. Suppose you can muster the energy to tackle another Biden statement. In that case, there is a battalion of failed journalism students working for PolitiFact, Snopes, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, and Facebook’s viciously dishonest International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) lurking to defend what Biden said and prove it accurate.
Biden’s statement in Warsaw probably succeeded in making the Ukraine war much longer than it was going to be. As Bonchie said,
Returning to Putin, his entire argument for invading Ukraine has centered on the idea that NATO is imperialistic and wants to threaten Russia’s internal affairs. Far short of being “tough” on Putin, Biden’s comments were a gift to the dictator because they conceded his premise, and that is a premise other Western nations have been working so hard to disprove.
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The only way this war ends is if the Russian people decide they’ve had enough and invite Tommy DeVito Vladimir Putin to an initiation ceremony. Biden has thrown Putin a lifeline by publicly validating Putin’s narrative that NATO is out to crush and marginalize Russia (though there is a lot to be said for the idea). There is no amount of backtracking or appealing to Biden’s Irish heritage that will unf*** what Biden did last Saturday.
By the way, Biden is not any more “Irish” than tens of millions of Americans and less than a lot. The idea that we have personality traits passed on by virtue of our ancestry is the root of racism, and racial and ethnic prejudice. So, if Panetta can engage in his stereotype, I can engage in mine.
The brain dead ad-libbing Joe Biden did in Warsaw might have extended the war in Ukraine, but his lack of self-discipline and situation awareness on Monday could very well expand the war in Ukraine and set off a larger European war (read Nick Arama’s White House Now Has to Clean up a Fourth Bad Comment From Joe Biden).
By the way, I have to assume that the sign-language interpreter for this video is one of those fakes we frequently read about.
Back to the video. The video is cued up to that question.
After delivering remarks about the White House’s new budget request, Biden answered a reporter’s question about comments he made when meeting the 82nd Airborne in Poland, in which he implied American forces would be going to Ukraine. Biden denied that’s what he meant, adding: “We’re talking about helping train the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland.”
Pressed again, Biden said, “I was referring to being with, and talking with, the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland.”
On March 22, at a White House press briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was hit with the question about the US and Britain training Ukrainian troops in Poland. As before, the video is cued up at that question.
Q Are there any U.S. troops in Eastern Europe or anywhere else currently training Ukrainians (inaudible)?
MR. SULLIVAN: …On the question of U.S. troops, we do not have U.S. troops currently training Ukrainians. We do not have U.S. troops on the territory of Ukraine. We do, of course, have U.S. troops defending NATO territory, providing reassurance to our Allies, deterring Russian aggression.
And, of course, the United States is playing a key role not just in the direct provision of military equipment to Ukraine but in the facilitation of military equipment provided by many of our Allies as well.
Why is this important?
Russia knows, as does any relatively conscious person, that NATO is providing Ukraine with the arms and supplies that it needs to stay in the fight. Those supplies are coming to Ukraine mainly through Poland. Russia isn’t happy about it (Russia Demolishes a Ukrainian Training Camp on the Polish Border as Putin Gives Joey SoftServe a Brushback Pitch), but so far, Russia has not attempted to attack supplies in transit from Poland to Ukraine.
However, there is a quantum leap between sending arms, ammunition, and supplies to Ukraine, and helping to train and organize Ukrainian tactical units that will be committed to combat. Such an act would move Poland and the nations providing the training from the supplier category to one the Russians might take as being that of active belligerent.
The question, as always, is who was telling the truth? Would it be Jake Sullivan, who was up to his braided nasal hair in the Hillary Clinton email/personal phone scandal? Or was it our beloved Joey SoftServe, who has barely sufficient intellectual power to detect the sun’s arc?
A senior administration official said that U.S. troops help Ukrainian forces in Poland load weapons the West gives them to drive back to Ukraine. As they do so, they provide verbal instruction on how to use the weaponry, like anti-aircraft missiles, but don’t lead Ukrainian forces through physical drills.
Gen. Todd Wolters, the head of U.S. European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that’s as far as the military-to-military interactions in Poland go. “I do not believe that we are in the process of currently training military forces from Ukraine in Poland,” he said. “There are liaisons that are there that are being given advice, and that’s different than I think you’re referring to with respect to training.”
“There are Ukrainian soldiers in Poland interacting on a regular basis with U.S. troops, and that’s what the President was referring to,” said a White House official.
Note the non-denial denial? If you are head of USEUCOM and NATO commander, you have no excuse for “believing” what is going on in your area of operations involving troops from your home country. They are there, or they aren’t. You also don’t give someone “verbal instructions” on using weaponry and send them off. That is a hands-on task. (This story just appeared on CNN’s website since I started writing this: US troops in Poland are training Ukrainians on how to use weapons sent by the West. It confirms we are doing more than providing “verbal instructions.” I’d be shocked if there were not a Javelin simulator somewhere to be found.)
In this case, my gut feeling is that we are training Ukrainian troops in Poland. More likely than not, they are being recruited from the men who fled the war to get their families to safe harbor, and are now going back to “get some,” especially now that the situation looks favorable for Ukraine. We could also be overseeing the rebuilding of Ukrainian units pulled out of the line to re-equip and add replacements. All of that would provide an increasingly desperate Putin with a target that would be hard to ignore.
Regardless, this leads to the same problem that Bonchie pointed out regarding Biden’s regime change comment. Biden is utterly incapable of refraining from trying to go “Corn Pop” and showing everyone how tough and manly he is (despite the stories in his daughter’s diary) or slinging about information to prove he knows more than the press pool. He is reckless. He is dangerous. He will cause a war that none of us wants or needs (‘The Joke Is Over, Too Much Is at Stake’: Tucker Says It’s Time to Invoke 25th Amendment Against Joe Biden).