Ukraine War, March 30, 2022: Biden is the problem. What can be done?

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Alistair Heath, “Joe Biden is president in name only but the US establishment refuses to admit it; For how much longer will we have to put up with the catastrophe of this gaffe-prone administration?” The Telegraph, March 30, 2022 (9:30 p.m.);

2) Bonnie Berkowitz and Artur Galocha, “Why Russia’s military is bogged down by logistics in Ukraine,” Washington Post, March 30, 2022 (10:17 a.m. EDT).

This article provides a highly detailed description and analysis of Russia’s logistical problems in supporting its invasion force in Ukraine.

3) “Ukraine War, March 28, 2022: Strengthening ‘the president we have,'” ThenTrenchant Observer, March 27, 2022.

Commentary

It is sometimes hard to find cogent criticisms of Joe Biden or the Biden Administration in the New York Times, except for the always pro-Republican and usually shrill columnists Henry Olsen and Marc Thiessen. I don’t know why the Times gives them a soap box, despite their always predictable Republican positions. I suppose it is to maintain subscriptions among the Times’ Republican readers.

So, I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, which can print good op-eds that are critical of Biden but in a more or less objective way. Recently they have published a few op-eds and an Editorial on Biden which largely hit valid points, even if a political punch occasionally finds its way into the article.

The Journal also hosts Michael R. Gordon, who for many years was the outstanding military historian of the New York Times, and Peggy Noonan whose weekly column is usually good reading.

But the best and most objective criticism of Biden and his personal performance is often to be found in the British newspaper The Telegraph. The criticism there seems to lack the feral personal antagonism to Biden one finds so often in the United States. The amount of vitriol in such articles is usually low. The focus seems to be more on what we can do to alleviate the problems Biden’s inadequacies cause.

Heath describes Biden as follows:

America is in desperate need of a determined and visionary leader, but has found itself stuck with an ineffective, erratic and gaffe-addled figurehead. Joe Biden is US President in name only, the weakest, least powerful holder of that office for over a century. He isn’t America’s de facto chief executive, let alone its commander-in-chief. He is, at best, non-executive chairman, even if polite opinion in Washington is desperate to keep up the charade that the buck stops with him.

The Telegraph can also say, at a safe distance from across the Atlantic, things that are obviously true but which offend certain Democratic sensibilities. One example is the simple statement that Kamala Harris is unqualified to become president, and was chosen only because of Democratic identity politics. These statements are quite true, but are simply noted in passing as one reason we are stuck with Joe Biden for another three years.

In a sense, Joe Biden has become America’s Leonid Brezhnev, whose infirmities could not be acknowledged because that would have threatened the entire coterie of people surrounding him.

Alistair Heath makes a number of telling points in explaining how Biden appears to be always guided by his subordinates.

Nonetheless, whatever Biden’s shortcomings may be, as the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board has memorably pointed out, “He is the president we have.”

Our challenge is to figure out ways to buttress his presidency, so that at least in the foreign policy arena the nation’s interests are protected, and its unique leadership role in NATO and the world is used to maximum effect in confronting the immense challenge posed by Putin and Russian barbarism.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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