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The rapidly escalating crisis in Ukraine is a critical test of the ability of the Biden administration to respond on the global stage less than six months after the humiliation in Afghanistan and a failure to prevent a Russian invasion will speak volumes in terms of how America is viewed by both allies and adversaries.
With tens of thousands of troops massed at the border and rumors that Vladimir Putin will give the order for them to roll into Kyiv, there is a need for tough, no-nonsense diplomacy to avert a conflagration between Ukraine, NATO and Russia that could result in U.S. service members being sent into harm’s way in what could be a bloody and prolonged war.
The spotlight is on Secretary of State Antony Blinken who as the nation’s top diplomat is tasked with convincing his Russian counterparts to back down as negotiations continue but some are wondering whether he is up to the task or if his approach is a return to the “hashtag diplomacy” that was a hallmark of U.S. foreign policy during the eight years that Barack Obama was sitting in the Oval Office.
Blinken’s Saturday tweet of the hashtag #StandWithUkraine was met with ridicule and mockery by those who see a continuation of the toothless approach to a volatile and dangerous world that led to a loss of respect for America during Obama’s tenure, an administration that he was a part of.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 22, 2022
Blinken’s spox Ned Price also took to Twitter to promote the #StandWithUkraine hashtag with a clapping hand emoji, likely eliciting guffaws of laughter from the Kremlin.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) January 22, 2022
You have to hand it to Price, at least he’s consistent, having tweeted out a picture of future White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holding a sign with the same hashtag back in 2014 when she was working at the State Department.
Psaki was making a show of public support for Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea, which prompted harsh criticism of President Obama for his weak stance on foreign policy.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) March 26, 2014
Blinken was promptly raked over the coals on Twitter for his fecklessness.
“This administration governs via hashtag, not strength. No wonder our adversaries don’t respect the United States under Joe Biden,” wrote the Heritage Foundation’s John Cooper.
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) January 23, 2022
Newsmax national correspondent Logan Ratick asked, “You think a hashtag will scare off Russia?”
You think a hashtag will scare off Russia? https://t.co/cuogs0TCuI
— Logan Ratick (@Logan_Ratick) January 23, 2022
Adam Korzeniewski, a former Trump administration official added, “Leading indicator of negotiations breaking down is the hashtag diplomacy, sadly.”
Leading indicator of negotiations breaking down is the hashtag diplomacy, sadly. https://t.co/Ya9vz3JWVO
— Adam Korzeniewski 🇺🇸 (@RealAdamK) January 22, 2022
Other users chimed in.
Uh oh. We’re back to hashtag diplomacy.
— 🐾 Suzy 🐾 (@scout_nj) January 23, 2022
Biden is using the same failed hashtag diplomacy that didn’t work when Obama did it. https://t.co/MA2TfnbiUo
— Mr T 2 (@GovtsTheProblem) January 23, 2022
— Stacey – Gen X – The Sleeper Generation (@ScotsFyre) January 23, 2022
Hashtag diplomacy. This confirms that we're in the third Obama Administration. https://t.co/74PVJSzMtm
— Cranky "Vaxxed, Waxed and Taxes" Gordon (@StillCrankyAF) January 23, 2022
We stand with Ukraine!
Not too closely though.
Actually, we are going to stay here and stand on this side of the pond.
But we stand with you in spirit! https://t.co/2aeSmViXk1
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) January 23, 2022
It appears hashtag diplomacy is back. https://t.co/1PMmOd3xgW
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) January 22, 2022
Thank God the adults are back! We got hashtag diplomacy again! https://t.co/FH7pN0wbCr
— Nah Bruh (@Queso_Matador) January 23, 2022
More than hashtag diplomacy is going to be needed to deescalate the situation following a claim by the British government that Putin and the Kremlin are plotting to invade Ukraine in order to install a puppet leader at the head of government who is loyal to Russia, an assertion that led to Biden convening his national security team on Saturday night.
Today, President Biden met with his national security team to discuss continued Russian aggressive actions toward Ukraine. He affirmed that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States will impose swift and severe consequences on Russia with our Allies and partners. pic.twitter.com/QlAHYgqu1q
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 23, 2022
Blinken was previously criticized for his absenteeism when the Taliban overran the sitting government in Kabul last summer, kicking back in the Hamptons as Afghanistan once again became a safe space for terrorists when Biden cut and ran.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 30, 2021
He was also apparently completely oblivious to the idea that the Taliban could pull off a hostile takeover, as a June 2021 tweet from the U.S. embassy in Kabul made evident, the State Department had other priorities.
The month of June is recognized as (LGBTI) Pride Month. The United States respects the dignity & equality of LGBTI people & celebrates their contributions to the society. We remain committed to supporting civil rights of minorities, including LGBTI persons. #Pride2021 #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/qgKPQAPaOY
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) June 2, 2021
Blinken and Biden now find themselves chained at the hip in terms of their legacies over Ukraine and tweeting is unlikely to do anything but make matters worse; it wasn’t that long ago that America was feared and respected under former President Donald J. Trump but those days are gone.
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