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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/26/22

Are Biden's Troubles of His Own Making?

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Message Arshad M Khan

What a fractious world we live in. The somnambulist Biden has woken up in his nocturnal wanderings to hear complaints about China for its sea incursions close to the littoral areas of allies like Taiwan and Japan. Thus at the "Quad" (Australia, Japan, US and India) meeting in Tokyo, he reaffirmed US support for Taiwan, militarily if need be, to defend Taiwanese independence in what appeared to be a reversal of policy as earlier the US had recognized it as a prince of China.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), an economic union of the Quad and other Asia-Pacific countries, has been revived -- Trump had buried it earlier, aiming presumably higher but missing. Mr. Biden announced its reincarnation as the new Inter Pacific Economic Federation ( IPEF).

All of which is the least of Mr. Biden's headaches. There's a full-blown war in Ukraine to consider. And he promptly announced a $40.1B military-aid package for Ukraine. Defense contractors couldn't be more pleased. Lockheed Martin stock is up 6 percent in two days as it ramps up production of the Javelin anti-tank missile, doubling it according to the CEO to supply Ukraine.

Congress has now passed a $40B aid package. The amount is not trivial. For comparison, India, a country of more than a billion people with the third largest defense budget in the world, spends less than half that sum on weapons procurement.

The real question is going to be Mr. Putin's response. He might well call it a move aimed at slaughtering young Russian boys, when he himself is asking for peace talks. Even President Zelensky, the quintessential blowhard politician has been forced to admit that 50-100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying daily;..

American interference in Ukraine has a long history. The planning and participation in a coup eight years ago (when Biden was vice president) and the selection of future leaders thereafter are all documented. On lack of European support for it at the time, Victoria Nuland, the then-Deputy Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, responded famously, "F--k the EU." She has the dubious distinction of being the chief promoter of the so-called "soft coup", which led eventually to the fall of the elected Viktor Yanukovych government and thence to the divisions in Ukraine. The results have been the deaths of an estimated 13,000 people and the displacement of millions.

Since 2014 about one million refugees have left the country as a result of wars in the Donbas. Another 1.6 million were internally displaced. Following the latest fighting in 2022, the number of Ukrainians who have left the country has risen by another 6.6 million and another 7.7 million are displaced from their homes to other parts of the country. That in total is over a quarter of the country's population of 44 million.

It is painful, pitiful, atrocious and appalling that in the 21st century, political leaders instead of resolving disputes, have behaved in a manner ending in a human tragedy of these proportions. Let's just say, none of the participants need queue up for a Nobel Peace Prize, although one had already received it before this and other misadventures.

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Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
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