On Biden’s Lame Babe-Ruth-For-Mario-Mendoza Distraction Trade
Joe Biden proved again yesterday that he is a bumbling, weak disgrace on the world stage. By trading Viktor Bout, AKA The Merchant of Death for Brittney Griner, he demonstrated that he has the negotiating skills of a castrated first grader.
Of course the praise coming out of the White House will be non-stop and disgustingly sweet, but have no doubt about it, this is nothing more than political theatre because Biden took the easy way out.
Lets look at the two big chess pieces on the table.
The Russians are holding Paul Whelan, a former marine that was taken into custody in 2018. He was allegedly involved in an intelligence operation. He was convicted in June of 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
America is holding Viktor Bout. He was dubbed “the merchant of death” and “the sanctions buster” for his ability to get around arms embargoes. Bout was selling weapons to rogue states, rebel groups and murderous warlords in Africa, Asia and South America. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April 2012 after being found guilty of conspiracy to kill Americans and US officials, delivering anti-aircraft missiles, and aiding a terrorist organization.
Both countries have claimed that the subsequent convictions are bogus, and both have declared the innocence of each of its citizens.
Obviously, the crimes that each were tried and convicted of are on a higher level than that of Griner. A swap of Whelan for Bout, therefore, is much more equitable and frankly, should have been negotiable. In fact, Griner’s charge pales in comparison to either of the others and could very easily been an “add on” in the negotiations.
That would be true of course if a responsible and capable administration was conducting the negotiations.
The truth is, Biden blew a great opportunity to get Whelan home, and sadly with Russia seeing how easy this was they won’t be in any hurry to give up the negotiating piece they have.
Instead, gutless Biden caved and gave Russia exactly what they wanted and didn’t have the backbone to insist on Whelan getting out.
Have no doubt, Biden will dislocate both arms patting himself on the back and his “yes” men and women will laud him with praise over what a wonderful job he did. We’ll hear all about how he handled the negotiations personally and was on top of things all the way.
We will also hear the obligatory lamenting over not being able to free Whelan. The administration will emphasize over and over again that they did everything they could, but sadly they were unsuccessful.
Don’t buy into it. The truth is that The Russians played chess while feeble old Joe was still trying to set up a checkerboard. Keeping Griner meant nothing to the Russians, but they knew that Joe doesn’t know how to play the game.
They got who they wanted and are laughing over a cold vodka shot as we speak.