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Israel, Iran and the dangerous fecklessness of an American Model UN national security team

On Saturday night there was a direct and ferocious attack on Israel from Iran. An attack without precedent or parallel. But Biden doesn't want Israel to respond with a counterattack.

"I don’t like you because you're gonna get me killed."

Zeus’ (Samuel Jackson) summation to John McClane (Bruce Willis) in 1995’s "Die Hard With A Vengeance" is the essence of the "Trump Doctrine" critique of the "Biden Doctrine."

The former holds "Strike at America and America will hit you twice as hard; strike at our allies and we will support them in as many ways as we can."

The Biden Doctrine, developed in the crushing pressure of all-nighter Model U.N. "negotiations" in high school or college and now even more tempered by the political realities of radical anti-Israel voters in Michigan (and fears of a Chicago convention that makes its 1968 counterpart seem like child’s play) is: "Never don’t sound retreat. Never escalate. The world will evolve towards stable and predictable stasis if China and Iran are treated with deference and if Russia is given some breathing space in Ukraine (and maybe those Baltic states?)"


After a Saturday night of drama and worry —a direct and ferocious attack on Israel from Iran without precedent or parallel— the first report I read on rising early Sunday came from the Times of Israel: "According to media reports, citing senior administration officials, US President Joe Biden has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would not aid any Israeli counterattack on Iran."

Of course. Because at those Model U.N. marathons and within the Yale debate clubs that formed the world views of those propping up an infirm president, nobody ever hauls off and punches the "Special Rapporteur" on this or that, the Taliban can be trusted, Chinese Communists aren’t really Leninists bent on empire, and we all agree to pay no attention to the mullah behind the curtain controlling Hamas, the Houthis, and Hezbollah. The Biden Doctrine, with its musical score straight from Annie’s "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," has got nothing to do with the reality of the world but the comfy chairs at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Institute.

The Trump Doctrine? Qassem Soleimani dead, 2,500 American troops still at Bagram Air Base supported by 2,500 NATO troops in and around Kabul and some future for some women in Afghanistan.


Those are the sure things. But the counter-factuals are all too obvious and the former president is campaigning on them and rightly so: Putin would not have invaded Ukraine a second time. America would continually be reminding the world that CCP negligence (at best) most likely unleashed COVID and all the disasters it has wrought on the world. The United States Navy would be at 300 ships and rising. AUKUS would be building submarines Down Under.

And, crucially, the 1,200 Israelis slaughtered and 5,000 wounded on 10/7 would be alive as would the 260-plus IDF killed in Gaza, nor would three American soldiers based in Jordan be dead or the Red Sea a war zone with American warships under constant attack. The north of Israel would not be emptied of civilians and the north of Gaza would not be leveled. Because the Trump Doctrine, like the Bush Doctrine and the Reagan Doctrine and the Nixon Doctrine and the Eisenhower Doctrine before it, rely on deterrence backed up by America’s overwhelming force and the willingness to use it. Enemies get to know America and whether its leadership is weak or strong. 

The Taliban had an agreement with the United States that they began to violate as soon as Trump left for Mar-a-Lago. Putin saw that collapse and acted. The mullahs and their puppets understand all too well that Team Obama is back and after their coffers were refilled by Team Biden, the leashes were off their rabid religious fanatics in Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen. Now Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, is so confident that Biden, Blinken et al won’t stand behind Israel —at least not for long— that he dared attack a Jewish State where 90% of the citizens support the war in Gaza.


What should Americans feel? Scorn for the Model U.N. mindset dominating the National Security Council now and the Yale Debate chops of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his "once-in-a-generation intellect. Scorn for Secretary of State Blinken daring to warn Israel that it risked becoming "indistinguishable" from Hamas.  Scorn for former Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the epitome of the Biden Doctrine, stating the day before Iran launched its fusillade that "Israel is better than the way this war is being waged." 

Sherman is best known for the 1994 "agreement" with North Korea when she labored for President Clinton and, with former Secretary of State John Kerry, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, the crowning fiasco of President Obama’s eight years of face plants around the world. Special scorn for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s backflip to his old "Israel can count on me" pose. For how long?

This circle of appeasers has brought nothing but the lethal combination of softly spoken words and an ever-present, always-controlling fear of escalation. "Appeasement" was a theory of the world we thought crushed by the events leading to World War II. But it lives on in the urgent entreaties of the United States Sunday morning, backed up by leaks to a compliant press, to Israel to do nothing —nothing at all— after salvos of missiles and drones were launched at its people and of course to not close on the 5,000-10,000 armed terrorists and Hamas leadership hiding in Rafah, protected by the Blinkens, Sullivans and Shermans of the United States propping up an infirm president who can muster only the absurd admonition "Don’t" and can’t deliver a speech from the Oval Office. Scorn is the right response -- and resolve to throw them all out in November.

Trump, along with his former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor Ambassador Robert O’Brien, would not and indeed could not be advising Israel to stand down because this world in chaos would not be in chaos had Trump won his second term. The "mean Tweets" would have continued to appall the youngsters at the Model U.N. near you. But American soldiers and sailors would either not be at risk or would be dispatching those who threaten them. Israel would not have cause to worry about America turning against it. 

When they return, count on the White House and the Department of Justice to be the center of a coordinated effort to condemn and cabin anti-Semitism across the U.S. even as we return to unquestioned support for Israel.

Many voters are going to make their choice cause of inflation’s toll on their lives, or because of their views on abortion or some other issue. But the serious voters are going to put "not getting killed" at the top of their list and pull the lever for Trump and a return to realism come November.

Hugh Hewitt is host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show," heard weekday mornings 6am to 9am ET on the Salem Radio Network, and simulcast on Salem News Channel. Hugh wakes up America on over 400 affiliates nationwide, and on all the streaming platforms where SNC can be seen. He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel’s news roundtable hosted by Brett Baier weekdays at 6pm ET. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996 where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990.  Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, has authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and his column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his forty years in broadcast, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio/tv show today.


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