PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Question About Biden

In the wake of Zelensky’s wildly provocative statements, it is time to question whether the U.S. president has a personal interest in prolonging the war in Ukraine.

Dec. 6, 2015: U.S. Vice President Biden arriving in Kiev. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine, Public domain)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

A friend and colleague wrote in an unusually sage commentary a couple of years ago that Ukraine would prove “NATO’s Waterloo.”

He called the brewing conflict there “a debacle-in-waiting.” This was two months before the U.S. provoked the Russian intervention in February 2022. Now that is prescience. 

Ukraine, indeed, has revealed NATO somewhat in the way of the old pun: No action, talk only. As Scott Ritter argued in a recent speech, it now appears the alliance is incapable of waging war in Ukraine or anywhere else in Europe. 

But let’s set NATO’s surprising weakness aside for now and consider who, as the Ukrainian sinkhole widens and deepens, is tumbling fastest into it. Here I offer a confession: I take pleasure, not at all perverse, in watching Joesph R. Biden, Jr. and those around him panic as the bill comes due for all those years of conniving with Ukrainian crooks and as the unforgivable folly of the war he started is now everywhere understood, even among those who continue in public to pretend otherwise.

It is not yet possible to discern just how our burbling president will go down, but go down he will. Of this we can now be certain. The time of comeuppance is near. 

My question as of last week is this: Is the Biden regime’s whatever-it-takes, as- long-as-it-takes commitment to the war tied to his escalating vulnerability to charges of corruption dating to his years as Barack Obama’s vice-president, when he carried the Ukraine portfolio? Does Biden have a personal interest in prolonging this war, to put this question another way?  

It took the House of Representatives nearly a year, but last Tuesday Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House speaker, directed the chamber to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden’s evidently extravagant grifting and influence peddling in Ukraine and elsewhere. It is hard to believe the Democrats’ response to this development.  

The Democratic machine and its clerks in the press pretended for years there was nothing to allegations that Biden and his son Hunter were on the take from a Ukrainian oligarch, as well as various other business people in China, Russia and Central Asia. They have more recently pretended there is no credible evidence of misconduct, even as investigators sent piles of it to the House Oversight Committee. 

And now they pretend the imminent inquiry is so hollow and silly it is not worth bothering about. John Fetterman, the Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, struck the new pose as soon as McCarthy announced the inquiry: “Oh, my God, really? Oh, my gosh, it’s devastating,” Fetterman mocked. “Oooh, don’t do it. Please don’t do it.”

Propaganda Op

Hunter Biden with his father and step mother at his father’s presidential inauguration, Jan. 20, 2021. (DOD, Carlos M. Vazquez II)

You are now on notice, readers: Biden and his minders are not going to fight the impeachment process in committee rooms and courts because they cannot win on the evidentiary merits. They are going to fight this by mounting a propaganda op that is daring even for the party that concocted and then sustained the Russiagate hoax for five years.

Here is Peter Baker, The New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, last Thursday:

“Forget the weighty legal arguments over the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors or the constitutional history of the removal process. Mr. Biden’s defense team has chosen to take on the Republican threat by convincing Americans that it is nothing more than rank partisanship driven by the radical wing of the opposition party.”

The oafish Baker then elaborates the strategy:

“The White House and its allies have gone on the offensive, dismissing the allegations against the president as baseless and debunked, attacking the investigators for distorting the evidence, issuing fund-raising appeals to financial supporters and pressuring the news media to frame the conflict on Mr. Biden’s terms.”

Don’t miss the import of that last bit. Fresh from a ruling that the Biden regime unlawfully coerced social media platforms to censor content, it now intends to lean on mainstream media to provide purposely unbalanced coverage of the impeachment inquiry in defense of the president. The Times, the networks, PBS, The Associated Press, TIME, The Boston Globe, Politico: They have all obliged since receiving the White House’s instructions in a memo last Wednesday, a day after McCarthy’s announcement.

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Here is one especially twisted specimen as published in the Times last Wednesday under the headline, “Witness testimony Casts Doubt on Some Biden Impeachment Allegations.” Timothy Thibault, we read, was accused of meddling unlawfully in Hunter Biden’s tax case while he was with the FBI. Then: 

Mr. Thibault said he had been subject to ‘baseless allegations’ of political interference in the tax case. Mr. Thibault said he actually had little involvement in the younger Mr. Biden’s case, other than to shut down the use of a confidential source who he discovered was actually a right-wing author whose information he feared would taint the legitimacy of the investigation.” 

Take a moment with this: When the Times is obfuscating in high gear, this is necessary. Timothy Thibault had nothing to do with the Biden tax case except that he suppressed the testimony of an informant because the informant — not named — had right-wing views — not described, probably merely conservative — and it is legitimate to ‘shut down’ informants because of their political views.” 

Plain–English translation: Timothy Thibault tampered with a witness because he was not a liberal. 

We are in for more than a year of this abuse, which is what it amounts to. But those defending Biden won’t win this way, either, in my estimation. Once again, mainstream Democrats and mainstream media manifest their fatal flaw: They are forever overestimating the stupidity of Americans — with the exception, of course, of liberals who think what they are told to think and see events as they are told to see them. Who think, in other words, Timothy Thibault is a stand-up, clean-hands guy. 

Zelensky’s Threatening Remarks

Biden with Zelensky in Kiev on Feb. 20. (White House, Adam Schultz, CC BY-ND 2.0)

 Let’s briefly consider conditions on the ground in Ukraine. At this point the Biden regime’s charge into the war against Russia starts to look as reckless as the Light Brigade’s in Crimea all those years ago. This war is unwinnable, as Scott Ritter and various other military commentators have asserted. Realizing this, too many people are no longer on for the do-or-die bit and have begun to reason why. And as public support wavers and wanes, panic is again setting in.

Among the clearest of many signs of this to date was a much-remarked interview Volodymyr Zelensky gave to The Economist last week. The Ukrainian president, clearly in desperation, suggested that Ukrainian refugees in Europe, who number in the millions, might resort to violence if the West withdrew its military support from the Kiev regime. As Glenn Greenwald put it in one of his System Update segments, the shockingly crude Zelensky may as well have said, “Give me your money or I will shoot you.”
It is possible Zelensky regularly threatens and insults Western leaders because he is told to do so in the joint effort to maintain public support. The nearly routine visits to Kiev by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, C.I.A. Director William Burns, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and, once, Biden himself suggest this: “Now get out there and bark at us, Vlod, life-and-death style, and don’t forget the dirty T–shirt, so people will acquiesce when we send the artillery, tanks, jets, and money you demand.” 

Zelensky addressed the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday before heading to Washington for talks with Biden and another Dionysian love fest on Capitol Hill. It will be interesting to watch his demeanor, as we read now he has been told to be more thankful. 

It is also possible Zelensky is a monster utterly without principles who not even Biden can control. The Economist interview suggests this. Here is part of the British weekly’s interpolation: 

“Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr. Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally ‘behaved well’ and are ‘very grateful’ to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a ‘good story’ for Europe if it were to ‘drive these people into a corner.’”

It is these remarks, the most wildly provocative Zelensky has made to date, that prompt me to ask the question suggested above. No one has yet posed it.

Consider: If FBI informants and others are reporting witness accounts of $5 million payments to Biden père et fils, reliable accounts of the interactions that led to them, bales of pertinent text and email messages and Joe Biden’s direct role in the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating these matters, everybody in Kiev who counts is probably aware of the Bidens’ dealings, at least in outline, and Zelensky must know of them in detail. Is there some other plausible conclusion to draw?

The follow-on question is very simple and very large. Does Zelensky have enough on Biden to get whatever he wants — the HIMARS rocket systems, the howitzers, the tanks and APCs, the F–16s, the scores of billions of dollars, much of which Biden’s people know full well is black-marketed or embezzled?

It is time to ask this question, immense in its implications as it is. 

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows.   Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. 

TO MY READERS: Independent publications and those who write for them reach a moment that is difficult and full of promise all at once. On one hand, we assume ever greater responsibilities in the face of mainstream media’s mounting derelictions. I take up this very topic in the commentary you have just read. On the other, we have found no sustaining revenue model and so must turn directly to our readers for support. I am committed to independent journalism for the duration: I see no other future for American media. But the path grows steeper, and as it does I need your help. This grows urgent now. If you are already a supporter, big thanks. If you aren’t, please, to sustain my continued contributions to ScheerPost and in  recognition of the commitment to independent journalism I share with this superb publication, join in by subscribing to The Floutist, or via my Patreon account.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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36 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Question About Biden

  1. Tom Hall
    September 21, 2023 at 05:53

    Zelensky can’t expose and thus bring down Biden. Doing so would mark the end of the close association forged between Kyiv and Washington, at least in political circles (appropriations). These people are in no position to betray each other. If Biden and the Democrats go out, the Republicans will come in, and it may be that the neocons won’t be able to transfer quickly enough to the ascendant party. In any event, it’s Zelensky who will have to be sacrificed. His patrons are sick to the back teeth of him. One way or another, they’ll have to dispose of the punk.

  2. September 20, 2023 at 18:47

    Empires in decline are both utterly dangerous and utterly shameless. The tragedy rolls on.

  3. John Manning
    September 20, 2023 at 15:45

    Looking at this from a long way off my conclusions is that the American people are a bit slow (intellectually). Why has it taken more than one and a half years to conclude the Biden’s have a personal stake in Ukraine. It is not even a new story, the Bush family had extensive dealings in Iraq. And war provides the best means of destroying evidence.
    The constant push by the USA to escalate this war is intended to prod the Russians into destroying Kiev. That is where the evidence will be found. Note that it is US politicians seeking escalation not the US military.

  4. Janine E
    September 20, 2023 at 13:32

    There is one thing this new warfare has achieved: a new Armenian Genocide for the 21st century, completely with systematic starvation, just like the last one under guise of WWI

  5. CaseyG
    September 20, 2023 at 13:17

    Well, I have not trusted Biden since he sided with Clarence Thomas over Anita Hill. There was also that charge from the lady who worked for Biden and she was accused of making up what happened when Biden told her to meet him in a mostly empty area. of the building. I think he is a sexist , self centered blob. He is falling over a lot too. While democratic debates were going on, Biden seemed to be very slow and mentally , Gone with the Wind.

    I have no idea why he did not let Russia and Ukraine settle their differences themselves. Kamala lit into him re: what people of color go through in America, and how now at his age he should know that. I don’t think of Biden as my president–in fact, there are so very few in Congress even, who seem to not have the skills like JFK. It
    seems that in the past, there were very intelligent people in Congress. Sadly we seem to not have a real
    Congress , but we seem to have more a Council of Loons in both parties. But no nation can stand forever—so is the jig up in America?

  6. SashaS
    September 20, 2023 at 12:38

    “Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.”

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  7. Stephen
    September 20, 2023 at 11:55

    Politically, evidence beyond reasonable doubt is not required. It is only necessary to persuade the majority of Americans that we have a crime family at work. New Yorkers were already persuaded of this before organized crime family convictions were obtained.

  8. Bushrod Lake
    September 20, 2023 at 11:53

    Greg Grant, your Consortium News references seem to be “invalid” on my search.
    I would like to see some actually facts, say about the $5 million bribe, by the Republican House…where it went, to whose bank account, under whose control?
    I haven’t come across any which may be MSN bias or BS. It’s hard to tell.

  9. September 20, 2023 at 11:36

    Of course, I agree regarding the long drift toward collapse of the war and am looking forward to the pending Biden comeuppance (I expect an LBJ scenario (health reasons?), with Newsom stepping in and Harris bowing out on an absurd pretext).

    But the Biden corruption is all innuendo as far as I can tell (remember the Russiagate “sources” that claimed “pee tapes” et al?) and the impeachment hearings are the cart before the horse. The Congress can and should obtain concrete evidence via investigation and subpoena prior to and without conducting impeachment inquiry. This is an absurd perversion of the prosecutorial and Constitutional processes, no? Or am I just another dupe of the Dem’s propaganda?

    And there is no need to even speculate about a Biden personal motivation for prolonging the war – that has been the US empire’s objective since at least 2008 Bucharest NATO expansion plans. The Neocons held similar views if not formal plans and Clinton did too. This was long before any Biden corruption.

  10. Surky
    September 20, 2023 at 11:33

    “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  11. BettyK
    September 20, 2023 at 11:10

    If Zelensky believes he can threaten the U.S. and get away with it, he is ignorant of history of what the U.S. Powers that Be have done to those “leaders” it put into power and then got rid of all of course in the name of Democracy – Saddam, Gaddafi, to name just a few.

  12. September 20, 2023 at 11:07

    Excelent albeit troubling article.

  13. Detroit Dan
    September 20, 2023 at 10:47

    Another reason Zelensky is so adamant that the West owes him (Ukraine) weapons may be that the West promised to do whatever it takes to defeat Russia when the West quashed the spring 2022 tentative peace deal.

  14. Greg Grant
    September 20, 2023 at 10:03

    Consortium News published these absolutely phenomenal videos a few years ago.
    Perhaps start with the last 10-15 minutes of the fourth one, because it’s just so powerful.


    It’s pathetic how inferior FOX coverage is even though they care about this issue.

    • September 20, 2023 at 16:37

      Your thoughtful references to the four “ukraingate-inconvenient-facts” videos, especially #4, does call into serious question the actions of then VP Joe Biden.
      Sadly, the ritualistic conflation of partisan editorialization and investigative journalism has grown to dominate our current “NEWS” landscape; not only in the more obvious traditional corporate media and still developing cyber-age social media manifestations, but presently being deployed in the work-product of historically dependable journalists and historians in the form of theoretical truths.
      Thank you for recollecting these untainted reports!
      As Usual,

  15. Greg Grant
    September 20, 2023 at 09:17

    Zelensky doesn’t even need to have dirt on Biden he just needs to say he does. Although he probably does.
    Connecting the dots, Biden took bribes so he could afford his ’67 Corvette and ultimately that leads to WWIII and the end of the world.
    Biden prioritizes himself over the entirety of humanity.

  16. September 20, 2023 at 04:31

    A country with no experience of an existential war, has no sense of consequences. Some members of the administration had experience in American wars. But these were not existential. And these people were officers, largely protected. It’s. the grunts who died.

  17. Clark Griswald
    September 19, 2023 at 22:42

    Z should be reading a biography of Prime Minister Diem. Especially the ending.

    • Valerie
      September 20, 2023 at 03:57

      What a hoot. LOL

    • michael888
      September 20, 2023 at 07:47

      The “Churchill of Vietnam”?

  18. Clark Griswald
    September 19, 2023 at 22:40

    The form of government in the USA is somewhere between the rule of a collection of oligarchs, and the rule by a Praetorian Guard. What Biden does isn’t really important. He just has to play with his jelly beans, and do his practice sessions where he walks across a stage without doing his impression of Chevy Chase’s impression of Gerald Ford. The Praetorian Guard is already forcing him out with whistleblowers and leaks, and it won’t be Biden’s name on the ballot for Team Blue in 24. But the policies will not change. They did not really change with Team Red last time. Only the hair style changes.

    Nobody in American politics ever ends up broke. Nobody. Isn’t ‘public service’ great!

    • Michael C Gallagher
      September 20, 2023 at 10:29

      Absolutely spot on Sir!

  19. Lois Gagnon
    September 19, 2023 at 21:09

    Biden’s history as a U.S. politician is replete with evidence of his depravity and corruption. The establishment was determined to make him president regardless of his history. Tis a tangled web they have woven. The unraveling is well underway.

    • nwwoods
      September 20, 2023 at 10:48

      Or perhaps the establishment was determined to make him president precisely BECAUSE of his (sordid) history.

  20. Olivia DeOliveira
    September 19, 2023 at 21:07

    If I were Z, I would be worried then. Removing him from thisnside of eternity and pinning it on the always convenient Russians would be a very real risk. Evidence or not, his position is not as strong as he may think

  21. Vicky Cookies
    September 19, 2023 at 20:06

    “too many people are no longer on for the do-or-die bit and have begun to reason why”
    Thank you, Mr. Lawrence, not only for being am independent voice, eschewing conventional filters in describing what you see, but also for being a literary inspiration. Every essay you give us has some glitter like this. Such artistry makes following these dark events worthwhile.

    • DaveG
      September 20, 2023 at 13:59

      Mr. Lawrence’s literary inspiration would be even better with the poem’s actual wording: “do and die.”

  22. lester
    September 19, 2023 at 19:23

    Yes, Impeach Biden! Make Harris Pres.! She can’t be worse, might be better! Also, while Biden and co. are busy fighting impeachment, they might forget to start a war with China!

    • Clark Griswald
      September 19, 2023 at 22:46

      This crowd is largely the old Bush/Cheney crowd, and they had a firm belief in the strength of the “Rally-Round-The-Flag” effect to elect a leader who couldn’t string three words together without a gaffe. The version of reality that they create says that if they start a war with China, then all the American schoolchildren will wave little plastic American flags in gratitude as the armored limos roll by.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 20, 2023 at 12:48

      Harris is an idiot. She could only be a better servant of the security services.

  23. James White
    September 19, 2023 at 19:03

    Patrick Lawrence wins the internet today for two outstanding written pieces. In addition to this one, he also wrote on Scheerpost Patrick Lawrence: Psychosis and Its Consequences. The latter spells out the self-delusion of Democrats to let Biden run for re-election in 2024. The former (this article) outlines how the U.S. Government Psychological Operations are carried out on the public. Taken together, whenever the Biden Regime is not lying to the public, it is busy lying to itself. U.S. Congressman James Comer has produced an excellent presentation that every thinking person ought to peruse. It can be easily found by searching for “the Bidens’ influence peddling timeline.” The lying Josef Goebbels inspired press repeats the psy-op phrase ‘no direct evidence’ ad nauseam whenever the subject of Biden’s crimes come up. Anyone who looks over Comer’s timeline will have a hard time understanding how all of the evidence presented there is somehow ‘not direct evidence’ of Biden’s use of his VP office as a money printing machine. Bribery, extortion, corruption, and treason are among the crimes that come to mind. The data appear not on some questionable, easily smeared website, but an official U.S. Government property publication. If the impeachment investigation does nothing but cause voters to review Comer’s online public presentation, it will have been a smashing success.

    • Greg Grant
      September 20, 2023 at 10:07

      All true, but you get the feeling Comer hasn’t even watched these videos or his case would be even far stronger:

    • nwwoods
      September 20, 2023 at 10:51

      Thanks for the two additions to my reading list for today.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      September 20, 2023 at 12:56

      Thanks for this information.

      • James White
        September 22, 2023 at 12:15

        You are most welcome Carolyn and NW. is a fantastic resource for tracking the employment history of deep state conspirators and other D.C. swamp lizards. Anthony Blinken’s sordid career is on full display, for example. Opensecrets is not entirely nonpartisan. But it provides answers on any quest to follow the money. They also maintain a (e)mailing list. Here is a sample:


  24. Anon
    September 19, 2023 at 18:57

    Lovely photo true leadership shown as casual(tee)

Comments are closed.