Joe Biden

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Joe Biden’s ‘more humane’ kids-in-cages policy

The media have gone to great lengths to excuse the surge in migrant children being held in custody.

Joe Biden’s ‘more humane’ kids-in-cages policy

SPIKED

9th March 2021

Spiked

When Donald Trump was president, Democrats made great play out of his administration’s brutal treatment of migrants at the US-Mexico border. But guess what? Joe Biden is doing pretty much the same thing Trump did. But the press’s response could not be more different.

Over the past two weeks, the number of migrant children in custody at the border has trebled, according to federal immigration documents seen by the New York Times. The total figure now stands at over 3,250.

Not only this, but many of these children – over 1,360 – have been detained in ‘jail-like facilities’ for longer than the legally permitted three-day maximum. And 169 of them are aged under 13.

When Trump separated migrant families and detained children at the border, he was accused of putting ‘kids in cages’. As Brendan O’Neill has pointed out on spiked, the reaction was extreme.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez likened the facilities to ‘concentration camps’ and the Guardian accused Trump of taking the world ‘back to the 1930s’. This was proof, in liberals’ minds, that Trump was a fascist.

But there seem to be far fewer complaints about the same thing going on under Biden’s watch. When the president reopened detention centres along the border earlier this year, the Washington Post spoke not of cages, but of ‘migrant facilit[ies] for children’. Vox even described them as ‘shelters’.

But the most remarkable spin came from the New York Times yesterday. After detailing the exploding numbers of detained migrant children, the paper still said Biden had ‘taken a more humane approach to those seeking entry into the country’. Apparently, enacting the same policy again is humane as long as it’s Biden and not Trump doing it. (The article has since been amended to talk of Biden’s ‘promise’ and ‘attempts to create’ a more humane policy.)

All of which begs the question: did US liberals ever really care about migrants, or did they just use them to take swipes at Trump?

 
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spaminator

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'TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE': Putin offers live chat with Biden after killer comment
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Andrew Osborn and Tom Balmforth
Publishing date:Mar 18, 2021 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a meeting with community representatives and residents of Crimea and Sevastopol via a video link in Moscow, Thursday, March 18, 2021.
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a meeting with community representatives and residents of Crimea and Sevastopol via a video link in Moscow, Thursday, March 18, 2021. PHOTO BY SPUTNIK / ALEXEI DRUZHININ / KREMLIN /REUTERS
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MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he and U.S. President Joe Biden should hold live online talks in coming days after Biden said he thought the Russian leader was a killer and diplomatic ties sank to a new post-Cold War low.

Putin, speaking on television, cited a Russian children’s playground chant to scathingly respond to Biden’s accusation with the comment that “he who said it, did it.”


In an ABC News interview broadcast on Wednesday that prompted Russia to recall its Washington ambassador for consultations, Biden said “I do” when asked if he believed Putin was a killer.

Biden was quick to extend a nuclear arms pact with Russia after he took office. But his administration has said it will take a tougher line with Moscow than Washington did during Donald Trump’s term in office, and engage only when there is a tangible benefit for the United States.

Putin said he had last spoken to Biden by phone at the U.S. president’s request and that he now proposed they had another conversation, on Friday or Monday, to be held by video-link and broadcast live.

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“I want to offer President Biden that we continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it live, online, without any delays,” Putin said, when asked in a television interview about Biden’s comments. The two leaders last spoke by telephone on Jan. 26 days after Biden took office.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Thursday said Biden had no regrets about calling Putin a killer and swatted away a question about Putin’s request for an immediate call in public.

“I would say the president already had a conversation with President Putin, even as there are more world leaders that he has not yet engaged with,” Psaki said. “The president will of course be in Georgia tomorrow and quite busy.”


Putin said he was ready to discuss Russia’s relations with the United States and other issues such as regional conflicts “tomorrow or, say, on Monday,” adding that he would be having a weekend break in a remote part of Russia.

In his ABC comments, Biden also described Putin as having no soul, and said he would pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, something the Kremlin denies.

Russia is preparing to be hit by a new round of U.S. sanctions in the coming days over the U.S. allegations of election interference and hacking.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that Washington was tracking efforts to complete Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and evaluating information on entities that appear to be involved.

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In a highly unusual move following Biden’s interview, Moscow recalled its ambassador to the United States for consultations.

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Suggesting Biden was hypocritical in his remarks, Putin said that every state had to contend with “bloody events” and added Biden was accusing the Russian leader of something he was guilty of himself.

“I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard with each other we used to say: he who said it, did it. And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke. The psychological meaning here is very deep,” Putin said.

“We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are. And as a result we assess (a person’s) activities and give assessments,” he said.

Putin then spoke about U.S. history, talking about what he called the genocide of Native Americans, slavery and the ill treatment of Black people, and the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War Two.

“They think that we are like them, but we are different, we have a different genetic and cultural-moral code,” said Putin.

“We will work with them in the areas in which we are interested on terms that we consider advantageous to ourselves. They will have to deal with that regardless of all their attempts to stop us developing, regardless of the sanctions, and regardless of the insults.”
 

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'IT'S VERY WINDY': Biden fine after stumbling while boarding Air Force One, White House says
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Trevor Hunnicutt
Publishing date:Mar 19, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 1 minute read • comment bubble57 Comments
U.S. President Joe Biden trips while boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on March 19, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden trips while boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on March 19, 2021. PHOTO BY ERIC BARADAT /AFP via Getty Images
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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — U.S. President Joe Biden is doing fine after stumbling on the steps as he climbed aboard Air Force One on Friday, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

She suggested high winds at Joint Base Andrews near Washington may have been a factor.


“It’s very windy outside,” said Jean-Pierre when asked about his stumbling. “He is doing 100 percent fine.”

She did not say whether Biden had been checked by a travelling physician after the episode.

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Boarding a flight to Atlanta, where he was to speak to the Asian-American community about a shooting there this week, Biden stumbled slightly about halfway up the 25 or so stairs, recovered, then stumbled again and briefly went down on one knee, according to video footage.

The president appeared to rub his left knee before getting back up, then completed the stairs at a slower pace. He stopped at the top of the stairs, turned around and offered a crisp salute.

In late November, Biden suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot while playing with one of his dogs.

At 78, Biden was the oldest person ever to assume the presidency when he entered the White House on Jan. 20.
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White House confirms firing of 5 employees based on past marijuana use
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Mar 19, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 1 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in Washington, March 11, 2021.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in Washington, March 11, 2021. PHOTO BY TOM BRENNER /REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — The White House said on Friday it has fired five employees over marijuana use, even after announcing a more lenient policy toward past use of the drug a few weeks ago.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki posted a tweet confirming the five removals after the Daily Beast reported that dozens of staffers had been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use.


“We announced a few weeks ago that the White House had worked with the security service to update the policies to ensure that past marijuana use wouldn’t automatically disqualify staff from serving in the White House,” Psaki tweeted.


“The bottom line is this: of the hundreds of people hired, only five people who had started working at the White House are no longer employed as a result of this policy,” she added in a subsequent post.
 

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'THAT'S MY EXPECTATION': Biden says he plans to run for president again
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jarrett Renshaw and Steve Holland
Publishing date:Mar 25, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
U.S. President Joe Biden answers a question as he holds his first formal news conference as president in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 25, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden answers a question as he holds his first formal news conference as president in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 25, 2021. PHOTO BY LEAH MILLIS /REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday said he expects to run for president again in 2024 and defended his policy to provide shelter to unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border from Mexico at his first solo news conference since taking office.

Biden also set a new goal of administering 200 million vaccination shots against COVID-19 in the United States in his first 100 days in office and claimed economic progress as he held his first solo news conference since taking office.


He warned North Korea of consequences for launching two ballistic missiles on Thursday and said he was consulting with U.S. allies on the way forward.

At 78 years old, many political analysts believe Biden could decide to serve only one term. But asked whether he planned to run for re-election, he said this was his plan, and would keep Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate.

“My answer is yes, I plan to run for re-election. That’s my expectation,” he said.

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Struggling to contain a surge in border crossings, Biden told reporters that no previous administration had refused care and shelter to children coming over from Mexico – except that of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

“I’m not going to do it,” Biden said, noting he had selected Harris to lead diplomatic efforts with Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador aimed at stemming the migration flow.

Appearing in the White House East Room, Biden said his initial goal of administering 100 million vaccination shots in his first 100 days in office was reached last week, 42 days ahead of schedule.

“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close,” the Democratic president said.

Biden said a May 1 deadline to withdraw U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be difficult to meet. “It’s going to be hard to meet the May 1 deadline,” he said. But he added, “We are not staying a long time” in Afghanistan, site of America’s longest war.


Of North Korea’s missile launches, Biden said, “If they choose to escalate, we will respond accordingly.”

But he also said he was prepared for “some form of diplomacy” with North Korea “but it has to be conditioned upon the end results of denuclearization.”

Pyongyang wants the United States and other nations to ease economic sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons program.

Biden also claimed economic progress with the news that the number of people claiming unemployment insurance had dropped significantly.

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“There are still too many Americans out of work, too many families hurting and still a lot of work to do. But I can say to the American people: Help is here and hope is on the way,” he said.

Biden called for Republicans in the U.S. Congress to help him move forward with his agenda or “continue the politics of division” as he takes on issues like gun control, climate change and immigration reform.

“All I know is I was hired to solve problems, not create divisions,” he said.

Biden was repeatedly pressed to defend his migration policy along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Biden said the increase in migration was cyclical.

“It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months,” he said. “It happens every year.”

He said many migrants were fleeing problems in their home countries and blamed Trump, for dismantling parts of the U.S. immigration system.

Most of Biden’s predecessors had held their first news conference in their first two months in office, but the Democratic incumbent has so far taken few questions.
 

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Biden vows to stop 'sick' Republican voting rights restrictions
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jarrett Renshaw and Nandita Bose
Publishing date:Mar 25, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during the first news conference of his presidency in the East Room of the White House on March 25, 2021 in Washington.
U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during the first news conference of his presidency in the East Room of the White House on March 25, 2021 in Washington. PHOTO BY CHIP SOMODEVILLA /Getty Images
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said on Thursday he is convinced he will be able to stop voting rights restrictions, which he called “sick” and “un-American,” as Republicans across the country seek to impose such limits following the 2020 election.

Biden said he would spend time advocating for legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on voting rights and also educate the American public. Earlier this month, he signed an executive order making it easier for Americans to vote.


“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It is sick,” Biden said of the push for voting restrictions. “The Republican voters I know find this despicable.”

“I’m convinced that we will be able to stop this because it is the most pernicious thing,” he said at his first formal news conference since taking office on Jan. 20. “This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle … this is gigantic, what they are doing.”

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Jim Crow is a reference to laws that were put in place in Southern states in the decades after the 1861-65 Civil War to legalize racial segregation and disenfranchise Black citizens.


Biden was especially critical of Republican measures such as one in Georgia that makes it a misdemeanor to bring water to someone waiting in a voting line, and others that would end voting at 5 p.m., preventing many people from going to the polls after work.

House Democrats recently passed legislation to update voting procedures and require states to turn over the task of redrawing congressional districts to independent commissions. That bill faces a tough fight in the evenly divided Senate.

Biden urged the Senate to pass the bill.

Republican lawmakers in dozens of states have moved to restrict voting access after former President Donald Trump’s loss in the November election. They have seized on Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud to push for the restrictions, citing the need to bolster election security.

Georgia’s Republican-led House of Representatives passed a sweeping elections bill on Thursday that would impose new restrictions on voting in the state that helped Democrats win the White House and control of the U.S. Senate.

More than 250 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 43 states during the current legislative session, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice. “What they are trying to do, and it cannot be sustained,” Biden said. “I will do everything in my power along with the House and the Senate to keep that from becoming the law.”
 

B00Mer

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Aside from being so pathetic and embarrassing to the Democrat Party, for enabling this; the rest of the World is watching and they must be in disbelief to witness this Super Power being demolished in a matter of weeks since Biden...and there is no end in sight ! This is beyond criminal. This is High Treason at all levels.

tenor (1).gif
 
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Biden's German Shepherd Major in dog house again for nipping someone
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Mar 30, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
An aide walks Major on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on March 29, 2021.
An aide walks Major on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on March 29, 2021. PHOTO BY JIM WATSON /AFP via Getty Images
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s rescue dog Major nipped an individual on White House grounds, a spokesman said on Tuesday, the second such incident involving the younger of Biden’s two German Shepherds.

Earlier this month, Major bit a security staff member, according to media reports. The incident caused a “minor injury,” a White House spokeswoman said at the time.


“Major is still adjusting to his new surroundings and he nipped someone while on a walk,” Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden, said of Monday’s incident.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by (the White House medical unit) and then returned to work without injury.”


Following the first incident, the dog had a round of training in Biden’s home state of Delaware to help acclimate him to life at the 18-acre (7-hectare) complex in Washington, where he is surrounded by aides and security officers.

Biden is scheduled to spend the Easter holiday weekend in the more spacious Camp David presidential retreat near Thurmont, Maryland.

The president adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Society in 2018 after serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama. Biden’s other house pet, Champ, is an old Washington hand, having joined the family in 2008 when Biden was elected vice president.

For the most part, Major is a “sweet dog,” Biden said earlier this month. The first family is also expected to get a cat.
 

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First dog Major to get extra training after White House biting incidents
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 12, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • 10 Comments
Major, one of the family dogs of U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, explores the South Lawn after on his arrival from Delaware at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 24, 2021.
Major, one of the family dogs of U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, explores the South Lawn after on his arrival from Delaware at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 24, 2021. PHOTO BY WHITE HOUSE /REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — One of President Joe Biden’s two dogs, Major, is headed to training outside the White House after two biting incidents at his new home, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden said Monday.

The off-site, private training will take place in the Washington area, and it is expected to last a few weeks, said Michael LaRosa.


“Major will undergo some additional training to help him adjust to life in the White House,” LaRosa said.

Major, the younger of the Bidens’ two German Shepherds, did not break skin in the first incident, the president told ABC last month. Later in March, the dog bit a security staff member causing a “minor injury,” a White House spokeswoman said at the time.

“Nipping is probably more accurate than biting,” LaRosa said on Monday.

Following the first incident, the rescue dog had a round of training in Biden’s home state of Delaware to help acclimatize him to life at the 18-acre (7-hectare) White House complex in Washington, where he is surrounded by aides and security officers.
 
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WASHINGTON — One of President Joe Biden’s two dogs, Major, is headed to training outside the White House after two biting incidents at his new home, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden said Monday.

The off-site, private training will take place in the Washington area, and it is expected to last a few weeks, said Michael LaRosa.


“Major will undergo some additional training to help him adjust to life in the White House,” LaRosa said.

Major, the younger of the Bidens’ two German Shepherds, did not break skin in the first incident, the president told ABC last month. Later in March, the dog bit a security staff member causing a “minor injury,” a White House spokeswoman said at the time.

“Nipping is probably more accurate than biting,” LaRosa said on Monday.

It's learned behavior. When is Biden going for his training?

738518_2608791_Jill-Biden-2_updates.jpg
 

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First dog Major to get extra training after White House biting incidents
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 12, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • 10 Comments
Major, one of the family dogs of U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, explores the South Lawn after on his arrival from Delaware at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 24, 2021.
Major, one of the family dogs of U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, explores the South Lawn after on his arrival from Delaware at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 24, 2021. PHOTO BY WHITE HOUSE /REUTERS
Article content
WASHINGTON — One of President Joe Biden’s two dogs, Major, is headed to training outside the White House after two biting incidents at his new home, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden said Monday.

The off-site, private training will take place in the Washington area, and it is expected to last a few weeks, said Michael LaRosa.


“Major will undergo some additional training to help him adjust to life in the White House,” LaRosa said.

Major, the younger of the Bidens’ two German Shepherds, did not break skin in the first incident, the president told ABC last month. Later in March, the dog bit a security staff member causing a “minor injury,” a White House spokeswoman said at the time.

“Nipping is probably more accurate than biting,” LaRosa said on Monday.

Following the first incident, the rescue dog had a round of training in Biden’s home state of Delaware to help acclimatize him to life at the 18-acre (7-hectare) White House complex in Washington, where he is surrounded by aides and security officers.
The dog is a danger to the public the owner should be put down
 
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Biden announces U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to begin May 1
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Phil Stewart and Steve Holland
Publishing date:Apr 14, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
U.S. President Joe Biden is announcing the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan by September, two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
U.S. President Joe Biden is announcing the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan by September, two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. soil. PHOTO BY KEVIN LAMARQUE /REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he will begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan on May 1 to end America’s longest war, rejecting calls for U.S. forces to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation’s grinding internal conflict.

In a White House speech, Biden acknowledged that U.S. objectives in Afghanistan had become “increasingly unclear” over the past decade. He set a deadline for withdrawing all 2,500 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan by Sept. 11, exactly 20 years after al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States that triggered the war.


But by pulling out without a clear victory, the United States opens itself to criticism that a withdrawal represents a de facto admission of failure for American military strategy.

“It was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives,” Biden said, noting that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by American forces in 2011 and saying that organization has been “degraded” in Afghanistan.

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“And it’s time to end the forever war,” Biden added.

The war has cost the lives of 2,448 American service members and consumed an estimated $2 trillion. U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan peaked at more than 100,000 in 2011.

The Democratic president had faced a May 1 withdrawal deadline, set by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, who tried but failed to pull the troops out before leaving office in January. Instead, Biden said the final withdrawal would start on May 1 and end by Sept. 11.

In withdrawing, Biden is embracing risks at the start of his presidency that proved too great for his predecessors, including that al Qaeda might reconstitute itself or that the Taliban insurgency might topple the U.S.-backed government in Kabul.

“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” Biden said. “I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.”

Meeting NATO officials in Brussels, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said foreign troops under NATO command in Afghanistan will leave in coordination with the U.S. withdrawal by Sept. 11, after Germany said it would match American plans.

Blinken also spoke by phone with Pakistan’s army chief on Wednesday and discussed the peace process, the media wing of Pakistan’s military said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Biden and respects the U.S. decision. Ghani added that “we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition” and “we will continue to work with our US/NATO partners in the ongoing peace efforts.”

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A conference is planned on Afghanistan starting on April 24 in Istanbul that would include the United Nations and Qatar.

The Taliban, ousted from power in 2001 by U.S.-led forces, said they would not take part in any meetings involving decisions about Afghanistan until all foreign forces have left. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Wednesday called on the United States to adhere to the deal the group reached with Trump’s administration.

“If the agreement is committed to, the remaining problems will also be solved,” Mujahid wrote on Twitter. “If the agreement is not committed to … the problems will certainly increase.”

Biden rejected the idea that U.S. troops could provide the leverage needed for peace, saying: “We gave that argument a decade. It has never proven effective.”

“American troops shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip between warring parties in other countries,” Biden said.

Biden also said the threat of terrorism was not limited to a single country and that leaving American forces in one foreign land at great financial cost does not make sense.

The president made the decision personal, invoking the memory of his late son who served in Iraq and showing a card he carried with the number of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan. Visiting Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Biden later said the decision to withdraw was not hard.

“To me, it was absolutely clear,” Biden said.

In Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, officials said they would carry on with peace talks and their forces defending the country.

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“Now that there is an announcement on foreign troops withdrawal within several months, we need to find a way to coexist,” said Abdullah Abdullah, a top peace official and former presidential candidate. “We believe that there is no winner in Afghan conflicts and we hope the Taliban realize that too.”

U.S. officials can claim to have removed al Qaeda’s core leadership in the region years ago, including killing bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan in 2011. But ties between the Taliban and al Qaeda elements persist and peace and security remain elusive.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, was among Biden’s fiercest critics, saying the withdrawal would backfire by prolonging the conflict and possibly even breathing new life into al Qaeda.

“What do we lose by pulling out? We lose that insurance policy against another 9/11,” Graham said.

Still, critics of the U.S. military involvement say it clearly failed to get the Taliban to end the conflict on America’s terms. Some experts blame endemic corruption in Afghanistan, Taliban safe havens across the border in Pakistan and overly ambitious goals for training Afghan security forces.

Biden criticized past U.S. aspirations to somehow unify Afghans, a goal that defied the lessons of history over centuries.

“It’s never been done,” Biden said.
 
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spaminator

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In historic move, Biden says 1915 massacres of Armenians constitute genocide
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Humeyra Pamuk
Publishing date:Apr 24, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
Members of the Armenian diaspora in the U.S. carry an arrangement of flowers as they gather in remembrance of the 1915 genocide, which was acknowledged by U.S. President Joe Biden, at the Armenian Martyrs Monument in Montebello, Calif., April 24, 2021.
Members of the Armenian diaspora in the U.S. carry an arrangement of flowers as they gather in remembrance of the 1915 genocide, which was acknowledged by U.S. President Joe Biden, at the Armenian Martyrs Monument in Montebello, Calif., April 24, 2021. PHOTO BY DAVID SWANSON /REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the 1915 massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide, a historic declaration that infuriated Turkey and further strained frayed ties between the two NATO allies.

The largely symbolic move, breaking away from decades of carefully calibrated language from the White House, was welcomed by the Armenian diaspora in the United States, but comes at a time when Ankara and Washington grapple with deep policy disagreements over a host of issues.


Turkey’s government and most of the opposition showed rare unity in their rejection of Biden’s statement. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey “entirely rejects” the U.S. decision which he said was based “solely on populism,” while the opposition denounced it as a “major mistake.”

Biden’s message was met with “great enthusiasm” by the people of Armenia and Armenians worldwide, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote in a letter to the U.S. president.

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In his statement, Biden said the American people honor “all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today.”

“Over the decades Armenian immigrants have enriched the United States in countless ways, but they have never forgotten the tragic history,” Biden said. “We honor their story. We see that pain. We affirm the history. We do this not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated.”

In comments that sought to soften the blow, a senior administration official told reporters that Washington continued to see Turkey as critical NATO ally and was encouraging Armenia and Turkey to pursue reconciliation.

For decades, measures recognizing the Armenian genocide stalled in the U.S. Congress and most U.S. presidents have refrained from calling it that, stymied by concerns about relations with Turkey and intense lobbying by Ankara. Ronald Reagan, the former U.S. president from California, a hub for the Armenian diaspora in the United States, had been the only U.S. president to publicly call the killings genocide.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but contests the figures and denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide.

In Montebello, California, a city in Los Angeles County that is home to many Armenian-Americans, members of the community held a small and somber ceremony during which they placed a cross made of flowers at a monument to the victims. Some attendees wore pins reading “genocide denied genocide repeated.”

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Raffi Hamparian, chairman of Armenian National Committee of America, said in a statement that Biden’s “principled stand … pivots America toward the justice deserved and the security required for the future of the Armenian nation.”

‘RELATIONS ALREADY IN SHAMBLES’

A year ago, while still a presidential candidate, Biden commemorated the 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children who lost their lives in the final years of the Ottoman Empire and said he would back efforts to recognize those killings as a genocide.

Ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained over issues ranging from Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems – over which it was the target of U.S. sanctions – to policy differences in Syria, human rights and a court case targeting Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank.

Biden’s declaration follows a non-binding resolution by the U.S. Senate adopted unanimously in 2019 recognizing the killings as genocide.


Previous U.S. presidents have abandoned campaign promises to recognize the Armenian genocide for fear of damaging U.S.-Turkish relations, said Nicholas Danforth, non-resident fellow for The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.

“With relations already in shambles, there was nothing to stop Biden from following through,” said Danforth. “Ankara has no allies left in the US government to lobby against this and Washington isn’t worried whether it angers Turkey anymore.”

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Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan had established a close bond with former U.S. President Donald Trump, but since Biden took over, Washington has grown more vocal about Turkey’s human rights track record. It has also stood firm on its demand that Ankara get rid of the Russian defence systems.

Biden had also delayed having a telephone conversation with Erdogan until Friday — seen largely as a cold shoulder to the Turkish president — when he informed him of his decision to recognize the massacres as genocide.

Despite the tense relations, Erdogan and Biden are due to meet in June on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels.

Saturday’s announcement was slammed by the Turkish government and several opposition politicians. Faik Oztrak, spokesman for the main opposition Republican People’s Party, said “it will open wounds that will be difficult to repair not only on U.S.-Turkey ties but also on a potential compromise between the people of Armenia and Turkey.”

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey said its missions in the country would be closed on Monday and Tuesday for visa services due to the possibility of protests.