Last Monday on Morning Joe, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough mentioned the hypothetical possibility of chemical weapons being used in Ukraine to his guest, Politico’s White House Bureau Chief Jonathan Lemire. Scarborough asked about the possibility of President Biden having to go on the offensive in Ukraine if 5-year-olds were choked to death by Putin’s chemical arsenal.
It is impossible to not have an emotional reaction to such an inflammatory example, and Scarborough knows this. The Morning Joe host also attempted to marginalize people who are asking questions about the possible chemical weapons labs in Ukraine by calling proponents of such claims ‘useful idiots.’ Scarborough is attempting to create a red line for the administration, like Obama’s claims of a zero tolerance policy for the use of chemical weapons in the 2013 conflict in Syria.
There was use of chemical weapons soon after the ‘red line’ statement, with an appropriate uproar from the international community but Obama did not make good on his threats. Many would argue that the infamous ‘red-line’ statements, and subsequent inaction, were a core regret of his presidency. Scarborough knows this, and his inflammatory comments play on this historical context.
There is no evidence of Putin bringing chemical weapons into Ukraine. There is ample evidence of the existence of multiple bio-weapons labs, however. Recent comments from State Department official, Victoria Nuland, confirm the biological research labs. And the Pentagon’s press releases suggest bioweapons cooperation with Ukraine in the past.
Given these data points, there may already be bio-terror weapons present in the war zone. If that is true, the threat of accidental release cannot be discounted.
Another result of the rhetoric spouted by pundits like Scarborough is that it raises the temperature in an already chaotic situation. There is always the possibility, no matter how low, of an accidental or false-flag release of chemical agents that could force the United States into the conflict.
Such an incident would be a disaster. The United States and Russia battling each other directly only increases the possibility of a nuclear exchange; the result of which would be far worse than any chemical weapon attack.
Joe Scarborough’s rhetoric should be ignored. The world needs sober thinking right now, not emotional hypothetical pleas.