TIPP Insights: Biden should ask Blair, Gates, and Merkel to negotiate with Putin

By tippinsights Editorial Board, TIPP Insights

For millions, former British PM Tony Blair is not a household hero for beating war drums that led to the second Iraq war. But many are unaware that after realizing his blunder, Blair became a convert to champion diplomacy when he was confirmed as the Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia in 2007, a role he held for eight years.

Blair insists that he is a peacemaker first and war-monger next. In his memoir, A Journey: My Political Life (Knopf, 2010), he reminds us that as Prime Minister in 1997, he helped end a bloody 30-year regional conflict by signing the Good Friday Agreement with Northern Ireland.

Blair says that a key principle to diplomacy is to rely on third parties: “Left on their own, parties in conflict are unlikely to resolve their differences.” He should know. It was former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a third-party stalwart, who served as Super-Statesman to help bring about Northern Ireland peace.

If ever there’s a time for diplomacy, it is now. The Russo-Ukrainian war is worsening by the hour with no end in sight. Ukraine, despite its courage, doesn’t have the firepower or military strength to confront Russia. NATO, correctly, is not getting involved for fear of triggering an out-of-control global conflict. Russia needs an end to the war, too – the severe sanctions are deeply hurting – but President Putin doesn’t want to appear to have failed. Punishing Putin should not override the immediate need to stop the war.

The White House, cheer-led by the media, is reveling in its ability to bring the world together against a murderous tyrant. However, Americans are on a different page. In a TIPP Poll completed on Friday, only 33% give President Biden good grades for handling the Russia-Ukraine situation. 42% give him a D or F.

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