United States of America President Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
Dear President Biden:
I write in advance of your Geneva meeting with President Putin to address the matter of the soul. Your assertion that Mr. Putin does not have a soul is wrong, and blasphemy. I hope you are able to see differently when you meet him.
Quoting from the online transcript of your March 16, 2021 interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under — denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well. And I– the conversation started off, I said, “I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, “We understand one another.” It was– I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.”
I said, “Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.” And looked back and he said, “We understand each other.” Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re– that — don’t expect him to– or her to– voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he’s gonna pay we’ll– you’ll see shortly.
You are reported saying that your soulless interchange with Mr. Putin occurred in his office in the Kremlin in 2011, so it has been ten years of repeating and confirming it. There is no gaffiness defense.
Your first statement in the media I’ve found pronouncing Mr. Putin without a soul is a July 20, 2014 New Yorker article “The Biden Agenda” by Evan Osnos:
To illustrate his emphasis on personality as a factor in foreign affairs, Biden recalled visiting Putin at the Kremlin in 2011: “I had an interpreter, and when he was showing me his office I said, ‘It’s amazing what capitalism will do, won’t it? A magnificent office!’ And he laughed. As I turned, I was this close to him.” Biden held his hand a few inches from his nose. “I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.’ ”
“You said that?” I asked. It sounded like a movie line.
“Absolutely, positively,” Biden said, and continued, “And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.’ ” Biden sat back, and said, “This is who this guy is!”
That you told Mr. Putin that he does not have a soul, I can believe. It is false, but I can believe you said it.
Of course he has a soul, or more correctly is a soul. Everyone has, or is, a soul. Not everyone is aware that they are souls, or are conscious of their souls. Perhaps only a few people experience their soul. But everyone, aware of it or experiencing it, or not, are souls. For convention’s sake, and for broader understanding, we commonly say everyone has a soul.
You say you are a Christian, and the soul is a sacred matter, so it is appropriate to refer you to Holy Scripture. Jesus did not say, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you, except all those who have no Kingdom of God within them.” Jesus did not say, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, except all those who shouldn’t bother because they have no Kingdom of God.”
No, He makes it very clear, that all have a soul, that all can, with expectation, seek it within, and all can find it, the best saints and the worst sinners. Therefore, no matter how big a sinner he might be, Mr. Putin has a soul. The same is true with you Mr. Biden, a sinner sinning from positions of power for decades, have a soul, a soul equal to every other soul. All God’s Children have souls.
Souls are what God created in his image, so to speak, for He is Spirit. He has never left us nor forsaken us, because His Kingdom is within us, within our souls, no matter what, until He requires them of us.
The “killer” malediction is a red herring, because you are also a killer. You have voted to kill. You have sent others to kill. You have celebrated killing. You have sold and given weapons to killers for killing. Both you and Mr. Putin have done these things. But he has never, that I have seen, told you, in your face or not, that you don’t have a soul. Nor has he bragged for years to media and the world about saying it.
It is implied in Mr. Stephanopoulos’s question and your answer that you are not a killer. If that were true, you could rightly and righteously call Mr. Putin one. Since you are a killer, however, the false implication and the killer label are black propaganda. Oddly, I had written a letter to Mr. Putin in October 2014 because of “Western” black propaganda.
The frightening truth is that during these last few years, US propaganda has been inciting enmity toward Russia with the sort of war level rhetoric and claims that were used to ratchet up support and pave the way for US military action in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. US media has worked assiduously to turn the term “pro-Russian” into something automatically negative, like “pro-fascism.” I fear that for our leaders’ belligerent purposes these media have had some success. To be “pro-west” meaning “pro-US,” has come to imply “anti-Russian” or “anti-some-other-bad-guys.”
You obviously know propaganda and black propaganda when you hear or see it, and you are the target of a massive western campaign. It is in part what I recognize as black or untrue in our North American propaganda about you that made me think of writing you directly.
Your insistence that Mr. Putin doesn’t have a soul, as well as being a mere variant on the “unforgiveable sin,” is common black propaganda. It is a call to Americans to hate him, and to hate Russia and Russians. That communication, repetition and insistence are unchristian.
Whatever Mr. Putin’s actual response was to your claimed in-the-face-accusation that he doesn’t have a soul, I don’t think — to borrow from Fezzik — it means what you think it means. More specifically, what you say you think it means. If Mr. Putin said, “We understand each other” he was not necessarily validating or accepting your pronouncement that he didn’t have a soul, whereas you did. It is entirely possible that he understood it as I might understand it: that you were not very understanding, or very bright; that you didn’t want to see his soul; and that you were cheap-shotting and bullying him.
Do all your Cabinet Members, Advisors, Party, Military, Church, et al. agree with your assertion, which you proffer as if it’s worth repeating but not questioning, that Mr. Putin doesn’t have a soul? I am speaking up in defense of the soul in every person. And you should too.
In anticipation of an obvious spin your people can give your pronouncement that he doesn’t have a soul, I note the two relevant meanings for “soul,” which are different but very related. The difference can be experienced by comparing the sentence “He hasn’t got a soul” with “He’s got no soul.” Wikipedia says:
The term “soul” had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States.
As you are using the word in your comment to Mr. Putin, you mean “soul” as the Bible speaks of the soul, a living being. Such a living being might produce words or art or actions that manifest or call forth soul, the feeling or sensibility. Reuters apparently got it wrong reporting on the Osnos piece in an article entitled “U.S. Vice President Biden says Putin has no soul: New Yorker.” Reuters, of course, is not a US owned publisher, so they might not have understood the American meme they were transmitting.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin has no soul, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concluded after meeting with the Russian leader at the Kremlin in 2011, according to an article in the New Yorker published online on Monday.
Biden told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader.
“I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul,’” Biden told the magazine. “He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.’”
Even if you now say you meant Mr. Putin’s got no soul, you still would be wrong, because he does. Give a listen to his rendition of “Blueberry Hill.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV4IjHz2yIo Sure, not as much soul, if you can quantify it, as Louis Armstrong and his “Blueberry Hill.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts1qTynO1zg But still, Mr. Putin’s got soul. (Disclosure: I am not closely related to Mr. Armstrong.)
You could trumpet a bit of soul yourself, perhaps by singing “Blueberry Hill” in Russian at some summit, or just at a gala. The melody is simple, and you have poetically gifted translators, I’m sure, who can get the meaning and measure right. Try this for starters: Я нашел свои острые ощущения на Черничном холме.
The important thing is to apologize to Mr. Putin as soon as possible, like in Geneva, for your impertinent and false assertion that he doesn’t have a soul. You could also do your best to see the soul in him as George W. Bush said he saw. This is a monumental and divine decision for you, with consequences for all of us.
2-46298 Yale Road
Chilliwack, BC V2P 2P6
PS: Doubtlessly you will bring up “human rights.” Perhaps Mr. Putin will ask you about the Gerry Armstrong case.
Cc: President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin