Furious as the salvation of the Western world after four years of turmoil, lies and upheaval in the White House under Donald Trump, President Joe Biden has made decisions that displease the allies and leave his supporters stunned.
After the Republican, it wouldn’t be difficult to have the support of the overwhelming majority of the leaders who matter in the West, with the notorious exception of Jair Bolsonaro and the occasional autocrat hidden in the EU budget, and to have the sympathy of the general public. liberal media.
But Biden’s fairly lengthy period of dating is already showing signs of wear and tear due to his decisions, which replace the Republican’s erratic character with self-assurance on issues they basically agree on.
In short, Biden is more Trump than Trump, at least in his practical integration into the world.
The example of Afghanistan is the clearest. After spending the election campaign criticizing the Republican for treating European allies with bread and water, Biden made a series of diplomatic curtsies, culminating with his June European tour.
In it, more than swearing in love and cooperation with the European Union and NATO, a US-led military alliance despised by Trump, Biden sought to co-opt his colleagues to join him in the big game against China – and, by the way, Russia.
In addition to displeasing some partners, anxious to maintain good business with Beijing and Moscow, one issue was blocked: Biden’s unilateral decision to leave Afghanistan and the ensuing Taliban victory.
After all, in the throes of two decades of occupation, there were perhaps 3,500 Americans there, compared to twice as many NATO countries.
Everyone wanted to leave, of course, but there was no discussion with those who embarked on the American adventure in 2001, with the British ahead. It is no coincidence that the British political class is shouting about the unspeakable spectacle on the runway at Kabul airport.
European public opinion, always more sensitive to humanitarian questions than American opinion, also contributes to it. The election has it everywhere.
Significantly, Biden ratified the deal Trump signed in 2020, which was, to say the least, optimistic about the commitments made by the Taliban, to seek negotiations with Ashraf Ghani’s government and to abide by the Western libretto. human rights.
The first part is self-explanatory, with Ghani recording videos of exile in Abu Dhabi. The fact that the two-week Taliban-operated military tsunami was seen as a potential ripple by the White House is a sad repetition of patterns in intelligence data processing.
It remains to be seen whether it is incompetence for less, as in the case of the Benghazi debacle in 2012, or bad faith for more, as during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
On the other hand, the idea of a moderate Taliban, reaffirmed in every interview with bearded lords of power in Kabul, is challenged by each news of repression and the very idea of reintroducing Islamic law in the country.
The Afghan case is the most glaring, but far from unique. The relationship with China has gone from a disorderly opening of fronts on all sides, in the rescue of Cold War 2.0 inaugurated by Trump in 2017, to an open confrontation.
Expectations that Biden would attempt a dialogue with the Chinese, otherwise always exaggerated by apologists for the Left Democratic Party, have been replaced by harsh reality.
Part of the reason is the president’s need to stand firm, even when he’s wrong, because the ghost of “Sleepy Joe” that Trump has imposed on him is not resting. So when the chief diplomats in China and the United States almost cried out for an apocalyptic day in Alaska, the cards are on the table.
Biden might even meet Xi Jinping, as he did with an impassive Vladimir Putin, the Russian he called a murderer. But the point is that the logic of an increasingly divided multipolar world between the United States and China, with Russia in turn, is only growing.
Any criticism of Trump’s “America First” can be leveled at Biden in handling the Covid-19 vaccine problem. This week, by reaffirming that the third dose for Americans precedes aid to other countries, the president clarified his course of action.
He is wrong ? If you are a supporter who saw him as a brilliant knight pulling America out of the shadows of isolationism and plunging the country into a renewed era of multilateralism, yes. It is in this dilemma that American allies and liberals find themselves today.
If you consider that half of the country he leads thinks like Trump, and American history itself is a long collection of lonely positions that reflect his protected continental geopolitical position, interspersed with moments of embarrassed imperialism, there is logic in Biden’s journey.
Of course, Kabul will wreak havoc among pendular voters, whether those who see American humiliation or those who are horrified by bodies falling from the sky. On the other hand, his haunting crisis speech, in which he washed his hands, also brings an unusual frankness, even on occasion.
Of course, Biden has strengths, starting with not being a disgusting buffoon as we see. Its insistent environmental agenda is also an important asset. But every day it feels more like a focused version of the Liberals’ favorite villain.