It is clear that President Elect Joe Biden and his team face some extraordinarily difficult and troubling challenges when they come into office. During the last few days of its existence, the Trump administration has passed some far-reaching measures to completely reset American foreign policy, bringing major change in regard to relationships with Cuba, Taiwan and the Yemen. One senses here the hand of Mike Pompeo, who is perhaps positioning himself for a run at the Presidency himself next time round.
This article also looks at the implications of another major change that has been initiated: recognising Taiwan in a way that America has always avoided doing so thus far: an act which cannot fail to set relationships with China on a still more tense footing.
More concerning still is the suggestion that Donald Trump is seeking to go out with a quite literal bang, by provoking conflict with Iran. See this article for more information about this.
The US has the wherewithal to inflame the situation in the Middle East, which is very delicate, and it is important to pray for restraint on both Israel and Iran at this time, as well as the US. This article provides news from a war monitoring group that has reported major Israeli airstrikes on east Syria earlier this week. Dozens of Syrian soldiers and allied Iran-backed fighters were killed in the biggest raid in years on Iran-linked military sites in the region, using intelligence provided by the US.
We listened recently to an incredibly powerful and moving introduction by Joe Biden to his highly experienced team at the Justice Department, led by Merrick Garland. It was refreshing to hear their clear emphasis on the commitment to the principles of law rather than serving as the President’s lawyers. One senses a passionate longing to restore principles of equality and true adherence to the law as the heartbeat of the justice system. His own call to stand as president came when President Trump refused to condemn the violence of the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville last year.
As any mountaineer knows, it is important to remember that the wind blows higher at altitude, and to recognise that huge pressures bear down on those who find themselves at the top of the tree. Quite apart from the international curve balls thrown into the air by the outgoing administration, Joe Biden faces considerable challenges at home. There is the enormous struggle to bring the Covid infection rates under control, and he must remain alert to very strong progressive forces on the far left in his own party. He has managed to steer a successful course so far, particularly in his appointments, but there are many more to be made and the pressure will be on to nominate some who stand much further to the left than he himself does.
Pray for the work of the Holy Spirit to bring the best possible outcome and calm resolution to these deeply troubled waters. Ask the Lord for an arc of protection like a firewall to be over the new president and his team. Pray for strength in body, mind and spirit, and for clear-sightedness and resilience. Pray especially for Kamala Harris, who many expect to succeed Biden in office.