Four Russian warships are now within 100 miles of Florida, paying a port visit to communist Cuba. Yet, the Biden administration says there’s nothing to see here, folks.

“This is not a surprise. We’ve seen them do these type of port calls before and these are routine naval visits that we’ve seen under different administrations,” Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, told reporters Wednesday.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan repeated the same talking points: “We have seen this kind of thing before and we expect to see this kind of thing again.”

Team Biden’s nonchalance is as hollow as a Kamala Harris speech. After bungling Afghanistan and Ukraine and reigniting the Middle East, the last thing President Joe Biden’s campaign needs is a new Cuban Missile Crisis on his watch.

Indeed, the United States has seen this kind of thing before. The year was 1962 and tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States nearly sparked World War III during a 13-day standoff. Fortunately, President John F. Kennedy ignored calls from top military brass and the intelligence community to invade Cuba. Instead, the young American president reached a back-door deal with Nikita Khrushchev. Though it remained a classified secret for 30 years, Kennedy withdrew American offensive Jupiter missiles from Turkey and vowed not to invade Cuba in return for the Soviets removing their medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles (MRBMs and IRBMs) from the tiny island off America’s coast.

Unfortunately, old Joe Biden is no Jack Kennedy.

Kennedy directly warned the American people in a televised broadcast of the Cuban threat, including the horrors of a nuclear war “in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth.” He described the Soviet weapons in Cuba and presented seven steps to de-escalate the crisis. His words alarmed the nation, but at least our citizens knew the risks involved with the policy steps being taken by their president.

Today, few Americans grasp how closely the Biden administration is dancing to outright war with the world’s largest nuclear power. Biden’s national security team continues to secretly escalate American involvement in Ukraine and publicly downplay the risk.

Earlier this month it was reported that Biden quietly approved allowing Ukraine to use American offensive weapons to strike deep inside Russian territory. Yet, despite this enormous strategic decision, Biden carries on per normal, freezing up at Juneteenth concerts and licking ice cream—there’s been no policy speech from the president, no seven-step outline for victory, no warning to the American people of the risks involved.

And there are major risks.

On June 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to Biden’s latest escalation with two stark warnings from St. Petersburg.  In the first, he vowed that if America and NATO could arm a small nation on its southern border with offensive weapons “to launch strikes on our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same type to some regions of the world where they can be used to launch strikes on sensitive facilities of the countries that do it to Russia?”

True to his word, Putin sent a Russian flotilla that arrived in Cuba with the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, which is armed with Russia’s Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles.

Putin’s second warning was to point reporters to Russia’s nuclear doctrine: “Look at what is written there. If somebody’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible to use all means at our disposal.”

The average Russian knows what “all means” means.  Fifty-four percent of Russians say they live “under constant fear” of nuclear war. Unlike Americans, Russians understand they are at war with the United States and the West, not just Ukraine.

So, when National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby says “we don’t expect that there’ll be any imminent threat or any threat at all, quite frankly,” don’t believe him. The threat is clear and present, the risks not only high, but immense.

In today’s political environment, Neocons are quick to label any sort of negotiation as “appeasement.” To the war hawks, every deal is Munich, 1938.

Talking is not appeasement. Trying to find a negotiated settlement is not appeasement. It’s worth noting that it was the Kremlin, in 1962, that opened the door to de-escalation in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Khrushchev wrote Kennedy: “Let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to untie that knot.”

History repeats itself: At the same conference last week Putin said he wrote Biden a letter in which he offered to end the war if the United States would stop supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Has our commander-in-chief responded to this overture to stop conflict where hundreds of thousands have perished and billions of dollars have been wasted?

Perhaps Biden should listen to a wiser, younger president from his own party. As Kennedy said to the American people, “The greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.”

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