Biden in the Middle East

Photograph Source: Saudi Press Agency – CC BY 4.0

That illustrious United States President, Joe Trump – er – Biden, has returned from the Middle East, where, in meetings with the Israeli and Saudi Arabian governments, he ignored the Israeli assassination of journalist Shereen Abu Aqla and Saudi Arabia’s of Jamal Khashoggi, committed the U.S. to continued unqualified support of the apartheid Israeli regime, and threatened to invade Iraq. He also voiced support for the two-state solution, but said that ‘now is not the time.’

For a U.S. president, it’s all in a day’s work.

Let us look carefully at each of these situations, to better understand U.S. hypocrisy, dishonesty and disdain for diplomacy.

U.S. government officials are forever spouting the myth of the country as a beacon of peace, freedom and democracy, which seeks to spread those noble attributes around the world. This fairy tale isn’t believed much outside of U.S. borders, but the lemmings-like U.S. citizens seem to eat it up as if it were the Gospel truth.

One of the few things that maintains any semblance of world order is international law. That should be held sacred by every government official on the planet. Some seem to respect it, to varying degrees, but the U.S. is not among them.

A hallmark of freedom and democracy is a free press. Members of the press have, for many decades, risked their lives in war zones to bring the news to people far away. Jamal Khashoggi and Shereen Abu Aqla were two such people. Khashoggi, although not a U.S. citizen, was employed by the Washington Post. According to U.S. intelligence sources, he was cut to pieces on the orders of Mohammed Bin Salmon, who Biden famously ‘fist-bumped’ at their meeting last week.

Shereen Abu Aqla, revered throughout the Middle East, was a U.S. citizen. Several independent sources investigated her assassination, and concluded that she was intentionally targeted by an Israeli sniper. The U.S. investigation, however, left that unresolved, saying it couldn’t be determined from the evidence it had, evidence that every other source found conclusive. It is hard to imagine an ‘accidental’ bullet finding an unprotected area under the journalist’s ear, below her helmet and above her bullet-proof vest.

Biden, like every president since at least John F. Kennedy, pledged complete and undying loyalty to Israel, even stating that he believes most U.S. citizens are fully committed to Israel’s security. It is more likely that most U.S. citizens couldn’t care less about Israel or any other country, and those that do, that are informed about world conditions, and aren’t evangelicals, oppose the Israeli regime. Polls continually show that ‘most U.S. citizens’ are not, as Biden disingenuously stated, committed to Israel’s security.

In threatening to invade Iran, Biden did what U.S. leaders do best: emphasize their belief that might makes right. One must question why it is that the U.S. feels it alone can determine what countries can and cannot have nuclear weapons. That golden child of the U.S. – Israel – has them, but that’s all well and good as far as the U.S. is concerned. These illustrious leaders conveniently ignore the irony that the one nation that has ever used nuclear weapons – and against civilian populations, no less – does not have the moral high ground when it comes to discussions of such weapons. They also seem oblivious to the fact that the Iranian government, under all circumstances and like every other government in the world, has an obligation to protect its citizens from harm, and with the U.S. and Israel, two states with numerous nuclear weapons, threatening it, perhaps the Iranian government is starting to see a need to possess such weapons, to deter an invasion.

In the endless and fruitless negotiations to restart the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the U.S. is trying to change not only the narrative, but the facts. U.S. news outlets are saying that the signatories to the agreement continue to work to ‘bring Iran back into compliance’. Why aren’t those same parties working to bring the United States back into compliance? It was the U.S. that violated the agreement, not Iran.

Additionally, Iran wants an assurance, that Biden either can’t or won’t give, that he or another future U.S. president won’t unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA as Trump did in 2018. Why on earth should Iran agree to halt its nuclear program, when it did that before, and the U.S. reneged on its part of the bargain?

As stated above, Biden also re-committed U.S. support – such as it is – for an independent Palestine, but does not consider now the right time. This writer will not hesitate to advise Biden that now is the right time, as it has been for decades. What would that take, the doddering senior in the White House might ask. The answer is clear: Israel must be made to adhere to international law, and the U.S. can bring that about today, by withholding the $4 billion dollars it gives to Israel every year. That apartheid regime would quickly realize that it can’t manage without sucking on the U.S. money teat, and so it would do as it’s told. For some bizarre reason, the situation today is, and for decades has been, reversed. Israel says ‘jump’ and the U.S. says ‘how high?’.

Let us look at an historical case in point.

In 1987, then Secretary of State George Shultz created a three-point plan calling for 1) the convening of an international conference; 2) a six-month negotiating period that would bring about an interim phase for Palestinian self-determination for the West Bank and Gaza Strip; 3) a date of December, 1988 for the start of talks between Israel and Palestine for the final resolution of the conflict.

The Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Yitzhak Shamir, immediately rejected this plan, claiming, bizarrely, that it did nothing to forward the cause of peace. In response, the U.S. issued a new memorandum, emphasizing economic and security agreements with Israel, and accelerating the delivery of seventy-five F-16 fighter jets. This, ostensibly, was to encourage Israel to accept the peace plan proposals. Yet Israel did not yield. “Instead, as an Israeli journalist commented, the message received was: ‘One may say no to America and still get a bonus.’”[1]

This has been the case ever since.

So what did Biden accomplish during his Middle East trip? He undermined press freedom, supported apartheid, raised tensions and furthered Palestinian oppression.

As mentioned early, for a U.S. president, all in a day’s work.

1. Suleiman, Michael W., ed. U.S. Policy on Palestine from Wilson to Clinton. Page 31.


Robert Fantina’s latest book is Propaganda, Lies and False Flags: How the U.S. Justifies its Wars.