Peace talks underway today despite Biden’s Cold War rant – People’s World
As diplomacy is seen around the world as the only way to stop death and destruction in war, Ukraine and Russia meet in Turkey for the first time in two weeks today with US allies telling Washington to put the kibosh, at least for now, on President Biden’s Cold War rants.
Even as the two sides yesterday announced issues on which they were willing to compromise, Biden doubled down on his Cold War rant he delivered in Warsaw, Poland’s capital, on Sunday.
“I make no apologies,” Biden said yesterday in defending his Sunday remarks widely interpreted around the world as a call for regime change in Russia. Standing before a crowd outside a castle in Warsaw on Sunday, Biden invoked the deity as he passionately shouted: “For the love of God, this man (Putin) must not stay in power.”
Seemingly making matters worse and dismissing protests from around the world, he said yesterday: “I was expressing the moral outrage I feel and I make no apologies for it.
Sober forces here in the United States and around the world have expressed shock and concern both for the long-term implications of Biden’s rant regarding the potential repair of future relations with Russia, but also for concern that it will derail the peace talks underway today. Ukraine and Russia announced potential areas of agreement yesterday and rather than back those moves, Biden championed what almost everyone saw as a call for regime change in Moscow.
The Russians, for their part, said they were scaling back operations around kyiv to show support for peace talks and hinted they were ready to back down on their demands to protect the Russian language in Ukraine. (Ukraine has removed Russian as the official language of the country and has banned the use of this language in many areas, including education and commerce, despite the fact that it is the language than 40% of the population.)
For its part, Ukraine says it will accept “neutrality” in exchange for security guarantees, that it will accept the status quo of Russian control of Crimea and that it is ready to negotiate on the status of the breakaway republics to the East.
Even as Ukraine indicated its willingness to negotiate on some major issues, the US media vehemently asserts that Ukraine should never consider territorial concessions. “Fight until most of you are dead” is the attitude these voices seem to have. A destroyed Ukraine is a price many Western capitalists are willing to pay in their struggle to destroy Russia and the capitalists who control it. Unfortunately, they receive support from forces in Ukraine, including neo-fascists there, who threaten to sabotage any agreement reached by President Zelensky that they deem too compromised.
It wasn’t just the call for regime change that was problematic in Biden’s Cold War rant on Sunday. Against all evidence, he tried to sell the idea that NATO was never a threat to Russia.
He ignored the fact that the destruction of Russia, the Soviet Union and the whole socialist system that existed in Europe after World War II was the very reason for the formation of NATO. He ignored the fact that NATO has nuclear missiles and nuclear capable planes and missiles in several countries right on the Russian border and they were able to put them there after the United States violated the promises made at the end of the Cold War that NATO would never expand eastward.
French leader Emmanuel Macron and the UK government wasted no time in immediately distancing themselves from Biden’s call for regime change and his assertion that the US does not support overthrow. foreign leaders.
The list goes on of regime after regime all over the world that the United States has overthrown since the end of World War II and before. The regimes currently in place in Latin America, Africa, Asia and even Ukraine are the product of regime change effected or endorsed by the United States. In some cases, such as Chile and Libya, US-orchestrated regime change has involved the assassination of foreign leaders. Biden’s call for Putin’s ouster was particularly astonishing because he accused Putin of wanting to remove Zelensky from the presidency in Ukraine.
The speech was hypocritical
Biden’s speech was also hypocritical because he insisted that the United States supported and led a global fight for “democracy against autocracy.” The speech was delivered in Warsaw, the capital of a country that quickly slid into autocracy and fascism itself. Poland has deprived half of its citizens, women, of even the most basic rights to health care and freedom of choice. (The GOP in the United States follows the Polish example in the states where it controls.)
Poland restricted the rights of all religious groups except the Roman Catholic Church and banned any expression of LGBTQ rights. Union organizers are frequently harassed and imprisoned, and immigrants face extreme prejudice and attacks.
Roma are particularly victimized and turn a blind eye to anyone who violates their rights or takes or damages their property. Middle Eastern immigrants who recently attempted to enter the country were left to freeze to death in the forests on Poland’s eastern border. Even as Biden spoke, Polish border guards continue to harass, beat and interdict non-white Ukrainian immigrants trying to enter the country. Still, Biden hailed the Polish government as a “partner” in the global fight for democracy against autocracy.
Even the EU has talked about penalizing or even expelling Poland because of the violation of human rights there.
Some diplomats, in an attempt to excuse Biden’s near-hysterical rant, have suggested that the president’s call for regime change stemmed from an emotional reaction he had when meeting with Ukrainian refugees. Julianne Smith, U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, cited Biden’s meetings with refugees at a Warsaw stadium hours before his speech.
“At the moment, I think it was a principled human reaction to the stories he heard that day,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” On the contrary, these meetings should have made Biden understand the importance of his role as a negotiator and a supporter of diplomacy aimed at ending the conflict.
Either way, the president’s resolve to step up his attacks on Putin resurfaced earlier on Saturday when Biden called Putin a “butcher.”
Biden’s remarks fit well with a mindset that regrets a changing world where the planet, ruled for so long by the United States, is moving towards a multipolar world that American capitalists do not want.
The Kremlin didn’t really have to say too much about Biden’s attacks, other than allowing them to sink in and elicit plenty of negative commentary even from US allies.
“We shouldn’t escalate, with words or actions,” Macron, who has been a relay for Putin, told French television. Britain’s Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, a cabinet member appearing on Britain’s morning shows this week, said Putin’s future should depend “on the Russian people”.
Biden has damage to repair after his comments “made a difficult situation more difficult and a dangerous situation more dangerous,” Richard Haass, president of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter.
US General David Petraeus, a former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan who headed the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, said Biden’s comment “could complicate matters in the future”.
“It reminds us that message discipline has its virtues,” Petraeus said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Seeking an explanation, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Biden really meant “that President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine, or elsewhere”.
Meanwhile, sober leaders around the world are hoping for progress in the negotiations taking place today. End of the war—and world peace—would be welcome all over the world.