Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Biden needs to keep his mouth shut

The policy of the West toward Russia/Ukraine needs to be to simply contain the fighting to those countries and prevent it from spreading to other countries in ways that might trigger a pan-European war. The “Iron Curtain” strategy during the Cold War worked just fine, only the West is at a much greater advantage now. Draw a line around Ukraine and Russia and say, “Keep it over there.” And the most zealous members of NATO in Eastern Europe need to be kept on a short leash in order to avoid triggering a Russian attack on any NATO countries. And if there is going to be any arming of Ukrainian insurgents, it needs to be done very carefully (remember what happened with the mujahideen).

By Samuel Goldman, The Week

“Loose lips sink ships,” proclaimed World War II propaganda posters. The original idea was to prevent the spread of rumors dangerous to morale — and perhaps also to contain classified truths.

President Biden is almost old enough to remember the slogan’s initial use. But he could still use a reminder to avoid careless talk. In remarks delivered in Des Moines yesterday, Biden accused Russia of committing “genocide” in Ukraine. Because it’s a deeply serious charge that could theoretically trigger an international tribunal, administration officials had previously avoided using the term. Later that day, therefore, Biden was forced to conduct some rhetorical cleanup. Speaking to reporters on the airport tarmac, he clarified that he would “let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”

This isn’t the first time Biden’s loose lips have created a problem for his foreign policy. In Poland last month, the president offered the apparently spontaneous conclusion that “for God’s sake, this man [Russian President Vladimir Putin] cannot remain in power.” Panicked by this rhetorical flourish, U.S. officials insisted regime change is not the United States’ goal. Biden, they implausibly claimed, was only referring to Putin’s influence over neighboring states, not his position within Russia itself.

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