Even his own Secretary of State couldn’t help but cringe at the US President’s statements
Recently, the 2002 ‘Letter to America’ by then-Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden went viral on TikTok after young Americans rediscovered it and, apparently, became disillusioned with their country. This was because Bin Laden had, we may assume, some astute observations about the USA – at least as far as some young people see it.
It turns out, of course, that Bin Laden was not only a very well-educated man but also wrote quite a lot. Daniel Dumbrill, a China-based social-media influencer, clued his audience on X (formerly Twitter) into one of Bin Laden’s other letterswhere he specifically mentioned current US President Joe Biden and why he, the leader of a terrorist outfit wanting to overthrow the US, actually preferred then-Vice President Biden to President Barack Obama.
Bid Laden wrote, “I had asked Shaykh Saeed (may Allah have mercy on him) to task brother Ilyas (Kashmiri) with preparing two groups, one in Pakistan, and the other in the vicinity of Bagram, Afghanistan. These two groups were to be tasked with reconnaissance of Obama’s or Petraeus’s visit to Afghanistan or Pakistan and the subsequent targeting of the airplanes in which they travel.”
“However, if they received news of the arrival of Joe Biden (the vice president), Gates (secretary of defense), Mullen (chief of staff) or Holbrooke (Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan envoy), they must not target any of these four; the focus must be on Obama and Petraeus. The reason of focusing on Obama specifically is that he is the head of disbelief and the assassination will leave Biden in charge of the presidency for the remaining presidential term. Biden is totally incapable of assuming this office, and his assumption of power will push America into a deep crisis,” the letter concludes (emphasis added).
This reminds me of the old adage that if Adolf Hitler said the sky was blue, then I’d find myself agreeing with Hitler. Agree with him or not, wish death upon America or not, it is undeniable that what he said in this letter was true. The recent meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the US actually demonstrated this before a global audience.
During a press conference, Biden, first of all, blabbered on about secret ongoing negotiations related to the Israeli hostages held by the Palestinian military group Hamas in Gaza. These talks are apparently being mediated by the Qataris, according to Biden, but he did not give more details as his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, was shaking his head in an apparent plea for him to can it. A journalist also asked Biden if he stood by his previous statement that Xi Jinping is a dictator, to which the US leader replied that, indeed, he does believe that. Blinken visibly cringed on camera after the comment.
While Antony Blinken is not an exceptional diplomat and has the air of a rich kid who traveled abroad one time in their life to Europe during college and came back “cultured,” his cringe was effectively the collective cringe of all foreign-policy experts and commenters. Insulting a foreign guest, the president of a country that is your leading peer competitor and that will likely far surpass the US in a decade’s time at max, to his face, is downright stupid. There is no other way to describe such behavior.
But this is also indicative of the more substantive outcomes of this meeting. While some of my Chinese colleagues in media are optimistic, and, indeed, China’s state media is awash with droves of cheerful and hopeful columns, such a perspective is very clearly out of touch with reality. The US and China should manage their relationship more carefully and seek cooperation over competition; however, such wishful thinking doesn’t constitute reality. The relationship is currently very bad, and to think otherwise is naive.
Paul Heer, a former US national intelligence officer for East Asia, described the outcome of this meeting perfectly in a recent piece for the National Interest. Essentially, and this is obvious by reading each side’s readout of the meeting, the US has rejected Xi’s very generous offer to “enhance solidarity and cooperation and join hands to meet global challenges and promote global security and prosperity” (a quote from the Chinese readout) by “emphasizing first and foremost that ‘the United States and China are in competition.’”
In focusing on division over unity, Biden attempted to “speak primarily to his domestic political audience – especially his critics on Capitol Hill – demonstrating his readiness to be tough on China.” On the other hand, Xi’s moves in San Fransisco “appeared to be directed primarily at the global audience, for whom he sought to demonstrate Beijing’s readiness to be reasonable and cooperative in dealing with Washington’s more confrontational approach.”
Heer is of the very well-informed opinion that Xi “reiterated Beijing’s longstanding objection to framing the US-China relationship as primarily competitive, asserting that this would not solve the problems facing the two countries and the world.” Thus, he concludes, “the core underlying sources of tension and mistrust were not addressed, and the fundamental political, structural, and historical obstacles to rapprochement remain intact…. Progress will be halting as long as both sides are unwilling or not prepared to assume the risks and responsibilities of reciprocal accommodation.”
Indeed, I agree with most of this – but it’s clear that the US has had now almost two full presidential terms with a totally incompetent head of state, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Both of these men have no idea what they’re doing and are extraordinarily dangerous for the US’ national interests in foreign diplomacy. And everyone can see this. But it’s not just about personality politics; rather, this lack of rigor and talent is emblematic of the general, overall decline of the US as a major world power.
The US, in reality, is not a place with stable institutions or, at this juncture, the strong diplomatic or military capabilities that it once possessed. The fact that the US and its allies continue to lose proxy wars against Russia (ex: Syria and Ukraine) is one such clear example, and so is the success of China’s diplomacy in the Middle East.
In a nutshell, the US is essentially a perhaps once-great nation, with a ton of residual influence and wealth, that is being sapped by a ruthlessly self-interested oligarchy. It’s these people who actually make the real decisions, whether in the national interest or not, and they are the ones who effectively decide who is in office. Unsurprisingly, these are the people whom President Xi surrounded himself with in San Francisco – because he knows they matter the most – and who also gave him a standing ovation as he spoke, much to the chagrin of Gina Raimondothe US secretary of commerce.
But it’s worth remembering why these people supported Trump (at first) and Biden, and it’s paradoxically for their incompetence. A competent government that does anything besides cut taxes and effectively project American influence abroad is what is most detrimental to the interests of the elite. Yet, such a system, where the less-than-remarkable rise to top positions, is fundamentally unsustainable. This has led to self-cannibalizing political leadership, hence the rapid decline of American power over the past decade – and the fact that a bumbling moron like Biden can be anywhere near the Oval Office in the first place.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.