President Joe Biden goes before the United Nations this week eager to make the case for the world to act with haste against the coronavirus, climate change and human rights abuses. His pitch for greater global partnership comes at a moment when allies are becoming increasingly skeptical about how much U.S. foreign policy really has changed since Donald Trump left the White House.
Biden plans to limit his time at the U.N. General Assembly due to coronavirus concerns. He is scheduled to meet with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday and address the assembly on Tuesday before shifting the rest of the week’s diplomacy to virtual and Washington settings.
At a virtual COVID-19 summit he is hosting Wednesday, leaders will be urged to step up vaccine-sharing commitments, address oxygen shortages around the globe and deal with other critical pandemic-related issues.
The president also has invited the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan, part of a Pacific alliance, to Washington.
Through it all, Biden will be the subject of a quiet assessment by allies: Has he lived up to his campaign promise to be a better partner than Trump?
Biden’s chief envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, offered a harmonious answer in advance of all the diplomacy: “We believe our priorities are not just American priorities, they are global priorities,” she said Friday.
But over the past several months, Biden has found himself at odds with allies on a number of high-profile issues.
There have been noted differences over the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the pace of COVID-19 vaccine-sharing and international travel restrictions, and the best way to respond to military and economic moves by China. A fierce French backlash erupted in recent days after the U.S. and Britain announced they would help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
Biden opened his presidency by declaring that “America is back” and pledging a more collaborative international approach.
At the same time, he has focused on recalibrating national security priorities after 20 years marked by preoccupation with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and thwarting Islamic terrorists in the Middle East and South Asia. He has tried to make the case that the U.S. and its democratic allies need to put greater focus on countering economic and security threats posed by China and Russia.
Biden has faced resistance — and, at moments, outright anger — from allies when the White House has moved on important global decisions with what some deemed insufficient consultation.
France was livid about the submarine deal, which was designed to bolster Australian efforts to keep tabs on China’s military in the Pacific but undercuts a nearly $100 billion deal for a fleet of a dozen submarines built by a French contractor.
French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled France’s ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia for consultations in Paris. France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said Australia and the United States had both betrayed France.
“It was really a stab in the back,” he said. “It looks a lot like what Trump did.”
Biden administration and Australian officials say that France was aware of their plans, and the White House promised to “continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences.”
But Biden and European allies have also been out of sync on other matters, including how quickly wealthy nations should share their coronavirus vaccine stockpiles with poorer nations.
Early on, Biden resisted calls to immediately begin donating 4% to 5% of stockpiles to developing nations. In June, the White House instead announced it was buying 500 million doses to be distributed by a World Health Organization-backed initiative to share vaccine with low- and middle-income countries around the globe. Biden is soon expected to announce additional steps to help vaccinate the world.
Allies among the Group of Seven major industrial nations have shown differing levels of comfort with Biden’s calls to persuade fellow democratic leaders to present a more unified front to compete economically with Beijing. When the leaders met this year in England, they agreed to work toward competing against China. But there was less unity on how adversarial a public position the group should take.
Canada, the United Kingdom and France largely endorsed Biden’s position, while Germany, Italy and the European Union showed more hesitancy.
Germany, which has strong trade ties with China, has been keen to avoid a situation in which Germany, or the European Union, might be forced to choose sides between China and the United States.
Biden clashed with European leaders over his decision to stick to an Aug. 31 deadline to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which resulted in the U.S. and Western allies leaving before all their citizens could be evacuated from Taliban rule.
Britain and other allies, many of whose troops followed American forces into Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the United States, had urged Biden to keep the American military at the Kabul airport longer but were ultimately rebuffed by the president.
Administration officials see this week’s engagements as an important moment for the president to spell out his priorities and rally support to take on multiple crises with greater coordination.
It’s also a time of political transition for some allies. Longtime German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to leave office after Germany holds elections later this month and France’s Macron is to face his voters in April at a moment when his political star has dimmed.
J. Stephen Morrison, a global health policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, expressed concern that the rift in U.S.-France relations has occurred at time when global leaders are far behind their goals for vaccinating the globe and need to step up their efforts.
“We need these countries to be in a position to come forward around the type of agenda … that the U.S. has put together,” Morrison said of Biden’s planned vaccination push. “So the French being absent or not terribly engaged is a setback.”
Religious liberty is one of America’s most important freedoms
Religious liberty, the freedom to practice one’s faith, is a vital component of American society. Our founding fathers ensured generations to come that our great nation will always respect every individual’s right to adhere to a certain belief.
“Although no one in America is forced to go to church, we have had more churchgoers in our history than any nation in the world. Religious liberty – meaning we can chose any faith or none – was a wild concept when the Founders decided to try it 250 years ago,” Eric Metaxas, author of the new book, “Is Atheism Dead?” wrote in his recent opinion piece.
“So it was America’s founders who uniquely understood that religious liberty was the key to all other liberties. Liberty – or self-government – required a virtuous people, which was usually the result of freely held faith. Those who answered to a “higher power” didn’t need government to coerce them into doing the right thing. They did it on their own,” Metaxas added.
We are said to be more fortunate than those who are living under extreme Sharia Law in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where other faiths are totally outlawed. One would be hard pressed to find a single catholic church in the city of Riyadh as the only accepted religion there is Islam. Even though the prophet Muhammad taught cultural and religious tolerance, some of his followers have become too austere in their interpretation of the Holy Quran and mandates that only one religion be allowed in their respective domains.
The United States constitution however is vastly different from the authoritarian laws and principles of other countries as it grants total freedom to exercise one’s belief, as long as it corresponds with the basic tenets of morality.
On the other hand, Muslims and Buddhists in China are suffering under the repressive atheist communist regime, as the people continue to face the assault on their religious liberties. Non-believers should understand that embracing atheism or agnosticism is in itself, a personal freedom that can only thrive under a legitimate democracy.
“And while a free nation cannot and should not try to coerce atheists toward belief, people of faith, while we still have a voice, have an urgent duty to alert our fellow citizens that, although religious freedom protects atheists, atheism itself nonetheless has an inherent and – alas – well-established tendency to work not only against religious freedom, but against all freedoms,” Metaxas said.
Rep. Drew Ferguson blasts the Dems for bank account surveillance plan
In a recent press conference held by House Republicans, Georgia congressman and chief deputy whip Drew Ferguson lambasted the Biden administration for their ineffective economic and financial policies.
Ferguson, who is a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, put a spotlight on the government’s proposal to grant the IRS unlimited power to conduct surveillance on bank accounts with at least $600 worth of annual deposits.
“Probably the most egregious provision in the Democrats tax and spend plan, the largest in American history, is a provision that would allow the IRS to spy on your bank accounts. To put that in perspective, if you spent $28 a day, you would get caught up in the IRS drag net. $28 a day, and this is wrong,” Ferguson stated.
“Americans do not want the IRS looking in their bank account and the federal government has no business looking at your private bank accounts and your money,” Ferguson stressed.
The draconian proposal sparked widespread outrage among the public as the topic went viral on social media and various community forum boards. Republican politicians strongly resisted and swiftly introduced the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act in an attempt to block the repressive agenda that is being put in motion by the Biden administration.
“So we introduced a bill to prevent this treasury secretary from implementing rules that would allow the IRS to tap local banks, credit unions, and other entities to spy on your bank accounts,” Ferguson said.
“I can’t imagine a single American, Republican, Democrat, independent, rich, poor that wants the IRS looking into their bank account and for good reason. If you look at the recent history of the organization, they have failed to gain the trust of the American people,” he added.
The Democratic Party’s plan to violate the people’s privacies, clearly resembles the laws that are being enforced by some of the world’s most oppressive totalitarian governments. There is no logical explanation behind their proposal, save for the glaring fact that liberals are simply hungry for more power.
“The Democrats want control. They want control of your life. They want control of your finances. They want control of everything. And we’re here to stand up against that, to push back, and we’re going to continue to raise awareness about this. It is wrong, we think it’s unconstitutional,” Ferguson said.
“It is your private business. It is not the business of the IRS. So with that, we stand committed to blocking this horrible provision and to make sure that we maintain freedom in America’s lives,” he reiterated.
Rand Paul thinks crypto could become the reserve currency of the world
When one of the most severe global economic meltdowns hit the world more than a decade ago, the United States was at the forefront of the uphill struggle. The 2007-2008 financial crisis was often compared by experts to the Great Depression in terms of the magnitude of damage.
The catastrophe subsequently put world governments – including America – on the hot seat. Financial experts and the entire populace started to question the capability of our leaders to handle the fate of our economies. After all, we are the ones who put these public servants in power, giving us every right to demand what’s best for the future of our families.
Fuelled by the frustrating financial system, Bitcoin was developed in 2008 by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto, as a solution for the problems created by unreliable governments and untrustworthy central banks. “Satoshi Nakamoto” is an alias used by a person or possibly a group of people involved in the creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency. The secretive nature of Bitcoin’s origins is a reflection of the decentralized financial system that it wants to promulgate.
Today, America is at the cusp of autocracy as Biden and his cohorts continue to propose harsh policies that mirror the ones that Xi Jinping and the communist party has put in place in China. While the Democratic Party constantly attempts to utilize the “tax the rich” card, the Federal Reserve just keeps on printing cash like there’s no tomorrow. Soon we will all be caught in a tough financial predicament with the continued devaluation of our hard-earned cash. For some, a hedge such as a digital asset, is the only viable option to protect one’s wealth from further depreciation.
Recently, GOP Sen. Rand Paul expressed his bewilderment towards the vigorous growth of cryptocurrencies. The Kentucky senator believes that virtual coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum can become global reserve currencies.
“I’ve started to question now whether or not cryptocurrency could actually become the reserve currency of the world as more and more people lose confidence in government,” Paul said in a recent interview on HBO.
“I’ve been amazed at the growth of it and I’ve always been, you know, more a person who believed that our currency should be backed by something of real value like gold or silver or commodities, and always was wondering well crypto is not backed by anything either,” Paul continued.
“But here’s what I’ve started to believe now is that the government currencies are so unreliable, they’re also fiat currencies, they’re not backed by anything. The dollar has been more stable than most other countries and so it is the reserve currency,” he added.
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- NBA center Enes Kanter blasts China for its inhumane treatment of Uyghur minorities
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