President Joe Biden’s speech at the United Nations was sprinkled in optimism but underscored with the same old scare tactics that have been the hallmark of his administration so far. Biden opened by telling the assembled members they were in a “moment intermingled with great pain and extraordinary possibility.” Then he proclaimed that the United States has no desire to pursue a “new Cold War” and instead wants to engage in “relentless diplomacy” as evidenced by the administration “working with the P-5 + 1 [China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States] to engage Iran diplomatically and to seek a return to the JCPOA.” What should be concerning for Americans, Biden pointed out, is that if Iran were to comply fully with the discredited agreement, the United States would follow suit.
He then proceeded, in a Cassandra moment, to recount that the COVID pandemic has taken the lives of 4.5 million worldwide. His gloomy tone was reminiscent of the one he took on March 11, with his dystopian warnings of doom if people did not get vaccinated. Liberty Nation’s Graham Noble commented on that speech, which set the theme for most of what Biden would say subsequently on COVID.
There was a twist to his oratory for the United Nations, however. Biden added a prediction designed to strike fear into the hearts of all in attendance. He said with a solemn face the Sphinx would admire that, working together, world leaders would address the next pandemic, “for there will be another one as the more virulent and dangerous variants take hold.” Hold it. Who told Biden there would be another pandemic – the Chinese? Well, they would probably know.
And, of course, no presidential warning of fresh disasters would be complete without Biden’s two cents’ worth on changing weather trends. The leader of the Free World asked his audience:
“Will we meet the threat of challenging climate we are all feeling already ravaging every part of our world with extreme weather? Or will we suffer the merciless march of ever-worsening droughts and floods, more intense fires, and hurricanes, longer heat waves, and rising seas?”
Pretty frightening stuff. His U.N. listeners did have to unpack a little of the hyperbole. For example, the “worsening droughts and floods” do not happen in the same place at the same time. Furthermore, as Liberty Nation’s Caroline Adana explained in “Cold Case: Global Warming and the Murder of the Truth,” climate change and global warming may not mean the end of the world after all. But that’s Biden’s story, and he’s sticking to it. There are many more serious threats and challenges facing the world than climate variations.
In the face of international tension among the NATO nations, the European Union, and Russia, and the intense geopolitical acrimony intensifying in the Indo-Pacific focused on China, Biden assured that:
“We are not seeking the new Cold War or the world divided into rigid blocs. The United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up, that pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges, even if we have intense disagreement to shared challenges because we will all suffer the consequences of our failures if we don’t come together to tackle COVID-19, climate change or threats like nuclear proliferation.”
But that reassurance came with a caveat: The ongoing 50-year Cold War with mutually assured destruction, nuclear proliferation (meaning Iran), COVID-19, and climate change are considered equivalent. Absurd on its face. Even Biden’s own Defense Department believes China is the most significant threat. So, the president can peddle that stuff at the United Nations, but he’s got some persuasion to do at the Pentagon.
Encouraging parts of the speech included Biden’s passing reference to the assault on the human rights of Uyghurs in China and the United States turning “our priorities to the regions of the world, like the Indo-Pacific, which are the most consequential today and tomorrow, we’ll do so with our allies and partners through multilateral institutions like the United Nations.”
For the most part, the president’s comments were a slog through a slush of platitudes. Typical was the tedious, “In my view, we stand at an inflection point in history.” Really? In all of history, or just the part Biden remembers? He used the same phrase in his victory speech in November 2020 and at an entrepreneurship summit in Istanbul in 2011.
Those at the United Nations who may have been hoping to hear Biden explain what happened in Afghanistan were disappointed. Instead, he described the Afghan fiasco as just another historical steppingstone in U.S. history, assuring his audience, “We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan, and as we close this period of relentless war, we are opening a new era of relentless diplomacy.” But the shadow of the disastrous U.S. retreat from Kabul makes Biden’s words ring hollow.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
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