Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz
President Joe Biden receives the Presidential Daily Briefing in the White House Situation Room, January 29, 2024.

On Tuesday, while addressing reporters at the White House Lawn, President Biden announced that he had reached a decision regarding the appropriate US response to the lethal attack on American troops in Jordan carried out by Kataib Hezbollah, a prominent proxy of Iran based in Iraq. However, the president inserted a measured tone, emphasizing his desire to steer clear of a broader conflict in the Middle East.

“I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for,” Biden said.


Biden and his officials did not offer specific details. However, while speaking to reporters on Air Force One, John Kirby, Spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated that the objective is to diminish the capabilities of Iran’s proxy militias to attack American troops and facilities. Simultaneously, they aim to send a “strong signal to their backers,” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“The president will do what he has to do to protect our troops and our facilities and to look after our national security interests in the region,” Kirby said, adding that Biden’s response would be a “tiered approach,” employing “potentially multiple actions.”

Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the CSIS think-tank in Washington, told the Financial Times, “One of the strategic goals is to prevent an open-ended region-wide war that would occupy years and billions of dollars. One of the objectives is to deter Iran from its many efforts to grow its power in the Middle East and push the US out of the Middle East. One of the goals is to create a Palestinian-Israeli settlement that lowers the temperature in the region. Ideally, you do all three of those. The administration is not 100% confident that any single action it takes will do any of them.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday warned reporters that the Middle East is in its most “dangerous” situation since 1973 (Eureka! Blinken in Wake of Iran’s Lethal Attack: The Middle East Is ‘Incredibly Volatile’).

“This is an incredibly volatile time in the Middle East,” Blinken said, standing next to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “I would argue that we’ve not seen a situation as dangerous as the one we’re facing now across the region since at least 1973, and arguably even before that.”


Major General Hossein Salami, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, on Wednesday reminded the US that “None of its threats against Iran will remain unanswered,” although he insisted the Islamic Republic “is not looking for a war.”

“You have already tested us. What we and you have in common is we know each other,” the IRGC commander told the US. “We will not let any threat remain unanswered. We are not looking for a war, but are not afraid of war either. This is the fact that prevails in our society.”

On Tuesday, Kataib Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi posted on Telegram that his group suspended military operations against US troops “to prevent the embarrassment of the Iraqi government,” but warned, “We will continue to defend our people in Gaza in other ways.”

Matthew Kroenig, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy, told The Voice of America, “It is pretty simple: when America puts credible military options on the table, adversaries back down.”

One could easily imagine all these Islamist terrorists as being 400-pound teenagers living in their mothers’ basements, but Iranian weapons make them very dangerous Islamist teenagers.

So, here is Biden’s formula for a perfect Goldilocks porridge: with the upcoming November presidential election in mind, the actions he takes must be perceived as robust enough to deflect criticism from hawkish Republicans, and, simultaneously, they must be judicious enough to prevent entanglement in another conflict for Washington, and, naturally, no American lives should be risked.

Also, as always, when in doubt, push Israel to declare a Palestinian State. It’s the garnish that improves every porridge.


Previous articleA Night To Remember
Next articleGaliladies Celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship in Northern Israel
David writes news at