Biden’s Foreign Policy “Grown-Ups” Are AWOL

As missiles rain down on Israel and war breaks out yet again because the Biden Administration has empowered a criminal regime—this time it’s Iran with $6 billion in ransom money paid by Uncle Sam—it is clear for all to see how the Biden Administration’s action has given the green light to aggression around the world.

Ah, those heady early days of the Biden Administration! “The grown-ups are back in charge in Washington,” crowed the Financial Times editorial board. No more of the Notorious OMB (Orange Man Bad) and the foreign policy “dangers” he posed to the United States during his tenure as president. Of course, neither side of this equation was ever true. Trump’s presidency had many flaws, to be sure, but what we saw on the foreign policy front was a stability that is now lacking. If there were ever any grown-ups in the Biden Administration, they haven’t ever taken charge.

As former deputy secretary of the U. S. Interior and current Claremont Institute scholar Jeremy Carl observed, “Given that this is what things look like in Washington with the adults back in charge, I think I’d prefer to see the kids in charge.” And indeed, whether it’s Trump, DeSantis, or some other Republican candidate, it is safe to say that a vote against the Democrats is a vote for peace.

Elite opinion, shouted endlessly into the megaphone of the regime media, had been that Trump was doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin and putting us all in mortal danger. Yet even at the height of the Russia Hoax, this was absurd. Walter Russell Mead’s 2017 article “Trump Isn’t Sounding Like a Russian Mole” laid it out in about as clean a fashion as one could have. If Trump were the “Manchurian Candidate” that the Democrats and their media adjuncts were claiming him to be, Mead wrote, he would be “doing the following:

* Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
* Blocking oil and gas pipelines
* Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
* Cutting U.S. military spending
* Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran.”

This list of things actually chronicled what one recent U. S. President had done—that was Barack Obama. Mead added, “That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.”

While the supposed Russian connection was the main stupidity propounded about the Trump era, there were many more. Here are a few. Trump was going to cause North Korea to go to war with us! (I recall sitting in an academic conference and being told this by one overcaffeinated CNN-watching academic.) Trump’s strike on Syria—or perhaps it was changing the U. S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Or was it quashing Obama’s Iran deal?—was going to cause a Middle East war!

The list kept going on and on. It’s just that nothing on the list ever happened. All those Chicken Little journalists and politicians cried that the sky was falling. But instead what happened? Putin didn’t invade anybody. North Korea settled down and kept to repressing its own people. China continued to be a problem, but our economy was pretty good up until the COVID 19 episode (in which, to be fair, the Trump Administration made a number of mistakes). And the Middle East? In the Middle East, the Trump Administration helped negotiate the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. This led to Morocco and Sudan normalizing relations with Israel. And for those counting: no Middle East War. In fact, there were no wars at all under Donald Trump.   

Those rascally kids! They broke many a supposed foreign policy norm, but somehow managed to keep the commandment to show strength and keep peace.

What about Joe Biden and his “grown-ups”? Well, even the Financial Times in its giddy exuberance was forced to admit that there might be dangers in this group, among whom were a number involved with an “Obama-era foreign policy that had its share of failures — from its prevarication over the Syria civil war to its inability to constrain North Korea, and its abortive ‘reset’ with Russia.”

Reset with Russia? Oh, right, that’s all the things Mead said a “Russian mole” would have promoted.

Well, for all the bluster, it was under Joe Biden that Russia did invade Ukraine, which has now been fighting Russia for nearly 600 days. There seems no end in sight to the fighting that the New York Times claimed last month had already cost nearly a half million lives. Credible reports have indicated that the U. S. and the U. K. pressured Ukraine not to accept a deal in April 2022.

Establishment Republicans have joined Democrats in outrage that many House Republicans want to stop funding Ukraine. But not only does there seem no end to the fighting, there also seems no plan for an end to this war. And countries closer to the action are signaling that they want an end. Poland  and Slovakia have stopped arming Ukraine while Hungary is blocking military aid to the country. We ought to be trying to bring this war to a close, but we seem to be aimless.

What about North Korea? Well, reports of rail traffic between the country and Russia indicate that they are likely supplying arms to Vladimir Putin. And a recent pause in the operation of their nuclear reactor suggests they are seeking out weapons grade plutonium.

As if this weren’t bad enough, as of this weekend, Israel is now at war with Hamas. Strangely enough, Hamas’s attack comes shortly after the U. S. released $6 billion in frozen funds to Iran in exchange for a release of hostages. While the Biden Administration vows that the money they gave is only available for “humanitarian aid,” the difficulty is that money is fungible. If Iran has $6 billion more money, they can use other money to fund a proxy war against Israel. Given that they already fund Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the tune of $100 million a year, this seems pretty likely. In fact, they have already praised the attacks on Israel by Hamas and even thanked Iran for the money for it.

But there’s another angle to it. Remember all that military hardware we left in Afghanistan during the disastrous pull-out? The Taliban is now using it to supply Hamas. The Biden foreign policy disasters are stacking up like dominoes in this latest crisis.

That Democrats are trying to blame this new war on the fact that Senator Tommy Tuberville is holding up military appointments due to a Department of Defense policy of paying for abortions shows what their real priorities are. It’s not our defense: it’s abortion.  

To add insult to injury, the U. S. Office for Palestinian affairs posted (and then deleted) on X: “We unequivocally condemn the attack of Hamas terrorists and the loss of life that has incurred. We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing.”

So, Hamas missiles and terrorists killing Israelis is bad, but fighting back is just as bad. Even if they deleted it, this shows that the people in the Biden Administration are dangerously out of touch. If they’re the grown-ups, they’re drunk in the back room while the front room is getting destroyed.

Republicans need to keep fighting against the insanity of this administration’s feckless foreign policy. Checking the Ukraine money spigot is a good start. They also need to be communicating to the American people how dangerous the Democrats are and what a sane policy looks like. They need to convey to the public what a dangerous world Democratic leadership has brought us—and brought the world. I haven’t even brought up the Biden Administration’s disastrous pull-out from Afghanistan, which left billions of dollars of military equipment to the Taliban. It is bad. The supposed grown-ups are AWOL intellectually.

If Americans are concerned about America and if Americans are concerned about the world, the first thing we need to do is get the Democrats out of control. Perhaps it’s best to craft a catchy slogan. I propose: “Think globally, vote locally—for Republicans.”

David P. Deavel teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and serves as a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. Follow him on X (Twitter) @davidpdeavel.

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