It was pretty clear from the beginning that the Zhou Baiden regime's decision to use the hapless Ukraine to push Putin around and bend him to the Zhou regime's will was going to end badly. That seems official now. After all the belligerent rhetoric emanating from the Deep State someone--probably Putin--seems to have convinced the regime that they were painting themselves into a corner. Given that all the escalation was a result of mouthing off on the part of the Zhou regime directed at Russia, this is clearly a humiliating climb down. Ray McGovern covers this:
President Zhou Baiden has now taken a waiver on the "unwavering", full-throated support that he, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had been giving to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The recurring "unwavering" meme was played right up until late Tuesday after Baiden’s telephone talk with Putin Tuesday.
Zelensky’ earlier profession was comedy. But what serious people saw in his decree three weeks ago (March 24) was a de facto declaration of war on Russia. With that decree, it became the official policy of Ukraine to take Crimea back from Russia. Kiev began to dispatch by rail tons of military equipment headed south and east. And Russia did the same – south and west to Crimea, and to the Donbass where armed clashes have increased between the Ukrainian regime and anti-coup-regime forces (dubbed "pro-Russian separatists" by western media) determined to preserve a degree of autonomy.
With strong rhetorical support from the U.S. and NATO, the Ukrainian regime seemed eager to let slip the dogs of war. Then someone – whether in Washington or Moscow, or both – apparently told Zelensky that "unwavering" rhetoric was not going to protect him from disaster, should he tweak too tightly the nose of the Russian bear. On April 9, Zelensky used his Facebook page to call off the dogs of war and stress the need to establish a new truce in the Donbass. Earlier that day the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces had said that the use of force to "liberate" the Donbass is unacceptable, since Ukraine "puts the lives of its citizens in first place", and civilian as well as military casualties would be massive.
That's rather remarkable, isn't it? The CinC of Ukraine's military made a public statement to the effect of: For God's sake, Zelensky, stop acting like a Neocon puppet because you do not have our support. Talk about being chopped off at the knees! Zelensky is revealed to the world as pretty much a president in name only. Not to put too fine a point on the matter, Ukraine itself is revealed--for anyone with any lingering doubts--to be a US puppet that's being manipulated by an incompetent or mad puppet master. The stuff about NATO? Please. They're simply the DC Deep State's poodle, but you can bet that they, too, were sending some borderline hysterical messaging to DC to back off.
In a telephone conversation on April 13, President Zhou expressed obligatory concern at the Russian military buildup near Ukraine and called on Russia "to de-escalate tensions", according to the White House. Then, in a surprise move (and in an oh-by-the-way vein), Zhou suggested a bilateral "summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia." Until now there has been no response from Russia. It would not surprise me if Putin, uncharacteristically, does not respond for a while.
It seems a good bet that President Putin was the actual originator of the telephone talk with Baiden. It seem likely that Putin called and left the same message he is likely to have given Zelensky; i. e., You are playing with fire.
But what got the most attention in Kiev and Washington?
I won't keep you in suspense. In McGovern's view--and the view of the entire world--what got most attention was the moves by the Russian military that made it clear that Putin was fully prepared to act decisively.
The end result of this Neocon war theater is that Putin comes out of it looking like what he is--a strong national leader and a statesman of a stature that makes the current DC regime look feckless. It confirms what Putin has been saying for some time: The US is incapable of entering into international agreements that any other nation can rely upon. The reason for this sad situation is that the the ruling establishment is in near total disarray--in part for sale to the highest bidders, in part slave to destructive ideologies that have constructed a fantasy world, and an electorate that appears in large part oblivious to these realities. The result is that nobody--now that Trump has been deposed by a coup--is actually acting for a perceived American national interest. But the rest of the world is in no doubt that the situation in Moscow and Beijing is very, very different in all those respects.
Needless to say--but I'll say it anyway--the US remains the dominant military and economic force in the world. Nevertheless, all that power will do us little good if the political order of the American Empire is dominated by forces that ignore basic realities of human nature and of relations among nations. The untrustworthiness of the US as an international partner throws the entire world order into disarray, with important players left looking for safe fallback positions--or opportunities.
Also of concern is the fact that everyone who is anyone in the foreign policy establishments around the world knows that Zhou Baiden isn't in charge. But who is? That's unclear, from my distance. Who in the regime thought an open military challenge to Putin without the means to back it up--short of nuclear war--was a good idea? They've been revealed to be fools--whoever they are (Blinken? Nuland? The other war hawks?). But then who called it off? The same feckless crew that manufactured the crisis? Or ... others?
Here's another question, and you can bet that its one that's being asked and, provisionally, answered, in Moscow and Beijing. Where was the US military in all this? Still dithering about Trump supporters in the ranks? The rest of the world knows that no military can be effective when it's trying to conduct a political purge of its volunteer armed forces and has a leadership consumed with domestic politics and neognostic ideological fantasies.
It's a safe bet that US foreign policy in the Zhou regime is now in disarray, just a few months in, and that it is probably consumed with internal back stabbing. This could be a very rough next few years, because international affairs are likely to become very complicated. And when that happens the Dem domestic agenda will inevitably take second place.
The fact that so few Republican voices are expressing responsible foreign policy positions only adds to concerns.
UPDATE: I noted above that, basically, the world is a rough place and a feckless Zhou regime will ensure that it gets a lot rougher--including for the US. I also noted that when that happens domestic politics will take a back seat. Since I wrote that I read Thomas Lifson's excellent article at AmThinker: Signs of Dem desperation as legislators bypass Biden's commission and plan to introduce court-packing legislation today. In his analysis of the SCOTUS packing proposal Lifson specifically points out that foreign policy is already impinging on domestic politics. Here's his conclusion--but read it all:
All in all, the Democrats seem desperate, as if they see their last chance to hold onto power possibly slipping from their grasp unless they change what amounts to the rules of the game right away, while they still have the narrowest possible majority and a senescent president still holding onto office.
Daniel McCarthy and Kurt Schlichter offer views of the crisis they see looming for the Democrats. Were it not for the fully propagandistic role of the major media supporting them, the public would already have turned against them with fury for the incompetence of Biden's first three months in office and the unleashing of racialist mobs. With public approval of the media roughly at the level of used car salesmen, that media cofferdam will not hold against the public through November 2022. It is now or never, I believe a growing number of Democrats believe.