"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Biden, Israel, And Ukraine - Uncertainty, Indecision, And The Failure Of American Foreign Policy

Joe Biden is a wartime president.  As implausible as that sounds, he is presiding over two wars and many skirmishes.  However none of these military enterprises are serious, committed uses of American political and military firepower.  Biden has not entered the war in Ukraine or in Israel, has used popgun exercises against Iranian-backed militias in Syria, and has limited his support for wars against ISIS in North Africa and the Sahel and al-Shabab in Yemen.  American foreign policy is tepid, noncommittal, and lost in the weeds of American domestic politics. 

Israel, fighting for its life against an implacable enemy outspoken in its hatred of Jews and unshakeable commitment, fights alone.  There is no doubt that Hezbollah incursions into Israel from the north and a stepped up guerrilla attacks from the West Bank will be met alone.  The United States, fearful of 'a wider war' will keep its warplanes on the ground, safely on carriers in the Mediterranean.  It will continue to supply Israel with arms and materiel, but will stay clear of the fighting. 

The shameful irony of all this is that Israel is the United States' only friend in the region; and as importantly the only ally which will without hesitation or restraint defy the Iranian mullahs and defend itself against that country's military and nuclear ambitions. 

Israel stood alone in opposition to Barack Obama's naive nuclear peace agreement with Iran.  The treaty focused only on deferring - not eliminating - that country's nuclear weaponization; and ignored its far more destabilizing and dangerous support to Islamic terrorism in the region.  Iran was sure to continue its clandestine nuclear production until the ten-year period of caution expired and full production could be resumed; and during the period provided its client insurrectionists military, economic, and political support.  Iran is now a threat to Israel even more than it was before the treaty. 

So America, now facing a much more militant, stronger, and more defiant Iran, has Israel to thank for standing indomitably firm - or, to put it much more crudely, to let Israel do America's dirty work. 

And yet with all that, the United States is intent on putting the brakes on Israel's military reply to Hamas' savagery.  Negotiation, truce, talks, compromise, civilian welfare all are instruments of weakness and geopolitical ignorance.  Unless Hamas is destroyed and its civilian population intimidated enough to never again turn to terrorist rule, Israel will not be safe.  Israel, taking a lesson from America's own General William Tecumseh Sherman, knows quite well that the civilian population is not only complicit in Hamas' terrorism, it is as harshly and brutally anti-Semitic as it is.  Years of Islamic radical propaganda has turned a failed state into an intractably hostile one.  

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Berlin, and Tokyo are the right lessons. Vietnam's hearts and minds, the pullout of  Iraq to 'the people', leaving it to Islamic insurgents; and the complete abandonment of Afghanistan are exactly the wrong ones.  With American 'persuasion' - i.e. the weight of its billions in economic and military aid - Israel is being forced to pull up, be nice, and assure the rearmament and revitalization of Hamas. 

The war in Ukraine is a senseless, useless war, fought over a vague idea of democracy.  Ukraine is no staunch American ally nor economic partner.  'This shall not stand', is the only excuse for US support to Kyiv; but unwilling to become involved with Russia and its supreme, defiant, and unshakeable leader Putin, the US sends weaponry and pours billions of unaccountable dollars into Ukraine's questionable coffers.

Ukraine cannot win the war unless the US commits itself to the use of defensive and offensive airpower and land support.  The end result will be Russia's victory, if not submission of Ukraine but total sovereignty over Donbass, the only real reason for Russia's incursion in the first place.  Intimidation - assuring that it would not join NATO was never part of the military algorithm - because it would never happen even under the best of conditions. 

As far as the minor skirmishes in the world, the US has decided they are not worth it.  Is some scrappy piece of the Sahelian scrub and Saharan dunes really worth replacing the French in Mali and taking on ISIS?  Yemen is already torn apart by civil war - savages vs savages in a play of Third World hopeless underdevelopment - so why should America waste firepower on a political wasteland?

Biden and his progressive supporters think only in terms of peace, conciliation, and concession - a liberal ethos based on idealism, Utopianism, and a new age assumption of world harmony.  He cannot possibly understand the likes of Putin, Xi, Kim, Erdogan or the Ayatollahs who have been demonized and branded as anomalies.  Their kind will not last and will eventually be replaced by congenial, inclusive liberal democracies. 

To believe this shows a complete ignorance of history - the history of Emperors, Shoguns, kings, popes, and ayatollahs; and the history of expansionism, territorialism, and power - and a belief in a fairytale, imagined place of warm lighting and crackling fires. 

Either go all-in in Ukraine or get out; either commit planes to the skies and boots on the ground in Israel, or admit that in its heart of hearts America is just as anti-Semitic as the rest of the world. The Jewish lobby isn't what it was, and the race-gender-ethnicity inclusivity claques have more political influence now than ever before. 

As far as the terrorist Iranian-supported Islamic extremists is concerned, we neutralized ISIS and buried its claims to a regional caliphate, so a few splinter groups in the desert really are really not our concern. 

It's not like fighting Imperial Japan or Hitler, accommodationists say.  Those days of bombing the daylights out of our enemies are over.  We live in a more integrated world.  Wholesale slaughter and victory at any price are not in the cards. 

Of course these revisionists are blinded by the idea of the world as musical comedy.  They may well have had their day, and defiant, militant, Machiavellian former President is in the electoral wings and likely to be re-elected. 

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