The White House Is Trying to Buy Pre-Election Quiet by Paying Off Iran

During his long career in public office, Joe Biden has frequently professed his sympathy with, and even love for, the Jewish state. While Elliott Abrams believes these professions are sincere, there is little doubt in his mind that the informal agreement President Biden appears to be considering with Iran will greatly increase the dangers to Israel—not to mention those to America:

It is fair to say that the United States is paying Iran to stop taking American hostages and trying to kill Americans, an amazing response by a superpower to violent and unlawful actions by a vulnerable middle power. . . . The deal seems aimed at protecting the United States in part and the Biden administration in part. If Iran keeps its promises for a while, American soldiers in Syria and Iraq, and American visitors to Iran, will temporarily be safer.

It is fair to ask whether Americans, and the United States, are really safer when our response to hostage taking, murderous attacks on American service members, and nuclear blackmail is to pay more money. [However], under this apparent agreement, President Biden will be safer—from having to confront, before the 2024 U.S. election, an Iran steadily moving toward nuclear weapons. He has bought time for himself.

The agreement also makes it harder for Israel to strike at Iran’s growing nuclear program, because the administration will now argue that with [uranium] enrichment capped at 60 percent, there’s no imminent danger. Iran, meanwhile, can improve its enrichment capabilities, upgrade its centrifuges, and continue secret work on a warhead.

All of this reflects the Biden administration’s—and over many years, America’s—unwillingness to confront Iran over behavior that has for decades included killing Americans. One can think of other possible responses to the taking of hostages, ranging all the way back to “millions for defense but not one cent for tribute” in 1797. This time, it looks like up to $20 billion for tribute.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relationship

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship