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Washington Post Runs Lengthy Apologia for Biden’s Failure in Gaza

March 19, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Washington Post ran a long article yesterday providing an account, mostly by unnamed sources, of how President Joe Biden got enmired in the conflict in Gaza. It appears to be a sort of apologia for Biden, but without providing any sort of alternative pathway that could lead to peace. In particular, it highlights the contradictions between what the administration knew or thought it knew about what the Israelis were doing in Gaza and its public statements.

The coverage begins with a previously unreported White House meeting on Oct. 27, 2023, where top officials admitted that they knew Israel was bombing high-rise buildings in Gaza without solid intelligence that they were legitimate military targets. The group, which included top foreign policy officials from the Biden administration and from previous ones, also discussed the apparent lack of an Israeli plan for defeating Hamas despite repeated U.S. prodding, according to three people with knowledge of the meeting.

“We never had a clear sense that the Israelis had a definable and achievable military objective,” said one of those familiar with the meeting. “From the very beginning, there’s been a sense of us not knowing how the Israelis were going to do what they said they were going to do.”

But the public message of the administration was entirely different. On the same day as the private meeting, White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the U.S. was imposing no “red lines” on Israel’s military campaign.

The article, “based on interviews with 20 administration officials and outside advisers, examines how Biden, more than five months after the Oct. 7 attacks, has found himself deeply entangled in a war he does not want and that threatens to become a defining element of his tenure,” it says. “His allies privately acknowledge that it has done him significant damage domestically and globally and could easily become his biggest foreign policy cataclysm.”

“Biden’s strategy from the outset rested on a central trade-off: that if he showed Israel unequivocal, even defiant, support early on, he could ultimately influence its conduct of the war. Some administration officials now concede the strategy is heading toward failure, and in private talks, they voice a striking frustration and uncertainty about how the war will end.”

The Post also provided an account as to how this all came about and the loss of support for Biden’s reelection that has flowed from it, as shown, for example, in the surge of support for “uncommitted” in the Michigan and Minnesota primaries.