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Biden Begins the Spin on the Iran Attack

It's always someone else's fault when things go south.

There is a new metric for a small increment of time. Forget the nanosecond. The new measure is the minuscule unit of time between President Joe Biden saying something of questionable veracity and a White House spin master hitting the airwaves for clean-up.

Biden Response Falters

So it was when national security spokesman John Kirby tried to smooth out the mess Biden made in the aftermath of the Iranian air assault on Israel. America’s chief executive told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Jewish nation, having just escaped a catastrophic onslaught of 170 attack drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 110 ballistic missiles, should take it as a win and not retaliate. Biden’s policy of appeasing Iran has created a permissive environment that has emboldened Tehran to believe it can do whatever it cares to without consequences.

Nonetheless, Kirby inexplicably told Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday:

“It’s hard to look at what President Biden has done with respect to Iran and say he hasn’t been tough on Iran, we haven’t put pressure on them … It was the previous administration that decided to get us out of the Iran deal and now Iran is so much dramatically closer to potentially a nuclear weapon capability than before Mr. Trump was elected.”

In other words, it’s former President Donald Trump’s fault. If that’s true, then whatever the Biden team has done since it came to office has failed – and miserably. Blaming Trump at this point is a tacit admission of the White House’s incompetence in ensuring stability in the Middle East. And matters in that part of the world seem quite worse.

The Trump administration did withdraw from the flawed Barack Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, claiming it did nothing to reduce or curtail Tehran’s development of long- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Such missiles were used to attack Israel on April 13.

But Kirby pointed his finger in another direction, too. He blamed China for not using its influence to keep Iran from attacking Israel.

“China should do more in terms of the Middle East, in terms of [the] relationship they have with Tehran. And yes, we’ve asked them to use that influence to a positive effect,” Kirby offered. China doing more in the Middle East to reduce tensions may be the most worrying indictment of Biden’s foreign policy. The United States should not want China to be an influential force in the Gulf region or anywhere else for that matter. Relying on the Chinese Communist Party to smooth tensions in the Middle East in no way results in “a positive effect” for America.

Israel Will Preserve Deterrence Against Iran

The Biden White House apparently believes it is neither prudent nor safe for Israel to assert its sovereignty and respond to the drone and missile barrage from Iran. According to The Times of Israel’s recent reporting on a statement from the Israeli war cabinet:

“The response will be designed to send the message that Israel ‘will not allow an attack of that magnitude against it to pass without a reaction’ … [And] will also be designed to make plain that Israel will not allow the Iranians to ‘establish the equation’ they have sought to assert in recent days. This appears to be a reference to Iran’s warning that future Israeli strikes on Iranian territory, including its international diplomatic premises, will henceforth again be met by Iranian retaliatory strikes on Israel.”

The Biden administration’s definition of deterrence remains unclear, since it is not working. “To suggest a country can launch over 300 missiles and drones and have no consequence … remember Iranians [are] learning from this; the Chinese are learning from this; Russians are learning from it; if the message is the United States will help defensively but, by the way, you will suffer no costs, you are asking for more attacks,” as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich summed up the situation on Fox Business.

Despite the spin and the contrary arguments, President Biden has been unprepared for the crisis in the Middle East. Indeed, his actions may have inadvertently enabled it. When countries as malevolent as Iran perceive weakness, they exploit it. Unfortunately, it seems the US national security leadership doesn’t understand that.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliate.

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