President Biden’s Historic Speech in Warsaw Hits Moscow’s Raw Nerve
President Biden’s visit to Poland and his fiery, historic speech about the free world’s relationship with the former captive nations and the future of Russian aggression raised the bar of all comparable addresses since the end of World War Two.
And it had a resounding, desirable effect in the corner office in Moscow by hitting the Kremlin’s raw nerve. Vladimir Putin’s responses were almost immediate with Ukraine exclusively feeling his anger.
A few minutes before Biden appeared on stage in Warsaw in front of a crowd of Poles and Ukrainians, we had tweeted “In Warsaw, @POTUS speech here should echo President Reagan’s ‘Mr. Gorbachev take down this wall.’ President Biden must say ‘Putin, leave Ukraine.’ That will be historic.”
Well, President Biden surpassed that hope. The American President called for the Russian dictator’s ouster.
Biden began his biting diatribe against the Russian despot earlier in the day, when asked by as reporter about the virtually obliterated Ukrainian city of Mariupol and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The President immediately replied that Putin is “a butcher.” That invective must have enraged Putin who already had heard Biden call him a war criminal, which launched an avalanche of other American and free world leaders picking up the chant that Putin is a war criminal. This accusation was brought to The Hague.
Soon after that comment circulated the globe, we were told by a friend in Lviv, a veteran airborne officer, who was out for a stroll with his dog that he saw three Caliber rockets hit a target in Lviv that was about one and a half kilometers northeast from the city’s center. It turned out to be a fuel depot. Five people were injured. Television news programs showed smoke billowing in the distance.
Putin’s selection of Lviv is more significant than the pundits alluded. First of all, after thus far focusing on the northeast and southeast of Ukraine, Moscow turned its attention to Lviv, not an insignificant Ukrainian city. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine but many call Lviv the heart and soul of the country.
Secondly, Lviv is 43 miles from the Polish border and 245 miles from Warsaw, where Biden was meeting with Polish officials and reaffirming American support for Poland and the x-captive nations that are NATO members. These topics pour salt on Russia’s wounds.
Was this rocket attack on Lviv a signal to the free world that it is not safe from Putin’s rage and the short distance to a NATO member should not be any comfort to them? Was it meant to scare the American President? Doesn’t seem like it worked.
While in Warsaw, Biden met with Ukrainian refugees who related to him the harrowing experiences they faced in war-torn Ukraine and their desire to return home as soon as possible. Overwhelmed with emotion, the President told of his chance encounters with Ukrainian children, who, according to his words, asked him to pray for their fathers, grandfathers and brothers who remained in Ukraine. Though he didn’t say it but the conclusion was obvious – to fight for Ukraine.
And then came the 27-minute evening speech, which was filled with hellfire and brimstone condemnations of Putin, his dictatorship and his invasion of Ukraine. Echoing the words of the sainted Polish Pope John Paul II, Biden urged the audience assembled at the Royal Castle in the country’s capital to never be afraid when facing an adversary.
Most significantly, Biden said Ukraine will never be included among Russia’s victories and he assured the people of Ukraine that America stands with it.
His final words struck the hearts of all the peoples of the former captive nations and will certainly be etched in stone just like President Reagan’s admonition to Gorbachev. Referring to Putin, Biden declared: “This man cannot remain in power.”
I then learned from my contact in Lviv that during Biden’s speech two more missiles hit targets in Lviv.
Surely, the only way for peace and stability to return to Ukraine and the former captive nations, indeed the world, is to remove Putin from power.