When President Biden uttered, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” you would have thought the Earth had stopped turning on its axis.
Biden was speaking in Warsaw during a visit to NATO country. The White House quickly walked back Biden’s comments. Did he metamorphose into Michael Jackson’s moonwalk?
Biden sidestepped Jackson as the president pronounced he’s not walking in reverse. Republicans and Democrats alike accused Biden of providing propaganda for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin; that Biden has used such terms as “war criminal” and “butcher” to describe Putin without consulting U.S. allies; the quick-acting White House communications team moonwalks, saying Biden is speaking “with his heart.”
Biden should hold his ground, whether Putin is eliminated by an inside job or not. Biden’s heavy words ring hollow for some. Visit the White House daily around 6 p.m. and hear protesters’ chants:
“Finish the job. End all business ties with Russia!”
“President Biden, this is your legacy; help Ukraine defend itself!”
“President Biden, how many dead civilians will it take? Send Ukraine the weapons it needs!”
“Stop the Russian war machine. Take action now. Stand up to Putin!”
Regarding Putin, his approval rating in Russia increased from 69 percent in January to 83 percent in March. As New York Times Moscow reporter Ivan Nechepurenko observed, “When the invasion started, the people had to make a choice: to support it or not to support it. There was a battle for people’s minds.”
Putin’s and Russia’s propaganda machine has worked.
“Many people who opposed the war in the beginning were either brutally prosecuted or got out of the country,” Nechepurenko says. “If a criminal prosecution is against you for opposing the war, then you would say you support Putin to avoid prosecution. So you would say what is expected of you.”
Putin’s sly propaganda tries to portray the conflict as western culture opposed to all things Russian. Consider Biden’s staunch comments, western business interests abandoning Russia, the act of Russian opera singers being disallowed to perform in the United States, etc.
Under siege, supposedly.
Still, Russians in their hearts know the truth, especially if Putin cannot deliver.
During World War II, England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill wore a one-piece, Turnbull & Asser manufactured outfit, called his “Siren Suit.” In today’s Ukraine-Russia war, notice Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky dons a battle green/brown T-shirt. He also evokes memories of Churchill in his speeches.
Zelensky told the world, “We will not give up and we will not lose. We will fight until the end at sea, in the air. We will continue fighting for our land whatever the cost. We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets.”
Sound familiar? Remember what Churchill enunciated on June 4, 1940.
In 1921, the United States came to Russia’s aid as the American Relief Association sent food to Russia, where millions of citizens suffered from a devastating famine that killed 5 million. Also, during World War II, the two countries collaborated battling Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, which slaughtered millions of Russians. Now, the Russians are acting like 1940s Nazis, replete with atrocities against Ukraine’s civilians and mass graves of men, women and children.
Recall the photos taken at various World War II summits featuring Churchill, President Franklin Roosevelt in the middle and Russian premier Joseph Stalin. After the Big Three engineered the Allies’ WWII victory in Europe in 1945, Churchill famously cautioned in 1946, “From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent.”
Thus began the Cold War and the new parameters for the geo-political landscape until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Now, look where we are.
As artist Stephen Parlato, the Sign Man who travels from Boulder, Colo., to Washington, D.C., periodically to participate in protests, said, “This is a test to see if our democracy survives.”
Parlato, a retiree who spent 25 years as a mental health counselor, displayed the sign: “Shelter Ukrainian Skies.”
Putin keeps pounding former actor Zelensky’s nation with missiles. But Zelensky found time to issue a pre-taped speech at the recent Grammy Awards. Perhaps that’s one reason, according to a Pew Research Center poll, 72 percent of Americans have confidence in Zelensky.
As the chanters in front of the White House shouted through their bullhorns, “President Biden, the Free World is under attack; today Ukraine, tomorrow Europe!”
That’s obviously Ukraine’s sentiments exactly.