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Joe Biden is just the start of a crisis in Western leadership that emboldens our enemies - Telegraph

As our vainglorious politicians gathered in Glasgow to virtue-signal about the climate, China and Russia were busy making plans

This article by Douglas Murray dated 12.11.21 asks:

"Who is leading the free world? The answer to that is usually clear: the president of the United States. But President Joe Biden is barely presiding over the United States at the moment, let alone the rest of the free world. To say that Biden is sleeping on the job would be unfair and undiplomatic. He is merely somnolent on the job. And stumbling on it."

In September, when the Australia-US-UK defence pact Aukus was announced, the French were furious to have been frozen out of the announcement. They had been relying on the submarine contract going to them. The French recalled their ambassador from Washington in protest. The US had indeed committed a serious diplomatic oversight in rushing the Aukus announcement without warning the French in advance.

But when Biden came in for criticism for this diplomatic solecism, what was it that was offered in his defence? Climate envoy and former secretary of state John Kerry said that Biden was not aware of the deal that had existed with the French. Imagine any other time that could have been said. Sorry the president made this mistake: he just wasn’t aware of the facts. Nothing to see here. Similar tactics were displayed this week following Biden’s bizarre reference to American baseball pitcher Satchel Paige as “the great Negro at the time”, as the president’s defenders sought to emphasise he meant to say something else.

But it is increasingly clear to everybody in America – Democrat and Republican alike – that Biden is deteriorating fast. Even those who have served with him and known him for years privately admit that the man in the Oval Office is not the Joe Biden they knew. He always rambled, was always fond of giving speeches with bizarre, often wholly irrelevant digressions. But he also used to be capable of finding his way back to his point. Not anymore. Which is one reason why his handlers have decided on a dramatic, if (for him) kindly, solution.

Whenever Biden does make a major policy decision, such as the disastrously swift withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, something quite astonishing happens. The president is promptly hidden from the public. And he is hidden from the press. In the wake of major announcements, the president will make a statement and then he will take no questions from any of the assembled court press, who in America can hardly be honestly described as journalists anymore.

These correspondents sit obediently and take notes, and then accept that they don’t seem to have the right to question the commander in chief anymore. The truth is that Biden’s aides realise that their man has to be kept away from the cameras as much as possible.

The article then ends with these criticisms of Boris Johnson:

"We do, of course, have our own Prime Minister here at home. But much as some of us admire his political and personal skills, in office Boris Johnson is proving to be a grave disappointment. He has made a Horlicks of this Parliament. Like his US counterpart, he disappears from view when the going, or questions, get even remotely tough. And he has decided to spend the biggest Tory majority since the 1980s on what exactly?"

Currently, the Conservative Government of Johnson has spent its largest political capital trying to pretend that if you gather a group of world leaders, actors, and school truants together at a conference in Glasgow, then you can solve the world’s climate issues. Ten years ago the journalist Johnson was pouring scorn on the whole premise of the eco-apocalypse doom-mongers. Today he has not just joined their ranks, he has aspired to lead them. Which is why we have had this vainglorious two-week summit in which the world’s biggest polluter (China) didn’t even bother to show up. Though at least we got Leonardo DiCaprio.

Boris’s Cop26 was a washout. An expansive exercise in squandering cash in return for nothing but hot air and empty promises. Prime Minister Modi of India promised to cut carbon emissions by 2070 and I’m sure we will all be able to hold him to that. But Cop26 was simply a big, wasteful PR stunt. One at which Johnson himself didn’t even especially shine.

So who is going to stand up for the free world? Macron is busy simply trying to get re-elected. Boris is interested in gestures more than results. Merkel is on the way out and Biden is, to all intents and purposes, missing in action. This is not a great time for the West. But if you are Beijing or Moscow, gosh, is 2021 turning out to be a year of gifts.

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Joe Biden is just the start of a crisis in Western leadership that emboldens our enemies -
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Courtesy of The Spectator

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