President Joe Biden delivered his second speech on September 21st at the annual high-level session of the United Nations General Assembly. Normally the President of the United States speaks to the General Assembly on the first day of the high-level session but President Biden’s trip to Great Britain to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral caused him to postpone the speech by a day.
Instead of showing respect to the leader of the largest contributor by far to the UN by placing President Biden first on the list to address the General Assembly on the subsequent day of the high-level session, the UN bureaucrats placed him as the seventh speaker behind Iran. As far as we know, the Biden administration did not object to this inexcusable slight.
To make things worse, at the end of his speech President Biden embarrassed himself and the United States whom he represents when he sheepishly said, “Thank you for your tolerance, for listening to me.”
Turning to the substance of President Biden’s General Assembly speech, the strongest part dealt with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s escalating threats, including the possible use of nuclear weapons.
“Let us speak plainly,” President Biden said, “A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map.”
Noting Putin’s latest threats, President Biden added, “Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime. Now Russia is calling — calling up more soldiers to join the fight. And the Kremlin is organizing a sham referenda to try to annex parts of Ukraine, an extremely significant violation of the U.N. Charter…This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should not — that should make your blood run cold.”
Even on Ukraine, President Biden could have gone further and warned the countries still propping up Russia with arms, drones, and other military assistance, such as Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea, to expect even heavier sanctions than have already been imposed on them if they continue on this course.
Ukraine was the high point of President Biden’s speech. It went downhill from there.
President Biden spent a substantial amount of time, for example, lecturing about climate change but had hardly anything to say about the severe energy crisis the world is facing right now. The president also said nothing about the mass migration crisis, which the UN has said is the most dangerous in the world at the southern border with Mexico that Biden has opened wide. Biden should have used his global platform to announce new concrete measures to restrict illegal immigration into the United States. And he should have told countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua to stop sending their criminals to the U.S. or to expect them to be sent back to their doorsteps immediately by whatever means necessary.
President Biden steered clear of any sharp criticisms of the Chinese Communist regime. He referred to the regime as a competitor, rather than as a dangerous adversary determined to replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower. With respect to Taiwan, the president said, “We remain committed to our One China policy, which has helped prevent conflict for four decades. And we continue to oppose unilateral changes in the status quo by either side.” Yet Biden failed to mention that China had already made unilateral changes in the status quo by escalating its provocative show of force with expanded military exercises surrounding Taiwan and military flights over Taiwan’s airspace.
President Biden’s staff most likely instructed him to tread lightly and certainly not to repeat his remark on “Sixty Minutes” that the U.S. would defend Taiwan with U.S. troops if China invaded Taiwan. Senior administration officials scrambled to walk back this major departure from America’s long-established policy of strategic ambiguity as they had done before.
While trumpeting the vital importance of human rights, President Biden made only a passing reference to China’s gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang without even mentioning the oppressed Uyghurs by name.
Regarding Iran, President Biden said that “while the United States is prepared for a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Iran steps up to its obligations, the United States is clear: We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” That is a hollow threat, which Iran’s leaders know after having observed President Biden’s hasty, reckless retreat from Afghanistan last year.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal with Iran, was a disaster. But President Biden wants to revive the JCPOA and reverse former President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon it. At the very least, however, President Biden should have warned Iran that the U.S. will pull out of talks to revive the nuclear deal unless Iran immediately complies with its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This means that Iran must fully cooperate with the investigation being conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by truthfully answering questions about traces of uranium found at three sites. The Director-General of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, told reporters in New York on September 21st that Iran was not cooperating to date and that he has been unable to even meet with any Iranian officials while in New York.
In order to display his globalist credentials, President Biden said that the United States supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the UN Security Council. “This includes permanent seats for those nations we’ve long supported and permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean,” President Biden said. He also called for refraining “from the use of the veto, except in rare, extraordinary situations.”
In other words, President Biden is perfectly willing to dilute America’s influence on the Security Council and make the Security Council more ineffective than it already is, turning it into a mini-General Assembly gabfest.
President Biden also pledged billions of additional spending of U.S. taxpayer dollars on various globalist programs.
Overall, America’s adversaries see a weak U.S. president when it comes to foreign policy and are acting accordingly. Nothing in President Biden’s speech to the UN General Assembly has changed that accurate perception.