Midterm Ukraine: Biden’s Nightmare

US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House, Washington, US, May 24, 2022. /VCG

US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House, Washington, US, May 24, 2022. /VCG

Editor’s note: Radhika Desai is a professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba in Canada. The article reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

US President Joe Biden must have hoped that his war with Russia, albeit a proxy war, would unite the nation and help his struggling Democratic Party in November’s midterm congressional elections. After all, he had a slavish media ready to repeat virtually anything from Washington word for word and no questions asked. If such a hope was not already illusory given the deep economic, social and political divisions that torment his country to the point of ungovernability, recent events make it so. In recent weeks, 57 Republican Representatives and 11 Republican Senators opposed passage of President Biden’s $40 billion Ukraine aid bill, compared to just three Representatives who voted against the first bill. Ukrainian law in March.

Admittedly, senators and representatives were too few to prevent the bill from passing, although Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul withheld passage for a week with his demand that a special inspector general be appointed to oversee the how Ukrainian military aid is spent. . No harmless hiccups, this has been a major contributor to Biden’s nightmare to come. Senator Paul’s insistence on surveillance underscored the deep corruption of U.S.-Ukrainian relations, to which Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, made a big contribution through his liaisons with various Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs. These liaisons are under intense scrutiny after media coverage for the 2020 election.

This, however, is just the sensationalized tip of a very troubling iceberg. Essentially, President Biden’s proxy war is not going as planned. The plan includes the destruction of the Russian economy through sanctions. However, while showing resilience despite the most and most vicious sanctions imposed on all countries, the US economy, still reeling from the pandemic crisis, is suffering from inflation, driven by politically priced sensitive food and fuel supplies, and supply shortages.

The plan was to destroy the ruble by freezing Russian central bank assets and excluding Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) payments information system. However, as Russia continues to export oil, the militarization of the dollar system has put its future in doubt.

And the plan was to pump Ukraine with so many weapons that its NATO-trained troops would defeat the Russians. However, the Russians slowly and methodically secured Donetsk and Lugansk and destroyed Ukraine’s combat capabilities and infrastructure, including new arms shipments. They can still achieve a neutral or neutralized Ukraine, the last of their stated goals.

President Biden signs the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 9, 2022. /VCG

President Biden signs the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 9, 2022. /VCG

In a year of midterm elections, Republicans would be foolish not to exploit Biden’s failures for all their value in funding, publicity and votes.

As inflation hits 40-year highs, Senator Paul, for example, rattled off a series of statistics on the scale of aid to Ukraine: on top of the billions the United States has given to Ukraine since 2014, Congress will have authorized some $60 billion in the country’s total spending, with the last $40 billion making kyiv the largest annual recipient of US aid.

As the mainstream media propaganda sounded more garish than convincing, in April 63 House Republicans voted against a bill supporting NATO because some of its provisions on building democratic institutions could be used against the governments of the Member States, such as that of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

More recently, Russia’s undeniable military gains have forced some of the most prominent voices to oppose Biden’s war. Former US Secretary of State and longtime diplomat Henry Kissinger argued that Russia had always been and still is part of Europe’s stability and that escalating tensions with it could only be disastrous for this continent. Restraint and compromise, including Ukraine’s acceptance of territorial losses, were best.

The falcon normally New York Times, while repeating many illusions about Ukrainian military advances, nevertheless maintained that it was not in the interest of the United States to “delve into an all-out war with Russia”, even if it meant that the Ukraine faced “difficult decisions”, a reference to territorial concessions. Moreover, he added, “popular support for a war away from American shores will not continue indefinitely. Inflation is a much bigger issue for American voters than Ukraine, and market disruptions global food and energy markets are likely to intensify”.

Even before things started to turn sour for Biden’s proxy war, his Democratic Party was eyeing a midterm election defeat. Unless he pulls off an almost magically deft U-turn on his proxy war, defeat will become a rout.

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