US President Joe Biden is hosting the political equivalent of a child's secret treehouse, warning off the growing number of nations opposed to his foreign policy as he rolls out the red carpet for DC-approved ?democracies? only.
The Biden administration has rolled out the red carpet for invitees to his administration's 'democracy summit' from 100-plus countries, declaring that "democracy doesn't happen by accident" and unleashing a string of similar calls to "defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it."
While it's not clear if any of this has actually taken place - democracy isn't looking so hot these days - Biden has certainly been stuck in red-white-and-blue booster mode since taking office in January, reminding the world that "America is back!" with the single-minded glee of a broken pull toy.
Among those invited to fill Uncle Sam's dance card is Taiwan - a slap in the face to China, which has recalled the ambassador of Lithuania over Taiwan's recently-opened representative office in Vilnius. Beijing insists such offices be designated Taipei Representative Offices rather than Taiwan offices.
Biden seems to take no end of delight in poking the hornet's nest, eagerly goading both nations to escalate tensions further. Biden has even bribed Lithuania with a $600 million agreement with the US Export-Import Bank in case of Chinese economic retribution - putting its money where its mouth is even as Americans back home desperately need some of that cash.
It's an unusual, if mercifully nonviolent, move for Washington, which is still known for speaking loudly and carrying a big stick. But Lithuania remains a bit-player on the international stage, and those seeking to step out of the shadow of one superpower or the other will have to distinguish themselves with something more than a clever chess move.
The US will continue to rattle sabres at Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. The administration will continue not to recognize Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as democracies when they intermittently flare up as such. But, instead of trying to fix what it in many cases broke, the administration will merely slurp up those countries' migrants as fuel for their human-powered voting machines. Just come here, vote for the guy with the "D" next to his name, and think no further as your homeland burns.
The guest of honor, it appears, will be wannabe Venezuelan president Juan Guaido, a man now loathed not only by the majority of ordinary Venezuelans, but by the US-backed Venezuelan opposition itself for misappropriating the money meant to send him to the palace in Caracas.
The opposition has seen a half dozen of these half-arsed coups unfold over the last two decades and, frankly, are quite tired of being sent America's C-listers to overthrow their oh-so-evil bad nasty socialist dictator. That their latest figurehead should be thieving the money they were themselves supposed to steal from their people is just adding insult to injury.
Indeed, even the Guardian found it cringeworthy for Biden of all people to be promoting so many members of the Organization of American States, one of the US' many intelligence cutout groups in South and Central America.
Two writers from that paper - hardly a publication known for standing up to western orthodoxy - called out the body's effort to strong-arm Bolivian leftist leader Evo Morales into exile in 2019 using falsified tales of election fraud. While the Bolivians, unlike far too many others now lying crushed in the dust of the American juggernaut, were able to right many of the wrongs committed against them, far too many others - most recently in Haiti - have had a bloody mess left behind stamped with the unmistakable logo of the Pentagon's death squads.
Perhaps the most important question Biden's conference is asking - and one it probably doesn't realize it's asking - is whether the president has weighed the probable responses of the countries being slighted by Biden's Big Democracy Hoedown. If these countries are all really as undemocratic as all that, what's to stop them from digging into their weapons stockpile, nuclear or otherwise, and fighting back, well, undemocratically?
It's as if Washington wants a fight and is just running around on the playground pushing the biggest kids around in the hope of starting one. It's all fun and games until someone gets sick of it and knocks the little pest out of the park. When will the so-called 'bullies' of the world get tired of being forced into that role?