There is a Latin phrase which says ‘Tempus fugit.’ Yes, it does, when one considers the election of Joe Robinette Biden as President of the United States (POTUS), which could be said to be only yesterday where it not that time really flies. I remember the pomp and pageantry that accompanied his swearing-in, as millions of Americans breathed a huge sigh of relief from being liberated from Donald Trump’s disastrous policies both national and foreign, not to mention his brinkmanship and pitiless grip on the country’s jugular.
I was one of those who applauded the new president’s ascension as well as his determination to steer the ship of state towards the right course. In my article: https://www.keepthefaith.co.uk/2021/01/20/if-i-were-joe-biden-by-martins-agbonlahor/, I made some recommendations that will endear his regime to the American people. I also reminded the elected president that while I took some of his promises at face value, I would come back again when he completes his first hundred days to take stock and engage in further scrutiny if needs be. So, here we are.
I must commend the new president’s tenacity in reining in the Coronavirus pandemic which had devastated the American society during his predecessor’s regime. President Biden’s Covid-19 Relief Package has been very positive – and it gladdens my heart that over 130-million – or half of all adults in the US, have had their first Covid jabs. Health, they say, is Wealth. So, way to go, Joe! You must intensify all efforts to obliterate the peripatetic King Corona from society, even if it means putting staunch America allies who are Covid-prone, on red alert or ordering further lockdowns. This is a battle that America must win.
Joe Biden announced just a few weeks into his first one hundred days in office that he would be pulling out the remaining US troops in Afghanistan after twenty years of war with that country. This is commendable, considering that the war, started after the September 11, 2001 attack, had resulted in the deaths of almost 2,500 American soldiers, not to mention those who were psychologically wrecked, maimed and brutalised for life. To their grieving widows and widowers, the proposed pull-out is a moral victory, because many more will die or be traumatised for life if further delays are contemplated. Of course, the simplistic view is that ‘these dead veterans only paid for what they signed for.’ Fine words, but not when it concerns us as individuals or our families. We have an adage in my local dialect, that funeral ceremonies are tea parties until you become the host. I think Joe Biden has done the right thing in setting an ultimatum for the return of his embattled soldiers. He should jettison the idea of presenting the US as a ‘superpower,’ and instead, concentrate on healing the racial divisions bedevilling his country in the face of the current ‘Asians must go’ threats, where fellow citizens of that ethnicity have being killed and brutalised by depraved and jingoistic American youths. This madness is still ongoing, Joe. So, I appeal to you to look inwards for a moment, and rescue the state from these ‘internal terrorists’, (as you rightly called them), tearing the country apart.
I would also want to salute the bravery of the new president and his administration in nailing the Saudi ruler: Mohamed bin Salman, for the murder of fellow journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. This position leads credence to the investigation carried out by Agnés Callamard, the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings detailed in a 100-page exposé, wherein it was established that the Saudi crown prince and senior Saudi officials had indeed, murdered the journalist, prompting her – Ms Callamard – to label the dastardly murder an “international crime.” The current US position on this issue will no doubt, ease the pain or take some tears off the face of Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. At least, her beloved fiancé had not died in vain amid the web of tangled lies spun by spineless propagandists, paid spin doctors, and other formulators of grandiose rhetoric. Ex-President Donald J. Trump was also relevant in this regard, as he received the report of the probe, but had it pigeon-holed, thinking that investigations into the matter will die out if deprived of oxygen, and then, business as usual. Thanks, Joe, for choosing to stand for courage in defiance of juicy trade deals with an erring nation.
I wrote in my submission, as extrapolated from the internet link above, that the incoming Joe Biden’s administration should do all it can to resuscitate the Iran nuclear deal struck in 2015 – and lift the sanctions that are inconsistent with that deal. As it would be recalled, Donald Trump had cancelled and torn this piece of agreement asunder upon assuming office, leaving not even a shred of it to experiment on. Trump, in his intense infatuation with sanctions, had placed tons of these on Iran, crumbling the country’s economic life. Any rational individual would have expected the incoming Biden’s administration to show some empathy and goodwill by lifting some of these sanctions first and then summoning Iran to the negotiating table later. However, for reasons best known to Biden’s officials, Iran was ordered to seize producing these weapons before any sanctions could be lifted, an act I view as putting the cart before the horse.
I am a greenhorn in nuclear weaponry – and I must admit that. But as a rational layman, I would really have preferred that all countries hadn’t these weapons. At least, this would keep our fragile world safe. Ex-President Barack Obama himself, seem to agree with me on this. In his endearing ‘A New Beginning’ speech in Cairo in June 2009, he opined that no nation on earth, no matter her might, should have or stockpile nuclear weapons, and that America would set the pace straightaway towards the annihilation of these weapons. Judging with the benefit of hindsight however, that speech could rightly be tagged a hypocritical speech rendered in jests, to hypnotize the mainly Muslim audience. This needs no further emphasis, as the facts speak for themselves, or as we say in tort law: Rex ipsa loquitur. The US and other Western nations, including Israel, have not only had these weapons, but they keep expanding their production in the ‘effective’ use of the weapons. Why some countries are encouraged to have these weapons and others not, keeps me baffled. Biden’s America should remove these stifling sanctions so that ordinary Iranians can survive. Iran, on her part, should scale back its nuclear program. Although she consistently argues that their production is for ‘safety purpose,’ there should be an agreement reached with the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency, allowing these to be monitored as and when needed. That’s the way I see it.
Taking the issue of sanctions further, I had thought the Biden’s administration would consider setting neighbouring Cuba free from the avalanche of economic sanctions the US had heaped on the small Island nation for over fifty years now. But I was astounded when the White House Press Secretary, Ms Jen Psaki, announced that any issue relating to Cuba is ‘on the back burner.’ How long must ordinary Cuban citizens suffer for the ‘sins’ of the Castros in choosing a socialist path for their country? These suffocating sanctions contrary to the belief of American politicians are hurting ordinary citizens and not the upper echelons of the Cuban regime. Grief delayed is grief multiplied. Therefore, it is high time the American regime addressed this burning issue, especially as Cuba is opening itself to the outside world and relaxing some of its strict socialist laws, for instance, the right to own properties and operate one’s own business.
I must state without mincing words that President Joe Biden needs some thumbs up in redeeming a key campaign pledge: increasing the country’s refugee quota. He has now capped the admittance of refugee for this year, 2021, at 62,500, a far cry from Donald Trump’s infinitesimal 15,000. This is a welcome development, considering the human rights record of these countries that the US regards as their own ‘backyards,’ where torture and intimidation of political enemies are often the norm. There is also the issue of poverty, disease and degeneracy. It is only proper that when they knock on the doors of the US, their fellow backyard dwellers, they are admitted in the spirit of good neighbourliness and their refugee claims looked into without bias or unnecessary jingoism.
Yes, Joe Biden has completed his first hundred days in office, but I think it is still early days to rate his administration. But if truth be told, President Biden has done well so far. I would therefore, score his administration: seventy-five percent (75%). Congratulations, Joe! You deserve every praises denied your cantankerous predecessor: the vindictive Trump.
I look forward to seeing you weathering the storm and once again making America a star in the world’s constellation of nations.
Martins Agbonlahor is a criminologist, journalist and author based in Manchester. His new novel: Another Poor Cow – the Dangers of Tradition in Rural Nigeria is available in Amazon and all online bookstores.