President Joe Biden’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday displayed precious little self-awareness. Biden did not acknowledge his horrifying failures in Afghanistan — he claimed credit for getting America out of war for the first time in 20 years, as if everything had gone off without a hitch, and hilariously lectured the Taliban to behave itself while the Islamist regime merrily oppresses women and piles up corpses.
Biden criticized authoritarianism after issuing an authoritarian vaccine mandate. He boasted of “rebuilding alliances” after causing unprecedented diplomatic disasters with the United Kingdom and France.
Most disturbingly, Biden made it clear he and his Democrat party intend to use the powers seized during the coronavirus pandemic to impose climate change policies and a Green New Deal on the American people. He repeatedly linked the coronavirus to climate change as if they were one and the same issue. He never mentioned the coronavirus pandemic during his address without dropping a reference to climate change soon afterward, and at one point he went for a trifecta by adding nuclear nonproliferation as another issue that should be tackled with Big Government’s pandemic superpowers.
Biden’s fitful effort to rhapsodize democracy at the end of his address could not conceal the painful truth that his vision of a “Build Back Better World” is one where Americans will be less exceptional, less prosperous, and indisputably less free.
Biden’s address was largely preoccupied with globalist ideals. He had remarkably little to say about the American people or their interests. He rattled off huge U.S. spending programs on foreign aid, boasting that he wants to double U.S. funding to “help developing nations tackle the climate crisis” after it was already doubled, and proposing oceans of American taxpayer dollars for new and existing international programs.
There was little in Biden’s speech of interest to Americans worried about soaring inflation, rising gas prices, a stumbling economy, and deranged levels of government spending after a grueling year and a half of “15 days to flatten the curve.” He went to the U.N. to celebrate the glory of a bigger U.S. government, not to voice the fear and anger of a diminished American private sector.
The problem with Biden’s stubborn refusal to admit mistakes is that he never learns from them. Thus, he threw in a line about “working with the P5+1 to engage Iran diplomatically and seek a return to the JCPOA” when the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal was long ago exposed as a complete failure, and Iran stubbornly refuses to make any concessions whatsoever.
“We’re prepared to return to full compliance if Iran does the same,” Biden declared. Iran has no intention of doing so, but Biden apparently cannot admit that reality.
“U.S. military power should not be used as an answer to everything. Bombs and bullets cannot defend against Covid-19,” Biden mused… as if he wasn’t the veep from an administration that launched a disastrous war of choice in Libya, to be followed by President Donald Trump, who managed to break the Islamic State and liquidate Iran’s terrorist mastermind Qassem Soleimani without starting any wars at all.
Biden touted his support for a U.N. Security Council resolution “laying out the expectations to which we’ll hold the Taliban when it comes to respecting universal human rights,” when the Taliban has been giddily ignoring all of those expectations, oppressing women and minorities and murdering its enemies in a manner very difficult to distinguish from Taliban 1.0.
“We all must advocate for the rights of women and girls to use their full talents, to contribute economically, politically, and socially, and pursue their dreams free of violence and intimidation,” Biden declared piously, as if any of those things have a chance of happening in Afghanistan.
“The bitter sting of terrorism is real, we’ve almost all experienced it. Last month, we lost 13 American heroes and almost 200 innocent Afghan civilians in a heinous terrorist attack at the Kabul airport. Those who continue to commit acts of terrorism against us will continue to find a determined enemy in the United States,” Biden said in his only concession to the bloody horrors of his Afghanistan withdrawal.
In the real world, the terrorists who killed those people at the Kabul airport have suffered no consequences, while Joe Biden killed an innocent man and his family with a bungled drone strike. Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan, but the Biden administration won’t even admit how many there are.
Biden’s climactic stemwinder against authoritarianism was a great illustration of how his rhetoric diverges from unpleasant reality:
The authoritarians in the world may seek to proclaim the end of democracy, but they’re wrong. The truth is, the democratic world is everywhere.
It lives in the anti-corruption activists, human rights defenders, the journalists, the peace protesters, on the front lines of the struggle in Belarus, Burma, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, and everywhere in between. It lives in the brave women of Sudan, who withstood violence and oppression to push a genocidal dictator from power, and who keep working every day to defend their democratic progress. It lives in the proud Moldovans who helped deliver a landslide victory for the forces of democracy, with a mandate to fight graft to build a more inclusive economy. It lives in the young people of Zambia who harnessed the power of the vote for the first time, turning out in record numbers to denounce corruption and chart a new path for their country.
And while no democracy is perfect, including the United States, we’ll continue to struggle to live up to the highest ideals, to heal our divisions, and face down violence and insurrection.
The ugly truth is that authoritarianism is on the rise around the world, very much including the United States, where freedom has been diminished, a growing number of issues are considered beyond the reach of mere voters, and we are growing accustomed to speech codes and censorship. Biden and his party swiftly lose their appetite for “facing down violence and insurrection” when it comes from left-wing groups.
Many of the triumphs of democracy Biden listed were wishful thinking at best. Brutal Marxist regimes are still firmly in power in Venezuela and Cuba. There is little sign that the dictator ruling Belarus is losing his grip on power. Advocacy groups say press freedom is diminishing worldwide every year. China is systematically undermining American efforts to use economic and diplomatic leverage to weaken regimes that abuse human rights.
There is no way to reconcile Joe Biden’s vision of a globalist command economy with freedom and democracy. For his “Build Back Better World” plan to succeed, the people of the world – and especially of America – must be given less to say about how their money is spent, which industries will succeed, and how they will meet challenges. To put it mildly, Biden and his administration have not proven themselves to be capable managers, innovative problem-solvers, or inspiring visionaries.