Biden’s Failed Gaza Pier Is a Symbol of His Failed Foreign Policy

PalestineWhite House Joe Biden
Biden’s Failed Gaza Pier Is a Symbol of His Failed Foreign Policy

When President Joe Biden announced that the United States would build a pier in Gaza to distribute aid to Palestinians immiserated by the United States’ bombs being dropped by Israel, it was met with plenty of doubt.

Why go through the trouble of building an aid distribution center when you could just tell your ally to allow existing aid efforts through? Why not tell them to stop killing aid workers? Why continue to supply the weapons creating the crisis you’re building a pier to address in the first place? Why build a relatively small pier when it cannot come close to supplying the amount of aid that trucks are already trying to get into Gaza?

While this announcement during Biden’s State of the Union raised plenty of salient questions, it was still an important gesture in response to the undecided movement in Michigan and Minnesota moving on to other states in the Democratic primary. The announcement of the pier in January was the first time it felt like Biden was responsive to protests about his Gaza policy, and there was hope that things could improve now that he acknowledged the root of the problem with this cockamamie workaround.

But this cockamamie workaround has so far wound up being as shambolic as many of its critics argued, perhaps even more. Yesterday the Pentagon’s Press Secretary Patrick S. Ryder said “I do not believe so” in response to a question about whether any of the aid delivered to the floating pier has actually reached the people of Gaza.

This pier cost the United States an estimated $320 million according to U.S. officials, and the United Nations’s World Food Program said that on Saturday, of sixteen trucks loaded with aid for starving Gazans, just five arrived intact.

Ryder elaborated, asserting that “We’ve been very clear from the beginning that we’re going to take a crawl, walk, run approach to make sure that we are implementing this system in a way where we’re working out … the procedures, and including taking into account the security conditions. So I think you’re going to see, as we work together, the amount of aid increase and the ability to get it distributed increase. But we never said it was going to be easy.”

Maybe the plan was to start with literally zero aid so that way if they were able to get one bag of flour into Rafah, they could assert that they are dramatically increasing the percentage of aid distributed to starving civilians. Ryder talked about the difficulties of operating in a warzone, but it is their ally who makes it most difficult by targeting and killing aid workers. Biden would rather light $320 million on fire and embarrass himself in front of the whole world than do normal things that almost every president has done to try to rein in America’s chief client state. It’s beyond maddening.

This is Biden’s post-Ron Klain presidency in a nutshell. The existence of the pier proves he fully understands that Israel is trying to starve Palestinians, but instead of addressing the root cause of the problem, he spent nine figures on a political stunt that so far by the Pentagon’s own admission is a total failure.

Even if they are able to secure aid routes that will not be bombed by Israel or looted by desperate civilians, the amount of aid the pier can provide is nowhere near enough. The United States has touted air dropping food as another solution, but like the pier, the scale of the escalating famine in Gaza is far greater than the Biden Administration’s ambitions to address it.

Trucks, like the ones Israel has been blocking from delivering aid to Gaza, are the most efficient way to get the most aid to starving civilians. Biden could do basic foreign policy things other presidents like Ronald Reagan have done, and restrict weapons to Israel on the condition they meet certain demands like stopping the mass-murder of UN workers, but it took him seven months and tens of thousands of dead children just to even raise this basic threat many have used before.

He told CNN’s Erin Burnett two weeks ago that he would meet this extremely low bar set by presidents like Reagan and restrict some weapons to Israel should they follow through with their Rafah offensive, but now reporting indicates that the Israelis have scaled down the Rafah invasion enough that Biden supports it, proving that the mere threat of withholding weapons has an impact on Israel’s mass murder campaign. That Biden does not employ this tried-and-true strategy more is either an indictment of his competency or his ideology.

He is either a totally feckless administrator too incompetent to do the foreign policy job of president, or he enthusiastically endorses all this rampant criminality and mass murder. This has gone on long enough that there is no other logical conclusion one can come to given Biden’s inaction.

That Biden can claim Israel does not deserve to be sanctioned by the International Criminal Court for their mass murder of civilians, but Russia does deserve to be sanctioned by the ICC for their mass murder of civilians, is basically Vladimir Putin’s dream. He could never degrade the legitimacy of the international order the way that Joe Biden has, and in that sense, Biden has been perhaps Putin’s greatest ally ever.

Joe Biden is a terrible president who is bad at the basic aspects of the job. All the good things he did happened while Ron Klain was his Chief of Staff. As soon as one of the few competent Democrats alive left the White House, the whole thing went to shit as we saw Biden’s administrative talents on display. That people are singing Ronald Reagan’s praises in comparison to Biden reveals what a horrendous president he has been when left to his own devices.

Biden endorses all of this according to his actions. That he built one pier which even at full capacity comes nowhere close to addressing the famine in Gaza proves it to be a political stunt at its core. The hope clearly would be that voters horrified by his unabashed support for a genocide would see the pier and reverse their thinking, but now that the pier is so far getting no aid to starving Gazans, it is serving its true purpose: a hollow and feckless symbol for one of America’s worst foreign policy presidents of all time.

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