The contrast between President John Kennedy’s mature statesmanship during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and President Joe Biden’s inflammatory handling of the Ukraine conflict was stark.
Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev edged back from the brink of nuclear war and negotiated a solution that respected the vital interests, and saved the faces, of both parties. Biden, perhaps deliberately, exacerbated the conflict, made negotiations between Russia and Ukraine more difficult, and raised the odds of a general war. Where Kennedy was self-disciplined, Biden revealed himself as irascible and irresponsible — a danger to global security. His administration has brought us to the point where, if we are lucky, the Second Cold War has begun or, if we are unlucky, the Third World War is about to start.
In Europe, Biden made three (supposed) “gaffes”: he called for regime change in Russia; he indicated that NATO forces would be in Ukraine; and he threated to reply “in kind” if Russia used chemical weapons.
Although his controllers attempted to walk back each of these statements, it is unclear whether Biden a) inadvertently blurted out what he and his controllers are actually planning; b) was suffering a flashback to his years in the Senate, when he could say anything without anyone’s paying attention; c) was floating trial balloons; or d) misunderstood the policies of what is nominally “his” administration.
It is worth exploring one of these “gaffes”: that Putin is considering chemical warfare.
This is a serious charge made at a serious moment. It came not long after Russia charged that the United States had sponsored bio-weaponry research in Ukrainian facilities. But Biden cited no evidence to support his claim.
The United Kingdom was more circumspect. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said that “Russia could possibly be planning to use chemical or biological weapons in a ‘false-flag’ operation.”
Where Is the Evidence?
The world was left to wonder what evidence Biden had. The Biden-collusive media shows little interest in exploring that question. The Biden administration itself, as is its habit, expects us to believe that it has evidence merely because it says it does. Just a few weeks ago, when an Associated Press reporter pressed State Department spokesman Ned Price to disclose what evidence he had for a claim Price had made about Russian “disinformation,” Price repeatedly replied that the bare fact that he had made the claim was sufficient proof.
Yet it is doubtful that Russia, even if it possessed chemical weapons, would or even could use them. In a CNN interview, Gregory Koblentz, an authority on the subject, noted that if Putin did use chemical weapons, “it would not be too hard to trace back the use to Russia” and that it wasn’t clear “what the military value would be.”
Koblentz said that if the Russians were trying to kill Ukrainian civilians, “which is what chemical weapons are really good at, unfortunately the Russians have lots of conventional weapons that they can use very effectively,” and that “there’s some question about if Russia had chemical and biological weapons ready to go … Could they even use them effectively, given … how poorly they performed in … just supplying their forces with conventional firepower?”
Should We Trust Our Intelligence Agencies?
Biden’s defenders might retort that he based his charge on intelligence information — and that the disclosure of such information would compromise “sources and methods.” Or as Ring Lardner put it, “Shut up, he explained.”
U.S. intelligence agencies do not have a good record in matters like this. Maybe they got it right that Russia would invade Ukraine. But not long before, they (or the political masters to whom they reported) got it wrong in predicting when Kabul would fall to the Taliban and how strong a fight the Afghan military would put up.
And who can forget Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? The Senate Report on Pre-War Intelligence in Iraq found that “[m]ost of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) … either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting.” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, who chaired the investigation, said that “nobody inside the U.S. government had ever actually spoken to” Curveball, the source who provided “98 percent of the assessment as to whether or not the Iraqis had a biological weapon,” “except [for a single] Pentagon analyst, who concluded that the man was an alcoholic and utterly useless as a source.”
Defenders of Biden’s claim might also point to Russian “disinformation” that the U.S. was sponsoring bio-weaponry research in Ukrainian laboratories.
Let’s assume that that was indeed “disinformation” — not because Biden says so, but because independent scientists, including some Russian scientists, reviewed the evidence that Russia produced and concluded that it didn’t support the claim.
Even so, that wouldn’t establish Biden’s counter-claims: it is a simple non sequitur to deduce that if Russia falsely accused the U.S. of developing bio-weapons, then the U.S. is right in alleging that Russia plans to use chemical weapons. At least the Russians produced “evidence” of a kind to substantiate their charges and convened a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss them. By laying out the “evidence” for its claims, Russia invited independent scrutiny of the kind that appears to have refuted them. But the U.S. hasn’t documented Biden’s charges. Let Biden disclose his “evidence,” summon the Security Council to meet, and permit independent experts to review it.
Why Did Biden Go Public with His Charge?
Biden need not have made his charges on the world stage. If he genuinely feared that Putin planned to use chemical weapons, he could have spoken privately to Putin and warned that the U.S. would respond “in kind.” Why did he go public?
Biden purported to be pre-empting a “false flag” operation that Putin could have used to make it appear that Ukraine had made first use of chemical weaponry. But (to speculate): what if Biden’s “false flag” allegation was itself a false flag? What if his purpose was to cover a U.S. “false flag” operation that staged a chemical incident, blamed Russia for it, and used the pretext to justify military intervention and regime change in Russia? If Putin can play mind games, so can we.
Finally, we are just starting to learn about the president’s son Hunter Biden’s activities in financing Metabiota, a Pentagon contractor sponsoring Ukraine-based research into lethal diseases. Possibly that research had no connection with bio-warfare; but possibly the product was weaponizable, not only toxic. Either way, we urgently need more knowledge about Hunter’s financial ventures in Ukraine — and how they might have influenced his father’s remarks.