In American Greatness, Victor Davis Hanson wonders if the Biden Administration is getting us into war.
Nothing is more dangerous than stronger powers, even inadvertently, sending signals that are interpreted as weakness by weaker powers.
When a government loudly and boastfully expresses a new reset, a new paradigm, a new arrogance about solving problems, it risks blaming its own country rather than the foreign belligerent, and thereby can only encourage adventurism.
When a president tells the world that his predecessor did not vaccinate one American, and then enters office weeks after he and 17 million other Americans were already vaccinated, what is the world—and especially American enemies— to think? That irrational hatred of Trump and his policies is a way to win exemption for their own behavior?
If Biden promises to return to the Iran Deal to create peace in the Middle East, to bring back the Palestinians to the center of negotiations to “find a comprehensive peace” with Israel, he will not merely stumble, but fail after claiming he did everything right in failing.
Despite the animus toward Trump, nothing is broken abroad. NATO is better funded, better armed, and more fairly contributory to the shared cause. In the Middle East, pro-Western Arab and Muslim nations are now aligned with the United States to contain Iran and its appendages like the Assads in Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah, and West Bank Hamas. Iran, the font of anti-Westernism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East has not merely been sanctioned and isolated, but broken and decimated by the pandemic and crashing oil prices.
The reason that China despised the Trump Administration was not, as it claimed, xenophobia, racism, or China bashing, but rather because Trump called out and exposed its decades of aggression, subversion, and its planned trajectory to global hegemony.
When the Biden team talks of reentering the Iran Deal without the Trump baggage, or wants a new relationship with China, they may well instead be interpreted by our enemies as rejecting deterrence, forgetting why the Trump Administration held those two countries to account, and inviting them again to take risks they otherwise might not be willing to take.
Our enemies may not see Biden just as elderly and frail, his congressional majorities thin, his animus directed more at the Trump movement than others abroad, but as unlikely to respond to their own aggression.
Biden would do better to apprise quietly his friends and enemies of America’s force and determination. He should resist comprehensive deals with China and Iran that have unrealistic chances of success given their agendas. And he could claim Trump’s successes as his own and continue their current trajectories, rather than court favor abroad by distancing himself from a largely successful foreign policy guided by Secretary of State Pompeo.
Otherwise, the alternatives will become increasingly dangerous.
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