Biden Evokes Possibility of “Armageddon,” Likens Self to Kennedy
And, a happy Cuban Missile Crisis flashback to you, too.
If you were like many Americans last night, you went to sleep with the words of President Joe Biden ringing in your ears, promising to release 10 million more barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, in what his critics say is another highly cynical attempt to lower gas prices and quell some of the blame voters might aim at Democrats over the lagging economy before the mid-term elections in November.
Then, if you were like many Americans, you woke up to reports of how Biden, in an address Thursday night to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, likened the threat of Russian President Vladimir Putin authorizing some sort of nuclear weapon strike against Ukraine to the viable threat of all-out nuclear war that existed between the United States and Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Put another way, Joe Biden compared himself to Pres. John F. Kennedy amidst one of the much-younger president’s most crucial and defining crises.
Putin, said Biden, was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons…we have a direct threat to the use of nuclear weapons, if in fact things continue down the path they’d be going…We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
Russia has hinted several times that it could unleash weapons of mass destruction against Ukrainian forces if Putin believes the fate of the country is at risk.
Said Putin in an address last month: “I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate components and more modern than those of NATO countries, and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal.”
White House officials have said the Biden administration has communicated directly with Russian officials and spelled out exactly what kind of response they would get if they opted to use a nuclear weapon. Although Biden administration officials have declined to say what the U.S. response would look like, they have said it would be “catastrophic.”
“I don’t think,” Biden said during the Thursday night speech, “there is any such a thing as the ability to easily use a tactical weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”
According to History.com, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores.
In a TV address on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy told Americans about the presence of the missiles and explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba — making it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize the perceived threat to national security. Following this news, many people feared the world was headed for nuclear war. However, that possibility was avoided after the U.S. agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for a promise by the U.S. not to invade Cuba. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.
Hopefully, Biden and his team of negotiators will prove as adept as Kennedy apparently was in a potentially devastating conflict with Russia.
Then again, Joe Biden is no John Kennedy.