Photo Credit: Official White House Photo/Lawrence Jackson
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff disembark Air Force Two.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who used to be the Commanding General of the US forces in Iraq, has found time in his busy schedule to preach to Israel about the treatment of civilians during the war. Mind you, it is estimated that 1.5 million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion of Iraq – a country that had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but the US provided solid evidence that it had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. This was a huge lie, perpetrated by the Bush II administration, but it never stood in the way of American pontification.

And so, the man responsible for the deaths of many thousands, on Saturday took the podium at the Reagan National Defense Forum to warn that if Israel doesn’t go out of its way to protect civilians, it would “drive the Palestinians into the arms of the enemy,” and would “replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.”


Secretary Austin, who is a nice man and a friend of Israel, felt compelled to share his astounding failure to win hearts and minds in Iraq with America’s close ally.

The problem is not in the lesson: Austin, like US military commanders before and after him, was unable to make the Iraqis love America, even after spending several trillion dollars to make it happen. He and his buddies at the Iraq command also gave rise to ISIS, the cruelest Islamic fighting force before Hamas took the franchise to unimagined heights. ISIS was made up of unemployed Baath party members who were not integrated into the new Iraqi state system and so, eventually, went on a murderous rampage across the Middle East.

But the most aggravating point about Austin’s babe-in-the-woods warning is the fact that he thinks the Arabs in Gaza love Israel, and should the IDF continue to bomb them because Hamas is using them as human shields, their love for Israel will change to hate. By the way, it has become very clear from testimonies of the released hostages, that those “human shields” are in large part avid supporters of Hamas and its message, and have done all they could to help capture and torment the hostages.

“The lesson is not that you can win in urban warfare by protecting civilians, the lesson is that you can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians,” Austin pontificated.

Where did he get that one from? It is an established fact that Israeli attempts to warn the civilian population in Gaza, most memorably the “knock on the rooftop” policy which has been abandoned after October 7, gives the terrorists a chance to escape, thus extending the fighting and the chances that IDF soldiers would be harmed.

Israel is not fighting for the hearts and minds of Gazans or, for that matter, the residents of the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria. Things work much better for Israel when those folks fear the IDF. It’s OK if they don’t love Jews – that message has been delivered.


Vice President Kamala Harris was also busy on Saturday, shuttling between Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and the UAE. After she met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, she declared “that under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza.”

Seriously? The US will “not permit?” For one thing, as I reported earlier, the IDF has already carved a zone roughly one-kilometer wide circling the entire Gaza Strip border on land, which is forbidden for Gazans to enter. They go in, they die. And, as I also noted in the same report, the way the IDF has been corralling the Arabs of Gaza alongside the Egyptian border, it is only a matter of time before the masses will break through Egyptian defenses, leaving President Al-Sisi the option to shoot into the crowd or fold and accept the reality of Israeli determination to de-Nazify Gaza.

The Vice President also made clear to her Egyptian host “that Hamas cannot control Gaza, which is untenable for Israel’s security, the well-being of the Palestinian people, and regional security.” Which once again raises the inevitable question about the magic Israel should use to eliminate Hamas without harming their civilian devoted supporters.

There’s more. In her meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, the VP “discussed US ideas for post-conflict planning in Gaza, including efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance. She emphasized that these efforts can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people, toward a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and backed by significant support from the international community and the countries of the region. The Vice President reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to a two-state solution and noted it is the best path to durable peace and security. She emphasized the Palestinians’ right to dignity and self-determination and that Israelis and Palestinians must enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity.”

In her meeting with President Mohamed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, Harris “discussed US ideas for post-conflict planning in Gaza including efforts on reconstruction, security, and governance, and accelerated US-UAE coordination on day-after planning. She emphasized that these efforts can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and have significant support from the international community and the countries of the region.”

To summarize both Austin’s and Harris’s points we take away from their Saturday statements, the Biden administration:

1. Demands that Israel do its best to kill Hamas terrorists but not their civilian enablers.
2. Forbids Israel to excise any part of the Gaza Strip to improve its security logistics.
3. Objects to encouraging Gaza Arabs to immigrate and leave behind their lives of poverty and squalor.
4. demands that the PLO, the other Hamas, be invited to rule Gaza after the war.

In his press conference Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked about pressure from the Americans to invite PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to impose his sovereignty on the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu cited several examples of high-ranking PA and PLO (they’re the same) officials who have been saying since October 7 that they not only support and praise the massacre, but their fighters participated in them.

Netanyahu quoted Jibril Rajoub, one of the highest-ranking PLO leaders, who declared that the time had come for a repeat of the massacre, this time against the Jews of Judea and Samaria.

It makes you wonder if Kamala Harris receives translated copies of these statements, and if she does, does she give a hoot?


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