There is a difference between a threat of military action and a credible threat of military action. And unfortunately, Joe Biden has spent the last 11 months undermining his credibility. Russia, China, and Iran see the 46th President’s weakness all too clearly.
Biden’s crisis of credibility on the world stage didn’t start in 2021. It started when he was the Vice President to the 44th President of the United States. In 2009, the Obama-Biden team failed to support the people of Iran who had taken to the streets during the Green Revolution. The American government led by Barack Obama and Joe Biden also stood silent while Syria unfolded into a genocide, and they allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to rewrite Europe’s borders after taking Crimea by force.
Putin knows Biden’s history. And he knows Europe’s recent history, too.
In fact, Putin knows the European Union shrank when the people of Great Britain voted to exit the EU in the now famous Brexit vote of 2016 – a direct result of the Obama-Biden-Merkel failure to organize the international community to stop the massive outpouring of refugees from Syria and Libya into Europe.
As President, Putin knows that Biden has attacked the America First agenda and instead made consensus with the Europeans his objective. And while consensus sounds like a noble goal, for Americans, consensus can many times mean the lowest common denominator of what the 15 U.N. Security Council members believe or what the European leaders want. It certainly isn’t what America wants.
Putin knows that Biden is trapped by his insistence that he have a common position with the weaker leaders in Europe.
Perhaps the one country that used Biden’s desire to be loved by other countries more than any other was Germany, especially under Chancellor Angela Merkel. And it is Germany that Putin now has leverage over, thanks to Biden. Merkel had a singular desire to get the Americans to drop their sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. Merkel convinced Biden that the German government would celebrate him if he waived the sanctions before she left as Chancellor. And so he did.
But to any unbiased observer, it is clear that Merkel only has her personal desire for power to blame for putting Germany in a position where they were desperate for Russian energy. Merkel became so nervous about being toppled by the rise of the rival Green Party in Germany that she overreacted to their demand to get rid of nuclear energy and to sunset coal. Merkel killed her energy options before she had a plan for replacing what she killed. It was like her strategy of letting refugees into Europe before proper vetting could be done.
But in an ironic twist, Merkel is now out of power and the Greens are now in control of Germany’s foreign policy and defense ministries. So it is no longer Merkel’s problem. She can say she finished the pipeline and held Russia back.
Today, Biden is forced to work with the weaker German socialists and Greens to deal with Putin. But Putin knows what he is up against. He knows Biden lied for four years to the American people that Donald Trump was a Russian asset, and he knows that Biden lied when he called Hunter Biden’s laptop “Russian disinformation.”
The only one who doesn’t know that his strategy isn’t working . . . is Joe Biden.
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