by Joe Saunders at westernjournal.com
If the idea of President Joe Biden allowing Chinese aircraft to violate American airspace with impunity looks awful to Americans, imagine how it looks in Tehran.
Or in North Korea. Or Moscow. Or Beijing. Or Taipei or Seoul or Jerusalem.
As the United States marks another milestone in fallen prestige, leaders around the world have to be watching closely how the Biden White House responds to the Beijing provocation — and it doesn’t look good.
As the world knows, the Chinese “weather balloon” that had cruised serenely over the continental United States last week was shot down Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.
But the world also knows that the Biden administration had known about the balloon’s presence over American soil since Jan. 28, as Bloomberg reported Friday and had done nothing to impede an obvious, arrogant infringement on the airspace of the world’s most powerful nation.
According to the Bloomberg report, the apparatchiks of the Biden State Department were more worried about possibly undermining a planned trip to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken than they were about defending American sovereignty in the face of its greatest global rival.
And when it did respond, as National Review’s conservative columnist Andrew McCarthy noted in a piece published Saturday, it was responding to news coverage within the United States rather than to an insult from abroad.
In short, the Sidewinder missile fired from an F-22 fighter plane that destroyed the Chinese craft in mid-flight drew justified cheers from a patriotic nation — the rockets’ red glare always looks good to the American spirit. (There’s a reason “Top Gun: Maverick” was a smash hit last year.)
But it was a full week after the foreign vessel was known to have broached American airspace, which meant the world got to watch a feckless Biden presidency allow the nation to be violated on the international stage — and didn’t do a damn thing about it.
At a news conference on Saturday, unnamed officials of Biden’s Pentagon claimed that there had been similar overflights of the United States by Chinese balloons “at least three times” during President Donald Trump’s administration.
On Sunday, Trump himself issued a blistering response to the claim, categorically denying anything like that had ever happened.
He was joined by former National Security Advisor John Bolton (no friend of Trump, for sure), and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien (a hawk on other issues related to China). These men would be in a position to know. And they would have a motive to tell.