President Biden's Missed Opportunity To Heal The Nation

President Biden's Missed Opportunity To Heal The Nation

While President Biden emphasizes unity and cooperation in his speeches, he has yet to discover a means to effectively communicate these principles to the American people.

tippinsights Editorial Board

"United we stand, divided we fall" is a phrase attributed to John Dickinson, one of our nation's Founding Fathers, in his album "The Liberty Song."

On the anniversary of the 2021 January 6 riots, yesterday, President Biden had a historic opportunity to fulfill Dickinson's forewarning to unite and heal the country, but he blew it. He delivered a speech from the White House, in which he pointed the finger squarely at President Trump for the events of last January, without mentioning his name.

President Biden stated that Trump "created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election" in an effort to "rewrite history" and added that Trump "rallied the mob to attack" the Capitol.

Most Americans agree that January 6, 2021, was a day of infamy, and what happened in Washington was a national disgrace.

TIPP Polls have shown that Americans also don't think it was an insurrection or a coup as described by Democratic politicians and the media.  Vice President Kamala Harris' comparison of the event to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, when over 3,000 people were killed, was over the top and shared similar exaggeration.

With the American public largely disagreeing with the Democratic narrative, President Biden should have taken a more conciliatory approach, emphasizing what unites us rather than what divides us as Americans.  He could have also been forgiving and shown a willingness to move on.

Failing to mention the death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, 35, and purposefully not mentioning Donald Trump's name throughout the speech gave the impression that President Biden believes half of the American population's beliefs and opinions are unimportant. While watching the speech, one wonders why he is willing to point the finger at Trump but not say his name. Whether it was condescension or pure pusillanimity, it was unworthy of a magnanimous leader of the free world.

President Trump retaliated to President Biden's speech."Biden, who is destroying our Nation with insane policies of open Borders, corrupt elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures, used my name today to try to further divide America," Trump said, even though Biden didn't specifically say his name in the speech.

During the entire term of President Biden, the TIPP Unity Index has stayed in pessimistic territory.  An index score above 50 signifies unity, below 50 signifies lack of unity, and 50 is neutral. Americans of all stripes feel the polarization in our nation.

President Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

While President Biden frequently mentions the importance of unity and coming together in his speeches, he has yet to find an effective way to get the American public to share these values.  President Biden's speech implied that unity would come only when everyone agreed on what happened on January 6.  It's the same mentality that's been in place since last year: "Agree with us, or get out of the way."

Moving forward, let's keep what President Reagan said 32 years ago in our minds as we heal from the sordid events of a year ago:  I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

The United States requires greater unity now than ever, and our current leaders' actions must genuinely reflect the spirit.

A day that could have aided healing came and went, only to discover that we squandered the opportunity.


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U.S. Backs Lithuania In Spat With China

'Europeans stand in solidarity at Lithuania's side,' Germany said, while the U.S. gave Vilnius its support to help counter Beijing's 'economic coercion.'

Lithuania flag

The U.S. and Germany on Wednesday backed Lithuania in its spat with China, saying the pressure exerted by Beijing against the tiny Baltic nation was unwarranted, while China yesterday countered that Washington was using Vilnius and Taipei "to contain" Beijing.

"We have an immediate concern about the government of China's attempts to bully Lithuania, a country of fewer than 3 million people," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after a meeting in Washington with his German counterpart.

Blinken said that China had been pushing European and U.S. companies to stop building products with components made in Lithuania or risk losing access to the Chinese market.

Related:

WSJ Editorial:  China Bullies Little Lithuania
WSJ Commentary:  China Takes Lithuania as an Economic Hostage
WSJ Commentary:  Lithuania Is the ‘Canary’ of World Order


Kazakhstan Crisis Escalates

Russian-led troops have been deployed at the request of the Kazakh president to quell the worst unrest in the Central Asian country for decades.

Infographic

The protests began Sunday peacefully in the oil town of Zhanaozen after the government doubled the cost of liquefied petroleum gas. Trouble spread across the country, with broader demands for increased political representation and improved social benefits.

Security forces say they have killed dozens of anti-government rioters in the main city, Almaty, while twelve members of the security forces have also been killed.

The events are a stark challenge to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev less than three years into his rule and destabilize an already volatile region where Russia and the United States compete for influence.

Kazakhstan has close ties with Moscow but maintains links to the U.S. with oil investment, seen as a counterbalance to Russian influence.

The events represent another possible challenge to autocratic power in a neighboring country for the Kremlin. This is the third uprising against an authoritarian, Kremlin-aligned nation, following pro-democracy protests in Ukraine in 2014 and Belarus in 2020.

The chaos threatens to undermine Moscow's sway in the region when Russia asserts its economic and geopolitical power in countries like Ukraine and Belarus.


Attacks On US In Iraq Meant To Send 'Harsh' Message — Without Spilling Blood

Iran stakes out a hard line.

Iran

An Arab diplomat who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Al-Monitor warned that for every day that talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal drag on, Tehran's nuclear program advances. "Iranians are buying valuable time so that they get to the point of no return," the diplomat said.

A commander in Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity explained that these attacks are "sending a harsh message to the Americans while making sure no drop of blood is spilled."

The commander also told Al-monitor that "It's also about setting the scene on the second anniversary of the assassination of Gen. Qasem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and also a show of power the Iraqis want Iran to use at the negotiating table in Vienna to solidify its posture."


Japan, U.S. Concerned Over China Bid To Undermine Rules-Based Order

On Friday, Japanese and U.S. foreign and defense chiefs shared their concerns about China's attempts to "undermine the rules-based order" and challenges they pose to the region and world, vowing to cooperate in deterring and responding to "destabilizing activities."

U.S.-Japan Talks

In a joint statement issued after their virtual "two-plus-two" talks, the ministers highlighted the "importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait" while opposing any unilateral actions threatening Japan's administration of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, controlled by Japan but claimed by China.


Morocco And China Agree To Implement The Belt And Road Initiative

Morocco and China have enhanced their cooperation as they signed the joint Belt and Road implementation plan on Wednesday.

Morocco

Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ning Jizhe Vice-Chairman of the Chinese National Commission for Reform and Development signed the joint belt and road implementation plan on Wednesday.

The deal should see the two nations create joint ventures in the energy industry when implemented. China also vows to encourage Chinese businesses to invest in Morocco while granting funds for large development projects in the African country.

Morocco was the first Maghrebi country to adhere to the Belt and Road initiative.


N. Korea Says It's Not Joining Beijing Olympics Due To 'Hostile Forces,' Pandemic

South Korea had hoped to use the sporting event as a venue to reengage with North Korea.

Beijing Olympics

North Korea said it fully supports the upcoming Beijing Olympics though it cannot participate in the event, criticizing the U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee earlier decided to suspend the North from the Beijing Olympics set for next month to punish for refusing to participate in last year's Tokyo Games over COVID-19 concerns.

North Korea also slammed the U.S. for "getting evermore undisguised in their moves against China aimed at preventing the successful opening of the Olympics," referring to Washington's decision not to send a government delegation to the games over China's controversial human rights record.


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