US foreign policy reduced to an afterthought | Politics

US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night was rather upbeat. It is long on domestic issues and short on foreign policy. It skirts the challenges posed by Russia and China and completely ignores the rest of the world.

This is the first time a US president has downgraded America’s global role to an afterthought, no less than a president who sees himself as a foreign policy authority, or a commander-in-chief. spent a lot of time and effort. and political capital confronting Russia in Ukraine and containing China in Asia. So this begs the question: Why has Biden chosen to ignore entire continents and the myriad hotspots with which America is directly involved?

Based on one In theory, Americans don’t care much about the rest of the world, and foreign policy is a luxury that can’t be bought at a time of economic hardship and culture wars. Even elites with larger interests abroad recognize that costly foreign policy investments are becoming a hard sell for the public without direct national security threats. next.

Biden understands that, which is why when he first took office, he vowed to end “wars forever” and promised a “middle-class foreign policy” – one serving Americans in general.

But that has proven easier said than done, as Washington has funneled billions of dollars to Ukraine to fight a war that could drag on for years amid populist Republican warnings about high inflation, high cost of living and high national debt.

As a result, the president, who appeared keen to pursue a second term, toned down the costly global fanfare in his speech and instead focused on “made in America” ​​growth and prosperity. “. His call for Congress to tax billionaires and large corporations and reduce the cost of medicine – making him a fit for the “progressive left” led by Senator Bernie Sanders – may be popular with families. working families and the middle class rather than restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. .

However, according to another theory, there is not much to celebrate in US foreign policy, which is why the president decided to ignore the topic altogether. The two theories are not mutually exclusive.

Biden may have accepted Senator Sanders’ provisions on economic unrest, but don’t expect him to adopt his approach to foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, where the United States has failed miserably. And in a disgraceful way.

The president rejected Sanders’ stance on the Israeli occupation and the racism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Worse still, he considers the populist right-wing prime minister his best friend, and continues to support his government of fascists and fanatics.

But Israel is just one of many failures.

There is no foreign policy achievement anywhere in the wider Middle East, unless one considers the humiliating and catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan in support of the Taliban a success, after 20 years of war. horror picture.

Truth be told, the Biden administration has helped achieve ceasefires or maintain deadlocks and the status quo from Sudan to Syria, through Iraq, Libya, Palestine and Yemen. But that’s not a good thing; In fact, it’s a horrible normalization of a terrible situation.

Biden, who has promised to put human rights at the center of his foreign policy, has ignored human rights abuses by his US clients and supported the strong to rule with an iron fist, while the region It is wobbling under violent sectarian and dictatorial regimes.

In good conscience, Washington cannot declare confrontation with Russia and China in the name of democracy, human rights and sovereignty protection, and at the same time placate colonialism and dictatorship in the Middle East or elsewhere. .

It’s hypocritical and it’s counterproductive.

Half a century after young Senator Biden visited the Middle East for the first time in 1973, older President Biden seems to see the region through the same lens he did back then: Israel, oil, and war Cold with Moscow. But as an exhausted 19th-century saying puts it: history repeats itself, the first time a tragedy, the second a farce.

It is funny indeed that despite 50 years of costly strategic, diplomatic, and military interventions, the United States has returned to its original state, appeasing regional misbehaviors in the name of its civic campaign. global master and was rejected and humiliated in the process.

Biden began and ended his State of the Union address with the lofty idea that America is the land of possibility. It’s a beautiful and catchy slogan, one that allows the country to dream big and reach for the moon, literally.

America is indeed a powerful nation, but it is not omnipotent. It must cease its missionary approach to world affairs as if it were ordained to shape it, oversee it, and lead it. Not so.

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