OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Another day, another occasion for our decrepit president, Joe Biden, to embarrass America on the global stage.
As Russia builds up a massive force along its border with Ukraine, the White House scrambled to set up a meeting with the Kremlin so that Biden and his counterpart, Vladimir Putin could hash things out.
Because Putin is not decrepit, his government permitted Russian media to show the meeting as it began. But because Biden is decrepit, the White House would not permit the beginning of the meeting to be shown.
Or, at least, that seems to be the most likely reason, and here’s why:
Russian state TV shows start of meeting between Biden and Putin pic.twitter.com/pX1GqefSty
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) December 7, 2021
We have no idea who Biden is gesticulating to, but judging by Putin’s grin, it seems fairly apparent why Biden’s handlers increasingly shield him from view — to avoid the inevitable criticism and embarrassment.
But the fact is, in this case, Biden was not facing some third-world banana republic dictator; he was squaring off against the leader of another well-armed great power who has control over a large portion of the energy consumed on the European continent and several armor and infantry brigades poised to strike at Ukraine at any moment.
So forgive us if we conclude that Putin isn’t convinced that his American counterpart is, shall we say, up to the task of his weighty office.
That said, Just the News provided details of the meeting:
The call went on from about 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Washington, D.C. time.
Putin took the call from his residence in the Russian resort town of Sochi. He said, “Greetings, Mr. President!” as the call kicked off, to which Biden responded, “Good to see you again.
According to a White House statement on the call, Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the US and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”
The U.S. President went on to reiterate “his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy.”
For his part, Putin likely demanded that Biden provide assurances that NATO was never going to expand to include Ukraine, even though Kyiv has long sought membership in the Euro-centric military alliance.
“We’ve consulted significantly with our allies and believe we have a path forward that would impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. “You can call that a threat. You can call that a fact.”
Several Republicans have called on Biden to take a tougher approach with Putin, but it’s not certain he’s capable of doing that.
“It’s hard to know what Vladimir Putin is thinking and what his true intentions are, but we do see a very aggressive action on his part, amassing his troops on the Ukrainian border. So we must prepare for the worst, not knowing what those intentions are,” Iraq war vet Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
“I do think that President Biden needs to be very clear, and very strong and his message to Vladimir Putin,” Ernst added, going on to say that our president should tell the Russian president the U.S. won’t allow the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be completed if Putin invades.
Reports noted that Putin has moved a significant amount of troops to regions around Ukraine’s border.
“The images, which Insider obtained from Maxar Technologies, show a number of Russian tactical battle groups, including both personnel and equipment, such as tanks, artillery, and armored troop carriers, deployed to the Pogonovo training area and Yelnya in Russia and Novoozernoye in Crimea in November,” Business Insider noted.