May 24, 2022

Joe Biden portrays “tough guy” image even as he declines to commit to military action if Russia uses chemical weapons

President Joe Biden is talking tough to Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, it looks like Biden will be a paper tiger if push comes to shove.

The Biden administration has taken a hard line against Russia’s use of chemical weapons against Ukraine in its rhetoric, the Washington Examiner reported. Still, the White House has stopped short of pledging U.S. military or other extreme action even if they do.

The use of chemical weapons would be catastrophic and would signal Russia’s disregard for America’s — or the world’s — prohibition on them. The problem for the U.S. is that Biden has little to back up any of his warnings except the vague promise of “consequences” if they did.

The White House has reiterated claims that it will not take measures such as establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, nor will it send troops into Ukraine. Reporters pressed Psaki on this as it seems Biden has backed himself into a corner.

“I think that you heard the president say on Friday that there would be severe consequences, and the world would respond if they were to use chemical weapons,” White House press secretary tried to clarify in a briefing Monday. “And what we have been doing over the course of the last several weeks, if not months, is providing as much information to the global community, to the media, and to others about what to expect.”

Psaki also claimed that a Russian disinformation “suggesting that the United States and Ukrainians are the ones who are working on a chemical weapons program” is consistent with “a pattern that we have seen in the past of them trying to set up a predicate for their own actions.” This led the reporter to again question whether the administration would be out of options with so many already off the table.

“I understand your question,” Psaki said. “I’m just not going to outline that from here. Those are conversations that will happen, continue to happen with our national security team and with our partners and allies around the world,” Psaki said.

The reason Putin invaded Ukraine is that Biden projected utter weakness and has shown his unwillingness to get involved in a meaningful way. While it isn’t advisable to send American troops to Ukraine to die, there may come a time when the U.S. has no choice — but will Biden be willing?

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