By Gywnne Dyer
Days after 1,140 Israeli civilians were massacred by Hamas terrorists last October, US President Joe Biden went to Israel and gave Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu some good advice.
“While you feel rage,” Biden said, “don’t be consumed by it. After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. While we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.”
Well, yes. Invading the wrong country (Iraq) will lose you marks in almost any military college. (Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11) But the biggest US mistake was to do exactly what the al-Qaeda terrorists wanted it to do.
Al-Qaeda carried out the 9/11 attacks because it wanted the United States to invade Arab and Muslim countries.
They were Islamist revolutionaries, and they couldn’t get enough Muslims to support their goals. So sucker foreign infidels into invading Muslim countries, and maybe that will radicalise the locals enough to back an Islamist revolution.
Is that the mistake Joe Biden was warning ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu against last October? Was he explaining to Netanyahu that Hamas staged the October atrocities because it wanted Israel to invade the Gaza Strip?
That Hamas was losing credibility in the Arab world, and triggering an Israeli invasion was the best way to
Maybe, but it wouldn’t have helped, because the Israelis wanted revenge and that meant a lot of blood.
Which is exactly the dilemma that Biden now faces in miniature.
Only three American soldiers were killed by the drone attack in Syria on Monday, but it was big in terms of its potential consequences. The people who launched the drone were probably Iraqis, but it was Iran that gave them the drone and told them to launch it at an American target.
Iran probably didn’t pick the target, the day or the time for this attack, but there have been 160 Iran-
sponsored drone attacks on American targets since October. Sooner or later they were going to kill some
What did the Iranians think would happen then?
“The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East,” said Senator Tom Cotton (Republican-Arkansas). “Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander in chief.”
Some of the men saying such things (they’re almost all male) are clever, cynical Republicans who know
that military strikes on Iran would mire Biden in an unwinnable war and lose him the election.
Most, however, are just responding to their chimpanzee heritage as reimagined in a thousand movies from ‘High Noon’ to ‘Die Hard XVII’. “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” as John Wayne once
It’s clear that neither Iran nor the United States wants all-out war. It was therefore stupid of Biden to give
Binyamin Netanyahu a blank cheque in Gaza, just as it was foolish of the clerical regime in Tehran to hand
out state-of-the-art drone weapons to a variety of angry people it does not control. But here we all are on the brink of major war, which is definitely not where we want to be.
Biden should retaliate as little as possible – and against Iranian proxies somewhere else (because a man’s gotta do etc.), but not against Iran itself.
At the same time he should make Israel stop the killing in Gaza, because that’s what is giving Iran the
leverage to mobilise all these Arab volunteers against America. Besides, 27,000 dead Palestinians is enough revenge.