President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., February 7, 2023.(Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
By JIM GERAGHTY
February 14, 2023 9:20 AM
Happy Valentine’s Day. On the menu today: Last week, President Biden pledged to the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. that, “America is united in our support for your country. We will stand with you as long as it takes.” This morning, a new report reveals that the administration’s message to the Ukrainians behind closed doors is the opposite: Future aid packages may well be considerably smaller than originally promised, and the U.S. can’t send assistance “forever.” This continues Biden’s pattern of saying whatever sounds best in public and basking in the subsequent applause, and then ignoring the hard realities until later. With a president who cannot or will not accurately describe his own administration’s policies, it is not the least bit surprising that his team is keeping him far away from any questions about the unidentified flying objects shot down over North America. The country and the world have gotten used to the idea that the president doesn’t really speak for his administration, and what he says at any given moment may or may not align with what the U.S. government’s position actually is.
Biden to Ukraine: ‘As Long as It Takes’ Has an Expiration Date
President Biden said in his State of the Union Address one week ago, speaking to Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S.: “Ambassador, America is united in our support for your country. We will stand with you as long as it takes.”
This morning, the Washington Post reports that the Biden administration is telling the Ukrainian government exactly the opposite behind closed doors:
Despite promises to back Ukraine “as long as it takes,” Biden officials say recent aid packages from Congress and America’s allies represent Kyiv’s best chance to decisively change the course of the war. Many conservatives in the Republican-led House have vowed to pull back support, and Europe’s long-term appetite for funding the war effort remains unclear. . . .
“We will continue to try to impress upon them that we can’t do anything and everything forever,” said one senior administration official, referring to Ukraine’s leaders. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters, added that it was the administration’s “very strong view” that it will be hard to keep getting the same level of security and economic assistance from Congress.
“’As long as it takes’ pertains to the amount of conflict,” the official added. “It doesn’t pertain to the amount of assistance.”
A week ago, with the whole world watching, the Biden pledge was “as long as it takes.” Today, much more quietly, the message is, “We can’t do anything and everything forever.”
“Definitely a shift,” observes Elbridge Colby.
The State of the Union Address was not the first time Biden used the phrase “as long as it takes” to describe the U.S. policy toward Ukraine. Biden said he told President Zelensky, when Zelensky visited Washington, that, “We’re with you for as long as it takes, Mr. President.” Biden, national-security adviser Jake Sullivan, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and other administration officials have all repeatedly used the phrase “as long as it takes” or variations of it to characterize the U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
And now, “as long as it takes” joins “limited incursion” and “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power” as presidential statements that are not meant to be taken seriously or literally. Except this one wasn’t an off-the-cuff rhetorical flourish; this was President Biden making a promise he couldn’t keep on the biggest geopolitical stage imaginable.
As noted last week, Vladimir Putin is trying to turn the invasion of Ukraine into a long, bloody war of attrition, calculating that Ukraine will run out of soldiers, arms, and resources before Russia runs out of conscripts and convicts. How do you think Moscow will greet the news that “as long as it takes” doesn’t actually mean as long as it takes?
Biden’s unwillingness or inability to accurate describe or articulate his own administration’s policies and positions is manifest in the other big story of recent days.
The rest of the article is about Chinese spy balloons. Full piece here :
Biden is a scum bag. No surprise!!!
I don’t like this article.
The whole point is that Biden cannot guarantee that the Democrats will retain a majority in the Congress.
The article blames Biden for some Republicans unwilling to support Ukraine.
What should he say then? We will be in charge forever, so take your time?
Please stop with the republican bullshit. Last I checked there were 12 yes 12 congress people out of 222 that want to cut aid. In the senate there are 7 yes 7 out of 49. Please stop the bull about republicans it’s just not truthful
That is not the problem. The problem is that the chairman of the House can set the agenda, so if he doesn’t want a new aid package of like 35 billion the president can draw from, he will just not put it on the agenda.
And for his election there only was a majority among the Republicans to vote for him if he promised to end aid to Ukraine.
So there will not be a vote.
Of course the pressure will mount on him when it comes to this point, but there are certainly some hurdles on the road.
I know you won’t answer but did you even read the article?
Nikki is running for POTUS. If she gets Ted as running mate we are rescued! 😎
I like the combo despite what that jerk from Trump’s PAC is saying
The South must rule again! The Yankees are good folks, but they are not tough enough to master the challenges of today.
How about Nikki and Sen. Scott? Both from South Carolina, that would shake up the Socialists and their woke agenda!
I hope you are right but she isn’t very consistent.
Who me? Of course I read it Sir Red
😉 That was for Sir Bert, it is sometimes hard to see where the indentation is but I should have addressed it to him by name, thanks Sir Cap!
The article on purpose leaves out the reason that the aid will stop, not because the Biden administration wants to cut aid but because it will be hard to get a new aid package approved by the House.
I have checked the National Review and my suspicion was correct: it is a partisan and pro-Republican source.
It only implicitly mentioned the reason the aid could be halted at the beginning:
Many conservatives in the Republican-led House have vowed to pull back support
The article falsely calls a change of power a policy shift by Biden.
Oh my God!! Pro-Republican?! Eeeeeek! It’s not like Twitter, Facebook, Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, or the other thousand pro-Socialist papers! Call the FBI! Shoot them and burn down the building! lol If it’s pro-Republican then its probably truthful and you can’t have that, lol…