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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The US president himself curbs the force of his words

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Joe Biden’s speech at the Royal Palace in Warsaw was heralded as “great” and “historic.” A month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 45th president of the US wanted to make clear what the battlefield is really about and emphasize that the free world must not be intimidated.

It turned out to be a forceful, historic speech that addressed everything that was expected: that the West is with Ukraine, that the Russian people are not the enemy, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in charge of protecting the democracy that he wants to “suffocate ”. . That the world should not be afraid, even when times are hard and difficult trials lie ahead.

“Do not be afraid”

He quotes the first Polish pope, John Paul II, who began his speech at the beginning of his pontificate in 1978, at the height of the Cold War, with the words “Do not be afraid.” Those words would have changed the world. Biden also wants to encourage the free world not to shy away from fighting autocracies.

[Jeden Donnerstag die wichtigsten Entwicklungen aus Amerika direkt ins Postfach – mit dem Newsletter „Washington Weekly“ unserer USA-Korrespondentin Juliane Schäuble. Hier geht es zur kostenlosen Anmeldung.]

But then, at the end of his half-hour speech, Biden says a phrase that causes a lot of emotion: “For God’s sake, this man can’t stay in power,” Biden yells.

Has the US president called for “regime change” to topple the head of the Kremlin? That would be a stunning sea change in US strategy toward Russia; after all, US officials have repeatedly emphasized that this is not “regime change.”


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