Biden's Warsaw speech a Manichaean 'cringe-fest'
Updated 19:31, 28-Mar-2022
Keith Lamb
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022. /CFP

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Keith Lamb is a University of Oxford graduate with a Master of Science in contemporary Chinese studies. His primary research interests are China's international relations and "socialism with Chinese characteristics." The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

When an international crisis is taking place, leaders need calmness of mind, the ability to contextualize from all sides, and the capacity to refrain from personal insults. Well, at least, this is what is needed if a peaceful solution to a catastrophe, like Ukraine, is sought. Unfortunately, U.S. President Joe Biden's latest Warsaw speech, full of Manichaean absurdity and ad hominem attacks, contained none of this.

Throughout his speech, Biden depicted the battle for Ukraine as a battle of "darkness" versus the "flame of liberty" and even evoked the words of Pope John Paul. Russia was crudely reduced to the Soviet Union and, after personally disparaging his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, previously that day, Biden seemingly called for regime change saying "for God's sake, this man cannot remain in power."

When it comes to Ukraine, while the Western media have liberally indulged in a "good" versus "evil" narrative, which, due to mass Hollywood indoctrination, is readily accepted by ignorance, behind the scenes, the geopolitical enlightened, should be having rational discussions.

For example, say what you like about French President Emmanuel Macron, he is in regular contact with Putin, trying to negotiate a peace settlement. Consequently, upon listening to Biden's speech, Macron, said if a ceasefire is to be sought "then we can't escalate, either in words or actions."

Of course, Europeans have a vested interest in a rational Ukraine settlement as they are on the front line. Besides the risk of escalation, as the war continues, Europeans will be forced to become ever more dependent on U.S. resources and weapons sales. Then, sitting on the Westernmost part of the Eurasian continent, Europeans, blocked by a new cold war with Russia, will be unable to link up with the rise of a prosperous Asia. Consequently, Europe, forced to look across the Atlantic, dependent on the hegemonic whims of the U.S., will never become a truly independent multipolar actor.

In contrast to Macron's diplomatic rhetoric, Manichaean preaching, in lieu of reasoned discussion, is a good strategy for increasing tensions. After all, "evil" is "evil." One can't compromise with an invisible immaterial force that humans, such as Biden, operating in the material realm, conveniently get to define. Thus, considering, the U.S. has so much to gain from a protracted Ukrainian conflict it could be that Biden's words are an actual reflection of U.S. intentions. 

A residential building shows damage caused by a shock wave after a missile strike against a shopping mall in the Podilskyi district of Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, March 23, 2022. /CFP

A residential building shows damage caused by a shock wave after a missile strike against a shopping mall in the Podilskyi district of Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, March 23, 2022. /CFP

Instead, operating in material reality, a little context goes a long way to demystifying Biden's Manichaean cult-like delusions. Biden's claims of "good" versus "evil" and "democracy" versus "autocracy," when it comes to Ukraine, couldn't be further from the truth.

For example, Ukraine's democratically elected government was brought down by a violent far-right U.S.-sponsored coup d'état in 2014, and opposition political parties and press were outlawed. Even Biden, as reported in the New York Post, has personally interfered in Ukraine's sovereignty. In 2015, Biden forced the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor who was responsible for investigating the Ukrainian energy firm Hunter Biden was "working" for.

Biden going on to evoke Russia as a copy of the Soviet Union was especially cringe-worthy considering it was the Soviet Union that sacrificed the most to save Europe from encroaching Nazism eastward and westward. Today, it is NATO that seeks expansion eastward, which was predicted by many, including a lucid Biden in 1997, would eventually lead to conflict with Russia.

Added to this is the fact that Nazis are embedded in the Ukrainian state with the Azov battalion flying their emblem, which artistically merges the swastika and SS runes. All this is supported by the forces of "good" that fly the "flame of liberty."

The final "piece de resistance" of Biden's "fire and brimstone" speech was his evoking of God to rid Russia of Putin, which obviously sounds like a call for regime change. Undoubtedly, if peace is the aim, this comment helps not one bit. Such a comment will only inflame the Russian side that, considering U.S. Machiavellian tendencies in toppling numerous governments beyond just Ukraine, will see this as the U.S. end game for the purpose of inserting their own "parasitic democracy."

By focusing on Putin, yet again, the wider historical and geopolitical context is obfuscated. Russia's actions no longer become about the security dilemma inherent in NATO expansion; they are no longer about Nazis, as Russia stated, and they are no longer about U.S. overthrowing a previously friendly neighbor. Instead, just like the "plebian" Manichaean propaganda, complexity is reduced to a singular entity "Putin" who we are to regard as an earthly manifestation of "evil."

For the sake of world peace; for the sake of Ukraine, Europe, and the wider continent of Eurasia, which Europe belongs to, it is time we counter the ignorance of cringe-worthy Manichaean propaganda and ad hominem attacks, which we are expected to swallow, in lieu of rational contextualized accounts for complex geopolitical events.

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