Creating new perspectives since 2009

Is the American administration’s position a crime, stupidity or what?

December 13, 2023 at 7:59 pm

US President Joe Biden (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meet in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 18, 2023. [GPO/ Handout/Anadolu Agency]

US President, Joe Biden, has exceeded all expectations regarding his mismanagement of American foreign policy. The truth is that expectations were very low, in the first place, given his very long political record (he became a member of the Senate fifty years ago!) that is filled with positions supporting the many wars that the US has fought throughout the decades, reaching to the occupation of Iraq, which Biden supported enthusiastically. As for his record regarding support for Israel, America’s spoiled child, the man does not miss an opportunity to proudly declare it, just as he is proud of his old friendship with its Prime Minister, the leader of the Zionist right, the criminal Benjamin Netanyahu.

Former US President Barack Obama had asked Biden, his former rival, to join his election campaign as his Vice President to reassure the hawk wing of the Democratic Party. This is because Obama was considered one of the party’s doves, especially after he was known by his opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Obama was less enthusiastic in supporting Israel than other leaders of his party, and he was particularly resentful of Netanyahu, the close friend of white supremacists. Unfortunately for him, Netanyahu became Prime Minister of the Zionist state in 2009, the same year Obama took office and Netanyahu remained Prime Minister throughout Obama’s two presidential terms. Although the latter continued to provide Israel with various forms of aid due to the political cowardice that characterised his positions, in general, and to allow him to please the right of his party, Netanyahu waged an open political war against him in alliance with the Republican Party, which continued its slide to the far right until it made Donald Trump President.

OPINION: Censoring Israeli violence: Western media outlets capitulate

When the Democratic Party regained the presidency with Biden’s victory over Trump, the new President continued in the footsteps with his far-right Republican predecessor in foreign policy, instead of returning to the policy adopted during Obama’s two terms in which he participated. This was manifested in its clearest form in two areas: US policy towards China and the Zionist State. Biden has continued the provocative policy of hostility towards China that was adopted by his Republican predecessor, which has harmed the world in more than one way, especially in preventing a peaceful settlement of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Beijing has called for from the beginning, and continues to do so. As for Israel, Biden did not withdraw any of the measures taken by Trump to please their mutual friend, Netanyahu, including moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. Rather, the main concern of his administration regarding the Palestinian issue, like the administration that preceded it, was expanding Arab normalisation with the Occupying State, instead of pressuring Israel to freeze settlements and respect Ramallah’s authority, based on the perception that normalisation must be a part of an acceptable settlement with the latter.

Therefore, it was not surprising that Biden resorted to unconditional solidarity with his friend, Netanyahu, following Operation Al-Aqsa Flood with his positions being more welcomed by Republicans than Democrats in Congress, as well as by male and female voters, as confirmed by all polls. On 1 December, the Financial Times newspaper published a report by its chief commentator on American politics, Edward Luce, in which he discusses the existing tension between the former and current Democratic presidents regarding the position on Israel. He quotes Obama’s supporters, who worked in his administration, as saying if Obama were in charge “the US would be putting conditions on military aid to Israel and calling out Benjamin Netanyahu’s egregious failings” instead of embracing Israel as Biden’s administration is doing.

Biden thought that he could use his exaggerated unconditional support for Israel, which satisfied the Republicans, to lure them into giving him the green light for military assistance to Ukraine, which they are much less enthusiastic about, and which even their extreme right-wing opposes. Biden linked the $14 billion he decided to provide to support the Israeli war effort to military aid to Ukraine in a comprehensive package that exceeded $100 billion. The matter has failed, so far, as Biden’s plan backfired on him because Republicans seized the opportunity to impose their own conditions, especially regarding immigration control policy.

OPINION: The shameful imbalance in US-Israel relations

As for Biden’s greatest idiocy, it is the fact that he thought that, by fully supporting Israel, he would be able to influence its government more than if he followed a policy like the one that Obama practiced. Instead, he found himself unable to impose anything on his “friend” Netanyahu, especially since the latter is counting on the Republicans who have the majority in Congress and is even betting on Trump winning next year’s presidential elections. It has become clear since the beginning of the current Israeli aggression that there is a disagreement between the American administration and the Netanyahu government regarding the fate of the Gaza Strip following the completion of the “liquidation of Hamas”, a goal that Washington supported unconditionally, because the Occupation government wants to occupy the Gaza Strip permanently, while Washington wants the Israeli forces to withdraw from it and hand it over to the PA in Ramallah. However, the Biden administration is unable to impose its will on its spoiled ally and cannot stop supporting it for fear of a Republican attack on it.

So, the bear hug strategy, known in the US as the policy of support in exchange for influence and management, has failed to achieve its declared goal and all it is left with is the “hug”, i.e., full support that has, for the first time, reached the level of direct American participation in a war waged by Israel against civilians, and even a genocidal war, while unconditionally supplying the Occupation State with whatever American weapons the Occupation wants. This includes handing over 2,000-pound (900 kg) bombs, which the American forces themselves avoid using in urban areas due to the fact that their use in such areas will definitely cause a very high civilian death toll.

So, it turned out that the answer to the question posed in the title of this article is:  both, the position of Biden and his administration falls into the categories of both extreme stupidity and a heinous crime, which prompted some conscientious people working in the administration to resign.

OPINION: Netanyahu hints at expanding colonial violence to the Occupied West Bank

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Quds on 12 December, 2023.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.