After Vladimir Putin sent the Russian army into Ukraine, there was a plethora of reports — some attributed to ‘U.S. intelligence’ — claiming that the occupant of the Kremlin had ‘gone mad’, or was ‘ill’.
Dismissing such speculation, I wrote here that Putin had not lost his marbles, and was the same gangster that he had always been: ‘As for being ill: does he look frail, doddery, or even confused? I don’t think so.’
Unfortunately, these are legitimate questions to be asked of President Joe Biden, the leader of the free world, during the most dangerous tension between East and West since the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago.
Unlike his murderous opposite number in Moscow, the words ‘frail, doddery and confused’ really do apply to the resident of the White House.
If this were solely related to physical frailty in the 79-year-old Biden, it would not be much of an issue: the President who led the world’s greatest military power until almost the end of World War II, Franklin Roosevelt, was confined to a wheelchair.
The issue of failing mental acuity is a much more serious one.
It has, of course, been raised about Biden before — notably during his campaign for the Presidency in 2020. But he was effectively protected by his team from too many direct encounters with the Press, or indeed the public — a strategy which seemed much less questionable as the campaign took place during the coronavirus pandemic.
But in recent days and weeks, the evidence has mounted that Biden’s grip on policy, or even reality, is weakening. And on a matter of war and peace, the consequences can be lethal.
The most recent example came on Saturday, when the President gave a speech in Warsaw devoted to the war in Ukraine, and what should be the West’s response. The official text, as handed out in advance by the White House, was excellent. My compliments to the team who wrote it.
Right at the end, however, the President made the error of saying what was on his mind, and declared of Putin: ‘For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.’ In other words, he called for regime change in Russia.