Not to be impatient, but weren’t we told for the past two weeks that NATO had proven to be a united force, resolute in confronting Vladimir Putin. And wasn’t this largely to the credit of President Joe Biden’s stalwart leadership?
If that’s true, someone’s going to have to explain why Biden asked Poland to send fighter jets to Ukraine, only to be effectively told, “No, you do it.”
The Biden administration had been seeking a deal wherein Poland would send Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine and in return, the U.S. would supply Poland with a more modern fleet of aircraft. Apparently uninterested in making a move that might further agitate Russia, Poland, like an annoying office colleague, made a passive-aggressive attempt to shift the responsibility.
The country’s minister of foreign affairs, without consulting Secretary of State Tony Blinken, released a statement Tuesday agreeing to a different deal that the U.S. hadn’t even proposed — to send the jets to an American military base in Germany, where we could then send them to Ukraine ourselves. (The minister even said Poland would do it “free of charge”!)
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby responded with another statement: “We do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”
It’s an episode straight out of “Veep.” Finger-pointing and quibbling over who’s going to be the one to execute. Go NATO!
Don’t worry, though. Vice President Kamala Harris was well on her way to Poland. That should fill you with utmost confidence, because “it is time for us to do what we have been doing, and that time is every day. Every day, it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.”
This comes right after the national media assured us that Biden had been supremely effective in stupefying Putin by corralling our Western allies in a unified front of crippling economic sanctions and embargoes.
As the New York Times wrote on Feb. 24: “In his two televised addresses this week, Mr. Biden displayed the resolution and calm of a tested leader, and the Western alliance demonstrated a rare unity in the face of Russia’s attack.”
“Mr. Biden, for his part, has managed this crisis with toughness, patience, resolve and dignity. … Mr. Putin should see that this is the resolute face of the world’s premier democracy and most powerful nation,” the Times wrote just one day prior.
On Feb. 21, the paper said: “Mr. Putin also seemed to overlook that Western democracies and the Western alliance, whatever their problems, remained capable of uniting against a common threat, and of joining together to threaten him and his country with debilitating economic and social damage.”
That’s not to root against the West in this mess, but it would be nice to know that we’re getting a realistic account of the state of play. Then the public can set its expectations and determine just how far we’re willing to go in making the foreign conflict our problem. God knows this country has enough on its hands without being fed the wrong impression that Biden and the rest of NATO are on the same page.