Hunter Biden’s new job at a Ukrainian gas company is a problem for U.S. soft power

Around the world, there is a major perception that U.S. foreign policy is dictated by a thirst for oil and gas.

For example, a 2002 Pew Research poll found that 75 percent of French respondents felt that the United States-led invasion of Iraq was a simple ruse to gain control of Iraqi oil. And that isn't just what the "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" think either: Establishment figures in the United States such as Sen. John McCain and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan have both made statements that suggest they buy into it, too.

Such a perception is probably an oversimplification, but there is clearly some truth to the idea. And whether it is true or not, perceptions clearly matter when it comes to international relations.

Think about that when you read the announcement that Vice President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, has accepted a position on the board at Ukraine's largest private gas firm. According to a news release posted Tuesday, the vice president's son would join the board of Burisma Holdings. The Yale-educated lawyer would be in charge of the company’s legal unit, the release said.

Here's a small selection of the responses to the news, which ranged from the incredulous to the resigned:

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