OPINION COLUMNS JUNE 21 2023
While many domestically know the Biden administration as being a far leftist, corrupt, and incompetent presidency, on foreign soil the reputation that most fits Joe Biden is weak. That reputation was built over decades of being wrong on every foreign policy opinion but was solidified with Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan pullout. This week, Biden signaled to two regional powers that the United States under his rule is the paper tiger they think it is.
The first is Biden’s insistence that we send pallets of cash to the Iranian mullahs who lead their people in chants of “Death to America.” Following in Obama’s footsteps, Biden is trying to renegotiate the atrocious Iran Deal and give the Ayatollah a path to a nuclear bomb.
Even Biden couldn’t mess the deal up as bad as Obama did, because Iran is not in the same position as it was eight years ago. There is now a coalition of regional powers working against Iran, helped along by the Abraham Accords. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his reservations about the ongoing nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran, characterizing the potential outcome as a “mini-deal” rather than a comprehensive agreement.
In a closed-door meeting with the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Netanyahu downplayed the significance of the negotiations, assuring officials that Israel would be able to handle the proposed terms. Referring to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was strongly opposed by Israel and abandoned by President Trump in 2018, Netanyahu remarked, “This isn’t the deal we knew.”
Sources suggest that the proposed deal includes a provision prohibiting Iran from enriching uranium beyond 60 percent, while the US would release Iranian funds held under sanctions abroad. Additionally, the two countries would engage in a prisoner exchange. Nonproliferation experts have already argued that uranium enriched to this level lacks civilian utility.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, voiced support for a nuclear agreement with the West, asserting that Iran’s existing nuclear infrastructure should remain intact. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, indicated a preference for a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, which provided sanctions relief in exchange for enrichment restrictions before the US withdrawal in 2018.
When the Iran Deal was signed in 2015, it gave Iran access to billions of dollars that could be used to fund terrorism around the world without consequence. This helped them build up their influence in the region, specifically with ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups.
The Biden administration, like Obama, will start to lie to the American people through the media about the Iranian regime becoming more “moderate” to sell this deal. As Obama’s chief architect for the Iran Deal, Ben Rhodes, admitted, “We created an echo chamber” of media personalities who would just repeat what the Obama team said – all for the express purpose of creating a “legacy,” not for making the world a safer place.
This is a small example of the weakness that Biden projects onto the world stage. It’s bad enough that foreign leaders see a doddering old man incapable of answering questions or walking stairs without assistance, they also see that his lackeys share his cowardice.
In the wake of repeated aggressive moves against Taiwan, threatening either a blockade or full-on invasion, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was dispatched to China. Blinken pathetically declared that the United States position is “status quo,” affirming the One China Policy and claiming that the US does “not support Taiwan independence.” It would be impossible to imagine the strength it would take to go into President Xi’s capital and demand that he backs off his aggression, so fortunately we don’t have to worry about trying to imagine it. Under this President, it’s not going to happen.
As we’ve seen in Russia and Ukraine, American weakness gets people killed. Biden’s infamous claim that a “minor incursion” into Ukraine would not yield a strong response from NATO gave Putin the confidence to fully invade. Due to his overestimation of his own forces and underestimation of the global response against him is the only reason why the Russian flag doesn’t fly over Kyiv today. Biden’s weakness caused that war, and his weakness is leading two more regions into conflict.
America needs to project strength on the world stage if there’s going to be peace. Trump literally got Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea under heel for a brief moment…until COVID. Trump’s weakness on bringing a strong global response on China for causing the pandemic that killed millions of people and shut down the world economy gave China all the leeway it needed to take over Hong Kong. Trump, in the middle of the re-election, did next to nothing to protect Hong Kong from China.
We like to pretend that we are the only nation with ambition, but the rest of the world sees a crumbling empire and is looking to take more control in their own spheres of influence. If this continues, more war and destruction is inevitable. Better to project strength now – even if it’s unpopular – than be forced to mobilize later.