Munich Security Conference
By Joseph Biden, Vice President of the United States
Reviewed by Andreas Ringl, PhD
The reader shouldn't bother rushing to read this speech. In fact, the reader's time might be better spent going to a local coffee house and contemplating the lengthening days of the coming spring.
The speech is flat, circular, devoid of real news and substance, and somewhat reminiscent of a jester sent to a foreign court for entertainment. Biden's insistence of using trifling commentary to milk his listeners of laughter might be indicative of attempting to ingratiate a world greatly harmed by American financial behavior and shortsighted military policy. Not once was mention made of America's role of causation in the global financial crisis. Nor was an apology offered. American marginal military policy was touted as successful while not acknowledging its resultant gaping chest wound to America's domestic financial well being.
And what is it with Biden's misspeaking? He confuses the names of his "closest" friends, Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar; mistakes the names of countries; has difficulties with word order; seems challenged with syntactic expression; and disregards the proper use of prepositions. What will the educated international community think of this? What is the credibility of leadership thus challenged? To use the current vernacular: Really?
During Biden's endeavor of convincing his audience of his "Atlanticism," he attempts the case for America's "Pacificism." In what seems an effortful reassurance of American hegemony, his argument remains nonpersuasive. Biden's speech is heavy on references to past European-American relations but weak on definitive current and future policies and plans. His European audience surely responded in laughter as mere politeness.