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JOSH HAMMER: Biden’s Iran Problem

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Josh Hammer Contributor
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The terrorist Iranian regime’s unprecedented recent attack on Israel, which included 185 drones, 36 cruise missiles and 110 surface-to-surface missiles, is an unambiguous casus belli — an act of war — under international law.

Of course, Iranian proxies spread across the Middle East, such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah, Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Yemen-based Houthis, have committed countless previous acts of war against Israel. But last weekend was something different entirely: For the very first time since fanatical Islamists overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and took power in 1979, Iran launched such attacks directly from its own soil. (RELATED: ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Why Is Biden Stopping Israel From Attacking Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program?)

The regime’s attack against the Jewish state, a tactical failure in which 99% of Iran’s varying projectiles were successfully intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces and a U.S.-led multinational coalition, is highly revealing. No longer can anyone deny the Iranian regime’s role as “head of the snake” of Middle East chaos; nor can anyone now deny the regime’s genocidal intentions. It turns out that when they chant “Death to Israel” in the streets of Tehran, they really mean it. (They also chant “Death to America,” incidentally.)

The obvious question: How? How did we reach the point where Iran feels so emboldened, and so unafraid of any repercussions, that it lobs hundreds of offensive weapons from its own territory toward another sovereign nation — especially one so closely allied with the U.S. and interconnected with the broader Western order?

The answer is just as clear as it is troubling: The Middle East “realignment” so doggedly pursued by President Joe Biden, and by former President Barack Obama before him, got us here. Under the Obama-Biden foreign policy doctrine, an Iran so emboldened that it feels free to wage offensive war against Israel in such brazen fashion is not a bug — it’s a feature.

Steeped in pseudo-academic theories such as postcolonialism and surrounded by left-wing ideologues who held America and Western civilization responsible for collective global sin, Obama sought to remake the Middle East map. On the one hand, he sought to hamstring the region’s sole outpost of Western civilization, Israel, as well as America’s traditional Sunni Arab allies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. On the other hand, he bolstered those countries’ natural foes: Iran, Qatar and the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The apotheosis of the Obama-Biden Middle East “realignment” was the terrible Iran nuclear deal of 2015, laundered to a skeptical American people by failed novelist-turned-Obama White House apparatchik Ben Rhodes via a cynical, astroturfed “echo chamber” of a PR campaign. In 2016, Obama secretly delivered $400 million in wooden pallets of cash to the mullahs — on the same day the nuke deal went into effect.

More recently, the Biden administration agreed to cough up a whopping $6 billion in return for five illegally detained U.S. citizens — just weeks before the Iran-sponsored Hamas pogrom of Oct. 7. And just last month, Biden approved a fresh $10 billion sanctions waiver for Iran.

There are too many other examples to count. But it is all in service of the Obama-Biden doctrine: Punish America’s allies in the Middle East and reward its enemies.

Just as bad, the Iranian regime has also shown itself capable of infiltrating and co-opting America’s corridors of power: Last September, Semafor scooped emails revealing an Iranian regime-supported intelligence operation seeking to influence high-ranking government offices, think tanks and academic institutions in the U.S.

The man at the center of it all? Robert Malley, Obama’s lead negotiator for the 2015 nuke deal and Biden’s now-suspended special envoy for Iran. Most recently, Iranian reporter Vahid Beheshti revealed a stunning internal Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps document this week that inculpates the Iranian regime in helping to orchestrate America’s day of anarchic, crippling, pro-Hamas “demonstrations” on Monday.

The Trump administration, something of an interregnum between the two “realignment” presidencies, pursued the precise opposite policies: Punish America’s enemies and reward its friends. That is what basic logic would dictate, and the results were historic: new peace deals forged between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco under the umbrella of the Abraham Accords. It turns out that the obvious thing is often also the best thing.

The Hamas pogrom and the ensuing war in Gaza was the first real test for the accords — and the Iran-containment coalition they represent. Crucially, none of the Arab signees have severed relations with Israel.

Even more remarkably, Saudi Arabia — not part of the accords — acknowledged on Monday that it assisted the U.S.-led coalition that foiled Iran’s weekend attack.

All of this is a tribute to the statesmanship of former President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shepherded the accords across the finish line. And it is a glimmer of hope that more peace — and less Iran-emboldening Obama-Biden foolishness — might be just around the corner.

To find out more about Josh Hammer and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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