Sunday 27 March 2022

Biden Ends Warsaw Speech on Ukraine With Call for Regime Change in Russia (UPDATE: White House Official Tries to Clean Up for Biden)

 Joe Biden gave what the White House billed as a “major address” Saturday evening in Warsaw, Poland, invoking the words of Cold War icon Polish Pope John Paull II several times, saying, “Be not afraid.” Biden’s speech was intended to reassure Poland and other NATO allies of the United States’ unwavering commitment to defend “every inch” of NATO territory from Russia as Russia wages a war of aggression on neighboring Ukraine. Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine. Earlier in the day Biden called Putin a “butcher” while speaking with Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

Biden closed his speech with what is either a policy change or a Kinsley gaffe like his comment Friday to U.S. troops they were headed into Ukraine.

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

Biden is talking the U.S. into a regime change war with Russia.

UPDATE: Biden’s handlers try to clean up regime change remarks: “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”

Josh Rogin, one of the few honest reporters at the Washington Post, accurately observes:

“Too late. We all heard Biden say: “For god’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” The world heard it. No way to unring that bell…The White House’s contention is that he misspoke. If that’s true, that’s really bad. If he was being genuine but his own staff is undermining his message, that’s also really bad. Either way, total muddle at the worst time and place.”

More: Biden White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted former Obama official Ben Rhodes’ ‘meh’ comment that said, “This clarifies it. Might Putin say otherwise? Of course. But he’s long asserted the US wants regime change in Russia.”

Klain also retweeted this Ben Rhodes tweet, “That speech was not about regime change in Russia it was about the long term stakes in the fight between democracy and autocracy. Unless the Biden team formally says it has a regime change policy, I wouldn’t take one line as such a consequential shift.”

The Washington Post reports Biden’s regime comment was not in his prepared speech, “Biden’s line tonight saying Putin “cannot remain in power” was NOT planned and a surprise to U.S. officials, per people familiar. Still, officials say no change in policy. Instead, the line was an example of Biden’s sometimes inarticulate rhetoric.”

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