By Amrit Muttukumaru –
There is no necessity to dwell at length on the reality of global political tensions now worsened by the Covid pandemic. The reasons for this include competition for geopolitical hegemony for military advantage and natural resources, economic/social inequity, environmental degradation with implications for climate change and global terrorism entering a more threatening phase by the use of cyber technology. Even the access to Covid vaccines and related health infrastructure underscores the global north – south divide. There is tension between the US and China even on the origin of the virus.
As if these were not bad enough, the world has to now cope with the implications of growing polarization and resultant instability in a superpower – the United States. Despite major blemishes and hypocrisy, the US stands out in the wider world as a bulwark against illiberal tendencies and authoritarianism.
The intemperate response to the Trump phenomenon makes no small contribution to the polarization. The chances are that this will outlive former President Trump himself. His stance on what ails US society and his global view may have unwittingly tapped into growing discontent within large swathes of the US population.
An example of intemperate response is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arbitrarily barring two Republican members from the select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot purely due to “statements made and actions taken by these members.” in relation to the 2020 presidential election and the capitol riot itself. Is this not the very reason they should be in the committee if the intention is to get to the bottom of it?
The Trump phenomenon is best captured in the cliché ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’. Sadly this has not been fully understood by his opponents whose response appears to be more out of fear of his popularity and a dislike of him.
This phenomenon brings in its wake its own challenges to the US social fabric and politics which must be addressed in a rational and conciliatory manner. Going on a collision course will only harden positions. The response of most of the mainstream media to Trump has already caused damage to some of the country’s institutions of governance.
Trump is arguably the most popular politician in the US today, due to the unflinching loyalty of his huge base which is by far the majority of those supporting the Republican Party. This is why he is feared by most of the movers and shakers of the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Trump looming larger than life and being at the center of the political discourse in the US and possibly to some extent worldwide tells its own story.
Since the focus of this article is on the implications of US President Joe Biden’s cognitive impairment, the reference to former President Donald Trump will only be in this context.
The knee-jerk response of the Democratic Party aided and abetted by most of the mainstream and social media was to unleash through a deeply contentious 2020 presidential election a clearly cognitively impaired US President in the form of Joe Biden. Other examples of his cognitive impairment is his ‘creepy’ whispering and inability to coherently engage with the media.
The latest example of his cognitive impairment is an absolute horror which is dangerous to the US and world politics. It was during Biden’s announcement a few days ago of the landmark partnership between the UK, Australia and US to assist Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
Biden forgetting the name of the Australian Prime Minister, referring to Scott Morrison blurted out: “I want to thank that fellow down under” !
Most of the mainstream US media which went out on a limb prior to the presidential election to cover-up Biden’s cognitive impairment and serious allegations concerning his son Hunter Biden continue to do so even in regard to the outrageous Scott Morrison issue.
Since it is not the focus of this article to dwell on the contentious 2020 presidential election, it will suffice to give the example of ‘mail-in’ or ‘absentee’ voting. In the context of ‘in-person’ voting on the day of the election being the most transparent mode, there was an unprecedented influx of ‘mail-in’ voting ostensibly due to the Covid. There was also a high volume of unsolicited ‘mail-in’ ballots sent to voters in highly populated states such as California. In New Jersey where ‘unsolicited’ ballots were sent, a whopping 86% are said to have voted by ‘mail’ in 2020 compared to a mere 7% in 2016! Coincidentally, the vast preponderance of ‘mail-in’ votes throughout the US accrued to President Joe Biden. Does this not tell a story?
Under the circumstance, it is difficult to comprehend how Biden could have obtained 81 Million votes just 10 months ago – the most by any presidential candidate in U.S. history. Trump obtained 74 Million votes despite the media handicap. The intent of the Democratic Party is clearly reflected in its appalling stance on voter integrity.
One of its leading lights – Stacey Abrams in her response in April this year to the question from Republican Party Senator John Kennedy as to why she opposes Georgia’s voting rights bill had this to say:
“It requires that a voter has a photo identification or some other form of identification that they are willing to surrender in order to participate in an absentee ballot process”
Subsequent flips and major reversals dictated by embarrassment simply make matters worse.
Is it not likely that Biden’s cognitive impairment could have contributed to the chaotic manner in which the US exited Afghanistan and in the process worsened global political tensions?
1) The most outrageous of Biden’s irrationality is the revelation by the ‘Washington Post’ that the Taliban had actually “offered to allow the U.S. military to take responsibility for security in Kabul” and that it was unbelievably “declined”! This is a classic case of fact being stranger than fiction.
2) Biden is being disingenuous when he claims that his hands were tied by Trump’s Doha agreement. He chose to ignore an ‘escape clause’ which allowed the US to pullout from the agreement if the Taliban reneges from any of its commitments.
3) With the ISIS-K claiming responsibility for the killing of U.S. service members in a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport, has not the Taliban reneged on its commitment that “Taliban will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qa’ida, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”? Hence, did not Biden have the leverage to ensure safe passage to all evacuees and not shamelessly depend on the assistance of the Taliban?
4) The US after shamelessly giving the Taliban responsibility for security outside the Kabul airport, gave them a “list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies” for entry into the Taliban controlled area outside the airport. On past record, is this not the death knell for these persons?
5) Biden is said to have deliberately delayed engaging with NATO allies who stood with the US through thick and thin in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. Particular mention is made of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It is alleged that he actually “ignored” calls from Johnson for “at least 36 hours”!
6) After eventual contact with Biden, Macron is said to have underscored their collective “moral responsibility” to ensure safe passage to Afghan citizens who assisted the US and its allies over a 20 year period. The White House is said to have omitted the reference to “moral responsibility”.
7) The chaotic exit of the US from the 20 year Afghanistan engagement costing more than $2 trillion left behind (i) hundreds of US citizens/Green Card holders and thousands of Afghan allies to the mercy of the Taliban (ii) tens of billions of dollars of cutting edge military hardware.
8) Prematurely abandoned the more secure Bagram air base and depended on the relatively unstable Kabul airport in an urban area for the evacuation of US citizens and Afghan allies. This has been a major cause for the loss of lives and injury to so many awaiting evacuation.
Biden has created mistrust between the US and its NATO allies. Referring to the manner in which Biden exited Afghanistan, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is of the opinion “The only people really cheering this decision are the people hostile to western interests”.
US credibility has been badly damaged and will benefit countries such as China, Russia, Iran and some others. This scenario will embolden terrorist groups worldwide – particularly Jihadists and countries such as North Korea. This is in the context of China and Iran sharing a common border with Afghanistan. India is already feeling the heat from Biden’s Afghanistan debacle vis-à-vis China and Pakistan.
On the basis of excerpts from the Reuters transcript of the conversation between Joe Biden and then Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Biden has been caught out actually urging Ghani to LIE and give a wrong picture of the ground reality in Afghanistan. The mainstream media which would have made mince meat out of Trump for such an outrage is either silent or at best muted!
Biden: “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
Ghani: “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this, so that dimension needs to be taken account of.”
The timeline of the conversation reveals a lot. It took place on 23 July and the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killing at least 13 U.S. service members and 90 Afghans took place on 26 August. Hence, Biden knew how bad the situation was and yet chose to lie about it.
Does not juxtaposing Biden urging Ghani to lie with Macron’s call for “moral responsibility” being omitted by the White House, reveal a tale of consistency in Biden’s mendacious conduct?
World in “Peril”?
How perilous (no pun intended) the world is, comes out in the ‘Washington Post’ excerpts from the recently launched book ‘Peril’. The book alleges that incumbent Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley during the “final months of the Trump administration” made “secret phone calls” to his “Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng” where he “assured” him that the “United States would not strike”.
If what is alleged is true, it is dangerous for the US and by extension to the world. If true, it is outrageous for a military man to interfere in such matters and worse for Biden to continue to have Gen. Milley as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The crucial point being overlooked by Trump’s opponents notably House Speaker Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats, as well as most of the mainstream and social media, is why he is still hugely popular and looms larger than life in the political discourse of the US. The answer to this will give them a clue as to what is going on in the US today and dictate a rational response. Never missing an opportunity to hound Trump and his allies will only worsen dissension in the US.
Big media repeating ad nauseam that the challenge posed to the integrity of the 2020 presidential election is a Big Lie does not automatically make it so. Why are millions upon millions of US citizens still questioning its integrity? Are they all collectively insane?
Trump continues to be banned by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. What are they so afraid of?
I am an insignificant person from probably a relatively insignificant country. Yet, I make bold to challenge CNN to telecast in full at prime time at least thrice (i) Biden’s reference to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison “I want to thank that fellow down under” (ii) Biden urging then Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to LIE.
It is not the purpose of this article to root for Trump. The Trump phenomenon has its own challenges to the US social fabric and politics which must be addressed in a rational manner. Going on a collision course will only harden positions. The hostile response to him by most of the mainstream media has already caused damage to some of the country’s institutions of governance. Gen. Mark Milley’s “secret phone calls” to his “Chinese counterpart” if true is an example.
Under the circumstances, does not the US require urgent course correction in leadership also in the interest of global stability?