January 21, 2022

"In his first press conference for 78 days, the President was perhaps seeking to demonstrate his command of detail, ultimately speaking for almost two hours."

"But the moment he finished White House officials desperately scrambled to 'clean up' the remarks on Ukraine. They said what Mr Biden had been talking about was the divisions in Nato over how to respond to Russian aggression. It was also suggested that by 'minor incursion' he had meant Russian cyber attacks, rather than a small military invasion.... For Mr Biden it was the latest gaffe on foreign policy. In October, his officials had to calm the waters after he suggested the US would come to Taiwan's defence in the event of an attack by China, appearing to shift Washington’s delicate longtime policy of 'strategic ambiguity.' On Wednesday... Mr Biden then embarked on a lengthy analysis of what he thinks is going on inside Mr Putin's head - a notoriously difficult thing to predict. He went into great depth speculating on what Mr Putin might believe about a variety of subjects, including fires on the Russian tundra and nuclear war. If he was watching - it was the middle of the night in Moscow - Mr Putin must have been rather puzzled by it all."

From "Joe Biden's gaffe may have inadvertently revealed the truth about his Ukraine policy/The President appeared to suggest that a 'minor incursion' by Russia wouldn't result in harsh sanctions" (Telegraph).

It's "notoriously difficult" to know what's going on in Putin's head, the article-writer says... before asserting that "Mr Putin must have been rather puzzled." Must have? I'd imagine Putin to be something other than puzzled. Isn't he an evil genius playing 3D chess?

63 comments:

gilbar said...

Mr Putin must have been rather puzzled by it all.

i assume they mean, puzzled along the lines of: "Holy F*CK! THAT'S who they have running their country?"

But, of course Putin knows Biden is NOT running our country... Maybe they mean:
"WOW! I wonder what Biden's earpiece was Trying to have him say?"

gilbar said...

But who knows what Putin was REALLY thinking? Probably something about Slutty Green M&Ms

Dave Begley said...

Good one, gilbar.

Achilles said...

Putin isn't puzzled.

He has paid good money for Biden to accept a "Minor Incursion."

On the other hand Biden wasn't supposed to blurt out the arrangement.

But the pudding cups were just ready for Joey Depends.

Lurker21 said...

I detect some irony or understated British humor in the first sentence.

"In his first press conference for 78 days, the President was perhaps seeking to demonstrate his command of detail, ultimately speaking for almost two hours."

Up to a point, Lord Copper.

But I guess they do provide a motive for Biden's ramblings.

Mr Biden then embarked on a lengthy analysis of what he thinks is going on inside Mr Putin's head - a notoriously difficult thing to predict.

As is what's going on in Biden's head.

Butkus51 said...

Excuse me, but he's been very clear about his plan. Very clear.

MadisonMan said...

@gilbar, as they say over on Reddit, those slutty green M&Ms are a separate tragedy. The Intelligence Community's poor understanding of Putin is tragic enough.

Bob Boyd said...

Putin probably doesn't put much stock in anything Biden says. Why would he?

It's not a difficult thing to figure out what is going on inside Biden's head. Brain matter, all too rapidly being converted into a kind of pudding.

gspencer said...

Puzzled?

Without doubt. That America would choose such a dunderhead to be their president.

Fandor said...

Biden spoke for two hours? Maybe he forgot to stop.

rhhardin said...

Cancelling the pipeline on his first day is all you need to know.

JPS said...

To me, that performance illustrated the gap between Biden's perception and reality.

He seemed to think he was going to impress us with how on-the-ball he is and how long he could do Q&A. He claimed to think that he's doing, not a decent job, but a great job, a surpassing-all-expectations job as president.

And, frighteningly, he seems to think that Putin and Xi are going to have serious reservations after he warns them, and after Jen Psaki comes along afterward to say that he's always been clear.

Robert Cook said...

Heaven forfend that a U.S. President make a comment about Russian actions in their hemisphere that is not the standard US war-mongering propaganda.

BillieBob Thorton said...

George Carlin.
Things that don't go together.
Military intelligence
Jumbo shrimp
Biden thinking

mezzrow said...

Well, that won't happen again.

BillieBob Thorton said...

Biden is a legend
In his own mind

Robert Cook said...

"You're cool with the US defending Ukraine, Robert Cook?"

I don't know how you infer that. That's the opposite of my meaning. We have no business threatening Russia over their actions vis a vis Ukraine.

Bob Boyd said...

Heaven forfend that a U.S. President make a comment about Russian actions in their hemisphere that is not the standard US war-mongering propaganda.

Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? Problem is, what exactly did Biden say?
His people are acting like his deviation from the standard US war-mongering propaganda, if that's what he did, is something they have to rush in and fix.

Lazarus said...

Biden's response to minor incursions: cruel neutrality?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Biden is - Putin'd poodle.

Biden let Putin get his oil flowing too. After he shut our oil off.

baghdadbob said...

Don't spike the football just yet Mary. There's moderation, but there's also deletion.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mr Biden then embarked on a lengthy analysis of what he thinks is going on inside Mr Putin's head - a notoriously difficult thing to predict."

Does "predict" work differently for the British? We're talking about guessing what is happening at the time, not looking into the future.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

If it is a free for all with invasions and war - and no other nations business what nation invades another - then I say we invade North Korea - free the people.

The US must certainly invade Cuba -to free the people. We MUST line the Billionaire Castro Family up against a wall - where they will be shot CHE style.

We return the nation of Cuba to the people of Cuba.

Ann Althouse said...

(The OED supports my sense that "predict" relates to the future, not an understanding of the present.)

Achilles said...

Robert Cook said...

"You're cool with the US defending Ukraine, Robert Cook?"

I don't know how you infer that. That's the opposite of my meaning. We have no business threatening Russia over their actions vis a vis Ukraine.


It was the opposite of the meaning of your words.

But it was the clear intent of your words.

Joe Biden is clearly trying to drag us into war. Your words infer you support his efforts.

tim in vermont said...

Now the option of not responding to a minor incursion is off the table because he’s a moron who should not be President who was installed by the billionaires to undercut labor’s bargaining power by flooding the market with cheap illicit labor.

Joe Smith said...

It was painful to watch Joe transparently making a big deal out of his stamina, as if it's a huge feat to stand up for two hours.

I wonder what Jill says when he asks her if she wants to go for another hour?

Achilles said...

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

If it is a free for all with invasions and war - and no other nations business what nation invades another - then I say we invade North Korea - free the people.

The US must certainly invade Cuba -to free the people. We MUST line the Billionaire Castro Family up against a wall - where they will be shot CHE style.

We return the nation of Cuba to the people of Cuba.



No no no.

You misunderstand Cook.

Only the US must remain quiescent. The US is uniquely evil and racist.

All the other countries in the world are good and when a communist or socialist takes over it is good for the people.

The fact that South Korea is not like North Korea is a disaster. The United States must answer for this crime.

walk don't run said...

Wasn't Ukraine where then-Vice President Biden withheld loan guarantees to pressure Ukraine into firing a prosecutor to prevent a corruption investigation into Burisma and to protect his son who was a Director? There seem to be some strange intersections of interests here.

Isn't it strange that Joe is now seemingly willing to forfeit Ukraine to the Ruskies. When you are President there is more than one way to get revenge especially when you have the media on your side.

tim in vermont said...

He canceled another pipeline that competed with Putin just yesterday. One that would have provided an alternative to Europe for natural gas, that makes the sloppy wet kisses to Putin on pipelines alone, by Biden. And doesn’t Ukraine have a ton of NG owned by that billionaire kleptocrat who hired his crack addict son?

mikee said...

Putin has a problem that only Joe can solve: how to get away with 19th century nation-state-style land theft from his neighbor, without it being a net loss for himself and his country.

As a great believer in deterrence, I suggest once more stopping the natgas pipeline to the EU as a "warning" that extraterritorial adventurism is a big nyet, nyet for Russia. Such an act would be an initial start to suggesting a hint of an emanation of a penumbra of an enigma of a spine in Western nations. And stopping Russia from controlling EU heating gas flow in winters to come ain't a bad idea in and of itself, so thanks, Dementia Joe, for letting that proceed again, you corrupt doddering imbecile.

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder what Jill says when he asks her if she wants to go for another hour?

She just smiles.
When Biden pops the blue pill, he lays down, conks out and takes a four hour nap in a pup tent.

Narayanan said...

Atlas Shrugged may even have been required reading for USSR and now Russian operatives!

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I've tended to side with those who say dementia is a real problem for Biden and therefore the country. Very few press conferences of any genuine kind at all, no spontaneous interactions with the public, scripts which he tries to stick with, but then he gets lost. All very bad signs. But this time I guess one has to say: not bad for someone with severe dementia. It might be an F for someone with a higher bar, but possibly a C+ for Biden.

Yes the Ukraine thing--in a bumbling way, barely remembering anything, he probably revealed the secret discussions of "himself" and NATO allies. The kind of thing Trump would do, but just to show off.

And by the way, to the person from Mars, and perhaps to people in the future, is there a huge difference between Trump and Biden in terms of day to day performance? Trump calls some right-wing protesters "fine people," or more strictly says there are some fine people among them. Surely this could be said of virtually any political movement, anywhere. In any case an attempt to unite rather than divide. Biden says anyone who opposes enshrining the new 2020 voting rules (with lots of room for fraud) and making them national, is a vicious lying racist, like the worst defender of Jim Crow. Not exactly an attempt to unite rather than divide. Of course the real words and meaning may come from woke staff, not from the Mechanical Turk himself.

David Burge says now that we have seen Trump and Biden in action, a case could be made for trying a falling-down blackout alcoholic. I guess the joke is that both of them are allegedly tea-totallers, and again to a disinterested observer, this may be hard to believe. But also: if we are running through mood disorders and cognitive impairment, combined with old age, let's run the gamut.

Oh my God, the alcoholic may be Hillary.

Sally327 said...

There's this great skit from SNL with Phil Hartman playing Reagan. He's an amiable bumbler when talking to the press or greeting members of the public but as soon as they're gone the aides come rushing in and he turns into this serious, scary leader plotting to control the world.

I miss Phil Hartman. Anyway, it's hard to imagine Biden with the weird eye squint and the odd whispering and the random bursts of anger fooling anyone into thinking he's secretly a clever mastermind with a brilliant plan for managing world affairs. But we can hope.

tim in vermont said...

It's been said that Russia is a gas station with an army, and Joe has been knocking off its competition since day one.

Here is the NG pipeline to Europe that would have competed with the Putin pipeline that Biden blessed, out of four pipelines, only Putin's received the Biden nod.

Just like that, another pipeline Putin opposed is dead

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

I steeled myself to watch a little of Biden's press conference. I didn't find him to be doddering or senile at all. Yes, he got lost in his words now and then, but he generally knew what he was about. Kind of like Trump, literal transcription of his words makes him look ridiculous, but in the video, you naturally make allowance for the spoken mish mosh and get the meaning.

Republicans were sure Joe was going to self-immolate in the 2020 debates, but he didn't. He has the presence of mind to memorize his soundbites and he has a well-practiced ability to shamelessly spew political nonsense with utter sincerity. Looking at excerpts in isolation where Joe stumbles and looks bad is self-deluding.

Static Ping said...

Putin is quite aware that Biden is a corrupt senile fool.

The only question in this matter is whether Putin takes any stock of what Biden says. It is quite reasonable to believe that Biden is President in name only and makes no decisions whatsoever. Therefore, whatever Biden says does not mean anything useful as far as what NATO or the United States will actually do.

That's not to say that Putin will not exploit the regular fumblings and mumblings of our Oval Office idiot for all it is worth.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The communist democrat left's goal is to removal all natural gas from us consumption.
Even tho natural gas is carbon neutral.

c365 said...

Can you imagine looking at a foe who is weakened is weakened with political and civil strife, a slowing and inflating economy, led by an aging, gradually senile leader whose election was premised on "don't rock the boat" and be puzzled when he fails to show backbone in defense of an ally?

No, that foe would not be puzzled, would he eagerly planning his next move

Leland said...

I suspect like most Americans, Putin wasn't watching the conference live. It is far easier to read the transcript than to watch. Besides Putin's plans are already in action, so it doesn't really matter what Biden says now. Nord Stream II is moving ahead with sanctions lifted and Russia has the finances and diplomatic strength and will to do as it wishes. Biden has NATO allies that still recall being left in Afghanistan without so much as a notification of intent. The media may have forgotten and wish we have forgotten but, like most Americans, NATO and Putin have not.

M Jordan said...

Intellectuals and even more so, pseudo-intellectuals, buy this 3D chess metaphor but they’re dead wrong. It’s checkers, not chess, the world plays. He who most quickly realizes this and ignores their “intellectual” whisperers, wins bigly. Trump got this. Biden does not.

I have a friend who is intellectually inferior to his brother but financially light-years ahead of him. His brother knows algebra, my friend arithmetic. Guess which one wins in life.

Sebastian said...

"I'd imagine Putin to be something other than puzzled."

Right. I imagine Putin saw a weak move and plans a stronger one. But he needs to watch out for confirmation bias: yes, Joe is a doddering fool, and yes, his administration messed up in Afghanistan, and yes, they have coddled Vlad on energy and prefer the U.S. to be weak. But the U.S. can still turn quickly and go all belligerent over nothing, especially if Dems feel they need a war.

rcocean said...

Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels;

We don't need to get involved in the Ukraine. We don't need to be in Syria. And getting out of Afghanistan was the right thing.

Do any of these Risk-playing Cowboys understand geography? How are we going to stop Russia from doing what it likes on their own border? Oh, we're going to put Sanctions on Russia. Y'mean in ADDITION to ones we already have on Russia? And what happens if Putin cuts off NG to Europe in retaliation?

What nonsense. This isn't our circus. Not our monkey.

rcocean said...

I suppose if Biden does NOT want to go to war with Russia, that means he's Putin's cockholster. Or does that only apply to Republicans?

BTW, what does Mittens think? He must be very upset at Joey Biden (who he supported) if Joey doesn't attack Putin. MItt ROmney is TOUGH!

Michael K said...

And by the way, to the person from Mars, and perhaps to people in the future, is there a huge difference between Trump and Biden in terms of day to day performance?

Other than 100 IQ points?

Clyde said...

There’s a meme that shows Putin’s probable reaction perfectly.
Xi on telephone: Bro you seeing this?
Putin on telephone: [smiles]
Xi: Hold up, got a line
Kim on telephone: Broooooooo!

Joe Smith said...

It just hit me who Joe reminded me of when he kept doing his 'Do you want me to go for another hour' schtick.

Mandelbaum!

Two-eyed Jack said...

I imagine Putin thinks Biden is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

Robert Cook said...

"Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? Problem is, what exactly did Biden say?
His people are acting like his deviation from the standard US war-mongering propaganda, if that's what he did, is something they have to rush in and fix."


Yes. That is what I was referring to.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I don't think Putin is "evil." Not by the standards of Russia anyway. My wife and I have been watching a TV series called "The Great." Its a fictionalized account of Catherine the Great. She comes to the court an idealist who is shocked to find that not only do the women of the court not read, but don't want to learn to read, and don't want their female children to learn to read either. At the end of the first season she wrests power from her husband and takes over control of the Russian empire and she starts trying to implement her ideas to bring the enlightenment to Russia. Which means a list of people that need to be killed has to be drawn up and implemented.

At the end of the last episode that I watched she had inadvertently caused some poor peasant woman's throat to be slashed and sparked revolts from both the peasants and nobility who were killing each other in the halls of the palace. This happened because some of the girls that were in the school she started (and were only there because she threatened to shoot the parents if they didn't attend) mocked her because she was not implementing the enlightenment values they had been indoctrinated in quickly enough to suit them. So, she freed all the peasants. In order to retain power and not be killed she had to order the army to put down both revolts, violently. The final scene of the episode has the Catherine's best friend borrow a gun from a guard and use it to shoot the noblewoman who slashed the throat of the peasant woman in the back of her head.

Russia's a rough place.

By way, the show is a comedy.

Chris Lopes said...

"Heaven forfend that a U.S. President make a comment about Russian actions in their hemisphere that is not the standard US war-mongering propaganda."

I think the issue is that Biden should have at least tried to be ambiguous about it. While no one really believes Ukrainian sovereignty is worth risking Western lives over, it's imprudent to say so out loud.

tim in vermont said...

Biden is a piddle, wrapped in a diaper, after an enema.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

definitely nsfw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgRvbVEMpvU

Browndog said...

I imagine Putin couldn't care less what Biden says. He's insignificant. After watching what happened with Trump he knows now no U.S. President is in charge. Key players in the State Dept. and Pentagon are the ones he has to deal with.

Howard said...

Bravo, Tim.

Joe Smith said...

'It's been said that Russia is a gas station with an army...'

I've always heard, 'Third-world country with first-world weapons.'

Like Italy.

Third-world country with first-world design : )

Skeptical Voter said...

"Rather puzzled" is polite Telegraph speak for 'Putin was laughing his backside off".

It's a truism that nations don't have allies--they have interests. And the relationship between the Duchy of Moscow and Ukraine goes back centuries. Out of curiosity-- and a remembered laugh line--watching Tony Curtis say "Yondah is da castle of my Fadda"--I read Nikolia Gogol's "Taras Bulba" a month or so ago. An introduction to the particular edition of the book said that, while the story is based on supposedly historic events that happened in the late 15th Century, reading it was a key to understanding the Russian mind. Well that was the critic's opinion in any case. And reading it suggests that both the Ukrainians and the Muscovites are bloody minded people. I think Putin will do what he wants to do without paying any attention to Slow Joe.

Yancey Ward said...

I doubt that Putin was paying any attention to Biden at all, but if he was watching that disaster of a press conference, he was all but certain to laughing his ass off at Joe "Shit For Brains" Biden. I would have laughed, too, but I happen to live in the US.

Ceciliahere said...

What’s going on in Purim’s head? He’s asking himself how this idiot came to be President of the United States of America and how many ways am I going to outsmart him before he suddenly resigns. You cannot have Joey going up against the former KGB man and think that Joey will come out on top. God save us all!

Ceciliahere said...

What’s going on in Putin’s head? He’s asking himself how this idiot came to be President of the United States of America and how many ways am I going to outsmart him before he suddenly resigns. You cannot have Joey going up against the former KGB man and think that Joey will come out on top. God save us all!

Andrew said...

The idea of Putin being "puzzled" by Biden's press conference is laugh out loud funny.

Like Putin called in his cabinet (or whatever the Russian equivalent is) and said, "What do you make of this? Biden's sending conflicting signals here. It was both a warning, and an invitation. This might affect our strategy. Should we reconsider?"

Kirk Parker said...

Joe Smith,

The definitive version of that saying is: Russia is a third world country, with a second world military, and a first world spy apparatus.