January 20, 2022

"I am hoping that Vladimir Putin understands that he is — short of a full-blown nuclear war, he’s not in a very good position to dominate the world."

Did Biden inadvertently — obliquely — advise Putin to use nuclear weapons? 

From the transcript

I’m very concerned that this could end up being — look, the only war that’s worse than one that’s intended is one that’s unintended. And what I’m concerned about is this could get out of hand — very easily get out of hand because of what you said: the borders of the — of Ukraine and what Russia may or may not do. I am hoping that Vladimir Putin understands that he is — short of a full-blown nuclear war, he’s not in a very good position to dominate the world. And so, I don’t think he thinks that, but it is a concern. And that’s why we have to be very careful about how we move forward and make it clear to him that there are prices to pay that could, in fact, cost his country an awful lot. But I — of course, you have to be concerned when you have, you know, a nuclear power invade — this has — if he invades — it hasn’t happened since World War Two. This will be the most consequential thing that’s happened in the world, in terms of war and peace, since World War Two.

What hasn't happened since World War II? That a nuclear power has invaded? (Is that true, and, if it's true, how did you have to interpret "invade" to get it to be true?) Or was he saying the thing that hasn't happened since WWII is the use of nuclear weapons? 

Notice that he said "when you have... a nuclear power invade" and then changed it to "if he invades."

"The only war that’s worse than one that’s intended is one that’s unintended" — what is the unintended war? Nuclear war?! He's "concerned" that "this could... very easily get out of hand." Is he not talking about nuclear war? This seems less careful about nuclear war than what we've seen from past Presidents.  It could "very easily get out of hand because... the borders of the — of Ukraine." He stops, but I believe the point is that right next to Ukraine, there are NATO nations:

And, you know, we’re going to fortify our NATO Allies, I told him, on the eastern flank....

The point seems to be go ahead and take Ukraine, but don't go any further:

The cost of going into Ukraine, in terms of physical loss of life, for the Russians, they’ll — they’ll be able to prevail over time, but it’s going to be heavy, it’s going to be real, and it’s going to be consequential.

He directly tells Putin he will win Ukraine and is concentrating on warning Putin against going any further. Biden's ambiguous mutterings about nuclear war seem to relate to invasions beyond Ukraine.

119 comments:

tim in vermont said...

I liked his "just the tip" comment. If Putin only makes an incursion, not an invasion, we won't do anything. "Just the archduke..."

Turns out that questioning Biden's gaffes and speculating on how the Russians might interpret them is to be a Nazi, I mean, ethno-nationalist. I wouldn't have known this were it not for Twitter.

David Begley said...

And as I recall it, Ukraine gave up its nukes in consideration of our promise to defend them from a Russian invasion. But as someone wrote yesterday, what if Ukraine kept some nukes?

Joe Biden is the perfect person to have at the helm during a nuke war. Empathy! Competence! Restore normalcy!

David Begley said...

I thinking of buying the semiconductor ETF. After that presser, China is going to conquer Taiwan.

Bob Boyd said...

What hasn't happened since World War II? That a nuclear power has invaded? (Is that true...?)

There were no nuclear powers then, until the US ended the war and became the first one.

mezzrow said...

Nice knowing everybody here. Just want to get that in while I can.

Worry? Me? What?

Bob Boyd said...

Of course, a nuclear power invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan since WWII.

Brian said...

I hope Biden doesn't need to talk about Taiwan anytime soon....

TreeJoe said...

Let me put on the table that I didn't think Biden could do a 2 hour press conference let alone free form QA. He didn't do well, but the fact he did it surprises me.

Second, this is not a man who can safely speak extemporaneously. He hasn't been in 40-50 years. The difference is that he free form speaking was rarely on more than one topic, rarely got open ended questions from the press, and was rarely scrutinized like this. And there's a huge difference between a 65 year old VP and a 79 year old President.

In a time where clear, crisp statements and positions are needed he is waffling. Even the most in-the-tank press shares his presser was encouragement for Putin to invade Ukraine. You can tell because they either explain his speech or don't cover certain comments; they certainly don't celebrate it.

...

After all the democratic saber rattling towards Russia of the past nearly 6 years, Russia obviously plans to invade an ally and NATO member and our position is wishy-washy at best. Permissive, one might say.

David Begley said...

TreeJoe:

Ukraine isn’t a NATO member. That’s why they bribed Hunter.

Mazo Jeff said...

If my memory serves me correctly, Russia invaded Hungary and the former Czechoslovakiain the 1050s

Mazo Jeff said...

In the 1950s!

rehajm said...

He didn't do well, but the fact he did it surprises me.

Sometimes you just have to try so you let the defendant take the stand.

…but usually you try it when you believe the defendant will have some credibility.

J2 said...

Obviously the perimeters of the permissible incursion have already been agreed to. But NATO can't be too happy with Biden's pre-announcement.

Mike Sylwester said...

Russia in concerned about Donbas's ethnic-Russian population, which now is hated by Ukraine's much larger and more powerful Ukrainian population. There might be violent attacks on that ethnic-Russian minority. Ethnic Russians might be evicted from their homes.

Because of such concerns, Russia has deployed armed forces to the border between Russia and Donbas.

Russia is warning Ukraine to treat its Donbas ethnic-Russian population carefully and fairly.

=====

I have read many times about US Navy ships being deployed near the shores of troublesome foreign countries.

The USA's reasons for such naval deployments are similar to the Russia's reasons for this army deployment.

Sebastian said...

Slightly OT, apologies:

Might I encourage Althouse to do a fisking of the press conference transcript? It seems rich material.

I always enjoyed her deconstruction of Trump's rhetoric and would be interested in seeing her take on Biden's.

Amadeus 48 said...

Trump was the better choice in 2020. Biden is flubbering around on the public stage for the whole world to see, and I am sure that Putin and Xi are calculating accordingly. We have seen doddering oldsters on the world stage before—Brezniev, Andropov, Churchill’s second term as PM. It usually doesn’t end well. Adenauer was the exception.

I hope Blinken is a smooth talker. The highest officers of the US military have already shown they are useless.

2024 cannot come too soon.

JCann said...

"Santino, has your brain gone soft...Never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking again."

gilbar said...

What hasn't happened since World War II? That a nuclear power has invaded? (Is that true, and, if it's true, how did you have to interpret "invade" to get it to be true?)

ummm,
1950, america invaded North Korea
1956, russia invaded Hungry
1967 russia invaded Czechoslovakia
oh, and 2014, russia invaded the Crimea

Surely, resident Biden has HEARD of Some of these? Where was HE, in 2014?

Iman said...

Dangerous ain’t funny. Yank that hair plugged motor-babbler out of the office before he does some damage we can’t recover from.

What's emanating from your penumbra said...

Where is Jen Psaki when you need her.

Stephen said...

As we speak, his staff is working on a press release about how his deal with Putin guarantees “peace in our time.”

tolkein said...

The Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, Hungary in 1956, put down an uprising in East Germany in 1953. People love communism, don't they?

Ann Althouse said...

"Of course, a nuclear power invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan since WWII."

Yes, which makes the answer to the question how do you define "invade" to make Biden's statement true — it's that thing that the U.S. never does.

Also Russia invaded Crimea. And Russia invaded Eastern European countries... and Afghanistan.

I think the easier interpretation of Biden's words is that nuclear power hasn't been USED, not that a nuclear power hasn't invaded.

gilbar said...

Bob Boyd said...
Of course, a nuclear power invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan since WWII.

yep, i missed those two on my list. Thanx Bob!
btw I think Afganistan is the only country to be invaded two different times, by two different nuclear blocs* (US and USSR)

blocs* i had to say 'blocs' because Iraq had US and UK forces invade in both the iraq war and the persian gulf war of the '90's (not 'much' invading then, but some)

What's emanating from your penumbra said...

"But I — of course, you have to be concerned when you have, you know, a nuclear power invade — this has — if he invades — it hasn’t happened since World War Two."

I will hold my breath until I see NYT, CNN and WaPoop report that Biden made this statement "without evidence."

Ann Althouse said...

"Might I encourage Althouse to do a fisking of the press conference transcript? It seems rich material."

I'm just going to do separate posts about particular things. It's too long to do everything.

Howard said...

Tim: It completely mental to go to Twitter and be offended by nonsense posted by retards. Then to go on and to believe it's targeted at you is narcissistic.

I do agree that Biden doesn't inspire confidence. I'm comfortable that Branden isn't really in charge. Just thank our lucky stars that the all knowing all powerful Deep State will make the sensible moves required. Ultimately, Vlad the Invader knows who's really running our military industrial complex.

These are the very same words of comfort I expressed to my TDS family and friends during the Drumpf Administration.

Rollo said...

There are still plenty of reasons to hate Putin and Russia, but does any sane, mentally competent person still think they want to dominate the world?

Andrew said...

It reminds me of the stories (possibly apocryphal) that the Korean War, and then the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, were because of seemingly trivial mistakes in communication.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

You are excellent at reading the word salads. It's probably reassuring that Biden or his team and NATO will not fight for Ukraine, but will fight for NATO countries. As others have said, Biden was probably not supposed to say that just yet. On foreign policy there tends to be a lot of consistency between administrations. No one wants to give up endless wars, but there is considerable caution about them. The neo-cons have sold their souls to be the most fanatical supporters of Biden, but within the Situation Room, it may still generally be a "no" to their fever dreams.

Balfegor said...

That a nuclear power has invaded? (Is that true, and, if it's true, how did you have to interpret "invade" to get it to be true?)

Not only is it not true if it's about invasions, we've had armed clashes between nuclear powers (Pakistan and India) already. Pakistan demonstrated its nuclear weapons capacity in 1998. Pakistan and India then fought the Kargil War in 1999.

DanTheMan said...

>>Or was he saying

He has dementia. He has no idea what he's saying. Ask him 2 minutes later to repeat his answer and he won't be able to do it.

JPS said...

David Begley,

"But as someone wrote yesterday, what if Ukraine kept some nukes?"

Here's the complication: They were left with physical possession of the nukes after the fall of the Soviet Union. As far as we know, they never had the codes to use them.

So then the question becomes, could they have dismantled one and used the fixings to make their own? (My assumption is that if you get hold of a usable core, you can have a working nuke.) Off the top of my head I'd guess that probability at somewhere between very small and infinitesimal – but I don't have a lot to go on, just my sense that the Russians would have engineered theirs to be extremely tamper-resistant.

And, tim in vermont, that was what had me yelling at my car radio:

"...Russia will be held accountable if it invades, and it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do...."

Big Mike said...

Well the lefty loonies who comment here — and maybe even Althouse herself — will dump on me for writing this, but I rather doubt that Putin would be acting this boldly if Trump was still President. Howard writes “Ultimately, Vlad the Invader knows who's really running our military industrial complex.” Yeah, Howard, that’s the trouble. I’m sure he does.

Bob Boyd said...

I think the easier interpretation of Biden's words is that nuclear power hasn't been USED, not that a nuclear power hasn't invaded.

I think that's probably correct, but it's still babble. It makes Trump-speak look like the gold standard for clarity by comparison.

Biden is turning out to be everything they accused Trump of being. Inarticulate, senile, dumb, corrupt, authoritarian, subject to black mail by foreign powers, giving Putin whatever he wants, etc.

Temujin said...

What JCann said at 7:58: ""Santino, has your brain gone soft...Never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking again."

Biden has always spoken out of his ass. He just says stuff. Some of it is important. Some of it is bullshit. Many times it's things that should not be said in public or to other national leaders, or to the world. How we as a nation elected this putz, who could not even make it through most of his days without his team preventing him from speaking publicly after 9:30am during a two year long campaign, is beyond me. The nation, and the world is paying for their approval of 'anything but Trump'.

Mike Sylwester, regarding Russia's concern about it's people in the Donbas, you state that "There might be violent attacks on that ethnic-Russian minority. Ethnic Russians might be evicted from their homes." Is this the actual mood on the ground there? Or a Russian talking point to rev up homeland approval (and create an international excuse) for an invasion?

Lyle Smith said...

It’s all very exciting and thankfully Putin isn’t Hitler and Ukraine ain’t Czechoslovakia. Likewise not America’s business.

tim maguire said...

If Putin is relying on a close reading of Biden's demented ramblings to determine his military strategies, we're all in a lot of trouble.

DanTheMan said...

>>Just thank our lucky stars that the all knowing all powerful Deep State will make the sensible moves required.

Howard, fresh from rewriting the Gospels, is now going after Lincoln...

"This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of bureaucracy—and that government of the deep state, by the deep state, for the deep state, shall not perish from the earth."



Leland said...

Wasn't Joe Biden Vice President of these United States when Russia invaded Crimea, which frankly was the Ukraine? Or is that what he means by "minor incursion"? If Putin only invades and annexes a portion of another country every 6 (Georgia to Crimea) to 8 (Crimea to today) years, then that's ok? Wouldn't it be easier to just agree Luhansk and Donezk are now recognized as provinces of Russia, sort of like the Munich Pact agreement as a "diplomatic solution"?

Biden's not just as bad as Jimmy Carter. He's as bad as Neville Chamberlain.

tim in vermont said...

Who said I was offended? It's hard to be offended by nonsense. But that's what the blue checks feeding you your 'news' seem to think, Howard.

Oh yeah, and good one being so out of touch, yesterday, that you had no idea that aircraft manufacturers were grounding their planes if the US 5G had rolled out as 'planned.' Nothing to do with any crazy COVID theories, just more incompetence from a guy who was already Peter principled as mayor of South Bend and his senile boss.

DanTheMan said...

>>Peter-principled as mayor of South Bend and his senile boss

Careful... you are insulting the next President of the United States. Which will likely be a crime by 2024.

Bob Boyd said...

I think the push to make Ukraine a NATO member predictably resulted in, certainly contributed to, the Russians deciding maybe Ukraine shouldn't be quite so independent anymore.

How would the US have reacted if Mexico had wanted to join the Warsaw Pact and the Russian military had shown up there to arm and train the Mexican military, providing tanks and planes and missiles and what not?

The Russians been unhappy about our doings in Ukraine for a long time, but now they see an opportunity to do something about it due to our current state, i.e. divided at home, tired of foreign wars, economic problems, over-extended financially, etc.

Richard said...

Andrew
I believe it was in Fehrenbach "This Kind of War" about Korea--terrific book, btw--where a Sov bloc diplomat is said to be complaining of having been misled. A US dipplemat had commented offhand--or pretended to be off hand--that the Korean peninsula was outside the interests of the US.
Not sure how the Sov guy was feeling; been faked out entirely, been misled, been suckered into something.....

WRT Kuwait, April Glaspie wasn't harsh enough to really, really warn off Saddaam. Or something. She was questioned at a hearing and, not surprisingly, nothing solid came of it. I'd suggest the possibility that Saddaam thought he was talking to w woman, not to the United States of America. His culture discounted some of what she was saying.....

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Iman said...

Dangerous ain’t funny. Yank that hair plugged motor-babbler out of the office before he does some damage we can’t recover from.

And put Kamala in charge of this mess? Hitting the booze a little early in the day, aren't you?

AZ Bob said...

"As we speak, his staff is working on a press release about how his deal with Putin guarantees 'peace in our time.'” --Stephen at 8:05 am

I was thinking about that WW II phrase when Biden said incursion is acceptable.

Lucien said...

I think the easier interpretation of Biden’s remark is that he doesn’t care whether anything he says is true or not. The MSM don’t care, and neither, apparently, does Ann.

Big Mike said...

Ann Althouse writes:

I think the easier interpretation of Biden's words is that nuclear power hasn't been USED, not that a nuclear power hasn't invaded.

Problem #1 - When one is talking about war — and especially, potentially, nuclear war — one should not be trying to “interpret” what the President of the United States is saying.

Problem #2 - As I read this sentence, the word “yet” came unbidden to my mind.

Mike Sylwester said...

gilbar at 7:58 AM
oh, and 2014, russia invaded the Crimea

Russia did not "invade" Crimea in 2014.

Russia, in agreement with Ukraine, had in Sevastopol a base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

After Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych was evicted from his elected position, riots broke out in Crimea, since its population had voted overwhelmingly for Yanukovych in the previous year's Presidential election.

In this situation, Russia deployed some special forces from its Sevastopol base into the city center to occupy several public buildings temporarily. After order was restored, those special forces returned to the base. That was Russia's so-called "invasion" of Crimea.

A few weeks later, a referendum was conducted, and Crimea's population voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and to vote Russia.

=======

Crimea's population voted so, because its predominantly ethnic-Russian citizens perceived that their votes were not respected in Ukraine.

They had voted for Yanukevych, because he had run on a platform of improving Ukraine's relations with Russia. Enough Ukrainians also voted for Yanukevych that he won the election. (The European Union declared that Yanukevych won fairly.)

After Yanukevych became Ukraine's President in 2014, he was mistreated like Donald Trump was mistreated after he became the USA's President in 2017.

Yanukevych was not allowed to govern normally. His election was denounced as illegitimate. Ukrainian zealots in Kyiv conducted a sustained, devious, outrageous campaign to remove him from his elected office. Eventually, Yanukevych had to abandon his office and flee to Russia.

That is why the rioting broke out in Crimea and why a referendum was conducted and why the population voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine.

Trump endured a similar campaign to remove his from his elected office. The mistreatment of Trump should give you an idea of the mistreatment of Yanukevych.

Browndog said...

Biden is turning out to be everything they accused Trump of being. Inarticulate, senile, dumb, corrupt, authoritarian, subject to black mail by foreign powers, giving Putin whatever he wants, etc.

Nope. Quite the opposite:

Yamiche Alcindor
Anchor & Moderator of @WashingtonWeek
on @PBS
. Political Contributor for @NBCNews
& @MSNBC
. Email: yalcindor@weta.org

Pres Biden, in the longest news conference in presidential history, made news, pushed back on critics, called out lies, took responsibility for mistakes he believes he made, expressed surprise at GOP, talked foreign policy and didn't lash out on reporters.

Quite the change.


Scroll the replies--nearly half of this country, especially the "educated", live in a completely different reality than the other.

Brian said...

As we speak, his staff is working on a press release about how his deal with Putin guarantees “peace in our time.

I picture a bunch of young Millennials gathered around a White House Conference table:

"How about we have the Big Guy say that he's reached a deal with Putin, 'Peace in our Time'!"

"That's gold, Emily! Gold! You always come up with the good phrases. Who could pick us apart after that? It's guaranteed to bring our poll numbers up"

"Thanks, Jordan."






Howard said...

That's just your PMS talking, Tim.

tim in vermont said...

Democrats seem to be using the writers of Lost as strategists. When they started talking about a "nudge-ocracy" what it really meant was that they were planning to rule via propaganda, and therefore any statements that run counter to the 'facts' that they think need to be accepted to further the goals of the Party are lies.

The problem is, of course, that there are other players in the game.

Did anybody ask him what he and Hunter were doing in that picture with that kleptocrat from Kazakhstan who had given Hunter hundreds of millions of dollars to launder for him? JKLOL. I kid, I kid.

Charlie said...

This is fine™

Browndog said...

Russia invaded Crimea the same way China invaded Honk Kong. Maybe we should talk about that more.

Bob Boyd said...

made news, pushed back on critics, called out lies, took responsibility for mistakes he believes he made, expressed surprise at GOP, talked foreign policy and didn't lash out on reporters.

Pretty low bar. These are things every President pretty much does every day.

Mike Sylwester said...

The Obama Administration's "point man on Ukraine" was Vice President Joe Biden.

Brian said...

Scroll the replies--nearly half of this country, especially the "educated", live in a completely different reality than the other.

Yes as Scott Adams says, two movies. The issue is that their movie isn't matching reality (Covid, 'temporary inflation', etc.) That causes stress.

It's one of the reasons why there is a 9% jump in Rep party registration.

Joe Smith said...

There weren't any nuclear powers before WWII...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Nice boring “normal” president we’ve got there. This is fine. Really glad we’re past all those mean tweets. This is just fine. Limited nuking and minor incursions are no biggie. Afghanistan is fine and no apologies needed. Yessiree this is quite fine. Zzzzzz.

Spiros said...

Russia feared Trump. Trump projected unpredictability. He was a madman, "out of control," and enraged by the lies that he was a Russian asset. Putin didn't know if Trump would inflict massive and debilitating costs on Russia for invading Ukraine. So he didn't do it.

Biden is a different story. Weak and despised by most Americans, the Biden Administration is relying on the gradual escalation of punishment/sanctions to stop a Russian invasion. But he is ceding the initiative to Putin. And as far as Putin is concerned, an incremental increase in sanctions is preferable to massive and debilitating retaliation. So an invasion is far more likely. But:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-05-12/gaming-the-ukraine-crisis

Anyways, the worst case scenario isn't a nuclear war. Rather Russia responds with some cyberwarfare and terrorism. Big deal. Do you think the New York Times will care if some Chechen death squads shoot up an elementary school in middle class suburb in New Jersey?

Rollo said...

But is the Deep State really competent to deal with Putin, or is it too obsessed with environmental racism and transgender equity to focus on what's really important?

People want to believe that America's oligarchs are devilishly clever and steely determined to increase their power, but what if they are as dazed and scatterbrained as a corporate HR head, or Biden himself?

Gojuplyr831@gmail.com said...

Browndog, Or the way the US invaded Hawaii. There was a vote there too. Ethnic Americans voted to become a US territory. All above board and legal.

Iman said...

Howeeee the King of Projection.

William said...

I don't much follow politics in Central and Eastern Europe because they're incomprehensible and poisonous.. I don't think that Biden has quite found the handle on American politics so give him a pass on this confusing statement. His statement speaks to the truth that neither he nor any American understands what's going on there.....The Irish and, to a lesser extent, the Scottish have problems identifying what part of their identity is British. I wonder if something similar goes on with the Russians and the Ukrainians.....Beyond the fact that there will be many dead bodies, I don't think anyone can predict what the fallout will be if Russia invades the Ukraine. I don't think Biden's response will be the deciding factor in Putin's decision. Despite his shrewdness, Putin seems quite capable of making a catastrophically bad decision.

Andrew said...

Remember Reagan's quip, "We begin bombing in five minutes"? That sort of thing was enough to keep the Soviets walking on eggshells. Reagan was more stable (seemingly) than Trump, but did the same thing. He made the Soviet Union and other enemies fear his potential to act unpredictably. America was safer for it.

Achilles said...

Howard said...

I do agree that Biden doesn't inspire confidence. I'm comfortable that Branden isn't really in charge. Just thank our lucky stars that the all knowing all powerful Deep State will make the sensible moves required. Ultimately, Vlad the Invader knows who's really running our military industrial complex.

These are the very same words of comfort I expressed to my TDS family and friends during the Drumpf Administration.



This is how stupid you have to be to vote for democrats.

I am sure you think that is intelligent and balanced Howard.

Meanwhile. Biden has since taking office:

-Pulled the troops out of Afghanistan in the most corrupt and incompetent way possible.
-Left thousands of US Citizens and Nationals in Afghanistan as hostages
-Given 80 billion dollars of US Military equipment to our most ardent foes
-Shut down domestic Oil production driving up the price of gas for US citizens and making Putin Rich
-Given Putin permission and a clear green light to invade Ukraine
-Blocked all of Trump's sanctions on the Nordstream 2 Pipeline
-Stopped the shipment of US NatGas and Oil to Europe again making Putin Rich
-Taken Millions of dollars from Russians

If Putin had installed a Russian agent in the White House it would be worse for Russia than having Biden in there.

Having Biden in the White House makes it so idiots like Howard will support all of the Russian Oligarch's wet dream US policies.

FleetUSA said...

Our very own Mr. Magoo conducting international military diplomacy on the fly. For all the supposed flaws of his esteemed predecessor, he didn't get us involved in any skirmishes...much to the chagrin of the elite class in the Swamp.

Mike Sylwester said...

Barack Obama said something like, "Don't ever underestimate Joe Biden's ability to f*ck everything up".

Why did Obama say that? What such experience had Obama ever observed in regard to Biden?

I suspect that Biden was involved in the the Obama Administration's fiasco in Ukraine in 2013-2014, during which Biden was Obama's "point man on Ukraine".

Viktor Yanukevych won Ukraine's Presidential election in 2013. Subsequently, Ukrainian zealots in Kyiv launched a campaign to prevent him from ruling normally and eventually to remove him from his elected office. This campaign is called the Maidan Protest Movement.

It's likely that this campaign was secretly supported and funded by the Obama Administration.

The campaign succeeded by removing Yanukovych from his elected position. However, the campaign backfired by causing the secession of Crimea and almost the secession of Donbas from Ukraine.

I suspect that when Obama says that Biden f*cks things up, he is referring to Biden's management of the Obama Administration's secret actions in Ukraine in 2013-2014.

Andrew said...

@Richard,
Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

Browndog said...

Reading these comments, when I replace Russia with China, they become much more accurate.

Russia, as currently constituted, is not a threat to the United States. It does not have the means, will, or desire to be. Cold war Soviet boogy man lives on...

Iman said...

Minor incursion?

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/minorincursionjoey.jpg

Howard said...

Achilles should pay more attention to quieting the voices in his own TBI PTSD addled mind rather than invent and project voices in everyone else's heads.

narciso said...

afghanistan was part of a coalition effort, as was iraq, the fact the french the russians and the germans weren't involved, doesn't make it so,

now are the british and french along with the turks going to play crimean bingo, electric boogaloo,

tim in vermont said...

It's about weapons sales, Browndog. You know how Ukraine learned that the check for lethal weapons was being held up? An arms salesman called the Pentagon to find out where the money was. That's what impeachment was about, a delay in the arms dealers getting their money.

Michael McNeil said...

Russia, as currently constituted, is not a threat to the United States. It does not have the means, will, or desire to be. Cold war Soviet boogy man lives on…

What are you smoking? There are few nations that have the capability to completely destroy the U.S., but Russia — just as the Soviet Union before it — has enough nuclear weapons (thousands), together with functional delivery systems, to be one of them. (We might destroy them right back — but then again, we might not.)

narciso said...

in terms of the nuclear component, this was why the day after, threads, countdown to looking glass, had any tripwire go nuclear, I was reminded of a 1990s reprise by dawn's early light, where a rogue Soviet faction launches a nuke a Donetsk triggering a nuclear response and President Martin Landau has to decide what do,

Achilles said...

Howard said...

Achilles should pay more attention to quieting the voices in his own TBI PTSD addled mind rather than invent and project voices in everyone else's heads.


Brilliant comeback Howard.

You are showing everyone just how brilliant you really are now. That totally dealt with the facts in my post.

Very substantial. Illuminating even.

narciso said...

of course you let the fool who fell for the nuclear freeze fraud, and the attendant nuclear winter scam, they sold carl sagan, with john kerry still skulking around, and well we're truly farked,

robother said...

We all should have a wife like Althouse in our declining years, to make sense of our increasingly demented babble. "What he really meant was...." (Her legal skills don't hurt.)

But more than any random turds in his word salad, I was most struck by Biden's shuffle to the podium. This guy is obviously declining at an increasing rate.

Iman said...

They are sending Veep Throat Kamala Harris out on the circuit in an attempt to clean up Biden’s Ukraine comments.

What could possibly go wrong?

narciso said...

the proprietor of burisma, stole 6 billion dollars including us and imf funds, he paid hunter's coke bill,

Browndog said...

What are you smoking? There are few nations that have the capability to completely destroy the U.S., but Russia — just as the Soviet Union before it — has enough nuclear weapons (thousands), together with functional delivery systems, to be one of them. (We might destroy them right back — but then again, we might not.)

Nuclear Holocost is no longer a viable means. Hasn't been for decades. Even at peak capacity before SALT II the Soviets could not "Completely" destroy the United States.

It's safe to crawl out from under your desk...

Ceciliahere said...

Joe Biden is compromised due to Hunter’s “business” dealings with Ukraine. Putin has President Putz by the short hairs and Biden will talk tough (like he always does) and do nothing. Can’t wait for this administration to be gone and hope no permanent damage will be done to our country in the meantime. Biden is a babbling idiot and an embarrassment to USA.

Owen said...

That word salad is the unfiltered production of the highest cerebral function of the most powerful man on the planet.

God help us all.

And? Thanks, all you Biden voters!

Skeptical Voter said...

Ambiguous mutterings--it's whats for breakfast in the White House these days. Along about 11:00--if the staff fails to "put a lid on his day", Joe switches to senile rants.

We are really in the deep doo doo with this guy.

Michael K said...

Just thank our lucky stars that the all knowing all powerful Deep State will make the sensible moves required

Howard, they really outdid themselves cancelling pipelines and fracking. Spending trillions we didn't have on paying people to stay home was another stroke of genius. Watching "The Deep State" run things is going to be entertaining.

Yancey Ward said...

"And put Kamala in charge of this mess? Hitting the booze a little early in the day, aren't you?"

Let's assume for the purposes of argument that Howard above is correct- Biden really isn't in charge of jack shit (I think this is true). Then, at least, Harris is mentally competent enough to listen to those who are making the real policy decisions and not fuck up a press conference the way Biden did yesterday. Words do have consequences, and the things Biden was saying yesterday demonstrate beyond all doubt that he is increasingly senile, and cannot follow any sort of directions in communicating administration policy on basically anything. A mentally competent individual won't constantly contradict the things they said a week ago, a day ago, or 2 minutes ago the way Biden did several times yesterday. I don't think he is even capable of remembering what he said 5 minutes previously.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

"I have read many times about US Navy ships being deployed near the shores of troublesome foreign countries. The USA's reasons for such naval deployments are similar to the Russia's reasons for this army deployment."

Hmmm. Trying to see the equivalence between 100k troops massed on a foreign border to protect citizens of said foreign country and the deployment of a part of a fleet to protect American citizens in a foreign country.

"Ethnic Russians" living in Ukraine are not Russians. They are Ukrainians.

Just the same as "ethnic Germans" living in the Sudetenland were not Germans, they were Czech citizens.

Putin may not be Hitler, but their policies vis a vis their neighboring countries are of a piece.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

"I suspect that when Obama says that Biden f*cks things up, he is referring to Biden's management of the Obama Administration's secret actions in Ukraine in 2013-2014."

Possibly, but I don't think Obama was intending to limit the scope of his assessment. I think the "everything" is implicit in his statement of what Joe can f*ck up.

JAORE said...

"I think the easier interpretation of Biden's words..."is something OTHER than what he said.

The above, for Biden apologists, has proven true many times in the past. It will, undoubtedly prove true many times in the future.

"... easier..."? Sure it's easier on Biden, but geez don't words have meaning anymore.

Let me throw in Kennedy statements leading the Soviet Union to act, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Probably as close to nuclear war as we've ever gotten.

Rory said...

Putin is just a little less than ten years younger than Biden. And Putin's been around forever.

Balfegor said...

All things considered, though, I think the takeaway for both Russia and the Ukraine from Biden's press conference is that Biden will follow basically the same policy as Obama did. They won't respond forcefully to a Russian invasion, more or less like Crimea and the Donbass in 2014. They'll pound the table and scream about forceful responses (cf. Psaki's cleanup press release), but at the end of the day, they'll just slap economic sanctions on some officials and call it a day. That was probably what Russia and the Ukraine thought Biden's position would be all along, but some of that uncertainty has probably been resolved thanks to Biden's remarks.
Furthermore, the administration has pared back the threat of sanctions in connection with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and energy prices are generally up right now, so Russia probably calculates that it can absorb some more economic sanctions in exchange for expanding and solidifying its buffer in the eastern Ukraine.

Chris Lopes said...

"Putin may not be Hitler, but their policies vis a vis their neighboring countries are of a piece."

The Ukrainians have been under Russian influence since at least the Tsars. During the Cold War they were part of the USSR, and that didn't seem to bother us, at least not enough to go to war over it. It's not that I have any love for Putin (he's your standard issue thug with nuclear weapons), but I just think this "just like Hitler" shit is overblown. No one seriously thinks the West will risk the lives of their citizens to ensure Ukrainian sovereignty. Biden made the mistake of saying that out loud.

JPS said...

narciso, 9:37:

"I was reminded of a 1990s reprise by dawn's early light, where a rogue Soviet faction launches a nuke a Donetsk triggering a nuclear response and President Martin Landau has to decide what do,"

I liked By Dawn's Early Light. I found it interestingly better than the book Trinity's Child, which I read years later, but both versions have stuck with me over the years.

What I realized only after the movie was over (it's made clearer in the book) is that the exchange that actually happens in the story is at least on the scale of The Day After, and that the whole drama is only about not firing off everything else in our respective arsenals.

Leland said...

Browndog, I think it is both Russia and China. The particular statement by Biden was in regards to Russia/Ukraine, but other than perhaps North Korea; I don't know if any nuclear power wouldn't consider it a free pass for minor incursions. In fact, China has already taken over various territories in the Himalayas without a previous response from the US. Pakistan almost certainly supported the Taliban as it took back Afghanistan.

Another way to consider it; if you believe in the One World Movement, it is easier to achieve when there are fewer countries.

Balfegor; not only oil prices up, but better to strike in Winter while Germany depends on natural gas from Russia to stay warm. NATO is easily divided at that point, and that's exactly as Trump predicted when he admonished Merkle on her decision to be dependent on Russian gas.

Balfegor said...

Re: Chris Lopes:

I just think this "just like Hitler" shit is overblown. No one seriously thinks the West will risk the lives of their citizens to ensure Ukrainian sovereignty. Biden made the mistake of saying that out loud.

I think the "just like Hitler" is overblown, but largely because a reader is inclined to jump from Hitler to death camps, etc. But the type of activity people are warning about -- salami slice "incursions" into a neighbour, installing friendly puppet regimes, and full scale invasions on flimsy pretexts weren't unique to Hitler and the Sudetenland. It was a common set of techniques in the 20s through the 40s, used by the Soviets against Romania (Bessarabia), Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Iran (in collaboration with the British) and China (Outer Mongolia and, unsuccessfully, Xinjiang), and by the Japanese vs China (Manchuria under Puyi, and the puppet National Government under Wang Jingwei). It's not so much that any individual act mattered, as that they were all part of a comprehensive breakdown of the (mostly aspirational) international norm that states shouldn't expand by fraud and violence. Maybe nothing bad happens if Russia succeeda here or there, but the argument, as I see it, is that there's a tipping point where a lot of bad actors are emboldened, and it becomes impossible to tamp down without paying a huge price.

The rule of Lemnity said...

A nuclear power has invaded over and over... Biden already forgot Afghanistan? Iraq? Those were invasions by a nuke power.

That's the bright side of dementia. You can't call him out on these flubs. He just isn't all there.

Browndog said...

Odd.

We talk about Hitler, but not Stalin. We talk about the Holocaust, but not Holodomor. We talk about fascism, but not communism. We talk about Russia, but not the USSR.

We never talk about the CCP.

Biff said...

I sincerely hope that Biden doesn't start talking about Alaska.

tim in vermont said...

It's OK, the adults have come back and clarified all of the gaffes that Biden never made, and explained that he didn't really say what it sounded like, and his press conference was perfect, but if you want to understand what he really said, you have to read what other people wrote overnight.

tim in vermont said...

Shorter Psaki: "Psych!"

Balfegor said...

Also, since no one has put it in the comments yet, here's a relevant clip from Yes Minister. Salami tactics vs the nuclear deterrent. Or perhaps this one. We'll give the Ukraine "every support, short of help."

Readering said...

So I guess one take-away is, stop pounding on Biden to do more press conferences.

tim in vermont said...

"So I guess one take-away is, stop pounding on Biden to do more press conferences."

Oh no. Keep them up until the pressure to invoke the 25th amendment becomes irresistible. I kid, I kid, Biden's a Democrat. Still, there is an election coming up, and Republicans need Biden's voice out there in front of Americans.

Narr said...

Unfortunately for the people of the Donbass, they don't have Althouse commenters to clarify for them precisely who and what they are . . .

Russia was the prisonhouse of nationalities long before the Reds took over the joint. Putin is reviving a Russian sphere of influence, not trying to take over Europe or the world under the banner of ideology.

But both wings of the All-American Chickenhawk Party(tm) have been crowding Russia since before Putin, with no thought that they would dare bite back. Rather the way the D's taunted Trump, and from the same sense of entitlement and superiority.



Readering said...

Biden was answering a question about the threat for neighboring NATO countries, and I believe he was trying to answer that. More awkward since it was a two part question and he answered the second part first. He was not being asked so much about Ukraine in that question and did not give up Ukraine in his answer. He was discounting the threat to NATO neighbors, but admittedly not very coherently. USSR never attacked a NATO country, and he does not see Putin doing so even if Putin is upset about the eastward expansion of NATO. But you never know. People discounted China joining the Korean War and the Vietnam War engulfing Cambodia.

PRC attack the heavily armed island of Taiwan? Has the Chinese military really improved that much since its invasion of Vietnam?

I think strategists are guessing a Russian invasion of Ukraine will be more like that Chinese invasion in ambition, rather than like USSR invasion of Afghanistan.

Christopher B said...

Yancey Ward said...
"And put Kamala in charge of this mess? Hitting the booze a little early in the day, aren't you?"

... Then, at least, Harris is mentally competent enough to listen to those who are making the real policy decisions and not fuck up a press conference the way Biden did yesterday.


"Does the administration say, ‘You know what, this strategy isn’t working. We’re going to change strategies,’" Melvin said. "Is it time?"

Harris responded that "it’s time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day"

DanTheMan said...

>>Has the Chinese military really improved that much since its invasion of Vietnam?

Their military strategy has changed. In the last century, they had a low-tech punch: We will counter all of your Larry Lightbulb wizardry with 20 million men with rifles, and we have another 100 million in reserve if need be.
Now, they have some high tech force multipliers and still have the 20 million men with rifles.
What they don't have is a way to move those millions very far or very fast.

Massive sea-born invasion fleets are hostage to one or two tactical nukes. Which Taiwan does not have, or so they say.

Readering said...

If Philip II, Bonaparte and Hitler could not cross the Channel, I don't see Xi crossing the Taiwan Straight anytime soon. Who holds Quemoy and Matsu?

tim in vermont said...

I think it’s funny that people don’t believe Harris is up to the job of just us on the Supreme Court. How hard is it to take orders from Schumer? Sotomayor somehow manages it. We could accurately guess 99% of the time how RBG would vote. The law clerks are more than capable of writing up the rationalizations required.

Drago said...

readering: "Who holds Quemoy and Matsu?"

Who needs to when they can just create their own "new" islands while expanding on the Belt and Road initiative across the globe?

Have you ever heard of the Spratly Islands?

Drago said...

Readering: "So I guess one take-away is, stop pounding on Biden to do more press conferences."

"more"?!

LOL

Yesterdays' was the first one in 300 days!

"more"!

Too funny.

Andrew said...

"Harris responded that 'it’s time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day.'"

Harris is actually a Zen master.

Paul said...

I bet Biden's staff wants him to mask up before talking again... with a roll of duct tape.

Bunkypotatohead said...

There was an episode of The Office where Creed wants to blog. So Ryan opens a WORD document, titles it Creed's Blog, and lets him type away to his heart's content.
We need something like that for Biden. A room where he can sit in front of a disconnected video camera, blabbering away, and none of us will ever have to listen to it.

Lurker21 said...

People are bringing up Dean Acheson's 1950s comment about our defensive perimeter in the Pacific. They could throw in Ambassador April Glaspie's remark to Saddam Hussein about his coming to a resolution with Kuwait and our not caring what it was.

Biden, as we ought to know by now, says the quiet part out loud. He was probably well briefed on this and couldn't get the "minor incursion" out of his mind, so he says it out loud when he really shouldn't.

Hitler, I guess, was convinced that he had to achieve his goals before he died or got too old. Putin is patient, and not in any hurry and not an all-or-nothing guy. He's going to find ways to get what he wants without provoking an armed response from the West.

DanTheMan said...

>>Putin is patient, and not in any hurry and not an all-or-nothing guy. He's going to find ways to get what he wants

What he wants is not Ukraine, but the entire USSR reintegrated, with him as dictator for life.

Let's be blunt: No American President is going to war over the Ukraine. And I have serious doubts about us going to war with Russia as part of NATO if the Rooskies went (back) into Poland.

Robert Cook said...

"Russia feared Trump. Trump projected unpredictability. He was a madman, 'out of control,' and enraged by the lies that he was a Russian asset. Putin didn't know if Trump would inflict massive and debilitating costs on Russia for invading Ukraine. So he didn't do it."

Must be satisfying for you to hold to this fantasy. I'd bet Putin, a much tougher customer than Trump, had Trump sized up as an ignorant fool.