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Surveying the damage already inflicted on the Middle East Peace achievements of the Trump administration in just over 100 days of the Biden presidency, Caroline Glick calls that region “A Powder Keg, Courtesy of Washington.” The piece is lucid, so I recommend reading the whole thing.
The damage is heartbreaking to those of us that saw signs that a genuine new equilibrium was forming, with the prospect of the Arab world accepting the existence of Israel. Here is some of the damage:
In Afghanistan and Iraq, violent attacks against U.S. forces are rising steeply. From January through April, attacks on U.S. forces increased 40%. President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw its forces from the country by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the jihadist attacks on the U.S. worsened the situation by communicating a message of profound American weakness and defeatism. The Taliban, al Qaeda and Iran clearly believe they are now free to humiliate and bleed the U.S. as they take control of the country.
In Iraq, Iranian-controlled Shiite militias launched three missile strikes against U.S. bases in the past week. Hoping to avoid confrontation with Iran as its emissaries appease it in Vienna, the Biden administration is assiduously avoiding acknowledging that Iran is behind the attacks, and so it guarantees that more attack will soon follow. As in Afghanistan, Iran reads U.S. behavior as an invitation to strike with immunity.
In Syria, Iran’s Syrian proxy President Bashar Assad and Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah continue to wage a war of extermination against Syrians who oppose them. In southern Syria last weekend, after opposition forces from the village of Am Batana, six kilometers from the border with Israel attacked a joint Syrian military and Hezbollah base nearby, the military ordered the entire village to evacuate by 2 pm last Saturday, or else. Most of the villagers reportedly fled their homes.
While turning a blind eye to Syria, the Biden administration continues to empower the Lebanese armed forces and government — both wholly controlled by Iran through Hezbollah. Last month, the administration transferred armored trucks valued at $14 million to the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese military and asked that Congress provide financial assistance to the government. Hezbollah for its part has launched a charm campaign on the public. Having caused the government to go bankrupt and forced the people of a once prosperous land into destitution, Hezbollah is now carrying out a well-publicized food drive, handing out Iranian basic foodstuffs to starving Lebanese along with Hezbollah membership cards.
Just months ago, hope abounded that Saudi Arabia would join the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in the Abraham peace accords with Israel. But the picture is now reversed. Recognizing the U.S. has changed sides, the Saudis no longer believe that with Israel they can contain Iran. So now they are hoping to cut a deal with the ayatollahs.
Ties between Israel and the UAE are also showing signs of stress. Last week, the UAE joined the anti-Israel cavalcade, releasing a statement condemning Israel for quelling Arab violence against Jews in Jerusalem. And this week reports emerged that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif paid a visit to the Emirates.
I doubt we’ll be seeing any more historic agreements between Israel and major Arab States, such as the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House:
YouTube screen grab (cropped).
A train wreck, and far worse to come.