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Commanding Shadows: The Alarming Reality of Biden’s Fading Leadership

Marco Travaglio critiques Biden's missteps & hidden leadership, questioning the true power behind the US amidst global and domestic challenges
The Alarming Reality of Joe Biden's Fading Leadership

In Good Hands

by Marco Travaglio

To those enamored with the idea of directly electing the prime minister, let’s consider the case of Biden, grappling with an advancing senile dementia that no one dares name for fear of handing Trump a gift. Whenever Joe gets it wrong, which is to say constantly, everyone chalks it up to slips of the tongue. Yet, there’s a world of difference between a blunderer and someone who’s lost their bearings. For years, as a senator and vice president, Biden littered the globe with his blunders. He described Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate, bright, clean, and a nice-looking guy.” He called for a moment of silence for the Irish Prime Minister’s mother, who had just lost her father. He told a senator in a wheelchair, “Stand up, let them see you.” And so on. Then he ran for the White House and began to see things that never happened—and vice versa. He shook hands with a ghost. He claimed to have witnessed the fall of the Twin Towers at Ground Zero. He revealed that “Thatcher is seriously worried about Trump” (he meant May; Thatcher died in 2013). He announced “Armageddon from Moscow”: a nuclear launch never even contemplated by Putin. He called for a “regime change in Russia”: immediately contradicted by his spokespeople, just like when he disclosed having cancer (it was a skin tumor removed before his election). In a televised speech, he read his staff’s note: “End of quote, repeat the line.” He said that “the Russian-Ukrainian war won’t be resolved until Ukraine retreats” and “Putin is losing the war in Iraq.” Welcoming Modi, he placed his hand over his heart during the Indian anthem. He evoked a “sacred pact” with Taiwan that would obligate the U.S. to intervene in case of a Chinese invasion (luckily, it doesn’t exist). Unable to say Hamas, he recently referred to it as “the opposition.” And he recounted a meeting in 2021 “with the German president Mitterrand” (French, died in ’96).

Once, the health status of U.S. candidates was a public and crucial matter: the elderly McCain, challenging Obama, had to display his medical records. Now, out of fear of Trump, everyone pretends not to know that Biden is out of his mind, and no one asks who’s really in charge. Yet, this is the most significant issue in global politics. In March 2022, Putin and Zelensky agreed on a ceasefire, then came the veto from Johnson and Biden, dooming half a million Ukrainians and Russians to death. On November 16, 2022, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, declared: “There’s little chance the Russians will be driven out of Ukraine: winter is a good window for negotiating peace.” But the White House ignored him and pushed Zelensky to a spring counteroffensive in 2023: another 100,000 Ukrainian casualties and zero results. Who made those lethal decisions in place of the befuddled? Someone unelected who, should Biden be re-elected, will continue to wreak havoc around the world and remain unscathed.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, February 9, 2024

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