Charles Krauthammer famously observed that "Decline is a choice." At the time, he critiqued the Obama administration's foreign policy, which was shoving the world down a path with a reinvigorated Iran. We can look around the world today and see the ramifications of those mistakes through the Iran Deal. Iran is headed towards a nuclear bomb, Israel is at war defending its right to exist, and the Middle East is flaring up as only it can. The world is a profoundly more dangerous place, and it was a choice.
The State Department sent out three dire alerts this week. First, it told Americans in Lebanon to get out immediately. Why give this warning? The State Department warns of "the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hizballah or other armed militant factions. Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to terrorism, civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, kidnapping, and Embassy Beirut's limited capacity to provide support to US citizens."
You're on your own. It's a common refrain from this White House when its foreign policy blows up in its face - American citizens are left holding the bill. It's a story we've seen from Afghanistan to the present.
But we aren't done there. Lebanon is just one country. The State Department then issued another warning for any America in the Middle East. Specifically, they tell Americans to try and leave via Israel's airports if possible, but they make no guarantees.
But wait! There's more. Alerts for Lebanon, Israel, and the Middle East make at least some sense. The State Department then issued a Global Warning for every single American abroad. The State Department said, "Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against US citizens and interests, the Department of State advises US citizens overseas to exercise increased caution." Dangerous spots included places "frequented by tourists."
In other words, the Biden Administration cannot vouch for the safety of any place internationally for a United States citizen. This administration entered office, bragging about how the adults were back in charge. The "mean Tweets" of Trump were gone, and you could sleep easy at night.
Apparently not. Joe Biden has made the world so unsafe that the agencies responsible for Americans traveling abroad cannot vouch for a US Passport in any location. It's not like the threat of terrorism magically showed up in the past week - it existed prior to that. But through the actions of one White House, the work of several administrations before him have been undone, and Americans are suffering the consequences.
Foreign Policy Reporter Robbie Gramer added, "An internal State Department cable obtained by Foreign Policy gives US embassies worldwide the option to fly the US flag at half mast to mourn the lives lost in Gaza's Al Ali hospital blast, factoring in if not doing so would heighten security risks for the embassy."
In other words, if it would help protect lives, Americans can fly a flag falsely, based on a lie, to help ease tensions in the region. While the strategy makes sense, this was another situation where bad choices led to a bad outcome.
When it comes to foreign policy, one of the alleged strengths of American power is to be able to project our military, diplomatic, and economic strength wherever needed to protect our citizens. Joe Biden projects weakness at such a rate that the State Department can't guarantee anyone's safety. That's a stunning downgrade in American safety and power.
Now we have stories about ISIS-linked groups murdering Americans in Uganda, and the US government is concerned about lone-wolf terrorists domestically and abroad. One of the primary jobs of any government is the safety of its citizens, and the President is failing that task. Although watching his speech, it's unclear what he'd be able to succeed at.
Biden's meandering primetime speech involved slurring words, losing his voice, and stumbling over the lines on a teleprompter. He squinted his eyes as if staring directly into the sun, unable to see anything before him. And it read like he'd never seen a single word put before him. It was a stunning display of weakness and ineptitude from a man tasked with bringing moral clarity and assurances to an American public that's watching their Jewish friends die at the hands of terrorists.
America is far weaker than it should be under the leadership of a President, unable to perform the most basic of tasks. His own administration is issuing global alerts, telling everyone that they can't verify safety anywhere. This is what failure of leadership looks like - decline is always a choice, and this is what Joe Biden has chosen for America.