Analysis

Will Joe Biden’s Gaslighting Work On Vladimir Putin?

   DailyWire.com
US President Joe Biden announces his Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 in the State Dinning Room of the White House in Washington, DC on March 28, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Presidential Grants Foundation CEO Ilya Chukalin at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 29, 2022.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP & MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

In the midst of the international crisis that is the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden’s strategy has been fairly consistent: claim credit for both the resilience of Ukrainian resistance forces and the “unity” of NATO, all while arguably undermining so-called “united” messaging in the face of rampant Russian aggression. 

And the response to criticism of this behavior? Deny, deny, deny.

“Are you worried that other leaders in the world are going to start to doubt that America is back if some of these big things that you say on the world stage keep getting walked back?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Biden on Monday. 

“What’s getting walked back?” Biden responded.

“It — made it sound like, just in the last couple of days — it sounded like you told U.S. troops they were going to Ukraine.  It sounded like you said it was possible the U.S. would use a chemical weapon.  And it sounded like you were calling for regime change in Russia,” Doocy responded, to which Biden replied, “None of the three occurred.”

None of the three occurred?

Biden tells U.S. troops they’re going to Ukraine

On Friday, Biden was recorded telling U.S. troops in Poland that they will witness the bravery of Ukrainians resisting the Russian invasion “when [they’re] there.”

“You’re going to see when you’re there, and some of you have been there, you’re gonna see — you’re gonna see women, young people standing in the middle in front of a damned tank just saying, ‘I’m not leaving, I’m holding my ground,’” Biden said.

Biden implies the U.S. would use chemical weapons

On Thursday, Biden said that the response to a potential use of chemical weapons by Russia would “trigger a response in kind,” with the style of response depending on “the nature of the use.”

When asked whether a Russian use of chemical weapons “would … trigger a military response from NATO,” Biden replied, “It would trigger a response in kind, whether or not, you’re asking whether NATO would cross, we’d make that decision at the time.”

Biden calls for regime change

On Saturday, Biden delivered a speech on the Russian invasion of Ukraine during his visit to Poland, and said that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness,” Biden said. “We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity of freedom and possibilities.

“For God’s sake,” Biden added, “this man cannot remain in power.”

***

In three days, Biden delivered three messages which undeniably fly in the face of both the official U.S. position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the broader “Western” strategy on the subject. While this certainly explains the White House’s move to quickly “clarify” what the president meant, it does nothing to alleviate the concerns of many that Biden’s off-the-cuff recklessness could have consequences far beyond short-term political embarrassment.

During an interview on Monday, for example, a Kremlin spokesman told PBS that Russia would only resort to the use of nuclear weapons in response to a “threat to the existence” of the country.

“But any outcome of the operation [in Ukraine], of course is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon,” Dmitri Peskov said. “We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat for existence of the state, in our country, we can use and we will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat for the existence of our country.”

It’s hard to argue against the idea that calls for regime change in Russia do not constitute a threat to the existence of Russia … in Putin’s eyes at least. And while the White House’s instant walking back of Biden’s comments may release the pressure gauge at home, it’s unlikely to have the same effect abroad.

But if the American people allow themselves to be victims of gaslighting by the President of the United States, perhaps we won’t see the consequences until it’s already too late.

Ian Haworth is a writer for The Daily Wire and contributor to Morning Wire. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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