Everything former vice president Joe Biden said about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech on Thursday actually applies to the policy that Biden carried out together with former President Barack Obama — and not Trump.
In his speech, at City University of New York, Biden called Trump an “extreme” threat to the country’s national security. No one has yet taken Biden to task for describing the sitting commander-in-chief in such alarmist terms.
But that wasn’t even the most bizarre aspect of Biden’s speech. He said the main problem in Trump’s foreign policy was … Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden went on to recite a version of the debunked “very fine people” hoax, claiming that Trump had drawn a “moral equivalence between those who promoted hate and those who opposed it.” That, he said, was a threat to America’s mission of standing for democratic values in the world.
But in fact, Trump specifically condemned the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville on multiple occasions. The entire premise of Biden’s speech was a lie.
Biden went on to claim that Trump’s foreign policy rejects democratic values and favors the rise of authoritarianism worldwide. He cited Trump’s warmth to Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. And he claimed that Trump has undermined America’s alliances with democracies in favor of flattery from dictators.
Apparently Biden forgot that Obama literally bowed to the Saudi king; that he abandoned the pro-democracy protests during the Green Revolution in Iran; that he pushed for a “reset” with Russia and abandoned our Czech and Polish allies on missile defense; that he promised Putin he would be even more “flexible” after he won re-election; that he tried to normalize relations with the Cuban dictatorship without securing any democratic reforms there; that he gave the store away to the communist dictatorship in China; and that he abandoned Israel, a betrayal in which Biden himself played a direct and shameful role, condemning Israel for building apartments in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Trump praises dictators as a negotiating tactic; Obama praised them because he, too, thought America was a problem.
One of the few times the Obama administration embraced democratic change was during the Arab Spring, when “democracy” meant the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood — which had no interest in freedom, only in power.
In 2008, the Obama campaign cast Biden as a foreign policy guru, though he had been wrong on almost every foreign policy issue in his career. On Thursday, he mostly ignored his own record.
Astonishingly, Biden claimed credit for Trump’s success in crushing the so-called “Islamic State,” saying he worked with Obama “to craft the military and diplomatic campaign that ultimately defeated ISIS.” In fact, Biden was complicit in the rise of ISIS. He was Obama’s point man on Iraq when the U.S. suddenly pulled out of the country, leaving a vacuum that ISIS filled. He did not object when Obama called the terror group “junior varsity.”
Biden offered nothing new in terms of solutions to current foreign policy challenges. He claimed that the Iran nuclear deal had been a success — on the very day Iran was reported to have been cheating all along. He said the U.S. should re-enter the deal once Iran did, offering no idea how to ensure that it did so. On North Korea, Biden promised he would “empower our negotiators,” whatever that means.
He said that he would get “tough” with China, which Trump is already doing (and which Biden previously suggested he would not do). And on immigration, he ridiculed the very idea of borders — literally: “I respect no borders.”
And this is the best Democrats have on foreign policy.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.