Patterico's Pontifications

2/20/2023

President Biden Makes Surprise Visit To Kyiv, Meets With President Zelensky

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:31 am



[guest post by Dana]

What a surprise, and a fine one at that. Rather than meeting with President Zelensky someone on the border with Poland or skipping it altogether, President Biden met with Ukraine’s president in the capital city of Kyiv, thus sending a message to the world – and especially to Vladimir Putin – that the United States will continue to support Ukraine in its battle to defeat Russia. This is especially notable given that there was obviously a real risk in the visit (as the AP informs us: The U.S. president traveling to a conflict zone where the U.S. or its allies do not have control over the airspace and on top of that, our only military presence in Ukraine is just a small detachment of Marines guarding the embassy in Kyiv).

From the White House:

As the world prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, I am in Kyiv today to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering and unflagging commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

When Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He thought he could outlast us. But he was dead wrong.

Today, in Kyiv, I am meeting with President Zelenskyy and his team for an extended discussion on our support for Ukraine. I will announce another delivery of critical equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardments. And I will share that later this week, we will announce additional sanctions against elites and companies that are trying to evade or backfill Russia’s war machine. Over the last year, the United States has built a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific to help defend Ukraine with unprecedented military, economic, and humanitarian support – and that support will endure.

President Zelensky’s Twitter feed has a nice video of the welcome and introductions:

Details of the discussion between presidents about continued aid and weapons from the U.S.:

In Kyiv, Biden announced an additional half-billion dollars in U.S. assistance — on top of the more than $50 billion already provided — for shells for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, air surveillance radars and other aid but no new advanced weaponry.

Ukraine has also been pushing for battlefield systems that would allow its forces to strike Russian targets that have been moved back from frontline areas, out of the range of HIMARS missiles that have already been delivered. Zelenskyy said he and Biden spoke about “long-range weapons and the weapons that may still be supplied to Ukraine even though it wasn’t supplied before.” But he did not detail any new commitments.

So how did Russia react to President Biden’s visit to Kyiv? Although Moscow was notified in advance of Biden’s impending visit ( “for deconfliction purposes” ), they were less than happy about being deeply humiliated before the world:

I’m glad that President Biden made the journey to Kyiv before his meeting with President Duda of Poland. His presence in the capital city standing next to President Zelensky sent a powerful statement to the world that U.S. support for Ukraine has not and will not waver as they wage a brave battle to drive out the invaders. Also, I can only imagine what a major morale booster it was for Ukrainian troops and for the Ukrainian people as well. With that, we’ll have to wait and see if the U.S. will opt to provide Ukraine with the much-needed modern fighter jets that President Zelensky has requested. EU members are considering sending them to Ukraine, and Italy has said it is prepared to “send up to five fighter jets to Ukraine if other Western allies start doing so,” they just don’t want to be the first ally to send them “for political reasons.”

–Dana

53 Responses to “President Biden Makes Surprise Visit To Kyiv, Meets With President Zelensky”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Eastern Europe will remember who stood with them, and who rolled tanks to crush them. Putin wants to recreate the USSR but all he’s managed to recreate is the hatred of Russia in Eastern Europe.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  3. Thank you, Mr. President!

    Back when I voted for you, I only thought that Kamala was a small price to pay to get the Trump Crime Family out of the White House. But with Ukraine alone, you have more than exceeded my expectations.

    nk (c758b1)

  4. Biden risks life and limb to go to war-torn Kyiv and all he gets is a stinking tile.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  5. Heh. Marge weighs in:

    Zelenskyy can’t even wear a tie as he greets the President of the United States.

    He gladly takes our money in sweat shirts and t-shirts, but Biden is dressed up.

    So insulting.

    America Last!!!

    Dana (1225fc)

  6. Biden and Zelensky have gotten less worried about travelling to and from Kyiv, because the air defenses and detection are good enough to protect very important targets almost toa certainty, while meanwhile Vladimir Putin is no longer using his presidential airplane for fear it might get shot down – even in Russia – and travels by train with an unannounced route.

    Sammy Finkelman (fac163)

  7. Rather than meeting with President Zelensky someone on the border with Poland or skipping it altogether,

    Zelensky went to Munich the other day in person. And, not so long ago, to Washington, D.C. and London. Earlier he had only taken part in meetings via videoconference, and after aa while, his wife went places.

    Biden has wanted to go to Kyiv, or at least into Ukraine, for some time now. Early in the war he let a trip like that be vetoed by his security people, but now it is like President Bush’s (W) Obama;s and Trump’s visits to a war zone in Afghanistan and Iraq – kept secret till it’s over, but done,

    Sammy Finkelman (fac163)

  8. If Moscow was notified (and probably given only an approximate timeframe) that means they have calculated that Moscow is afraid of escalation, or at least the consequences of attempting to down Air Force One.

    They’ve seen this sort of thing before with visits by Boris Johnson, for instance.

    President Biden in fact, we can say, may have been acting as a (temporary) human shield, at least for civilians and civilian infrastructure in Kyiv.

    Sammy Finkelman (fac163)

  9. Eastern Europe will remember who stood with them, and who rolled tanks to crush them. Putin wants to recreate the USSR but all he’s managed to recreate is the hatred of Russia in Eastern Europe.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/20/2023 @ 8:49 am

    Something the West failed to do in:

    1953-East German Uprising
    1956-Hungarian Revolution
    1968-Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia

    And failing to support various partisan operations in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  10. MTG is jealous that Zelensky looks better in a sweater than she does. And if there ever was a candidate for Nikki Haley’s mental competency test ….

    nk (c758b1)

  11. Russian Media Watch-Kyiv Visit Edition:

    Pro-Putin talking heads on Russian state TV struggled to spin Biden’s visit to Kyiv in their favor. Sergei A. Markov, a pro-government analyst, said that Moscow had shown magnanimity in not carrying out an attack while Mr. Biden was there, explaining that his death would have bad consequences for Russia.

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  12. Rip Murdock (d3505f) — 2/20/2023 @ 11:00 am

    No kidding.

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  13. Crime Boss Theatre

    Corrupt Crooks Confer; Tribute Paid.

    Film at 11.

    … and Jinping smiled.

    DCSCA (83487f)

  14. Biden visits the only border he cares about

    JF (e6556b)

  15. @14. Yep. A surprise visit by Bagman Biden to drop off borrowed bucks by train; but trainwrecks East Palestine, Ohio and America’s southern border… not so much. W/t Rooskies aware he was choo-chooing in, the air raid sirens were a quaint sfx touch for campaign commercials.

    “Our government has abandoned us.” – resident, E. Palestine, OH

    DCSCA (83487f)

  16. I heard Biden took the train from Poland and we used the deconfliction line to communicate what Biden was doing.

    My hope would be that we told the Russians exactly what was going on because a train is fat target. Tell the Russians nicely that this isn’t the time to FAFO.

    The Kremlin of course immediately used this as propaganda. America and NATO on the ground in Ukraine.

    Last thought. Am of the opinion air raid siren was staged. They said a Russian plane took off from Belarus and a possible missile shot by that plane could have arrived in 20 minutes, but I’m pretty cynical due to our propensity for orchestration

    steveg (13fca3)

  17. Re: Heads-Up to Russia:

    TrumpWorld keeping it classy:

    ………. Funny how Putin didn’t do the world any favors…….. Guess they only kill Polish Presidents. ……… They couldn’t risk the elevation of Kamala….. I imagine Putin is in a tough situation wondering if he could become an American Hero………. I wonder if Russia considered Operation Vengeance 2.0? Instead of Yamamoto being shot down, it would be Biden. ……….

    And

    ……….. Is the deep state trying to remove Biden the hard way to escalate the war? This is a very odd announcement……… As if Putin would bomb Kiev when Biden was there. He would never do anything to help America. ……… This was a DC assassination attempt. Warm Russia not to shoot at Kiev that day. Then send in the idiot. Some schlub don’t get the word, or some Ukes decides it’s a nifty way to get the US full force into the war…and pops off one of the thousands of manpads we dumped there. Didn’t happen, but that’s what they were hoping for. ……… Makes me want Russia to win. …….. If the Russians really wanted to help their effort they’d find and neutralize Victoria Nuland……….

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  18. MTG criticizes bidens trip to ukraine says red states should secede from union. We tried that once it didn’t work to well and then those who didn’t want to secede were slaves not democrats who are half the population of those state. If you count those who are not voting more then half. Why is this not treason it was in 1861.

    asset (edcf7d)

  19. Why is this not treason it was in 1861.

    MTG is neither levying war against the United States or giving aid and comfort to its enemies. She’s just being a blowhard.

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  20. But with Ukraine alone, you have more than exceeded my expectations.

    Biden is to Ukraine as Trump is to judges.

    Other than that, it’s mostly terrible for both. The Bidens are not nearly as venal as the Trumps however.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  21. Biden risks life and limb to go to war-torn Kyiv and all he gets is a stinking tile.

    Hey, Trump has one too

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  22. Something the West failed to do in:

    Indeed, but there was no doubt that the West stood with them. The Hungarians may have been expecting NATO intervention, and if we planted that, it’s our bad. But when it came to Berlin, we did step up and made it clear it was a red line, and again in Cuba. The economic blockade of “containment” doomed the USSR to eventual defeat, something that Nixon hastened by enticing the Chinese towards the West.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  23. explaining that his death would have bad consequences for Russia.

    Consequences controlled only by the wisdom and level-headedness of President Harris.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  24. Why is this not treason it was in 1861.

    “Secession” was not “treason.” Using force of arms against the United States was. Presumably they could have taken their secession case to the courts.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  25. @16. Am of the opinion air raid siren was staged.

    Agree. Stagecraft. The non-reaction by the entourage in video on the ground was quite the tell– nobody even looked up. And given the Poopagon balloon befuddlements, threat assessments of late are characteristically ‘overblown.’ 😉

    DCSCA (e7e508)

  26. @22. In the short term it was a clever, strategic play by The Big Dick in that era and merits praise– but he was aware of the long term problem arising from it:

    https://thediplomat.com/2022/02/nixon-and-china-50-years-later/

    Too bad such a brilliant mind turned out, in the end, to be a genuine ‘dick.’

    DCSCA (e7e508)

  27. Putin is afraid to travel by air in Russia? That is prudent. Russians have shot down several of their own aircraft. During drone attacks inside Russian airspace, the Russians often do more damage than the drone.

    steveg (c7a1d1)

  28. Off topic but too rich not to share. George Santos ditched Don Lemon interview due to sexism and misogyny- says Daily Mail. I laughed out loud

    steveg (c7a1d1)

  29. Russian Media Watch-Kyiv Visit Edition II:

    ………….
    ………… the visit caused fury in Russian pro-military and ultranationalist circles, as it upstages Putin on the eve of a major address in which the Russian president is expected to tout the supposed achievements of what he euphemistically calls a “special military operation.”

    “Biden in [Kyiv]. Demonstrative humiliation of Russia,” Russian journalist Sergey Mardan wrote in a snarky response on his Telegram channel. “Tales of miraculous hypersonics may be left for children. Just like spells about the holy war we are waging with the entire West.”

    “I guess there are lunch breaks in a holy war,” he said.

    Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Igor Girkin meanwhile suggested that Biden could have visited the frontlines in eastern Ukraine and escaped unharmed.

    “Wouldn’t be surprised if the grandfather (he is not good for anything but simple provocations anyway) is brought to Bakhmut as well… AND NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,” Girkin said.
    ……………
    A Telegram account managed by Russian army and naval servicemembers, Zapiski michmana Ptichkina, noted ironically that Biden had reached Kyiv before Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Almost a year after the beginning of the Special military operation, we are waiting in the Russian city of [Kyiv] for the president of the Russian Federation, but not for the [President of the] United States,” it said.
    ……………
    “Biden, having received security guarantees in advance, finally went to Kyiv,” (Former Russian President and deputy head of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev) said in a statement on Telegram. “And of course, there were mutual incantations about the victory that would come with new weapons and a courageous people. And here it is important to note that the West already delivers weapons and money to Kyiv quite regularly. In huge quantities, allowing the military-industrial complex of NATO countries to earn money and steal weapons to sell to terrorists around the world.”
    ……………

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  30. Link to post 29.

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  31. 8. I had the logistics of this all wrong. Biden did not travel on Air Force One or aa plane designated Air Force one and he traveled rom Poland to Kyiv by train (which is, I think, the way every western leader or politician who traveled to Kyiv has done sincce the war began. I think also his presence was announced while he was there, but I did not, so far, hear a news report saying so specifically.

    The planning for this went on for months, and was very tightly held.

    President Biden left the White House at 3:30 am Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, with no fanfare and traveled what is now called Joint Base Andrews, He then got on a 757, not the usual 747, which was designated Special Air Mission 60 and took off at 4:15 am Sunday EST. Or maybe it was a C-32.

    It landed in Germany, where it refueled and turned off its transponder and then took off again and landed in Poland. At 10 pm (what time zone?) he got on an 8-car train that travelled through Ukraine to Kyiv. At some point the Russians were told something.
    Maybe just that it was a train carrying weapons and personnel because maybe there’s a standing agreement with Russia that they are nit going to attempt to bomb these trains, in exchange for which the United States and NATO does not engage any of its own planes or missiles,

    President Biden talked with Zelensky for about two hours and promised stuff and maybe delivered stuff on that train.

    Biden iss now in Warsaw, Poland.

    Sammy Finkelman (d082d9)

  32. The air raid siren was because a Russian plane was detected taking off from Belarua. These sirens apparently go off all the time.

    Sammy Finkelman (d082d9)

  33. Russian Media Watch-Kyiv Visit Edition III:

    ………..
    Visibly unsettled, 60 Minutes host Olga Skabeeva announced, “The White House has confirmed that Biden really is in the Ukrainian capital. He really came to the Ukrainian capital. Zelensky just published the pictures… There he is, Biden, in the flesh.” ………

    ………… Military expert Evgeny Buzhinsky surmised, “Clearly, the West is headed towards an escalation… I think we should also cautiously start to walk down a path of escalation… The West has many vulnerabilities.” Buzhinsky floated his ideas for attacking Americans in retaliation for their alleged involvement in blowing up the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, proposing that Russia attack American pipelines at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, and the Norwegian Sea.

    ………….(Skabeeva) questioned the wisdom of Russia going along with the trip and purportedly agreeing not to strike Kyiv during the presidential visit: “If we gave these security guarantees, then what for?” Buzhinsky replied, “Well, you know, perhaps we could have whacked Biden, but it would have been too much.” Skabeeva retorted, “So it’s too much to whack Biden, but it’s OK to threaten Putin and it’s also fine to blow up the Nord Stream? It’s not about aggression, it’s about the logic: where is it?”

    Buzhinsky didn’t object to the idea of killing the American president, as long as his replacement was more in line with Russia’s interests. He wasn’t comfortable with the thought of Vice President Kamala Harris at the helm, claiming that, unlike Biden, Harris would be completely unrestrained in her response to Russia and would present an even worse option for the Kremlin. As opposed to Skabeeva’s suggestion of assassinating Biden, he regretted that the U.S. president wasn’t at least terrorized during his trip.……….

    ………… Buzhinsky stressed that the American president was not the first world leader to visit Kyiv, and Russia should have started by taking out former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “If we wanted to do this, we should have started much sooner.”
    …………….
    Buzhinsky suggested that Russia should start its retaliatory actions against the United States by striking Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service, launching a series of cyberattacks, and pulling out of the grain deal by refusing to renew it, since it is on the verge of expiration.
    ………….
    ……………Skabeeva dryly noted, “This is the finest hour of the Ukrainian president.”

    Political analyst Sergei Markov, who was reportedly a former advisor to Putin, was likewise unable to lighten up the mood. With a heavy sigh, Markov said……… This is a huge victory for Biden. He largely cemented his own ability to run for another term in the next election.”
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d3505f)

  34. From the “Rage Against the Machine” peace rally— um, your doing it wrong
    https://twitter.com/ChuckPfarrer/status/1627754728519045130/photo/1

    steveg (42aa52)

  35. @9. Something the West failed to do in:

    1953-East German Uprising
    1956-Hungarian Revolution
    1968-Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia

    Was living in Europe in August, 1968 when those tanks rolled into Prague. It’s easy, if not somewhat cavalier, to over simplify reacting to such events as they don’t occur in a vacuum and context is critical when trying to label responses as some sort of policy failure w/hindsight from 2023.

    The scenario was quite different in ’68; a divided Germany w/a Berlin Wall in place; a tense standoff between NATO members at the time and the Warsaw Pact long in place w/defined spheres of influence– and w/respect to the U.S. proper, other, larger distractions faced LBJ as he pulled the plug on his presidency and it collapsed under the weight of the Vietnam War and civil unrest at home. Certainly Europe, particularly the French, West Germans and definitely the Brits, were aware of what was happening as, geographically, we were much closer to those tanks, unlike the United States, 3,000 away. The streets of London were near empty during the early days of the Soviet invasion that August– and newspapers along w/t BBC radio and limited television news, AFRadio and such kept us appraised– along w/friends stationed at AF bases outside London were placed on alert. Authorities were uncertain how it would end– which was not reassuring. But below is a reasonably accurate summary of events at the time, which matches personal memories- and is a rational analysis of why the West reacted as it did- particularly the U.S.. Still gives me a chill remembering those AFR and BBC newscasts– and seeing those empty city streets:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z9hnqhv/revision/1

    DCSCA (708440)

  36. Biden risks life and limb to go to war-torn Kyiv and all he gets is a stinking tile.

    Apropos; Bugs walks all over him.

    DCSCA (054bd7)

  37. I guess there’s another way to say: Escalate this, borscht-boy! The Presidential way. Putin’s putas hurt most.

    nk (5daf94)

  38. State of the art Russian anti air in Belgorod Russia. 8 for 8 defective missiles.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1627786752558505984

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw7xWtdxrfI (Fast Forward to :40)

    There is another video out there of a Pantsir launcher having some kind of failure where the vertical tubes ready to engage Ukrainian aircraft suddenly drop to horizontal and then fire over the video takers head
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1574859433192132617

    steveg (003a5a)

  39. @38. Might want to start assessing Chinese systems of some sort; they’re likely going to appear soon.

    DCSCA (7c12ab)

  40. Failure to Launch:

    Russia carried out a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears to have failed while President Joe Biden was in Ukraine on Monday, according to two US officials familiar with the matter.

    Russia notified the United States in advance of the launch through deconfliction lines, one official said. Another official said that the test did not pose a risk to the United States and that the US did not view the test as an anomaly or an escalation.

    The test of the heavy SARMAT missile – nicknamed the Satan II in the West and capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads – appears to have failed, officials said. It has been successfully tested before and had this one worked, US officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin would have highlighted the test in his State of the Nation address on Tuesday.
    …………
    The timing of the test suggests that the US and Russia were communicating through several different channels earlier this week for deconfliction purposes – US officials also notified the Russians on Sunday night, hours before Biden’s visit to Kyiv, that the president would be making the trip to the Ukrainian capital, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  41. US officials also notified the Russians on Sunday night, hours before Biden’s visit to Kyiv, that the president would be making the trip to the Ukrainian capital, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/20/us/politics/biden-ukraine-visit.html

    The White House alerted Russian officials that Mr. Biden would be traveling to Kyiv several hours before he arrived in Ukraine, in an effort to “deconflict” with Russian military forces operating in the country, Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, told reporters on Monday.

    They didn’t tell more details.

    Only two journalists, Sabrina Siddiqui from The Wall Street Journal and Evan Vucci from The Associated Press, went along for the trip. Usually the poll consists of 13 reporters. Biden was quite charged up. He didn’t sleep all night.

    He went out with his wife, Jill, t oa restaurant Saturday night, He left the White House at about 3:30, boarded the plane at about 4:00 AM EST r. Biden took off at 4:15 a.m. landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany at 5:13 p.m. local time, (Since it is 6 hours ahead that would be 11:29 am Eastern time, refueled and 6:29 p.m.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/20/us/politics/biden-kyiv-ukraine.html

    It then made its way to Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in Poland, landing at 7:57 p.m.

    Mr. Biden was put in a motorcade with roughly 20 cars and driven without sirens for about an hour along a mostly empty highway to the small city of Przemyśl and taken to the train station where many thousands of refugees have arrived from Ukraine over the past year. Arriving at 9:15 p.m., the travelers found few people there and the stalls closed.

    He then travelled on the train till 10 am local time (one time zone more ahead)

    It became apparent in Kyiv, because streets were being blocked, that an important visitor was about to arrive. Things were broadcast but apparently President Biden’s location was not revealed in real time.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  42. 31.

    He then got on a 757, not the usual 747, which was designated Special Air Mission 60 and took off at 4:15 am Sunday EST. Or maybe it was a C-32.

    The C-32 and the Boeing 757 are the same plane.

    https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/104518/c-32/

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  43. DeSantis on Ukraine:

    “I don’t think it’s in our interest to be getting into a proxy war with China, getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea,” DeSantis said on Fox News. He added: “It’s important to point out the fear of Russia going into NATO countries and all of that and steamrolling that is not even coming close to happening. I think they’ve shown themselves to be a third-rate military power.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  44. Nikki Haley on Ukraine:

    “It’s not a war about Ukraine; this is about a war on freedom,” she told an audience member last week in Exeter, N.H. “Because if Russia takes Ukraine, they said Poland and the Baltics are next, and we’re looking at a world war. And if Russia wins, you can bet China’s gonna take Taiwan, Iran’s gonna get the bomb.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  45. @43/@44. Your hero, The Big Dick, foresaw the risks to the U.S. and the West of a Eurasian Alliance between China and Russia developing once the wedge of the Cold War was removed.

    ‘The end of the Cold War, however, removed the common threat that produced the improved Sino-American relationship in the first place. Nixon knew of course, like Britain’s Lord Palmerston, that permanent alliances and permanent enmities were not part of the real world of global politics. He was too much of a hard-headed and sensible realist to believe in “perpetual peace” or “the end of history.” Nixon’s hope that shared economic interests would cause good relations between China and the U.S. to continue was shattered. Today the powerful China that Nixon foresaw is a reality – but is viewed more an enemy than an ally of the United States.’ – https://thediplomat.com/2022/02/nixon-and-china-50-years-later/

    Quite insightful on such issues, yet a mind cluttered by such self-destructive pettiness. Pity.

    DCSCA (520b1c)

  46. As someone who served with distinction as UN Ambassador, Haley knows Foreign Relations. DeSantis might know his cousins in Campania.

    nk (bd7a2f)

  47. #45

    Here’s the Big Dick on JFK’s prposed Cuban policy in 1960. It’s actually quite prescient:

    MR. SINGISER: Mr. Vice President, I’d like to pin down the difference between the way you would handle Castro’s regime and prevent the establishment of Communist governments in the Western Hemisphere and the way that t Senator Kennedy would proceed. Uh – Vice President Nixon, in what important respects do you feel there are differences between you, and why do you believe your policy is better for the peace and security of the United States in the Western Hemisphere?

    MR. NIXON: Our policies are very different. I think that Senator Kennedy’s policies and recommendations for the handling of the Castro regime are probably the most dangers- dangerously irresponsible recommendations that he’s made during the course of this campaign. In effect, what Senator Kennedy recommends is that the United States government should give help to the exiles and to those within Cuba who oppose the Castro regime – provided they are anti-Batista. Now let’s just see what this means. We have five treaties with Latin America, including the one setting up the Organization of American States in Bogota in 1948, in which we have agreed not to intervene in the internal affairs of any other American country – and they as well have agreed to do likewise. The charter of the United Nations – its Preamble, Article I and Article II – also provide that there shall be no intervention by one nation in the internal affairs of another. Now I don’t know what Senator Kennedy suggests when he says that we should help those who oppose the Castro regime, both in Cuba and without. But I do know this: that if we were to follow that recommendation, that we would lose all of our friends in Latin America, we would probably be condemned in the United Nations, and we would not accomplish our objective. I know something else. It would be an open invitation for Mr. Khrushchev to come in, to come into Latin America and to engage us in what would be a civil war, and possibly even worse than that. This is the major recommendation that he’s made.

    I agree with your asessment of Nixon. Don’t quite have your respect for JFK.

    Appalled (82ee61)

  48. Is Trump then Nixon without the insight?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  49. Trump is Nixon without the brains, and without the Nixon’s moral compass. After all, Nixon knew that the cover-up “would be wrong.”

    Shorter: Trump is resentment on legs.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  50. Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/22/2023 @ 12:33 am

    Another flip-flopper:

    As a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, then-Rep. DeSantis often staked out hawkish positions on Russia and Ukraine, pointing to the Obama administration’s inaction after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

    At a 2014 hearing, DeSantis warned that Putin’s justification — that Crimea was largely composed of ethnic Russians — could be extended to other nations and even some NATO members such as Latvia and Estonia. He pressed an Obama State Department official to confirm that the United States would defend those countries from a Russian incursion, as is the U.S. commitment under Article 5 of the NATO charter.

    In a 2015 interview on Fox Business Network, DeSantis criticized Obama for not giving Ukraine both defensive and offensive weapons, saying, “If you had a Reagan-esque policy of strength, I think you would see people like Putin not want to mess with us.”

    At a 2017 hearing on Russia, DeSantis criticized the lack of action after Putin went into both Crimea and Georgia, saying, “Russia expanded its influence over the eight years of the Obama administration in malevolent ways.”

    Crimea remained a focal point in 2018, when DeSantis told Fox News’s Sean Hannity, “They did nothing when Russia invaded Crimea, made incursions into Ukraine, went into Syria.” (DeSantis also used the interview to praise Trump’s choice of uber-hawk John Bolton as national security adviser.)

    That same year, during an event at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, DeSantis expanded on his view of the costs of inaction in the face of Putin’s aggression.

    DeSantis said Putin “wants to reconstitute the Russian Empire,” and, “I think that he’s been a threat for a long time.” DeSantis even gently chided then-President Trump for speaking positively about having a relationship with Putin: “You’re better off dealing with Putin by being strong. … When Putin sees he can gain an inch, he’s apt to take a mile. And basically, if America’s not going to give him any pushback, I think he’s going to continue to try to expand Russian influence.”

    Finger to the wind.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. @49. Trump is Nixon without the brains, and without the Nixon’s moral compass

    ROFLMAOPIP Clearly you’ve never listened to the ‘expletive deleted’ Nixon tapes.

    ‘[Bob] Woodward gave Richard Nixon “lower than an F” for his moral and ethical leadership, describing his criminality and abuse of power as “staggering.” He recalled the day Nixon resigned, when the president said, “Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” Woodward said, “Nixon practiced hating, and it destroyed him. It was the poison of the Nixon presidency.”

    https://www.westmont.edu/moral-leadership-american-presidents

    Seven Revealing Nixon Quotes From His Secret Tapes

    https://www.history.com/news/nixon-secret-tapes-quotes-scandal-watergate

    The Untapped Secrets of the Nixon Tapes

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/the-untapped-wealth-of-secrets-in-the-nixon-tapes/374868/

    DCSCA (b21cf7)

  52. President Biden speaks almost entirely only about preventing a Ukrainian defeat – not of achieving a Ukrainian victory. Although he said Putin could end this war with a word.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  53. Atlantic: The War in Ukraine Is the End of a World (outside the paywall)

    Today marks a year since Russian President Vladimir Putin embarked on his mad quest to capture Ukraine and conjure into existence some sort of mutant Soviet-Christian-Slavic empire in Europe. On this grim anniversary, I will leave the political and strategic retrospectives to others; instead, I want to share a more personal grief about the passing of the hopes so many of us had for a better world at the end of the 20th century.

    The first half of my life was dominated by the Cold War. I grew up next to a nuclear bomber base in Massachusetts. I studied Russian and Soviet affairs in college and graduate school. I first visited the Soviet Union when I was 22. I was 28 years old when the Berlin Wall fell. I turned 31 a few weeks before the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time.

    When I visited Moscow on that initial trip in 1983, I sat on a curb on a summer night in Red Square, staring at the Soviet stars on top of the Kremlin. I had the sensation of being in the belly of the beast, right next to the beating heart of the enemy. I knew that hundreds of American nuclear warheads were aimed where I was sitting, and I was convinced that everything I knew was more than likely destined to end in flames. Peace seemed impossible; war felt imminent.

    And then, within a few years, it was over. If you did not live through this time, it is difficult to explain the amazement and sense of optimism that came with the raspad, as Russians call the Soviet collapse…

    …I do not know how this third era of my life will end, or if I will be alive to see it end. All I know is that I feel now as I did that night in Red Square, when I knew that democracy was in the fight of its life, that we might be facing a catastrophe, and that we must never waver.

    Well worth reading. He reminds me strongly of the day in 1989 I spent walking along the Berlin Wall and looking over the barbed wire at Checkpoint Charlie, and the day a fe months later when it started to come down. Such despair, followed by hope, now back to despair.

    Kevin M (1ea396)


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