Biden fighting a long-gone war recipe for greater catastrophe: China Daily editorial
China Daily

US President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland on March 26, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Although his administration has since gone to great lengths to try and drive home the message that it was just something said in the heat of the moment and not a policy goal, in saying that "For God's sake, this man (Vladimir Putin) cannot remain in power," in Warsaw on Saturday, US President Joe Biden left no one in any doubt about his objective, at least.

A White House official immediately tried to downplay the remark, saying "The President's point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region … He was not discussing Putin's power in Russia, or regime change".

And during his visit to Jerusalem, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that "I think the President, the White House, made the point last night that, quite simply, President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else". And Biden himself said "No" when asked whether his words mean the US intends to support a regime change in Moscow on Sunday after he became coolheaded.

But there is no doubt that Biden meant what he said. Biden is trapped in a Cold War view of the world in which Russia is perceived as being comparable to the Soviet Union. Thus, he has been a consistent longtime supporter of expanding NATO into what Russia considers its sphere of influence, and has a missionary zeal to preserve the US-centered global order. He has rejected out of hand any constructive dialogue with Russia, fearing that it might constrain the US' ability to dictate affairs not only in Europe but also in Eurasia and elsewhere.

It is a tragic irony that it is this view — and there are many in the US political-military establishment who share it — that made the conflict in Ukraine inevitable. The conflict in Ukraine is by no means a struggle between good and evil as some in the West are conditioned and prone to portray, and Biden's regime-change call is an irresponsible statement that will only serve to intensify the conflict.

As the Russian side demonstrates unflinching resolves to address its security concerns by forcing the West to shape a new security model with it, the US' continually pouring oil on the flames of the conflict in Ukraine will only lead to the continuous escalation of tensions.

The US and other major Western countries should realize that dialogue and negotiation, not only between Ukraine and Russia but also between themselves and Russia, represent the only rational way to resolve the Ukraine crisis as well as pave the way for the formation of a lasting peace mechanism in Europe.

Biden's hawkish position on Russia is a product of his times and milieu and is deeply ingrained in his psyche. But he needs to reflect on the fact that it is part of the problem, not part of the solution.