On Tuesday's Morning Joe, even liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski sounded like a hawk on Ukraine. She approvingly cited foreign policy experts calling the Russian move into the eastern provinces an "invasion," and suggested the steps taken by Biden so far are "inadequate."
Brzezinski surprising reacted to the escalating crisis by:
- Approvingly citing two people flatly calling Putin's move into eastern areas of Ukraine an "invasion."
- Suggesting that Biden's response has been "inadequate" and "not strong enough."
- Supporting those saying we shouldn't "parse words" over whether it's an invasion.
Turning to Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass, Brzezinski worried: "I just want to ask you, would you describe the Biden strategy so far as passive deterrence, with the centerpiece of economic sanctions really as the focal point? And has that run its course at this point? Is it inadequate to not respond to what McFaul and Cheney call an invasion?"
Moments later, she observed: "There's a lot of pretty wise minds in the foreign policy field who are concerned that our response isn't strong enough, and right now that the sanctions that are moving forward really don't punish the people who are carrying out the wrongdoing right now."
Retired Admiral James Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, agreed with Mika, saying "yes, it is an invasion," and that the time has come to "lower the hammer" on Putin.
On Monday's Morning Joe, NBC international correspondent Keir Simmons repeatedly declared that Putin "isn't frightened" by Biden's sanctions threat. On Tuesday, Mika was describing Biden's response as "inadequate," a term no man likes to hear about himself.
Interesting times on Morning Joe!
Mika's views might appear surprising, coming from an ardent Biden supporter. But she is also the daughter of the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carters's former National Security Advisor. Though her father was a liberal in many ways, he was strongly anti-communist, having seen his native Poland suffer at Soviet hands. And he was born in a part of Poland that apparently is now actually a part of...Ukraine!
It should also be noted that Brzezinski's brother Mark is actually a member of the Biden State Department and was recently sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Poland.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski sounding like a hawk on Ukraine, suggesting Biden's response has been "inadequate," was sponsored in part by Schwab, Liberty Mutual, AT&T, and DirecTV.
Here's the transcript.
6:04 am ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: There's also disagreement over what Russia's actions are so far, to the debate over what happened, how should we put it into words? Former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted, "when you describe Russian soldiers invading Ukraine right now as 'peacekeepers,' even when when you use quotation marks, you are using language that Putin wants you to use. Call it what it is--an invasion."
And member of the House Armed Services Committee, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, tweeted, "Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Biden administration and our allies must impose full set of crippling sanctions right now."
Before we get to all of the options on the table in terms of sanctions, Richard Haass, I just want to ask you, would you describe the Biden strategy so far as passive deterrence, with the centerpiece of economic sanctions really as the focal point? And has that run its course at this point? Is it inadequate to not respond to what McFaul and Cheney call an invasion?
. . .
There's a lot of pretty wise minds in the foreign policy field who are concerned that our response isn't strong enough, and right now that the sanctions that are moving forward really don't punish the people who are carrying out the wrongdoing right now.
Here's the bottom line, Admiral Stavridis. Russia is inside Ukraine. Their troops are inside Ukraine. I mean, we can parse words, but isn't the fact that the troops being inside this separatist region, making the possibility for that full-scale invasion that seems inevitable to be even more brutal?
JAMES STAVRIDIS: Of course . . . You know, at this point, I think you need to kind of lower the hammer, a broader package of sanctions, pretty significant ones . . . I think it's time to move out pretty strongly. The time to parse words and to try and find a path to diplomacy is slipping away from us, Mika.