It would make a lot of sense for Biden to start talks, Martin Jay writes.
Are backchannel talks going on between the Biden camp and that of Putin’s? Despite a number of articles in the U.S. press alluding to this, a number of Russian experts who follow such matters closely reject this idea. In a nutshell, their arguments are that Putin is in such a strong position on so many levels that there is no possibility that he would entertain such an idea and that the reports, as elusive and opaque as they are, are nothing but wishful thinking from those in the West who have joined up the dots and see no endgame in Ukraine.
And yet there are some, perhaps operating on the fringe of the events, who insist such talks are either going on, or are about to start. Edward Luttwak, an author on world events and an advisor to many world leaders, is often dismissed as a bit of an eccentric, at best, by Russian experts. But a recent interview he gave summarised that such talks are imminent if they have not already started. Furthermore, he argues that he knows who is participating in them – the CIA director himself and his opposite number in Moscow.
The Russian hacks who don’t take him seriously argue that Luttwak is obsessed with the idea of an imminent war between China and the West and that Biden is worried about any confrontation with China and therefore wants to get out of Ukraine as soon as possible to prepare the U.S. The geopolitical expert, who has written well over 20 books in his career, believes that a war with China is inevitable but, perhaps more far-fetched, that the West wouldn’t send its own troops but opt for a partner for the cannon fodder: Russia.
Yes, it’s pretty crazy and some might pause to recollect themselves after falling over with laughter. But Luttwak, who is considered a China expert by the Japanese, might be right on the first count as, furthermore, he has no doubts about the Biden administration noting the more threatening and bellicose tone to Xi’s speeches of late.
If Biden really does take the threat of China seriously, this would certainly explain a notion that he wants to get out of Ukraine.
We should be very sceptical about the ridiculous narrative which is being offered by Biden and his circus of half wits like Kirby of Sullivan who parrot the “Putin is over” in Ukraine line. In reality, they know this is a farce designed to put on a brace face not only to the American public but also to Putin himself. The message to Putin is “even if we are not doing well in Ukraine, we still win the media war, buddy”.
But is this even true?
Journalists in the last two weeks have started to accept a few realities about the war in Ukraine not working out at all for the West. Recent pieces in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times have both admitted as much, which is a milestone. But, worse, they also offer drawing on Ukraine’s reserve soldiers as a last strategy.
Amidst all this it would make a lot of sense for Biden to start talks. There are two strong points which need to be underlined, before we dismiss the idea that he is doing that and that he does indeed want an exit strategy to the war. Firstly, it is conceivable that the Ukrainians just simply ran out of ammunition without the Pentagon and NATO bosses knowing that it would happen and when. Biden knew the precise month when this would happen but took no measures to garner 2nd generation equipment around the world to plug the hole but preferred to let the war just come to an abrupt end. Why?
Also, much was made of his refusal to allow Ukraine to have NATO membership, which was put down to a number of reasons, none of which were particularly convincing. Could the real answer be that he wants to keep NATO membership of Ukraine as a bargaining chip? And that he allowed the Ukrainian army to run out of ammo as this would present both sides with the perfect breathing space to begin negotiations? If Luttwak’s China theory is correct, a lot makes sense. But in fact, the China Crisis as we know it – conflict – actually presents itself in a different form as we witness the normalisation of reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop. Is Biden worried that as the investigation goes on, more dirt will be dug up on him about his dirty deals in Ukraine? Are the 5m USD bribes which an FBI report now at least details and endorses were at the very least subject of discussions by a Ukrainian oligarch and the Bidens themselves, just the tip of the iceberg and a new massive distraction for the media is required, which usually means a war somewhere? Why not China?