[Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
President Biden can add his appearance in New York City for the United Nations High-Level Week gabfest to his long list of foreign policy failures. On September 19th he delivered a flaccid speech to the UN General Assembly that was chock full of globalist pronouncements but not much else.
President Biden failed, for example, to address the migration crisis in any meaningful way. In his only reference to the migration issue during his UN General Assembly speech, President Biden boasted that “in the Western Hemisphere, we united 21 nations in support of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, launching a region-wide approach to a region-wide challenge to better uphold laws and protect — protect the rights of migrants.” This “approach” is an obvious failure. President Biden sidestepped completely the need to tighten the grounds for a legitimate amnesty claim, which is necessary to avoid the wholesale abuse of international and U.S. amnesty law that we have seen on Biden’s watch.
During this visit to New York City, President Biden has snubbed Democratic Mayor Eric Adams, whose city is at the breaking point from hosting and caring for more than 100,000 migrants let loose by the Biden administration. Mayor Adams has pleaded for significant federal funding to help defray the cost of sheltering, feeding, providing health care for, and educating the migrants already in New York City and who continue to arrive virtually every day. But his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. President Biden decided that it was more important to attend multiple fundraisers than meet face-to-face with the mayor who is trying desperately to manage the disastrous impact on New York City from Biden’s open border policies. President Biden could not even find the time to meet with the leaders of Mexico and the Central American Northern Triangle nations to discuss how to effectively stem the tide of many more migrants making their way to the United States.
President Biden made a lame attempt in his UN General Assembly address to project U.S leadership of the free world against the forces of autocracy. However, actions speak louder than words. The Biden administration’s decision to allow the transfer of $6 billion to the ruthless Iranian regime as part of a prisoner exchange, announced shortly before both President Biden and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi delivered their UN speeches, completely undermined his message. This action is just the latest example of how far President Biden is willing to go in buckling under to the demands of aggressive, oppressive dictatorships like Iran.
At one point in his speech, President Biden told the UN’s 193 member states’ leaders and diplomats that America’s “future is bound to yours.” Joe Biden, the president and commander in chief of the United States, has replaced America First with an America tied down by Lilliputians.
President Biden said that he favored working through the United Nations “and other international bodies and directly with leaders around the world, including our competitors, to ensure we harness the power of…artificial intelligence for good, while protecting our citizens from its most profound risk.”
Tell that to China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, whose past record foreshadows their flouting of international rules governing the use of artificial intelligence in favor of weaponizing it.
While giving examples of over-the-top U.S. contributions to various global causes at American taxpayers’ expense, President Biden said nothing about enacting verifiable measures to ensure accountability by the recipients. In fact, he wants to give these recipient developing countries more say in the governance of the International Monetary Fund.
President Biden is all in with the notion that development in the world’s less prosperous countries requires massive wealth redistribution and top-down statist solutions. He embraced the UN’s globalist Sustainable Development Goals that call for such wealth redistribution. But as President Ronald Reagan said in his own address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 1987, “development is not itself a right. It is the product of rights: the right to own property; the right to buy and sell freely; the right to contract; the right to be free of excessive taxation and regulation, of burdensome government.” Mr. Reagan added: “Those who advocate statist solutions to development should take note: The free market is the other path to development and the one true path. And unlike many other paths, it leads somewhere. It works.”
President Biden’s progressive economic policies have not worked in the United States and will certainly not work in developing countries rife with corruption and strangled by burdensome government controls.
Regarding human rights, President Biden lauded the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has its 75th anniversary this year. Yet he devoted only one sentence in his speech to the world’s worst human rights abusers, which he strung together with glancing references to China, Iran, and Sudan. President Biden made no mention at all of the Taliban’s repression of women and girls in Afghanistan.
President Biden did devote some time to Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine. He said that “for the second year in a row, this gathering dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflicts is darkened by the shadow of war — an illegal war of conquest, brought without provocation by Russia against its neighbor, Ukraine.” He added that “the United States, together with our allies and partners around the world, will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity and their freedom.”
However, since the United States is bearing much of the financial burden for Ukraine’s defense, it would have been nice if Biden has appealed for more equitable cost-sharing, especially from the European countries most affected by the war.
President Biden warned of “what awaits us if we fail to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and begin to climate-proof the world.” He boasted that he signed into law “the largest investment ever, anywhere in the history of the world to combat the climate crisis.” And President Biden said that his administration is “working with the Congress to quadruple our climate financing to help developing countries reach their climate goals and adapt to climate impacts.” Fortunately, that will not happen so long as the Republicans control the House of Representatives.
President Biden’s solutions to the climate change challenge amount to pouring more money into subsidizing green energy, transferring more wealth to developing countries to fund their climate initiatives, and hobbling fossil fuel production. The result of President Biden’s reckless spending and anti-fossil fuel policies has been inflation, including much higher gas prices since he took office.
Finally, President Biden once again characterized China as a competitor that needs to be managed, not as a dangerous adversary and a grave threat to international peace and security. He said that his policy was “de-risking, not decoupling with China.” At the same time, Biden wanted to convince his audience that he could be tough when he thought it was necessary.
“We will push back on aggression and intimidation and defend the rules of the road,” President Biden said, “from freedom of navigation to overflight to a level economic playing field that have helped safeguard security and prosperity for decades.”
Again, actions mean more than mere words. President Biden has shown weakness towards the Chinese regime in virtually every realm.
President Biden once again projected an image of America as a nation reluctant to lead the world from a position of strength. President Biden’s America is not the “shining city on the hill” envisioned by President Reagan. Since President Biden took office, America’s special beacon of light has been dimming considerably.