The Biden Visit to the Middle East Part II . The Panglossian World

It s too easy to be cynical about almost anything that is or will happen in the Middle East. Mostly because it is  so patently stupid to be otherwise. One can always hope for the best as apparently President Obama did. He built his foreign policy around “hope.” As we know it did not turn out well.  But as I read the  various op-eds on Biden’s upcoming visit quite a few, based on” informed sources”, or “people close to the White House”, or newspapers with a leftish ideological bent ( that includes most of the media in the US)  see something good happening. And to be sure, what ever the results, the correspondents, knowing which side their bread is buttered on, will find those good things. I do not have any” informed sources,” and certainly I know no one in the U.S.ruling class these days, but I do know history, especially  Middle Eastern history.

The Israeli” government”, if one wishes to call it that, seems totally incompetent. They apparently plan to go all out to butter up Biden, still assuming he is really in charge of the  American State. Despite two years of Biden’s handlers sticking their collective  fingers in the eye of the Israelis, the liberal segment of the Israeli population still clings to the fallacious idea that America is their forever protector. This despite the supine Biden offerings to “make nice” with the  corrupt Palestinian leadership and their president -for -life Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas stays in power because the US pays for his huge pretorian guard and at one time helped train it. ( Maybe still does. lost  contact). Meanwhile the more sentient Israelis, looking around them at the  growing power of evil despots  combined with the  incompetence, weakness  and indifference of the Western leadership, are worried about the possibility of another “Galut” i.e.,    another  period of exile of the Jews from their promised land.

At present, the West Bank is again at the powder keg point, awaiting a spark to blow it into another intifada. Not only are  daily attacks on Israelis, but the Arabs, as usual, are at each others throats, with criminal gangs and terrorists taking orders from none of the establishment terror groups and getting into firefights with each other. One such is the “Jenin group,” supposedly an ad hoc group of terrorists/freedom fighters  vowing to fight any Israeli  trespassing into their turf. Jenin, of course, is the scene of one of the bloodiest Palestinian battles with the Israeli defense Force in 2002. Its is seething again. Abbas is making noises about keeping things quiet  while Biden is around but the Palestinian Security Forces ( PSF) ,( Abbas’s army) are afraid to go into the refugee camps in Jenin;   and Hezbollah, if ordered by their Iranian masters,  may also instigate more trouble.  The Iranian leaders  must be as bewildered as people like me are- despite years of provocations and  public displays of utter contempt for the United States, the Biden regime still cloyingly seeks some accommodation  with Iran. Maybe it’s just part of the Panglossian Obama world.

Apparently there is this hope that perhaps a dramatic breakthrough  like the Saudi tough guy  MbS, crown Prince Mohammed(  Salman al Saud, or ,maybe his aging papa, the king showing up in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem and the coveted Saudi -Israeli partnership will be forged. Biden in so much political trouble at home  he may have to swallow his words of distaste for MbS and speak to him in order to get the oil he needs  to keep his flickering political hopes alive. Or perhaps more likely Lapid or some other Israeli functionary will  show up in Riyadh to exchange pleasantries  with MbS.  That way Biden can talk through Lapid and not anger the Georgetown crowd about forgetting their Martyr  Jamal Khashoggi, apparently murdered  in a rare act of muscle by a Saudi king. Of all the people to mourn, I would say that Jamal, the Muslim Brotherhood aficionado,  would be way down on the list. But as is the fashion these days these days celebrity politics, not those  people with talent or courage or moral fortitude count.

Ok Bottom line. Not much will come of  the  visit, but applying a sort of political Hippocratic oath, one hopes that the trip  and the Biden “stumblilitis” will not make things worse.

About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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