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The country’s two most prominent liberal newspapers on Monday attempted to rationalize President Joe Biden’s latest foreign policy gaffe, saying the US military would intervene if China invades Taiwan, which is not official state policy. -United.
Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have tried to immunize the public against the controversy in which the president openly admitted to advocating a foreign policy contrary to the official US line of “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to defend Taiwan.
A New York Times article, written by Peter Baker, presented Biden’s statements as authentic. Baker began to say, “Offhand remarks that vary from official talking points have become a feature, not a bug, of the Biden presidency, as he demonstrated again on Monday when he got rid of decades of “strategic ambiguity”.
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Baker acknowledged that President Biden’s claims needed “the ritual cleansing squad sent by the White House” to be corrected or contextualized, but tried to twist his claims into some sort of clumsy truth.
He quoted former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod as saying: “Biden has always been more open about his thinking than most politicians. Everyone’s strength is their weakness. Their strength is authenticity. His weakness is that he is sometimes more willing than his staff would like to share his thoughts.”
He followed Axelrod’s assertion, saying, “None of this should come as much of a surprise to anyone who has followed Mr. Biden’s nearly half-century career as a senator and vice president.”
Later, Baker even wrote, “Since coming to the White House, Mr. Biden has largely avoided some of the scathing comments that have gotten him into trouble in the past.”
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“Instead, the ad hoc remarks that sparked controversy seem to fit more into columnist Michael Kinsley’s legendary definition of a goof,” he wrote and explained the definition. “‘A gaffe,’ he wrote, ‘is when a politician tells the truth – an obvious truth that he is not supposed to tell. “”
The second article in The Times, a section of the newspaper’s “The Morning” newsletter, essentially softened the gaffe by stating that “President Biden is a speaker notorious for his inaccuracy. He sometimes makes statements that convey his emotions more than specific political opinions.”
Times senior writer David Leonhart speculated that this may not have been a blunder at all, but a new strategy.
“But there’s reason to suspect Biden’s remarks had strategic intent, even if he didn’t mean exactly what he said. One sign is that Biden made comments twice last year similar warmongers on Taiwan,” he wrote.
He then explained Biden’s hypothetical strategy. He wrote, “The surest way to protect Taiwan is to make Chinese leaders believe that even if they could win a war, it would be quite costly to destabilize their regime,” and added, “The series of comments by Biden on Taiwan can serve that purpose. He signaled that an invasion of Taiwan would require a major U.S. response, though he was vague on what exactly that would be.
A Washington Post analysis penned by journalist Adam Taylor struggled to decipher Biden’s gaffe. Taylor offered “three theories” about Biden’s similar statements to Taiwan. The first being that they are blunders, but “understandable”.
“One of the simplest explanations is that every time he talked about defending Taiwan, Biden got it wrong. That would be an understandable mistake: Taiwanese politics is complicated, surrounded by jargon that often only those who follow the problem closely seem to understand,” he added. Taylor wrote.
The author’s second theory gave Biden the benefit of the doubt as to whether his statement represented “new politics.” He said “the key to this theory is to remember that Biden is president: if he said the United States would protect Taiwan if China were invaded, you would assume that would be the case.”
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Taylor’s third theory said, “It’s the old politics, with a new twist. He claimed that “perhaps the most compelling idea of Biden’s comments is that it’s still about ‘strategic ambiguity,’ just with a new, harsher twist.”