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While the storm clouds gather far across the sea
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free

Let us all be grateful that we are far from there
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her

Through the night with the light from above

The words of Irving Berlin who wrote “God Bless America” in 1918 and then revised it in 1938 as Europe stood once more on the abyss of war still speak to us today as Russia positions tens of thousands of troops on the Ukraine border.

The Russian trigger could be pulled “at any time” according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


The crisis begs the question: Is Biden in the same mold as Lincoln. Or Wilson. Or Roosevelt?

In our nation’s history, three out of these four Presidents experienced the lengthening shadows of war. The strength of their leadership and force of personality provided our democracy with the power required to navigate an existential threat to our nation and the future of freedom. They were able to call upon the patriots of American democracy to preserve and defend our country. They had the means to galvanize the enormous power of an exceptional America and confront our enemies.

As the shadows of possible conflict dramatically darken, one has to ask whether President Biden is prepared and capable of confronting what may be the defining test of Western Democracy, his administration, and by extension, the man himself.

One is compelled to ask because his tenure to date reveals a muddled and amateurish response to crisis. Media reports regarding our retreat from Afghanistan reveals an embarrassing level of incompetence by the White House that left our “boots on the ground” not just frustrated but in danger.

Now the stakes are infinitely larger as Putin must be basing his strategy, in part, on the immediate past performance of a Biden White House that is also facing historic inflation at home, a potent Communist China intent on superpower leadership, COVID policies that seem to change daily, border issues, and ongoing questions about the security and sanctity of the ballot box in this year’s upcoming mid-term elections.

Events in Ukraine are about to start triggering quickly. Every day is unclear as to who or what will spark a Russian invasion. To question whether Joe Biden is a wartime president worthy of a Lincoln, Wilson, or Roosevelt is an issue best left to future historians. Still, if his immediate presidential past is prologue, the Ukrainians, our European allies, and democracy itself all have an immediate stake in the answer. Those lengthening shadows are now Red clouds endangering global peace.

Irving Berlin’s words were prescient then. They are more so now. Let us quietly recite them and find our own strength as a quiet but steadfast patriot at this time of crisis.

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free


{Reposted from the Gatestone Institute website}


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Lawrence Kadish, a Long Island real estate investor, is a trustee of the Gatestone Institute.