Only 12 percent of 1,000 Americans polled have “a great deal of confidence,” in President Joe Biden’s ability to manage the crisis caused by the escalating war between Ukraine and Russia, says an NBC poll.
The March 18-22 poll showed that just 16 percent of respondents have “quite a bit of confidence,” while 71 percent have “just some” or “very little” confidence in Biden’s management of the crisis with post-Cold War, nuclear-armed Russia.
The poll was posted the day after Biden appeared to demand a regime change in Russia, which is armed with many long-range nuclear missiles.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said at the end of a March 26 Warsaw speech, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden is already providing military aid and advice to Ukraine’s forces, including long-range missiles that have killed many Russians.
His statement was greeted with dismay by Richard Haass, the head of the elite Council on Foreign Affairs.
“The comments by @potus made a difficult situation more difficult and a dangerous situation more dangerous,” Haass tweeted March 26, adding:
That is obvious. Less obvious is how to undo the damage, but I suggest his chief aides reach their counterparts & make clear US prepared to deal with this Russian govt.
The comments by @potus made a difficult situation more difficult and a dangerous situation more dangerous. That is obvious. Less obvious is how to undo the damage, but I suggest his chief aides reach their counterparts & make clear US prepared to deal with this Russian govt. https://t.co/AMGx6KzToP
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) March 27, 2022
“The White House walk back of @POTUS regime change call is unlikely to wash,” Hass tweeted. “Putin will see it as confirmation of what he’s believed all along. Bad lapse in discipline that runs [the] risk of extending the scope and duration of the war.”
As I said last week, the Biden administration has apparently decided to instrumentalize the war in Ukraine to bring about regime change in Russia, rather than trying to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible. Biden just said it out loud. This is a highly risky strategy. https://t.co/XNDzNpBl4C
— Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) March 26, 2022
Biden ally and former CIA official, David Priess, recognized the statement as a dramatic change:
Biden on Putin:
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
That’s a big change in policy. pic.twitter.com/nP734npq4n
— David Priess (@DavidPriess) March 26, 2022
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, described his government’s view of the military and economic support from the United States and Europe for the Ukraine government. “A real hybrid war, total war was declared on us,” he said, adding that the goal is “to destroy, break, annihilate, strangle the Russian economy, and Russia on the whole.”
Biden’s deputies tried to repair the president’s damage.
“We do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia or anywhere else, for that matter. In this case, as in any case, it’s up to the people of the country in question. It’s up to the Russian people,” Secretary of State Tony Blinken later said at a press event in Jerusalem.
On Sunday night, Biden told reporters in Washington, DC, that he was not calling for regime change.
But the risk of escalation towards nuclear war was compounded by Ukraine, which announced its opposition to any territorial compromise.
Russia launched the war, in part, to separate two majority-Russian provinces, and the Crimean peninsula, from Ukraine.
“There is no independent republics on the territory of Ukraine … Russia illegally occupied Crimea and part of Donetsk and Luhansk,” the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States said March 27 on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“I think we shouldn’t ask Ukraine what we are ready to give up in order for Russia to stop this aggression,” the ambassador said.
Ukraine allies in Washington cheered Biden’s threat against Putin.
Alexander Vindman, a Ukrainian immigrant and former White House official who helped precipitate the Democrats’ 2020 impeachment of former President Donald Trump, said Biden’s speech was “historical,” like “Kennedy’s Berlin Speech.”
This was an historical speech for @POTUS. Like Kennedy’s Berlin Speech, this is the one Biden will be remembered for. Biden laid down a marker that the US will defend its allies & democracy. I’m proud of my POTUS & his powerful leadership during a climactic battle for democracy.
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) March 26, 2022
Neocon champion Bill Kistrol also cheered Biden’s threat by comparing it to former President Ronald Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech.
“Gaffes” by U.S. presidents, per the foreign policy establishment:
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
— Joe Biden, Royal Castle, Warsaw
March 26, 2022
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
— Ronald Reagan, Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin
June 12, 1987
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 27, 2022
Some progressives are hoping to gain more domestic power in the United States if Putin loses the war. “If Putin loses, it’ll be a success for the globalist order — sanctions and aid to Ukraine will represent a triumph of international cooperation,” said progressive, open-borders author Noah Smith.
Nuclear war is back on the agenda as progressive US/Eu elites downplay any compromise in the Ukraine vs Russia war.
This avoidable war has already killed thousands, tightened the Rus/China axis, raised inflation & may cause mass famine & migration. https://t.co/8l70AXmgB9
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) March 24, 2022