Biden and Zelensky stand united on the frontline of democracy

Biden and Zelensky stand united on the frontline of democracy

David Rothkopf writes:

Biden, in going to Kyiv, offered the clearest possible reminder of his stance against Russian aggression from the first moments of his presidency. It illustrated that he did not hesitate to support Ukraine when it was imperiled and that his leadership among our allies worldwide has been one of the signature triumphs of his first term in office.

NATO, recently adrift and doubted by other U.S. political leaders, was stronger than ever, on the verge of expanding. America’s international leadership, recently in doubt, was once again beyond doubting.

In sending this message, Biden pointedly evoked without mentioning his name yet another American president in a visit to the Eastern edges of Europe: Donald Trump during his 2018 Helsinki meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Biden went to Europe to send Putin a message of American and allied strength. Trump went to grovel before Putin. Biden stood up for American values and our allies. Trump said he trusted Putin more than America’s own intelligence and law enforcement services. Biden embodied America’s strength. Trump illustrated and represented our greatest weakness.

A year after Trump embarrassed the country in Helsinki, he compounded the offense by withholding aid from Ukraine in an attempt to extort Zelensky into doing political dirty work against Biden to help Trump’s reelection efforts. It was an illegal act that ultimately led to Trump’s first impeachment. At the same time and throughout the following year according to reports from Trump’s own top advisors, he was actively advocating to withdraw American troops from Europe.

There is no doubt that had Trump been re-elected, today we would be witnessing an American president standing alongside his Russian counterpart not Zelensky, marking the weakening of the West, not its enduring strength. Perhaps that prospect, the sense that America was weak and divided and did not care about Ukraine, would not lead the fight to preserve democracy, encouraged Putin to undertake his ill-fated, hugely costly, profoundly ill-considered invasion last February. It seems likely it had an effect leading to that disastrous miscalculation. [Continue reading…]

Insider reports:

Pro-Kremlin pundits are furious over US President Joe Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine’s capital on Monday, criticizing Russia for allowing it to happen and calling it a “humiliation” for Moscow.

The White House gave Russian President Vladimir Putin “hours” notice before Biden’s unannounced trip, in which he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and toured the capital, Kyiv.

Russian state TV host Sergey Mardan called Biden’s visit a “demonstrative humiliation of Russia” in a Telegram post to his more than 231,000 subscribers.

Mardan was angry Russia didn’t take action as it wages the “holy war that we are waging with the entire West.” [Continue reading…]

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