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Against D-Day backdrop, Biden to focus on democracy in anti-Trump pitch

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  • President Biden's speech at the 80th anniversary of D-Day emphasized the enduring importance of democracy and international alliances.
  • Biden drew parallels between the historic struggle against tyranny during World War II and today's geopolitical challenges, particularly in Ukraine.
  • The president's remarks contrasted sharply with former President Trump's isolationist views, reinforcing Biden's commitment to NATO and global cooperation.

In a poignant ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day, President Joe Biden delivered a powerful speech at the Normandy American Cemetery, emphasizing the enduring importance of democracy and international alliances. This event, steeped in historical significance, served as a backdrop for Biden to draw sharp contrasts with former President Donald Trump's isolationist policies and to reinforce his own commitment to global cooperation.

Biden's address at Pointe du Hoc, overlooking the beaches where American troops landed on June 6, 1944, was a tribute to the bravery of the Allied forces and a call to action against modern-day threats of authoritarianism. "You laid the foundation for a more just, free, and decent world," Biden said, addressing the veterans and their families. "Together with our allies, we built peace out of war."

The president's speech was not just a commemoration of past heroism but a reflection on current geopolitical challenges. Biden drew parallels between the trials faced by the Allied forces during World War II and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. He denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "tyrant" and underscored the importance of standing up to dictators. "To bow down to dictators is simply unthinkable," Biden declared. "We will not walk away."

Biden's remarks also highlighted the critical role of NATO, an alliance that has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy since World War II. "Isolation was not the answer 80 years ago and is not the answer today," he stated, reinforcing his administration's commitment to the alliance. This stance is a direct rebuttal to Trump's previous comments questioning the value of NATO and suggesting that the U.S. might not defend allies who do not meet their defense spending commitments.

The president's visit to Normandy comes at a crucial time as he gears up for a tightly contested rematch against Trump in the upcoming 2024 election. Biden's campaign has consistently framed the election as a battle for the soul of America, with democracy and American leadership at its core. In his most recent State of the Union address, Biden emphasized that democracy is under attack, both at home and abroad, drawing a direct line from the sacrifices of D-Day to the current global political landscape.

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, articulated the significance of Biden's trip, stating, "That war showed the world the value of strong alliances and partnerships, which is a lesson that continues to resonate strongly today, both in Europe and, quite frankly, well beyond Europe."

The ceremony also featured remarks from French President Emmanuel Macron, who echoed Biden's sentiments on the importance of unity and peace. "Here, we prove that the forces of liberty are stronger than conquest," Biden said, highlighting the unbreakable unity of the Allies.

Biden's speech was a stark contrast to former President Trump's approach to foreign policy. During a campaign rally in February, Trump suggested that the U.S. would not defend allies that did not spend enough on defense against a Russian attack, a stance that has drawn significant criticism. In contrast, Biden has made strengthening NATO a core focus of his foreign policy agenda, supporting and arming Ukraine as it fends off Russia's invasion.

The president's visit to France also included a state visit, where he met with Macron to discuss various global issues, including the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. This visit underscores Biden's commitment to maintaining and strengthening international alliances, a key theme of his presidency.

As Biden concluded his address, he left the audience with a powerful message: "History tells us freedom is not free." This reminder of the sacrifices made by the Allied forces serves as a call to action for the current generation to defend and fight for democracy, a message that resonates deeply in today's volatile political climate.

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