What really piqued my interest was the photo op with the 82nd Airborne Division. There was President Joe Biden speaking informally Friday with the storied parachute regiment that had always represented the best and most courageous that America could muster in wartime. I immediately thought of the famous pictures of then-General Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day as he met with the 101st Airborne, joking with the lower ranks, asking them where they were from, inviting them to have a smoke and just being Ike. He knew full well that many of them would die on the following day on the drop into France as the vanguard of the invasion of occupied Europe.
Was there something symbolic or emblematic in this picture? Then Biden spoke to the soldiers and told them they would soon be going to Ukraine and see the war for themselves, "You’re going to see when you’re there – some of you have been there – you’re going to see women, young people, standing in the middle, in front of a damn tank, saying, ‘I’m not leaving.'"
Although none of the airborne members fell out of their chairs over the comment, you can see in their eyes that they were not expecting this remark and many seemed to be wondering if they should take this old guy seriously or start preparing for the worst.
President Joe Biden’s trip to convene with NATO leaders followed by a meeting with troops and government leaders in Poland proved to be business as usual for the American leader: a communications disaster that could have become a military disaster.
Moving quickly into damage control mode as the Russian media suggested the Americans were on the verge of entering the war, the White House issued its usual clarification that what the president said earlier is what the president still means.
"The president has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position," a White House spokesperson told Fox News Friday. Maybe he was confused because he wanted to go to Ukraine but was told he couldn’t go because it might create some security concerns. No kidding.
So was Biden just out of his mind at the moment or accidentally telling the truth? Has Biden been lying about the extent of U.S. war planning or was the White House lying on Friday? You’re never quite sure in this war because everything is so surreal, largely because Biden makes it so.
On Saturday, Biden made an extraordinary comparison between the Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Poland and the illegal immigrants crossing the southern border into the United States. Biden made the remarks during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw to discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin's ongoing war in Ukraine.
"We do acknowledge that Poland is taking on a significant responsibility that I don't think should just be Poland and should be the whole world — all of NATO's responsibility," Biden said. "The fact that you have so many Ukrainians seeking refuge in and in … Poland — we understand that because we have on our southern border thousands of people a day literally, not figuratively, trying to get to the United States."
This is one of the few times that Biden has actually acknowledged that he has a crisis at the border. The problem is that the crisis on Biden’s border is a result of his febrile policy, not because Russia has invaded Mexico but because Biden has opened the border and is actually flying illegals all over the United States. They are not refugees fleeing a war. Meanwhile while Biden is entirely fixated on a war and a border in Europe he has done NOTHING about the porous border in his own backyard. You have to wonder if the man has any sense of responsibility, decency, duty, or honor.
Does he even have any sense of irony?
Biden also made what was called a “major and significant speech” just before he got on Air Force One and headed back home the same day. He began by referencing Polish Pope John Paul II and his work in bringing down communism in the Eastern Bloc. The president tried to liken the war between Russia and Ukraine as the same kind of battle between the forces of tyranny and democracy – even though Ukraine is far from a paragon of democracy and is in fact rife with corruption and whose president just outlawed 11 opposition parties. He reiterated his support for NATO, made a few stumbles but, in all fairness, this was perhaps the best speech he has made since becoming president. But that wasn't a bridge too far to reach.
Biden’s message to the Russia people: “I’ve worked with your leaders for decades … let me say this: you the Russian people are not our enemy … Vladimir Putin’s actions have cut you off from the rest of the world … this war is not worthy of you the Russian people.” But beyond the rhetoric there were no new promises, no new objectives, besides an outrageous suggestion that Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power – a line that was not in the script.
Is Biden now advocating regime change? It was another stumble in a trip studded with embarrassments.
Things got off to a rocky start when Biden held a news conference after the NATO Summit in Brussels Thursday. After Biden promised to place more sanctions on Russia to end the war in Ukraine, CBS reporter Christina Ruffini challenged him, "Sir, deterrence didn’t work. What makes you think Vladimir Putin will alter course based on the action you’ve taken today?”
President Biden decided to get testy and combative with the reporter, not used to being questioned by the press back in Washington.
"Let’s get something straight. You remember if you covered me from the very beginning, I did not say that, in fact, the sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter," Biden retorted.
Just as he had during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden was not in tune with his own administration. And it wasn’t difficult to demonstrate that virtually all of his key spokespersons had been saying precisely the opposite about sanctions.
Vice President Kamala Harris put her faith in sanctions last February saying they would deter Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine "Absolut- — we strongly believe — and remember also that the sanctions are a product not only of our perspective as the United States but a shared perspective among our Allies. And the Allied relationship is such that we have agreed that the deterrence effect of these sanctions is still a meaningful one, especially because – remember, also – we still sincerely hope that there is a diplomatic path out of this moment."
That wasn’t the end of Biden’s troubles at the news conference, when asked what the United States would do if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine, the president responded it would "trigger a response in kind," although that response would be configured by "the nature of the use."
"We would respond," Biden said. "We would respond if he uses it."
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan again had to clarify that remark, noting Friday that what Biden really meant was that "we’ll respond accordingly" and that Russia would pay a "severe price."
"We will collect the form and nature of our response based on the nature of the action Russia takes," Sullivan said. "And we'll do so in coordination with our allies."
President Biden did say that he stood by the Article Five of the NATO agreement – “a sacred commitment:” – that an attack against one nation is an attack against all but of course he does; that is the foundation of the alliance and there should be no need to reassure the member nations that he maintains such convictions.
As bad as Vice President Harris’ trip to Europe was, President Biden did not send any message of assurance and American strength to American allies. He seemed to get along well with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden’s Great North Liberal ally who was almost thrown out of the European Parliament by members who eviscerated him for his authoritarian actions against a trucker convoy protest.
Although we should be grateful that Biden has not listened to the many would-be warriors – whether they be fist-thumping senators from South Carolina or liberal idiots in the media – who are lusting after a war with Russia and are demanding a no-fly zone and immediate military action, he needs to stick to a script at all times – especially when he is wandering outside of the immediate safety zone of Washington or his basement in Delaware.