The mystery of the Biden-Zelensky call
President Eisenhower in his final address to the nation issued the following dire warning:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
Eisenhower's words have proven to be prophetic. The military-industrial complex appears to be a major power broker in Washington.
All but one of the recent presidents, including the Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, have entered into optional conflicts and prolonged existing conflicts, despite the fact that the U.S. has little to gain from them. In fact, trillions of dollars of taxpayers' money were spent, and innumerable precious lives were lost owing to these wars.
The only modern president who did not start a new war and who attempted to withdraw from optional conflicts is Donald J. Trump. Agents of the military-industrial complex tried desperately to initiate regime change in Iran and for fresh escalations in Syria, but they failed. Top U.S. officials allegedly lied to President Trump about U.S. troop numbers in Syria.
The media are also a proponent of the war-mongering faction. The only time President Trump's most trenchant of critics lavished blandishments on him was when he approved airstrikes on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
For these ravenous war-mongers, senile, doddering, perpetually listless, and mercurial Joe Biden was their blank check upon which they could write whatever figure they pleased.
We are now seeing possible proof that Biden (or his handlers) is pushing for an unnecessary conflict.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and Joe Biden had a call yesterday evening to discuss the tense situation over the Russia-Ukraine border.
Earlier, Jen Psaki had claimed that the Russian invasion of Ukraine remains imminent.
CNN claims that Biden, sticking to the narrative pushed earlier by Psaki, told Zelensky to brace his country for a certain Russian invasion. Biden also claimed that Kyiv could be "sacked" (annexed) by Russian forces.
Ukrainian leaders allegedly disagreed with Biden's assessment, insisting that an invasion is not imminent. They claimed that intelligence officials looking at satellite photos on an hourly basis do not see Russia moving any troops into combat mode or preparing for an attack.
However, CNN's claims of Biden's warning and Ukraine's subsequent refutation are not part of the following White House readout of the call:
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. President Biden reaffirmed the readiness of the United States along with its allies and partners to respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.
He also underscored the commitment of the United States to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Biden noted the United States has provided Ukraine with over half a billion dollars in development and humanitarian assistance in the last year, and is exploring additional macroeconomic support to help Ukraine's economy amidst pressure resulting from Russia's military build-up. President Biden made clear that despite the departure of American family members of embassy personnel, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, remains open and fully operational.
The leaders discussed coordinated diplomatic efforts on European security, underscoring the principle of "nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine." President Biden relayed the United States' support for conflict resolution efforts in the Normandy Format, expressing his hope that the sides' recommitment on January 26 to the terms of the July 2020 ceasefire will help decrease tensions and advance the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
Emily Horne of the National Security Council pushed back on CNN's claims by tweeting the following:
This is not true. President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the Russians could invade Ukraine in February. He has previously said this publicly & we have been warning about this for months. Reports of anything more or different than that are completely false.
Zelensky himself tweeted a summary of his conversation with Biden, but there was no mention of the dispute.
"Had a long phone conversation with [Biden]. Discussed recent diplomatic efforts on de-escalation and agreed on joint actions for the future. Thanked [Biden] for the ongoing military assistance. Possibilities for financial support to Ukraine were also discussed," he said.
It has to be remembered that Biden, during his presser last Wednesday, claimed that he believes that President Putin will most likely "move in" to Ukraine.
The following day, Biden attempted to walk back his comments by saying a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine might result in less severe penalties.
President Zelensky then fired back with the following tweet:
We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power.
Ukrainian officials were understandably rather irked that Biden may have given Putin a "green light" to invade.
Overall, the Ukrainian government is rightly concerned that reckless statements about imminent war emanated from the White House will hurt their economy and hamper public morale that has been hurt due to COVID-19.
To summarize, there are a few obvious open questions pertaining to the call:
Did Biden claim that the Russian invasion was imminent as he did last week?
Did Zelensky urge him to tone down his aggressive rhetoric?
Can Biden be trusted following his son's murky dealings in Ukraine while Biden was V.P.?
Some of these questions can be answered by merely releasing the transcripts of the call.
Biden must remember that in a democracy, an elected official doesn't own power; the people lend their power to him so he can represent them. The people hence have a right to know about the utterances of their representative
Hopefully, Biden will follow his own advice that he offered to President Trump and insist on total transparency by releasing the transcripts.
If it is proven that Biden did distort reality to cause a war, there must be consequences. There must at least be an investigation. Perhaps a special counsel should be appointed — if not now, hopefully when the GOP takes back the House and the Senate.
Irrespective of his motives, Biden's caprice is making the U.S. look like an incompetent and untrustworthy ally. This is only going to further ruin America's already dubious reputation following Biden's catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab (cropped).