Joe Biden is overseeing perhaps the most spectacular policy failure in Palestine and Israel in U.S. history. His embrace of Benjamin Netanyahu will be remembered as a symbol of how much he weakened U.S. standing in the region.
U.S. President Joe Biden is back from his shortened trip to the Middle East, a trip which turned into a clear demonstration of his fecklessness and failures.
Biden’s trip is being wildly spun by the White House and by mainstream U.S. media into something that was somehow at least minimally productive when, in fact, it was anything but. The grandest failure was that the three political entities that are arguably most enthralled to the U.S. –Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority—canceled their scheduled meeting with the President.
That’s no small thing. When the leader of the superpower that is providing considerable amounts of your revenue every year travels halfway around the world and has meetings scheduled with you, simply breaking it off is a big deal, regardless of the circumstances. But these circumstances warranted nothing less.
With Biden back in Washington, he immediately set about securing unprecedented amounts of money for weapons of war and weaving a narrative that he is hoping will quiet critics of each of the major conflicts the U.S. is involved in: Gaza and Ukraine.
Biden returned to tie Israel’s devastation of civilians in Gaza with Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion. Whatever one thinks of the policies in each war—and I find enormous flaws in Biden’s approach to each—the comparison could not be more off-base. In one case the U.S. is funding a fight against occupation, in the other we are backing the occupier with all we have.
Biden’s speech was aimed at explaining why he wants to send $14 billion to Israel and $60 billion to Ukraine. But more than that, Biden asserted that all of this was the duty of the United States, reasserting the U.S.’ long-time role as the world’s police force, imposing its version of law and order as the ultimate arbiter of justice, a duty thrust upon us.
The echoes of George W. Bush’s infamous “axis of evil” were clear to anyone who listened to both. Equating two entities as different as Vladimir Putin and Hamas requires a great deal of spin, but it’s crucial to create the jingoism needed for a new march into long-term war.
In this case, Biden is leading the U.S. into a very different kind of warfare than George W. Bush did. In this version, U.S. boots don’t touch the ground. We are trying to relegate our involvement to aircraft carriers, missile launchers, and some planes. Will it work? It seems as flawed a strategy as Biden’s whole approach to the Middle East. It invites the sort of attacks on ourselves that we find so appalling. …