Reality undermines Biden’s virtue-signaling on genocide

Just two months ago, President Joe Biden commemorated the Armenian Genocide with a pledge "to remain vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms." He added, "We recommit ourselves to speaking out and stopping atrocities that leave lasting scars on the world."

Unfortunately, the president's words were empty.

Azerbaijan unabashedly promises to finish the job against Armenia as the U.S. ambassador signals to the Azeri government that it should not worry about cuts to military aid. Biden threw a generation of Afghanistan’s women to the Taliban wolves. John Kerry, who plays an outsize role in Biden’s administration as climate envoy, has dismissed prioritizing action against China’s wholesale eradication of the Uyghur people if it means obstructing climate cooperation. "Life is always full of tough choices in the relationship between nations," Kerry said . For Kerry, "never again" only matters if it does subordinate to his agenda.

Ethnic cleansing continues wholesale in Ethiopia. While Biden initially talked tough, his administration has done little to affect change, with perhaps 500,000 dead on the Biden team’s watch solely because of their Tigrayan ethnicity. They were slain by a Nobel laureate . Biden might plead helplessness in Ethiopia, but the same cannot be said for Nigeria, where the State Department took Nigeria off the religious freedom watch list in order to ensure greater comity when Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the country. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari interpreted the move as a green light to accelerate anti-Christian pogroms .

Nor was Nigeria the only country in which the Biden administration green-lighted genocide. A decade ago, Turkey demanded many Kurds relocate to Syria as part of a peace process. Today, Turkey cites their presence as a reason to attack. As war looms, Biden endorsed the sale of F-16 jets to Turkey, the main weapon with which the Turkish state kills Kurds. After hearing the White House's position, Turkey no longer believes the warnings against further encroachment into Syria. As for the Kurds now living in Syria? They have no place else to go. The ethnic cleansing that occurred under the Trump administration now appears a dry run for something far more sinister: Turkey appears intent on forcing the Kurds into the desert to die, just as they did the Armenians more than a century ago.

Neglect also matters.

Just as Biden bashed Saudi Arabia before reality forced an about-face, so too has his administration never missed an opportunity to trash Rwanda, perhaps the most successful country in Africa’s Great Lakes region. Rwanda is not only a symbol of rebirth from genocide, but it is also the world’s primary example of triumph over dysfunctional corruption. In recent weeks, though, the Biden team has subordinated Rwanda’s counterterrorism fight to Hollywood myth-making . For Rwanda, the crisis is real as the United Nations never disarmed the Genocidaires who escaped to refugee camps in the Congo. Now, those same forces are on the rampage in Congo’s South Kivu region, in a situation eerily reminiscent of the 1994 anti-Tutsi genocide across the border.

Because the electorate saw Biden as less noxious than former President Donald Trump and any alternative among the progressive Left in the primaries, he found himself as the leader of the free world.

What a betrayal it has been, however, to see Biden embrace the trappings of office but not its spirit and to engage in rhetoric but not deal with reality. It is the perfect storm for those from Ankara to Addis Ababa and from Beijing to Baku who would normalize genocide in the face of American weakness.

Michael Rubin ( @mrubin1971 ) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential. He is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.