Select Page

Biden talks tough at UN … and talks … and talks

Biden talks tough at UN … and talks … and talks

President Theodore Roosevelt expressed his foreign policy very succinctly.  He said America talks softly but carries a big stick.  It is noteworthy that this was before America led the world to victories in World War I and War World II – establishing that the United States military was the biggest stick in the world.

President Biden embraces the antithesis of that policy.  He speaks tough and tosses the stick to the side.  We saw the tragic results of that approach in Afghanistan.    Remember how the steely-eyed Biden looked into the cameras and said that the Taliban would not take over the country for a long time?  Or how they would hold down al Qaeda?  That we would not leave until every American and Afghan partner was safely out of the country?  How would he extend the retreat until that was accomplished?  Tough talk … followed by capitulation.

In terms of Ukraine, Biden used tough language – and threats of crushing sanctions – if Putin invaded.  He followed up his tough talk with the removal of all American military from Afghanistan – putting a welcome mat over Ukraine.

Well, Biden did it again in his recent UN speech.  It was a lot of tough talk directed at Russia and the UN in general – with the notable exception of China.  His friends in the media gave the speech high praise – some saying it was his best speech ever.  Of course, they say that about almost every tough Biden speech in which he does not have a major gaffe.

Since words are cheap, Biden’s UN speech did not have a lot of real-world value.  It changed nothing.  But what better place to give a meaningless speech than before the United Nations – an institution that is characterized by tough talk leading to … nothing.

In a recent television interview, United States UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield updated America on her activities at the international Peacekeeping(?) body.  She condemned Russia in the strongest terms.  Talk.  Talk.  Talk.  She said Russia has been “isolated” at the UN.  Really?  In what way?  Empty talk.  Putin still has his veto —  and membership on the Security Council

While America is talking at the UN, Putin is conscripting more than 300,000 soldiers and purchasing billions of dollars of new weaponry from North Korea.  When Putin talks tough, it is almost always just before another round of real tough actions.

Academically graded, Biden gave a very good speech – well delivered. Unfortunately, it changed nothing – not even US policy in dealing with Putin.  Nothing but words.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Tom

    Larry I will agree with you on the UN as being a place of tough talk and little action. But if you really want to know when the big stick was tossed aside, that was in February 29, 2020 with the Doha agreement negotiated by your guy, Trump. Biden was stuck with it and the mess it created when troops were drawn down by Trump. I think we both can agree jmilitary troops ARE the big stick and that drawing down troops (which should be the last to leave not the first to leave) was a stupid thing to do. And this occurred under Trump. This premature troop withdrawal led to the Taliban not having to adhere to their end of the Doha agreement, and should have triggered a small escalation of troops until Taliban lived up to their end of the agreement. This did not happen, Trump never sent in more troops to enforce the agreement. Biden got handed a mess and he made it more messy. But it was Trump that made the original mess! I hope you will modify your post to tell the whole truth!

    Here is what the Doha agreement says. Notice we did not do our job under Trump:

    Subject to the Taliban’s fulfillment of its commitments under the U.S.-Taliban agreement, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the United States,
    and the Coalition jointly assess that the current levels of military forces are no longer necessary to achieve
    security objectives; since 2014, Afghan security forces have been in the lead for providing security and
    have increased their effectiveness. As such, the parties commit to take the following measures:
    1. The United States will reduce the number of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and
    implement other commitments in the U.S.-Taliban agreement within 135 days of the
    announcement of this joint declaration and the U.S.-Taliban agreement, and will work with its
    allies and the Coalition to reduce proportionally the number of Coalition forces in Afghanistan
    over an equivalent period, subject to the Taliban’s fulfillment of its commitments under the U.S.-
    Taliban agreement.

  2. Tom

    One final point Larry. The big mistake Trump made with the Doha Agreement was basing the drawdown on a time table. This was a signal to the Taliban that it could misbehave and all it had to do was wait for the drawdown date. The agreement to drawdown should have been predicated on the actions and merits of the Taliban to keep its word. It was not, and so we got what we got, a real mess. Trump was shown the Art of the Deal by poorly armed villagers!

  3. JoAnn Leichliter

    It is not now and never has been in the best interest of Americans for our country to become entangled in the Russia/Ukraine situation. But Biden’s advisors never saw a war they didn’t like and are indifferent to the needs and desires of their own countrymen The sabotaging of the Nordstream II pipeline is brinksmanship at its worst, and everyone with a brain knows the Biden administration did it.

    • larry Horist

      JoAnn Leichliter …Personally, I think it is existential to the security of the United Sates and the free world that Putin be defeated in his Hitler-like ambitions of world domination. And I would not suggest that Biden and the Democrats are strong on national defense. It was Obama who pulled out of Iraq and left behind a disaster. And then Syria, triggering the most deadly migration of modern times. Biden surrendered in Afghanistan. He has been slow to come to the defense of Ukraine. You may have your opinion about who sabotaged the pipeline, but everyone with a brain knows that you do NOT know who did it.