Biden says he told Putin he doesn’t have a soul

There are a number of disturbing things about President Biden’s interview on ABC News last Wednesday.  One is that he plans to retaliate against Russia over something that has not been defined and for which there is no evidence.

Another is his lack of discipline in his speech, and how easily he was led to say things that have important diplomatic repercussions.  He talked to George Sephanopoulos as if he were talking to a good friend in private over drinks, not to a reporter on public record.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under — denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well. And I– the conversation started off, I said, “I know you and you know me.  If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, “We understand one another.”  It was– I wasn’t being a wise guy.  I was alone with him in his office.  And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.”  I said, “Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.”  And looked back and he said, “We understand each other.”  Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re– that — don’t expect him to– or her to– voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he’s gonna pay we’ll– you’ll see shortly.  I’m not gonna– there’s– by the way, we oughta be able that ol’ — that trite expression “walk and chew gum at the same time,” there’re places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.  That’s why I renewed the START agreement with him.  That occurred while he’s doin’ this. But that’s overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity, that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange.  But that and SolarWinds as well.  He’s been — they’ve done some mischievous things, to say the least.  And so we’re gonna have — I’m not gonna announce what I’m doing, but he’s gonna understand that —

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How about Mohammad —

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: — it’s not free.

Source: ABC News

What’s all this about looking Vladimir Putin in the eye?  Is there a ZOOM connection between the White House and the Kremlin?

What’s all this about being alone with Putin?  Was he able to speak to Putin without an interpreter?

What gives an American President standing to accuse any other foreign leader of being a “killer”?  Doesn’t he remember that the U.S. has been waging war by means of assassination since the George W. Bush administration?  Doesn’t he remember that President Obama boasted of being “pretty good at killing people”?

Did he really tell Putin that he doesn’t have a soul?  How does that help where “there are places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together?”

This is much like the kind of interview Ronald Reagan might have given in his declining years.

If President Biden goes along with ramping up a new cold war with Russia and China, while continuing to wage other big and little wars all over the world, then his other announced goals won’t be achieved and probably won’t matter.

It’s early days yet, so Biden’s course is not set.  It is encouraging that he is at least willing to renew the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which President Trump refused to do.  One can hope.

It’s unfortunate that he buys into all this stuff the intelligence agencies are feeding the press about Russian interference in the 2020 U.S. elections, in ways they don’t define and for which they admit they have no evidence.

There’s a connection between war propaganda and the drive to censor commentary on the Internet.  “Peace” speech is as much a target as “hate” speech.

LINKS

Were we on the same call?  Why the readouts of Biden’s talk with Putin differed—a lot by Steve Gutterman for Radio Free Europe.

Transcript: ABC News George Stephanopoulos interviews President Joe Biden.

Russia demands apology after Joe Biden called Vladimir Putin a killer and threatens further action by Emily Goodin and Jack Newman for Daily Mail Online.

Aaugh! A Brief List of Official Russia Claims That Proved to Be Bogus by Matt Taibbi for TK News.

Journalists, illustrating how they act, yesterday spread a significant lie all over Twitter by Glenn Greenwald.

Russia turns away from NASA, says it will work with China on a moon base by Eric Berger for Ars Technica.  An important U.S.-Russian collaboration ends.

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2 Responses to “Biden says he told Putin he doesn’t have a soul”

  1. A. L. Luttrell Says:

    You can’t believe anything Biden says. He is a chronic liar. He likes to put on this tuff guy act. I have doubts he got big boy with Putin. He also likes taking credit for things he had absolutely nothing to do with. He has done this all his political life.

    Like

  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Whether he should have said those things is open to debate. Sometimes leaders use interviews to send messages to the other guy. Sometimes they are used to send messages to supporters and sometimes they are used to win over people who might be hostile.

    Or it could just be a matter of loose lips and lack of verbal discipline. Or impending senility. I’m not in a position to say. If G.W. Bush’s biggest failing on the international scene was his naivete and Trump’s was his egocentricity and isolationism, Biden’s may be intellectual fuzziness.

    If I were president, every instinct in me would be screaming to drive a wedge between China and Russia. The evolving Sino-Russian alliance could produce another cold war as bad as the last one. I’m just not sure how to do that without alienating Europe or our allies in the far east.

    Like

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