Ukraine War, October 11, 2022 (II): No response from Biden to Putin’s escalations

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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.


1) Hamis de Bretton-Gordon, “It is time for the West to get on the front foot in Ukraine; We are constantly being reactive rather than proactive. This makes us predictable. But it need not be this way, The Telegraph, October 11, 2022 (4:26 pm);


President Joe Biden and NATO and EU lraders are condemning Russia’s massive missile attacks across Ukraine on Monday, with further attacks on Tuesday. They are also offering some additional air defense systems to Ukraine.

Mostly words.

You can see leaders reach for even more damning condemnations of the Russia atrocities. They now charge Russia with being a “terrorist state”–as if the word “terrorist” added anything significant to “war criminals” guilty of the crime of aggression, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide as defined in the Genocide Convention.

In fact there are no more words to use. Those cited above include actions typical of terrorism.

Actually it is unfortunate that he term “terrorism”–which more accurately describes the crimes of non-state actors–is used to describe the illegal use of force, the crime of aggression, crimes against humanity and genocide.

In fact, our sense of anger, our sense of violation, our screams of protest again Russian violations of the deepest values of humanity, cannot be expressed by words alone.

Words are woefully insufficient to express our sense of outraged humanity.

Only actions count now. It is no longer sufficient to denounce the slaughter of innocents.

The question now has become, “What, beyond symbolic gestures, are you doing to stop the terror, the terror of war that the Russians have brought to Ukraine, and to all of us actually as we realize the world is not the safe place we once imagined it to be.

The Russians have also brought fear to each one of us, the fear that a 21st century Hitler, a Russian named Vladimir Putin, could start a nuclear war with the potential to end our own precarious lives–in a flash.

In the face of these realities, it is hard to understand why the civilized nations of the world have not cut off all trade and other economic interactions with Russia.

It is hard to understand why the West has not imposed “secondary sanctions” on Russia.

Indeed, it impossible to understand why the U.S. and its allies are holding back from imposing any possible economic or other sanction on Russia, as if in their theoretical world of “the rational actor paradigm” Putin could be deterred from any further act of barbarism by a rational calculation of costs and benefits.

The West is severely handicapped by Joe Biden’s fear of Putin and of Putin’s nuclear threats. It is sorely handicapped by a determination not to risk anything when everything is at stake.

If the past is prelude to the future, if we continue on the present course, chances are are that Joe Biden will cave in to Putin’s nuclear threats, leading to a situation of widespread fear and chaos, further nuclear threats from Putin, and a risk of accidental nuclear war that increases day by day.

Biden’s presidency is characterized by one overarching fatal flaw: He and his administration don’t take ownership of their mistakes and failures, and don’t seek to learn from them in order to make necessary mid-course corrections.

Biden and his foreign policy team have not admitted the the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was a colossal blunder.

They have not admitted that Biden’s taking force off the table in the run-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a fatal error.

They have not admitted that their belief in the “rational actor paradigm” led to a massive failure to deter Putin from invading Ukraine. This failure involved an approach to sanctions that was always “too little too late”, and which failed to achieve any of its critical objectives.

They need to acknowledge their past failures, and to learn from those failures the lessons which might keep them from even greater failures in the future.

One of those lessons should be that failure to respond in a serious way to Putin’s escalations does not slow him down, but rather only seems to embolden him.

The Trenchant Observer


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1) Hamis de Bretton-Gordon, “It is time for the West to get on the front foot in Ukraine; We are constantly being reactive rather than proactive. This makes us predictable. But it need not be this way, The Telegraph, October 11, 2022 (4:26 pm);