We’re in a mess.
The country is in the weakest place it’s been in a very long time. If what I suspect and fear comes to pass, it could soon be far worse.
According to the reports from the White House Assisted Living Facility in Washington, D.C., the president of the United States had a long video call Monday night with Xi Jinping, the supreme leader — high pooh-bear — of communist China. The orchestrated event included statements in which Xi referred to someone in the White House’s crowded Roosevelt Room as “my old friend,” and Joe “my God — he’s really the president?” Biden took the reference to mean himself, though the administration later denied that the two are old friends.
Xi stated the excuse China will use to justify an invasion of Taiwan, as is widely expected to take place before long. “China will have to take resolute measures if the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces provoke, compel or even cross the red line,” he said. These provocations and compulsions likely include supporters of Taiwanese independence continuing to exist.
Indeed, communist China has increased its menacing moves against the island nation in the months since Biden shuffled into the Oval Office. This has included flying scores of Chinese bombers and fighter planes over Taiwan in recent weeks, as well as other warlike actions. Biden’s State Department has said, basically, that there’s not much it would do about an invasion of Taiwan. Nevertheless, China is preparing for war with the U.S., from the testing of hypersonic weapons to the use of mock-ups of American naval vessels for target practice.
Our relationship with Taiwan began as sponsorship when we carried nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek and his followers to the island following Mao Tse-tung’s communist revolution in 1949. This was a sticking point with Mao, who prohibited diplomatic (and most other) relations between his recently acquired country and the U.S. The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty was signed under President Eisenhower in 1954. In it, the U.S. guaranteed Nationalist China’s (as opposed to communist China’s) security. That remained unquestioned until Henry Kissinger negotiated the beginning of an ongoing betrayal of Taiwan in 1971 in order to give Richard Nixon a Peking (as it was called at the time) photo op. In 1978, Joe “Bugout” Biden’s foreign policy mentor, Jimmy Carter, culminated months of secret negotiations by officially recognizing communist China and establishing formal diplomatic relations. “As part of the agreement, the United States recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and declared it would withdraw diplomatic recognition from Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China [ROC]),” the official State Department history of the event reminds us. Having established nationalist China on Taiwan three decades earlier, under Carter we stabbed it in the back.
“The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act provides the legal basis for the unofficial relationship between the United States and Taiwan, and enshrines the U.S. commitment to assist Taiwan in maintaining its defensive capability,” says the State Department. Does any person, any person in the entire world, expect the current resident of the White House to honor that commitment, made decades ago by someone else, any more than he honored his own, days-old commitment to ensure the safety of Americans in Afghanistan when he made his ignominious surrender to the Taliban? (Hundreds of American citizens, thousands of green card holders, and tens of thousands we pledged to help remain stranded there, by the way, nearly three months after the place got all bidened up.)
Ah, but that’s just this week, just China.
You may not have noticed it, but Russia is fixing to invade Ukraine. It has amassed 100,000 soldiers along the Ukrainian border, with tanks and other armored vehicles stationed nearby. This is a bad thing. Russia wants Ukraine’s natural gas pipelines and the geographical advantages annexation of the former Soviet territory would bring.
Ukraine has been desperate for Western aid and membership in NATO. The U.S. has been flimsy in its support, and that’s not likely to change — indeed, Biden has promoted Russian pipelines even as he was closing American ones. (This could be part of his purported opposition to global warming and he simply forgot that Russia and Europe are on the same globe as the U.S.)
Close to 40 years ago I covered Soviet tests of anti-satellite weapons, known as asats. and now we learn that the Russians are taking up where the Soviets left off — to the extent that this week it came perilously close to damaging or destroying the International Space Station, to the detriment of those aboard (if, frankly, no one else — the ISS ain’t good for much).
Biden’s concern with the fate of Ukraine might be limited to the hope that invading Russians make sure to destroy the records of the Burisma company, which paid his apparently talentless son Hunter $100,000 per month for having the last name “Biden.” (The pay was cut in half after Joe Biden ceased to be vice president. Fancy that.)
Meanwhile, Iran is getting a little frisky. Possibly awash in military equipment left behind by the U.S. and obtained from the Taliban, the Iranians have been buzzing American naval vessels in the Gulf of Oman and elsewhere and is accelerating its efforts to build an atomic bomb.
Any one of the issues above is enough to constitute a crisis. They’re all happening now.
Let’s take it a step further: What if they’re talking to each other? What if China and Russia decide to move at the same time, and at just that time Iran decides to do something typical of that wild-eyed regime? What would we do? What could we do? (What we should do, about anything, has been out of the running for a while now.)
Bear in mind that the administration is already enduring domestic crises of its own making. As warned here, inflation is rising with no end in site. By year’s end, the government admits, more than 2 million illegal aliens will have entered the country — just this year. Out-of-control “progressives” in Congress fear they’ll be voted out before bankrupting the nation, so they’re in a rush to do it now. Though it’s slipped from the headlines, the crisis in shipping imported products (many if not most from China) is unabated. The shelves of local retailers are barren of some essential products. The country is rapidly losing what little confidence it had in Joe “Grandpa Simpson” Biden; compounding the problem is that it never had much confidence in his vice president — and even that is plummeting.
Our big national industries are in disarray, more concerned about appearing to be sufficiently woke and appeasing communist China than in delivering value for money to their customers and shareholders. Mark Zuckerberg appeared in a webcast, to make an announcement that sounded for all the world like an attempt to lay the underpinnings for an insanity defense (against charges perhaps visible only to denizens of the metaverse).
Our friends do not trust us and our enemies smell weakness. The word “pounce” has been overused in headlines the last few years. We may be about to learn what it really means.
We’re in a mess.