Are we about to see another instance of Joe Biden quietly shifting his policy to match his predecessor’s without acknowledging he has done so?
Biden was hellbent on firing up Obama’s old Peace Deal with Iran, even if that meat pre-emptive surrender of leverage by offering a unilateral revocation of sanctions, with nothing offered in return.
Not exactly the way to signal strength to the schoolyard bully of the region who only understands a solid punch in the nose from the people he tries to push around. Say whatever you will about Trump, at least they knew they were dealing with someone decisive that would find your pain point and press on it, whether that meant surgical strikes taking out key leaders or economic sanctions.
Joe, on the other hand, telegraphed even during his campaign that he would rather be loved than feared… even in Iran.
He gave them access to financial resources they had been starved of during the Trump years. He may have been the only one surprised to see that Iran used it in exactly the way a country that routinely chants ‘Death To America’ could be expected to spend it.
Which left him in a position of having to take what is being described as ‘defensive action’.
The U.S. military, under the direction of President Joe Biden, carried out airstrikes against what it said were “facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups” near the border between Iraq and Syria, drawing condemnation from Iraq’s military and calls for revenge by the militias.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the militias were using the facilities to launch unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. It was the second time the Biden administration has taken military action in the region since he took over earlier this year.
Kirby said the U.S. military targeted three operational and weapons storage facilities Sunday — two in Syria and one in Iraq. —AP
How unsettling is it that Syria is the same country Biden mixed up with Libya, three times in one conversation on his recent trip to Europe?
WATCH: Biden thinks Syria is Libya. (Made mistake multiple times in G7 speech) pic.twitter.com/BSn1XKNs18
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) June 13, 2021
Normally, bombing someone’s assets underscores the delivery of a strong message. Blinken, speaking for the Pentagon (or as Joe once described it ‘the outfit over there’), assured any journalists-turned-talking-point-stenographers present at the presser, that this ‘neccessary, appropriate and deliberate action’ was the sort of response that would ‘send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message’.
That sounds firm, as it was meant to — firmer than the president himself usually sounds these days. Militia groups there have been using increasingly sophisticated armaments in recent weeks. These have included at least eight attacks by unmanned drones, an indication that perhaps Biden’s measured response last winter was too subtle for Iranian commanders.
The Wall Street Journal reported the February retaliation initially involved two targets, but Biden canceled one when he heard a woman was seen in the area.
Now comes word that after the February retaliation, Biden, who desperately wants to restart nuclear talks with Teheran, sent a confidential back-channel message to Iran that the new president did not really want a fight with Iran and that attack was minimal and directed at Iranian militias, not Iran. An official told the Journal that a similar “Take-that-but-don’t-worry-that’s-all” message would be sent after Sunday’s bombing, too. —RedState
Maybe Biden should take some time during one of those days that he calls a ‘lid’ to ask his advisors to explain to him (preferably in small words, perhaps with colorful pictures and charts) what Trump did differently than he has done since taking office in January… and why Trump was delivering better results.
Unlike Presidents before him, Trump didn’t go looking for new wars to start. He even resisted goading by his own officials to strike populated Iranian targets. But that didn’t mean he was unwilling to send an unmistakeably clear message to Iran when it was needed. Just ask Solemani, whose calls are now forwarded to some desolate region of Hell.
Ultimately, Trump preferred — whenever possible — the use of non-lethal economic leverage against his enemies. That left more room for meaningful negotiations after the fact, and was less likely to escalate uncontrollably.