If Biden Won’t Stand for Freedom, Congress Can
Michael R. Pompeo
The Wall Street Journal
February 14, 2023
This month marks the anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S., Europe and much of the rest of the world—with the significant exceptions of China and Iran—have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and condemn this unprovoked attack. This war isn’t one more clash of competing nations; it’s about a nation defending its freedom against autocratic aggression. While it is important to support the Ukrainian people with the arms and resources they need to resist Russia, the most vital asset the U.S. can offer is the idea of freedom itself.
During the Cold War, Ronald Reagan understood the symbolic value of freedom. He founded his strategy for prevailing against the Soviet Union on his belief that the human yearning for freedom is universal and that America’s leadership in the world depended not only on military or economic power but also on its ability to demonstrate how freedom creates prosperity and happiness.
Yet inexplicably, except for some perfunctory remarks condemning the violent suppression of the protests in Iran, Mr. Biden hasn’t spoken in support of citizens’ aspiration for freedom in these three countries, all autocracies actively challenging American interests. The administration has failed to understand Reagan’s most important lesson: “The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs or rockets, but a test of wills and ideas—a trial of spiritual resolve.”
The Biden administration may have missed its opportunity to advance America’s moral leadership in the confrontation with China, Russia and Iran. The new Congress, however, still can. It can continue to support Ukraine, and also investigate and highlight the atrocities being committed by Russian forces, as well as the egregious human rights records of China, Russia and Iran.
By emulating Reagan and encouraging Chinese, Russian and Iranian citizens to call out their leaders as dictators and enemies of freedom, while offering support to calls for political change, the new Congress, with its Republican House majority, can lay the foundation for a robust Freedom Agenda for the U.S. in the coming decade.
Read the full op-ed HERE