By Liz Peek
In a new CNBC poll, only 31 percent of respondents approved of Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy. Is anyone surprised?
When Biden took office, the world was at peace and our enemies on guard. Today, the U.S. is embroiled in two wars — in Ukraine and Israel — and nervously awaits Chinese aggression against Taiwan. The White House, according to Axios reporting, is “rattled,” “worried about so many overseas conflicts at once.”
So are Americans, and they hold the president responsible. The U.S. and its western allies are bogged down in Ukraine, with the battle against Russia handicapped by Biden’s constant dithering over delivering critical weapons. As the financial and humanitarian toll mounts, there appears to be no end in sight.
At the same time, the conflict in Israel threatens to engulf the region, and is drawing in the United States. The president has moved two U.S. aircraft carriers into the region and has put 2,000 troops on alert for possible deployment. Just recently, American soldiers in Iraq and Syria have come under multiple attacks by Iranian proxies and a Navy warship reported shooting down missiles and drones fired by Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen.
In his second-only Oval Office address, Biden said, “American leadership is what holds the world together.” Yes, and most would agree that a feeble commander-in-chief barely able to finish a sentence is unable to provide that leadership. Biden has enabled and emboldened our enemies, first by demonstrating incompetence in the tragic pull-out from Afghanistan and second by his inadequate response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The jury is still out on his management of the crisis in Israel.
Biden, under heavy criticism for failing to call out Iran’s role in financing and helping to organize Hamas’s barbaric attack on the Jewish state, finally blamed the rogue state for “supporting Russia and […] supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region,” saying “We’ll continue to hold them accountable.”
No, we haven’t, and we won’t. Since Biden took office, there have been more than 80 attacks on U.S. facilities and troops stationed in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon has responded in kind on only four occasions.
Under President Trump, Iran’s foreign currency reserves plummeted from a high of $122 billion to $18 billion; since Biden took office, those funds have increased by one-third as this White House has relaxed sanctions and permitted rising oil exports. More recently, the White House approved the transfer of $6 billion to Tehran, giving the mullahs even more money to fund their terror allies.
Americans — even Democrats — do not want Joe Biden to run again for the presidency. Our enemies are cheering him on.
Biden’s failures stem from a blind dedication to past failed policies — like thinking that, with the appropriate amount of coaxing, Iran would be delighted to ally with the West — and from being possibly the worst negotiator in history.
During his recent visit to Israel, Biden pledged $100 million in aid to the residents of Gaza. Why did he not tie those payments to the release of hostages? Hamas controls Gaza; they will be tasked with distributing the aid, making it likely the funds will not go for food and medicine but rather more rockets. As one U.S. legislator said, Biden is all carrots and no sticks.
Also problematic is that Biden’s administration is dedicated to restricting U.S. oil and gas production, even though the consequences of his policies have enriched adversaries like Russia and Iran and led to higher gas prices at the pump, which crush Biden’s approval ratings.
In a desperate search for extra oil production, the Biden regime attempted to woo Saudi Arabia to increase its output, an effort that made the White House look idiotic, since Biden had made a point of publicly insulting the country’s ruler. Most recently, the Biden administration lifted sanctions on Venezuela, allowing more production from that hostile nation in exchange for highly dubious promises from President Maduro to hold elections sometime next year. How convenient; Venezuela can ramp up production just as our election season shifts into high gear, presumably helping the president by keeping oil and gas prices subdued.
As the policy blunders mount, the Donald Trump presidency is looking better. Even Rich Lowry at the National Review, no fan of the former president, admits in a recent column that Trump’s “relatively crisis-free presidency in foreign affairs” might not just have been good luck, but also occurred because “adversaries feared [Trump] and therefore acted with a measure of restraint.”
Nothing makes the case better than remembering Trump’s first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which took place in 2017 when they dined at his Palm Beach Club Mar-a-Lago. Over what Trump described as a “beautiful piece of chocolate cake,” he informed Xi that U.S. military forces had just sent 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to bomb a military airfield in Syria. This was punishment for Syrian President Bashar Assad poisoning 77 of his own countrymen, including 23 children, and also for Xi blocking U.N. condemnation of those horrific murders. With the advice of his military leaders, Trump chose to attack the airbase from which the deadly poison had been launched.
The message to our enemies was clear. Trump was ready to deploy the United States’s massive military capability if needed, and he actually had red lines our adversaries would cross at their peril.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently told Axios that the U.S. “is facing the most crises since World War II ended 78 years ago.” It was Gates, who worked in both the George W. Bush and Obama White Houses, who famously declared that Joe Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past 4 decades.” The streak continues, and the world is paying a heavy price.
Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.