Biden’s tunnel to Iran

The Times of Israel reports that “Hamas claims victory as Palestinians celebrate after first night of calm,” and maybe they have a point. Before we take up the point, consider the problem that Israel faced in the hostilities just terminated, however tentatively.

The New York Post’s Yaron Steinbuch draws attention to the Israeli military video showing the scope of its airstrikes against Hamas tunnels. Steinbuch links to the video to which the headline refers, but it isn’t embeddable. The two IDF videos in the tweets below tell most of the story.

A photo caption in Steinbuch’s story adds: “The tunnels run under civilian neighborhoods and one airstrike caused several buildings to collapse and killed 42 people.”

The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel seems to have taken effect overnight, but Iran’s war on Israel and the United States continues on many fronts. The Biden administration is in the process of resetting American foreign policy to appease and fund the Islamic Republic of Iran, accommodate its nuclear weapons program, and realign American interests (so they think) with Iran’s. Michael Doran and Tony Badran unpack the underlying story in their Tablet essay The Realignment.”

In light of recent developments, Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver tracked down Doran to record a podcast summarizing the argument of the Tablet essay. Doran explains:

Our argument is very simple: the Biden administration represents the third term of Barack Obama. The Biden administration is trying to complete what Obama started. When people hear that, their first inclination is to think that he’s trying to complete the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, and we’re saying no. If you listen carefully to what Barack Obama said in his interviews back when he was president, if you look at this article in Foreign Affairs by Rob Malley called “The Unwanted Wars,” and if you look at this article by Jake Sullivan in Foreign Affairs called “America’s Opportunity in the Middle East,” you see that one, they’re all saying the same thing, and two, they’re not just talking about the Iran nuclear deal. They’re talking explicitly about a new order in the Middle East and this new order is one in which the United States works in partnership with Iran, rather than as the leader of a coalition to contain Iran. A coalition to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and to contain it on the ground in the region.

What both the Biden administration and before the Obama administration have done is they recognized that if they openly say to the American people, “we’re seeking a partnership with Iran,” that’s a political showstopper, a minefield for them politically. So they developed a whole vocabulary that allows them to hide that dimension of their policy while actually pursuing it. When I say they want a partnership, in particular they want a partnership with Iran in order to stabilize Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and also Gaza. This is one of the reasons why they’re not flagging Iran in Gaza. Ideally they want to stabilize the whole region, all the areas where Iran is supporting its proxies, by recognizing Iran’s interests and working with it to stabilize the region.

If you want to understand the unfolding fiasco, I think every minute of Doran’s lucid comments in the podcast below is worth your time.

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