Indeed, if there was a theme to Biden’s speech, it was simple: The United States, and by definition Biden, are on the right side, and anyone who’s been messing around should see how appropriate it might be to move forward. Although the US president does not want to cause conflict.
Biden effectively framed it as a “contest between democracy and autocracy.” “If a nation can pursue its imperial ambitions without consequence,” well, there is no question on which side the United States finds itself, nor which side the UN and its allies must choose. “We chose freedom,” added Biden. From food security to nuclear non-proliferation to development, Russia has found itself on the wrong side of every equation, “spewing lies.”
“Meanwhile, Russia is trying to blame the… crisis — the food crisis — on the sanctions imposed by many around the world for its aggression against Ukraine. So let me be clear: our sanctions explicitly allow… Russia’s ability to export food and fertilizer. No limits. no. Russia’s war is increasing food insecurity, and only Russia can end it.”
It was a powerful argument and theme that Biden returned to repeatedly in his remarks. The war in Russia is “boring the global economy”, Biden said, and called on global creditors to forgive loans for the poorest countries. In short, he concluded, this is “Russia’s war […] and only Russia can finish it.’
As it turns out, Biden was not the only one, nor was he the most extreme in his language to suggest that the world should start picking sides.
Biden had some solutions that should be warmly welcomed, but due to the elaborate structure of the UN, they are unlikely to be accepted.
He proposed increasing the size of the UN Security Council and adding more permanent members from African, Latin American and Caribbean countries. That would, of course, dampen the voices of Russia or China, the two permanent members, although it would hardly prevent them from continuing to use the veto that has left that body toothless in major crises.
Biden’s failure to highlight the close ties between Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping may suggest the Beijing leader is having second thoughts about how closely he wants to embrace the Russian leader. degree is shaking.
“We’re not looking for conflict,” Biden said. “We’re not looking for a Cold War.” And, he added, the US will remain “committed to the One China policy”, suggesting that it recognizes China’s vision without fully accepting it.
If there was one takeaway from this speech, which seemed as intended for an American audience in the middle of a midterm political campaign as for any global audience or Kremlin audience, it was simple: “You” We are still committed to a strong foundation for the good of all nations around the world, then the United States with you they want to work.” Provided, of course, that voters continue to empower Biden to do so.