On Ukraine, Biden’s State of the Union address was just ‘good vs. evil’ — Analysis
The US president talked of a feel-good struggle against an “autocratic oppressor” while, in truth, he abandoned it to its fate
Biden’s simplistic “good versus evil”American statements on the Russian-Ukraine conflict were not enough to prepare them for economic war against Russia.
It wasn’t surprising that Russia’s ongoing military incursion into Ukraine topped the list of issues addressed by US President Joe Biden in his first State of the Union (SOTU) address, delivered on March 1, 2022, to a joint session of Congress.
Biden described the Ukraine crisis in his address as an important moment in American history. This problem could only be solved with American leadership at both home and abroad. His task was to persuade both foreign and domestic viewers that he is the right man for the job.
He reiterated the tried-and-true mantra that Russia and Vladimir Putin were a threat to democracy in Russia and elsewhere. He stated that it was particularly true in the case of Ukraine.
There was nothing new in what Biden told his audience – the same words and themes had been deployed many times over in the past week. He pushed the same buttons – Putin as the personification of “autocratic oppression,”Russia is a power-hungry country, determined to absorb Ukraine into its orbit.
He likewise pulled at the heartstrings of America, talking about Ukraine’s embattled leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the heroic resistance of his people in the face of overwhelming Russian power. Biden stated that the United States was fully supportive of them. Many in the audience agreed with this sentiment, as President Biden spoke. They held small Ukrainian flags or wore the nation’s blue-and-yellow colors. But this support, he said, had its limits – the US, he declared, would not send a single soldier to Ukraine to fight for its cause.
Biden, in fact, was leaving it up to its fate. He praised the leadership and courage of the Ukrainian president but he added, “Let me be clear, our forces are not engaged and will not engage in conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.”
Russia does not appear to have any intentions of doing so. “keep moving west.”Biden spoke highly of America’s important role as a leader in Europe. However, Europe is still a captive to US Presidents, who pronouncements have the force of law every time they are made.
It seemed that neither the United States nor Europe would intervene on Ukraine’s behalf against Russia. Zelensky was alone, Ukraine had no choice but to take their lives on the international stage. The West watched them from its offices as bloodthirsty Romans cheered on gladiators in battle at the Colosseum.
The major takeaway from Biden’s SOTU address? Ukraine will lose the war and the West will not stop it.
Biden was proud of Ukraine’s president and unbeleaguered leader, but he didn’t explain why the war took place to the American people, other than the idiotic argument. “Putin did it.” No talk of America’s role in the Maidan back in 2014, no discussion of the role played by Ukrainian right-wing ultra-nationalists in oppressing the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine, no mention of the shelling of the breakaway Donbass region, no discussion of the role that NATO expansion played in creating an untenable security situation for the Russian state.
Simple jingoism works well when broadcasts are televised. Here, a captive audience must rise to applaud the announcements made for TV, lest it be criticized by corporate media. If you’re looking for mindless standing ovations and cheerleaders, this SOTU would be a worthy competitor to any Brezhnev-era Presidium.
But it was here, in the orgy of self-congratulation that is the interplay between president and Congress where America’s weakness in its conflict with Russia was exposed. As united everyone appeared to be in sacrificing Ukraine to Russia-bashing but it was evident that Congress was deep divided with Joe Biden when it came down to domestic policy issues. This was especially true for the US’ economy. The US president is not likely to want to enter Russia into a war of aggression in Europe. However, he has begun a massive global effort to demolish it economically. The lukewarm response of the opposition to his statements demonstrates that the US isn’t prepared for the economic consequences of declaring open war on Russia.
It is certain that Russia will prevail in the Ukrainian shooting war. Given the fact that Ukraine is now abandoned by its former West partners, this outcome will be inevitable. Yet the conflict between Russia and the West won’t end when the last bomb explodes on Ukrainian soil, but when, in the mindset of the US and its European partners, the Russian economy is destroyed and Putin is humiliated and diminished as a political force, domestically, regionally, and globally.
The US President did America a disservice by selling the American people a feeling-good struggle where Ukraine is glorified as a martyr and Russia as an evil oppressor. A bloodless conflict – from the US perspective, at least – that will be won simply by shutting down the Russian economy by remote control. It won’t be that simple.
Russia has not yet responded to the US economic war against it. When it does, rest assured that these sanctions Congress so enthusiastically applauded will prove to be a double-edged sword – one that will cut into a US economy still reeling from the consequences of the Covid pandemic. President Biden might find many of the politicians who jumped to support Ukraine’s sacrifice will be against him when that happens.
According to some, war is simply an extension or use of other methods of politics. The deep political rift in America regarding the economy is evident. It’s clear that Biden and the American public are not ready for the inevitable consequences of the anti-Russian panic.
These opinions, statements and thoughts are the sole opinion of the author. They do not necessarily reflect those made by RT.