October 11, 2023

Joe Biden’s Iranian Appeasement

The president’s 1,300-word speech yesterday was most notable for a single word that was missing: Iran.

Once again, Joe Biden has lived down to our expectations.

Before the president finally took to the lectern at 2:24 ET yesterday afternoon — a full 84 minutes after we were told that he’d address the nation about the terrorist attacks on Israel, and a full two days after which he’d essentially disappeared from public view — we predicted that he’d give a perfectly appropriate speech for the moment.

After all, his speechwriters had more than three full days to absorb and process the horror, the barbarity, and the implications of the assault by the murderous Islamist cutthroats of Hamas.

Sure enough, Joe Biden began: “You know, there are moments in this life — and I mean this literally — when the pure, unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. The people of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend. The bloody hands of the terrorist organization Hamas — a group whose stated purpose for being is to kill Jews. This was an act of sheer evil.”

Most of the people of Israel “lived through it.” More than 1,000 did not. But his point is well taken; there is evil in this world, and it is embodied by the dogs who beheaded babies on Saturday, who shot pregnant women in the stomach, who murdered the elderly in front of their grandchildren, who mowed down young concertgoers at a musical celebration of peace.

“It’s abhorrent,” Biden said. “The brutality of Hamas — this bloodthirstiness — brings to mind the worst — the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism. But sadly, for the Jewish people, it’s not new. This attack has brought to the surface painful memories and the scars left by a millennia of anti-Semitism and genocide of the Jewish people.”

It does remind us of ISIS, but the president didn’t dwell on that depraved organization, nor what ultimately happened to it. He didn’t mention that his more serious and more capable predecessor in the White House made it a priority to destroy ISIS, and he employed the full and lethal power of the American military to do so.

Donald Trump happened to ISIS. But what of Hamas? Here, Biden should’ve acknowledged the gravely misguided calls coming from his side about a cessation of the violence. And then he should’ve said, “The violence will cease when Israel decides that the violence should cease — when it has destroyed its mortal enemies, and not a moment sooner.”

This president should also have spent more time on the subject of anti-Semitism. He mentioned it just once, quoted above, in his entire speech. But the reason he didn’t dwell on it was obvious: because doing so would necessarily shed light on the anti-Semitism, the Jew hatred, within his own political party and on the Left more broadly. The president should have denounced, for example, the sickening demonstration in New York City, home to the largest population of Jews outside the Middle East. And he should’ve denounced the depravity at Harvard University, where an eye-popping 31 campus organizations affixed their names to a statement that held “the apartheid regime” of Israel “entirely responsible” for the violence.

But the president’s most palpable failure was his refusal to call out the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the entity that everyone knows was behind Hamas’s bloody assault: Iran.

Biden spoke for 10 minutes. He spoke some 1,300 words. But not one of those words was “Iran.” This was a glaring and shocking omission, and it was where this appeaser of a president most lived down to our low expectations.

Said Washington Post columnist Mark Thiessen to Fox News: “I can’t believe we waited two days for that. … Let’s be clear: Hamas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran.”

Thiessen, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, then invoked Donald Trump, of whom he’s often been critical, noting that Trump put the Iranian regime on notice that if any of its terrorist proxies so much as harmed a hair on an American’s head anywhere in the world, he would hold the Iranian regime severely accountable, and he would not draw a distinction between the mullahs and their terrorist proxies. And then, on December 27, 2019, when an Iranian rocket attack killed a single American contractor at an airbase in Iraq, we responded by liquidating Qasem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force and the second-most powerful man in Iran.

That’s strong leadership. And that’s deterrence.

During a press conference after Biden’s remarks, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was asked about the $6 billion in ransom that his boss gifted to the Iranian regime on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. All he could say was that none of that money had been spent. When he was pressed about refreezing that money, he replied: “Let me just reiterate what I said because it’s unequivocal: Not a dollar of that money has been spent, and I will leave it at that.”

It might’ve been unequivocal, but he completely avoided the question. Pressed further about Iranian involvement in the attack, Sullivan said, “We don’t have specific information that ties Iran to this attack.”

How about the terrorists themselves thanking Iran? Does that count as specific information? How about the following specific information conveyed by the Washington Post on Monday: “The Palestinian militants [sic; they’re jihadists] behind the surprise weekend attack on Israel,” reported the Post, “began planning the assault at least a year ago, with key support from Iranian allies who provided military training and logistical help as well as tens of millions of dollars for weapons.”

How about that? Does that count as specific information? Not to Joe Biden and the rest of his administration, it doesn’t.

This is the same administration, remember, that aims to appease Iran by resurrecting Barack Obama’s horrendous nuclear deal.

Then there’s that little matter of the $6 billion we disgracefully gifted to Iran on 9/11 as ransom for some American hostages being held there. Asked about it yesterday, Biden administration spokesman John Kirby said: “It can be refrozen at any time. … So it’s all still sitting in a Qatari bank, and that is an option that’s still available to us.”

“An option that is still available to us”? What on God’s green earth is Joe Biden waiting for, another Iranian-inspired massacre?

Here, we might contrast the energy and rhetoric of our 80-year-old commander-in-chief with that of 73-year-old Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Granted, the two men are in entirely different situations, but the Israeli PM has been fully visible throughout, and his full-throated moral clarity has been striking.

He told the Israeli people what lay ahead, telling them that they’re in a fight “for our home, a war to ensure our existence — a war that we will win.” He also issued a pointed warning: “What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.”

He continued: “We have always known who Hamas is. Now, the entire world knows who Hamas is, and we will defeat it just like the enlightened world defeated ISIS.”

“We all want results right here, right now, but it will take some time,” Netanyahu said, warning his people that “hard days are coming,” then adding, “But I promise you dear citizens: At the end of the war, all of our enemies will know it was a terrible mistake to attack Israel.”

“This vile enemy wanted war, and it will get war,” Netanyahu concluded, also telling Biden that this is no time for talking: “We have to go in,” he told the American president during a phone conversation. “We can’t negotiate now. … We need to restore deterrence.”

Deterrence is the key word here. Hamas must be made to regret its actions. It must be made to realize that the price it ultimately paid at the hands of the Israelis wasn’t worth it.

A commitment to deterrence, then, is what separates strong leaders from weak ones, fighters and protectors from appeasers, Trumps and Netanyahus from Bidens.

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