Two years of grueling war in Ukraine have seen the world move from staunch support and adoration for the invaded Eastern European country to war weariness and suspicions of corruption. Securing financing for Ukraine has become more difficult for the White House, and public support for unlimited taxpayer money and military aid has steadily declined.
The Biden administration, publicly and officially, continues to toe the company line that support is unwavering and there will be no negotiation. However, evidence suggests, covertly and subversively, that the White House prefers to shift the target toward ceasefire negotiations, even at the expense of territory lost to Russia.
Will President Joe Biden convince President Volodymyr Zelensky to cede lost territory, and will he be able to turn the waste of money on another failed foreign war as a leadership win? He certainly does his best to secure this narrative.
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It's all in the wording
The Biden administration has strong support from the mainstream media in crafting the new narrative that a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, in which Russia retains all of the territories it has occupied, will deliver victory for President Zelensky, and by extension, President Biden.
The New York Times published an article last week saying:
“Recovered territories are not the only measure of victory in this war.”
This is very interesting and a complete 180 from the existing narrative, wouldn't you say?
President Zelensky has not wavered in his prediction that the only way negotiated peace can happen is for Russia to withdraw all its forces from all formerly Ukrainian territories, including Crimea.
The New York Times goes on to say that President Zelensky merely lacks imagination, writing:
“…Reclaiming lands is the wrong way to imagine a better outcome. The real victory for Ukraine is to emerge from the hell of war as a strong, independent, prosperous, secure and firmly established country in the West.
By infusing poetic images of a battle-weary Ukraine rising from the ashes of war with giant Russia like some blazing phoenix, The New York Times hints at the possibility that securing Ukraine's NATO membership may be the ultimate victory regardless of ground lost. This dream is difficult to imagine, because the threat posed by NATO at Russia's front door instigated the invasion in the first place.
The hard truth that President Zelensky understands deep down and that President Biden is forced to grapple with is that the war in Ukraine, as it stands today, does not enjoy the same enthusiasm of support among American voters that it did at the beginning of the conflict. .
According to a recent Newsweek poll, 41% of Americans believe the United States should:
“…press for peace in the war in Ukraine, even if it means that Ukraine does not achieve a complete victory and does not regain all of its pre-war territory.”
Of the remaining Americans surveyed, only 29% disagreed with the above statement, and 30% did not know what the United States should do going forward with the war. Moreover, only 23% of Americans believe that Ukraine should try to regain all the territory it lost to Russia, including returning to Crimea in 2014.
The Biden-Harris team is reading the political tea leaves and changing the narrative to match public opinion. An unnamed White House official told Politico that it was war always It will end in a negotiated settlement, which stipulates the following:
“This has been our theory of the case all along: the only way this war will ultimately end is through negotiations.”
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Another anonymous source, this time a congressional official, told Politico:
He added: “Those discussions have begun about peace talks, but the administration cannot back down publicly because of the political risks that Biden faces.”
Those who make their living tracking and studying political communications can see the familiar spin machine strategy in action. First, anonymous insiders come in to set the stage for the inevitable shift in policy with the American people hoping that this was always the plan and, in the end, a declared win for the home team.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson declared the obvious, saying:
He added: “Putin will not lose this war. This war must end. We will not like the result, but with every passing day, we will like the results less.”
President Vladimir Putin was never going to lose the war, mainly because the United States lacked a clear foreign policy strategy and a track record to prove it. Russia is much stronger than Ukraine in every respect.
That is why, as an unnamed senior international official who met with senior Russian officials told the New York Times:
“They say: We are ready to negotiate a ceasefire.”
President Putin knows that as long as he is able to hold on to the areas he has seized, he can market this engagement as a victory for his people and the world, because for Mr. Putin, this is a victory. On the other hand, President Biden is desperately trying to sew the thread that when this ceasefire happens, it will be a victory for Ukraine:
Ukraine has already achieved a tremendous victory. Putin has failed.
Mr. Putin remains in power, the Russian economy remains at a rapid pace, despite the efforts of the West, Russia remains firmly aligned with other nefarious and hostile actors around the world, and all signs point to him expanding his country's borders. It is difficult to see failure in all of this.
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Leave the door open
President Biden's public comments have evolved to indicate a shift in mindset in the White House from saying support for Ukraine will continue “as long as it takes” to now “as long as we can.” It's a clever way to pin any perceived failures on Republicans in Congress who have made it increasingly difficult to write blank checks to President Zelensky.
However, this strategy also allows the Biden administration to “put a pin” in the conflict, perhaps reigniting it later when his stance is more politically positive.
As the New York Times explains:
“…Exploring the truce does not mean turning away from it. On the contrary, the fighting must continue, even when talks begin, to maintain military and economic pressure on Russia.
This statement expertly refers to the only foreign policy practiced by the United States. The United States has become adept at fanning the flames of foreign conflicts while never actually solving anything.
A foreign policy built on furthering the political and financial goals of the DC swamp at the expense of American taxpayers, countless lives lost, and nations whose goal is merely to facilitate said progress at the expense of their own governance. So, while a ceasefire is clearly in Ukraine's future with Russia, one can bet money that this region of Eastern Europe will remain on the brink of destruction. It just needs to be either of political interest to the United States or in a strategic position for Russia.
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