Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Biden makes the case to fight extremists by invoking war waged on D-Day

By 37ci3 Jun8,2024

POINTE DU HOC, France — Invoking the soldiers who braved Nazi fire on D-Day, President Joe Biden urged Americans to put country first and not toss aside the democratic traditions that a previous generation died to protect.

Biden spoke a day after the 80th anniversary of D-Day as Army Rangers stood atop a 100-foot cliff scaled to destroy artillery and push back German forces that had overrun Europe in World War II.

He drew parallels between the sacrifices made to defeat Hitler’s forces and the struggle to overcome what he called “hateful ideologies today,” an obvious reference to extremist movements at home and abroad.

Soldiers strapping rope ladders to climb cliffs in the face of enemy machine guns would ask Americans to make the sacrifices needed today to protect democratic freedoms, he said.

“American democracy requires the most difficult thing: believing that we are part of something bigger than ourselves,” Biden said as he stood atop a German bunker and fired on troops landing on Omaha Beach. “Democracy starts with each of us. It begins when a person decides that something is more important than himself. When they decide their country is more important than them. So decided the Rangers at Pointe du Hoc.”

Biden said that despite the defeat of Hitler and the American victory in the Cold War that followed, the struggle for a free and independent Europe continues. He pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Ukraine, a neighboring democratic state and an ally of the West.

“Someone doubts them [the soldiers who captured Pointe du Hoc] Would America want to stand up to Putin’s aggression in Europe today?” he said, looking at the audience, which included Pfc John Wardell of New Jersey, a 99-year-old veteran who landed in France after D-Day in June 1944.

After the 2nd Ranger Battalion's attack on the Pointe du Hoc cliffs, German prisoners are rounded up and the American flag is raised for the signal in June 1944.
After the 2nd Ranger Battalion’s attack on the Pointe du Hoc cliffs, German prisoners are rounded up and the American flag is raised for the signal in June 1944.Galerie Bilderwelt / Getty Images

Earlier in the day, Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris. announced A new $225 million aid package Ukraine has air defenses, artillery ammunition and other capabilities. He also issued an extraordinary apology to Zelensky for the one-month delay in aid delivery. partisan disagreement In Congress.

“You’re not bent,” Biden told Zelensky. “You never gave up. You just keep fighting in a remarkable way. And we will not turn away from you.

Describing the stakes in the same terms as Biden, Zelenskiy said: “How the United States helped to save lives, to save Europe, like during World War II — and we count on your continued support and standing shoulder to shoulder with us. ,” he said.

The two are scheduled to meet again next week during the summit of the Group of 7 (G7), a group of wealthy democracies in southern Italy.

While Biden framed his Pointe du Hoc speech as a broad struggle between authoritarianism and democracy, freedom and repression, the subtext of the campaign was hard to miss.

Biden and his rival Donald Trump symbolize different tensions in American foreign policy. Biden is an internationalist who believes that uniting with like-minded nations makes the United States more prosperous and great.

Trump’s “America First” approach is the legacy of decades of isolationism. If Trump wins, his former aides worry he could pull out of the NATO alliance that protects Europe from Russian aggression.

“They stormed the beaches with their allies,” Biden said of the D-Day troops. “Does anyone believe these Rangers want America to go it alone today?”

Polls show that Biden’s age is one of the main obstacles to his re-election. Happily, he spent the last two days with 90 and 100-plus people, which made him look fresh in comparison.

Before speaking in Omaha Beach on Thursday, the 81-year-old president met with a group of veterans who had come to see him by active duty military.

One advised Biden to “Don’t get old.”

Another veteran in an Army jacket shook hands with Biden. “Nice move, man,” the president said as the man got into his wheelchair.

Biden is preparing to hold meetings with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Saturday. He will also take part in the parade to the Elysée Palace and later attend a state dinner on his behalf.

There are signs that his son Hunter Biden’s legal troubles are a distraction. First Lady Jill Biden joined her husband for the D-Day speech on Thursday, but later flew home to attend the event. Criminal Wilmington, Del. He was expected to rejoin Biden at a state dinner in Paris on Saturday.

Headlines about the fate of his son interfered with the president’s visit from time to time. As Biden began his speech in Pointe du Hoc, there was something new: the prosecution had rested its case in Hunter’s trial.

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By 37ci3

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