President Joe Biden, who is going to Europe later this week for summits with G7 leaders, NATO heads of state and then Russian President Putin, wrote an op-ed published in the June 5 Washington Post and other media. Biden said the purpose of his major foreign trip was, in essence, to confront and back off Putin and, in absentia, Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Claiming that his Presidency has re-established American leadership in economics and the global Green New Deal (his purpose in rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement), Biden wrote: "So, when I meet with Vladimir Putin in Geneva, it will be after high-level discussions with friends, partners and allies who see the world through the same lens as the United States, and with whom we have renewed our connections and shared purpose. We are standing united to address Russia’s challenges to European security, starting with its aggression in Ukraine, and there will be no doubt about the resolve of the United States to defend our democratic values, which we cannot separate from our interests.
“In my phone calls with President Putin, I have been clear and direct,” the President went on. The United States does not seek conflict. We want a stable and predictable relationship where we can work with Russia on issues like strategic stability and arms control….
“At the same time, I have also imposed meaningful consequences for behaviors that violate U.S. sovereignty, including interference in our democratic elections. And President Putin knows that I will not hesitate to respond to future harmful activities. When we meet, I will again underscore the commitment of the United States, Europe and like-minded democracies to stand up for human rights and dignity.”
This goal is dangerous to try and impossible to achieve. The trans-Atlantic financial system is wracked with unemployment on a large scale, inflating rapidly and threatening to collapse. The United States and European governments have not adopted any major “Marshall Plan” of infrastructural rebuilding to recover from the pandemic, have lost leadership in energy sciences and the dynamics of space exploration, and in fact have not created any productive employment at all, simply handing out relief funds generated by great volumes of new government debt. The financial system centered in the City of London and Wall Street banking giants will blow up—if these giants are not broken up in time—rather than “supporting” such aggressive stances to Russia and China.
There is, in fact, only one mission Biden could take to these summits with other major powers, which would serve to advance “human rights and dignity,” including the human right to life and health and the dignity of a productive contribution to the future of the human race. That mission is the building of a modern system of healthcare—hospitals, clinics, trained medical staff—and public health monitoring in every nation in the world. The last year has shown that almost no nation has a modern healthcare system equal to a serious pandemic, and that definitely includes the nation Joe Biden now represents.
Since such a mission also requires the building of other kinds of new, high-technology infrastructure in developing nations worldwide—such as power and clean water facilities and new housing—it can only be carried out through cooperation not only with European “allies,” but with Russia and with China as well as other Asian technological powers. Though very unlikely to come from this President at these June summits, it is the only mission any president could achieve.