Tag Archive for: foreign policy

‘A New Policy of Peace through Strength’: Johnson Renews Conservative Foreign Policy Vision

On the eve of the 2024 NATO Summit in the nation’s capital, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) delivered a sweeping foreign policy speech that illustrated how the Biden administration’s “weakness” on the world stage has fueled global unrest, highlighted China as the “greatest threat to global peace,” and presented a conservative approach to once again attain “peace through strength.”

The speech, delivered on Monday at the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute, marked the first major foreign policy-focused address of Johnson’s ninth month tenure as speaker. It concentrated broadly on the threats facing the U.S.-led world order and cast a vision for what a Republican-based foreign policy looks like, which he described as a strategy centered on both “realism” and “strength.”

“[T]he Republican Party is not one of nation builders or careless interventionists,” the speaker underscored. “We don’t believe we should be the world’s policeman. Nor are we idealists who think we can placate tyrants. We are realists. We don’t seek out a fight, but we know … we have to be prepared to fight. And if we must fight, we fight with the gloves off. And today, when our adversaries don’t need to cross oceans to harm our people, we need a new policy of peace through strength for the 21st century.”

Johnson starkly laid out the breadth of global threats facing the U.S., led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “It’s an interconnected web of threats … a China-led axis composed of partner regimes in Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and even Cuba. Now, they each have their own cultures and their own specific, sinister aims, but they all wake up every morning thinking how they can take down America, and they are increasingly using their collective military, technological, and financial resources to empower one another in their various efforts to cut off our trade routes and steal our technology and harm our troops and upend our economy. Iran works with Russia to produce Shahed drones to hunt down … Ukrainians every day, while Russia launches North Korean missiles at Ukraine’s electrical grids using technology provided by the Chinese.”

The speaker further detailed how interconnected China and other countries are in fueling the crisis along the U.S. southern border. “China, our single greatest threat, is engaging in malign influence operations around the world and is even working with cartels now, backed by Cuba and Venezuela, to poison Americans with fentanyl. China, Russia, and Iran all work with Cuban intelligence outposts to target Americans and provide safe harbor for terrorists in transit. And all these enemies operate in our hemisphere … and they’re trading oil with Venezuela, which is pushing illegal aliens and violent criminals towards our borders.”

Johnson went on to lambast the Democratic foreign policy that laid the groundwork for where the world currently stands. “During the Obama administration, we saw eight years of international apology tours,” he lamented. “We saw the sequestration of our military, the buildup of ISIS, Russia’s invasion into Crimea, the spread of malign Chinese influence around the globe, and in a nuclear deal that gave Iran everything they wanted. And what are we facing today? The same failures we saw under Obama have happened under Joe Biden, because he’s empowered an out of touch foreign policy establishment who has an agenda very different than the one that we need right now.”

He continued, “Their agenda is about once again appeasing and apologizing and accommodating. Joe Biden doesn’t treat China like an enemy. He’s stopped supporting Israel and has cozied up to Iran to revive the failed nuclear deal. And in the most inexplicable policy imaginable, he’s opened our borders wide to spies and terrorists while reducing sanctions on Latin dictators who wreak havoc in our backyard. And the results of this were completely foreseeable, and we’re all living through it. Obama’s weakness invited aggression, and Biden’s weakness has fueled that aggression like nothing we’ve seen since World War II.”

The speaker proceeded to set forth the priorities that Republicans will aim for in order to stabilize national and global security.

“First, we have to strengthen our domestic position because national security begins at home,” Johnson emphasized. “[O]ur biggest national security challenge is our national debt. … I can promise you that come 2025, spending reform will be a top priority for our new Republican majority. … Congress has to prioritize the truly essential needs of our nation, and our national security has to be at the top of that list.”

First on the list is making sure the U.S. military is “a credible deterrent to our adversaries,” the speaker argued. “That’s why we invested $23 billion to restock essential weapons and rebuild our defense capacities in the April National Security Supplemental bill.” In addition, Johnson noted, “House Republicans pushed back on the Biden administration’s policy of Iran appeasement and secured the toughest Iran sanctions package in nearly a decade. We leveraged our economic influence against CCP-controlled TikTok. We passed the REPO Act that allows us to seize Russian oligarchs’ bank assets to pay for assistance in Ukraine, and in the Ukraine supplemental, we mandated cost matching for European allies.”

The Louisiana lawmaker further outlined legislation that House Republicans are putting forward to counter China.

“China poses the greatest threat to global peace,” he reiterated. “The House will be voting on a series of bills to empower the next administration to hit our enemy’s economies. On day one, we will build our sanctions package to punish the Chinese military firms that provide material support to Russia and Iran, and we’ll consider options to restrict outbound investments in China. We’re working on a piece of legislation to move this fall to do that very thing. We will vote on the Bio Secure Act, which will halt federal contracts with biotech companies that are beholden to adversaries and endanger Americans’ health care data. We’ll end the de minimis privilege for any good subject to Section 301 trade enforcement tariffs, and that will help stymie China’s attempts to exploit American trade. Our goal is to have a significant package of China-related legislation signed into law by the end of this year in this Congress featuring these priorities and many more, and we’ll work aggressively toward that package.”

Johnson also challenged NATO member countries to put a higher priority on military spending. “Every NATO member needs to be spending at least 2% of their GDP on defense,” he stipulated. “That’s the agreement. … There’s 10 or 12 of them that aren’t doing that yet. It’s no longer acceptable that not all NATO members have reached their current commitment. It may even need to be closer to levels during the Cold War. But if we’re all going to enjoy a future of peace and prosperity, we all need to have skin in the game.”

Additionally, the speaker reiterated the GOP’s support for Israel and the importance of standing with America’s allies in protecting trade routes. “Come November, we will be clear about our steadfast support for Israel, and we’ll build upon the Abraham Accords so the Jewish people can enjoy safety and freedom in their homeland. Likewise, in the Indo-Pacific, America must continue to build upon our military and economic relationships with India, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. We all have strategic interests in the region, and with a strong united front, we can protect our trade routes, our shipping lanes, and all of our shared interests.”

Invoking the Greatest Generation, Johnson urged a renewed commitment to peace through strength. “We can rearm, rebuild, reinvigorate, restore, and reinstate fear in our enemies. We can retake the summit of respect and thus look out on a landscape of peace and prosperity and security. We can show courage, we can show valor, and we can give our grandchildren the chance to grow up not in the shadow of tyranny, but atop our own shining city on a hill. Decline is always a choice, but that is not a choice that Republicans will be making any time soon.”

The speaker closed by quoting a former pope and president in stressing how the U.S. remains the free world’s greatest champion. “Pope Pius XII said it this way, ‘The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America, God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.’ Reagan said, ‘We are indeed, and we are today the last, best hope of men on earth.’ By God’s grace, we will always be.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

President Donald J. Trump ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept’

We thought it would be important to look at what President Donald J. Trump did during his 4-years in office.

As people go to the polls on November 5th, 2024 it is important to compare and contrast what Trump did in his time in office and what Biden has done while in office.

This information comes from the White House archives:

Foreign Policy

President Trump restored American sovereignty at home and American leadership abroad, partnering with strong and responsible nations to promote security, prosperity, and peace. Instead of sending American troops to fight in endless wars or giving cash to terrorists in countries like Iran, the United States under President Trump used bold, creative diplomacy to secure peace deals with our allies across the world.

With the same “peace through strength” foreign policy that President Reagan once used to win the Cold War, President Trump rebuilt American deterrence power to hold our adversaries accountable. Perhaps most important, the Trump Administration reversed Washington’s decades-long, bipartisan refusal to confront China over its unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and more.


President Trump kept his promise to build a wall on our southern border between the United States and Mexico. With 450 miles complete—and many more in progress—illegal crossings plummeted over 87 percent in areas where the wall went up.

By enforcing America’s immigration laws, President Trump made major gains toward ending the humanitarian crisis at our border; keeping criminals, terrorists, and drugs out of our country; and protecting American workers and taxpayers against job loss and misuse of the welfare system.

National Security & Defense

President Trump rebuilt the United States military after eight years of decline and neglect under the previous Administration. He revitalized our defense industrial base, secured the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade, and created the sixth branch of our Armed Forces: the United States Space Force. President Trump also became the first American leader since Ronald Reagan not to start a war.

On President Trump’s watch, the world’s most notorious terrorists were brought to justice; the ISIS territorial caliphate was completely destroyed; and violent, corrupt regimes were held accountable through a mix of sanctions and targeted military action.

Economy & Jobs

Before the Coronavirus spread from China across the globe, President Trump helped America build its strongest economy in history. Median household incomes rose to their highest level ever in 2019, while the poverty rate hit an all-time low. Under the Trump Administration, more Americans were employed than ever before—160 million—and the unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low. The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Americans without a high-school diploma all hit record lows, while the Trump “Blue-Collar Boom” saw wages grow faster for workers than for managers or supervisors.

After COVID-19 forced a temporary economic shutdown, President Trump signed the largest relief package in American history to protect workers and families from economic devastation. Under President Trump’s leadership, the American economy surged back to life within months, seeing record growth and job gains.


Before the Coronavirus invaded our shores, we built the world’s most prosperous economy

  • America gained 7 million new jobs—more than three times government experts’ projections
  • Middle-class family income increased nearly $6,000—more than five times the gains during the entire previous administration
  • The unemployment rate reached 3.5 percent, the lowest in a half-century
  • Achieved 40 months in a row with more job openings than job hirings
  • More Americans reported being employed than ever before—nearly 160 million
  • Jobless claims hit a nearly 50-year low
  • The number of people claiming unemployment insurance as a share of the population hit its lowest level on record
  • Incomes rose in every single metro area in the United States for the first time in nearly three decades

Delivered a future of greater promise and opportunity for citizens of all backgrounds

  • Unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and those without a high school diploma all reached record lows
  • Unemployment for women hit its lowest rate in nearly 70 years
  • Nearly 7 million people were lifted off of food stamps
  • Poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans reached record lows
  • Income inequality fell for two straight years—and by the largest amount in over a decade
  • The bottom 50 percent of American households saw a 40 percent increase in net worth
  • Wages rose fastest for low-income and blue-collar workers—a 16 percent pay increase
  • African American homeownership increased from 41.7 percent to 46.4 percent

Brought jobs, factories, and industries back to the USA

  • Created more than 1.2 million manufacturing and construction jobs
  • Put in place policies to bring back supply chains from overseas
  • Small business optimism broke a 35-year-old record in 2018

Hit record stock market numbers and record 401ks

  • The DOW closed above 20,000 for the first time in 2017 and topped 30,000 in 2020
  • The S&P 500 and NASDAQ have repeatedly notched record highs

Achieved a record-setting economic comeback by rejecting blanket lockdowns

  • An October 2020 Gallup survey found 56 percent of Americans said they were better off now than four years ago, even in the midst of a global pandemic
  • During the third quarter of 2020, the economy grew at a rate of 33.1 percent—the most rapid GDP growth ever recorded
  • Since coronavirus lockdowns ended, the economy has added back over 12 million jobs, more than half the jobs lost
  • Jobs have been recovered 23 times faster than the previous administration’s recovery
  • Unemployment fell to 6.7 percent in November, from a pandemic peak of 14.7 percent in April—beating expectations of well over 10 percent unemployment through the end of 2020
  • The 8 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate from April to November is the largest seven-month reduction ever recorded
  • Under the previous administration, it took 49 months for the unemployment rate to fall from 10 percent to under 7 percent, compared to just 3 months for the Trump Administration
  • Since April, the Hispanic unemployment rate has fallen by 10.5 percent, Asian-American unemployment by 7.8 percent, and Black-American unemployment by 6.4 percent
  • 80 percent of small businesses are now open, up from just 53 percent in April
  • Small business confidence hit a new high
  • Homebuilder confidence reached an all-time high, and home sales hit their highest reading since December 2006
  • Manufacturing optimism nearly doubled
  • Household net worth rose $7.4 trillion in Q2 2020 to $112 trillion, an all-time high
  • Home prices hit an all-time record high
  • The United States rejected crippling lockdowns that crush the economy and inflict countless public health harms and instead safely reopened its economy
  • Business confidence is higher in America than in any other G7 or European Union country
  • Stabilized America’s financial markets with the establishment of a number of Treasury Department supported facilities at the Federal Reserve

Biden has undone everything that President Donald J. Trump did and has hurt the American people more than any other president in history.

Please feel free to comment below on this column.

©2024. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

‘They Don’t Understand War’: Experts Slam Biden’s Denial of Arms to Israel

As stunned outrage escalated in reaction to President Joe Biden’s decision to halt arms shipments to Israel in the midst of its battle against the Hamas terrorist group, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Thursday that the Jewish state would “stand alone” and “fight with our fingernails” in the face of a lack of military aid.

“I hope that’s a senior moment,” remarked House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) in reaction to Biden’s announcement. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) stated that they were “appalled that the administration paused crucial arms shipments to Israel,” adding that “this disastrous policy decision was undertaken in secret and deliberately hidden from Congress and the American people.”

Democrats also expressed frustration with the decision. “As the leader of the free world, America cannot claim that its commitment to Israel is ‘iron-clad’ and then proceed to withhold aid from Israel,” Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) wrote. “The mixed messaging makes a mockery of our credibility as an ally. No one will take our word seriously.”

Meanwhile, ceasefire talks in Cairo between Israel and Hamas that were pushed by the U.S. stalled on Thursday, as Hamas continued its refusal to release 132 hostages, 38 of whom are believed to no longer be alive. As experts on the ground in Israel are pointing out, despite Hamas’s unprovoked October 7 attack that killed the most Jews since World War II and despite the unreleased hostages, the Biden administration has been undermining Israel’s military response for at least four months.

“Beginning in January, we started getting first reports that the Biden administration was slow walking munitions to Israel, including specifically ordnance for our aircraft and 155 millimeter artillery shells and tank shells,” explained Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor at the Jewish News Syndicate, on Thursday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.” “So these are the basic tools of war that the Biden administration and the Obama administration convinced Israel we didn’t have to produce at home [because] the United States would be the steady supplier of all of these things.”

Glick went on to detail how the Biden administration went back on its word to give military aid to Israel.

“[T]hey double-crossed us, Speaker Johnson, and the House and Senate Republicans,” she underscored. “They … made aid for Israel contingent on aid for Ukraine, knowing full well that the Republicans opposed the aid for Ukraine. … [T]hat’s just the way the Democrats fly. They didn’t want to allow Israel to be a standalone legislation. They forced the Republicans’ hand. Speaker Johnson wanted to get the aid to Israel [and] he risked his position in his party in order to push it through with the aid for Ukraine. And then as soon as Biden got what he wanted from the Republicans specifically for Ukraine, he turned around and he double-crossed them and said, ‘Nope, we’re not giving Israel what they want.’”

Glick further described how the administration is setting expectations for how Israel should conduct its war against terrorists.

“[N]ow what he said is, ‘We’re willing to give Israel the means to intercept incoming projectiles from Iran or from Lebanon or from Gaza, but they may not cause Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, the Houthis, any of them, to pay any price for their aggression. All you can do is intercept incoming, but you can’t downgrade their power in any way. You cannot take the war to your enemies. They are allowed to attack you, and they will be completely immune from any sort of counter assault by Israel.’ That’s what the United States wants, and their long-term game is to transform Israel into a weak, totally dependent protectorate of the Democratic Party. … [I]t’s inviting the expansion of the war to other theaters in a major way.”

In addition, Glick enumerated how President Biden has personally inserted himself between Israel and other nations who have indicated their desire to provide military aid to the Jewish state. “[E]arly on [after October 7], the German chancellor came to Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” she recounted. “And then after a series of conversations between the two leaders, the Germans agreed to sell us tank shells. … [T]wo hours after the announcement was made, President Biden was on the phone with Chancellor [Olaf] Scholz and essentially push[ed] him to cancel the arms sale.”

The response within Israel has been to increase domestic production of munitions, Glick relayed. “[We’re] massively ramping up our domestic production. … [It’s] not productive enough to suit all of our needs, but we’re moving very quickly towards that goal. It will take a number of months, but we’re doing it. … They’ve opened up new lines of the Israel military industries in various cities around the country, and they’re hiring more and more employees to work the lines. … So we’re just going to have to build it ourselves as quickly as possible. We have to be the arsenal for our own democracy.”

Glick concluded by contending that the Biden administration is in over its head in its dealings with Israel’s war against terrorism. “U.S. foreign policy under the Biden administration is … extremely shallow,” she argued. “[T]hey think that war is a game or some sort of graduate seminar that you can somehow or another resolve through all kinds of fancy ideas about deterrence and balance of power. They don’t understand war.”

“They don’t know what they’re dealing with,” Glick continued. “They attribute monstrous intentions through good people — the good people of Israel. And they project the goodness of the people of Israel on the monstrous enemies that are fighting us, whether it’s the Iranian regime that seeks our genocide through nuclear weapons and its terror proxy war, … or whether it’s Hamas. And we saw what they did on October 7th, and we understand what it means when they say that they want to kill [us]. [W]e see it with Hezbollah. … [W]e found dozens of subterranean tunnels over the years that they’ve dug into Israel from Lebanon with the goal of infiltrating our villages and capturing and slaughtering our people. So this is not a game.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

NHS Formally Declares Sex a ‘Biological’ Reality

Britain’s top health authority is officially rejecting transgender ideology and declaring that biological sex is a reality, while “gender identity” isn’t. The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) is revising its constitution to state, “We are defining sex as biological sex.” The proposed constitutional revisions stress a need for “respecting the biological differences between men and women,” further warning, “If these biological differences are not considered or respected, there is the potential for unintended adverse health consequences.”

Among other things, the constitutional revision will bar biological men who identify as women from accessing female-only wards, allow female patients to request other biological females for “intimate care,” and do away with terms such as “chestfeeding” and “birthing people.”

“We need to be making this robust case to refuse to wipe women out of the conversation,” Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stated, according to The Telegraph. “We have always been clear that sex matters and our services should respect that. By putting this in the NHS constitution we’re highlighting the importance of balancing the rights and needs of all patients to make a healthcare system that is faster, simpler and fairer for all.”

“The confusion between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in official policies like the NHS constitution is what has enabled women’s rights to be trampled over in the name of transgender identities,” explained Maya Forstater, co-founder and chief executive of the advocacy group Sex Matters. “Sex, of course, is a matter of biology, not identity, and it is welcome that the NHS is now spelling this out in relation to single-sex accommodation and intimate care.”

Last year, then-Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced similar plans to eliminate “wokery” in the NHS, including barring biological who identify as women from accessing female-only wards, doing away with terminology like “chestfeeding,” and restoring the word “woman” to NHS guidance on subjects like menopause and ovarian cancer. “We need a common-sense approach to sex and equality issues in the NHS,” Barclay said at the time. “It is vital that women’s voices are heard in the NHS and the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients are protected.”

The constitutional revisions are hardly the only changes the NHS is making in its approach to transgenderism. In March, NHS England formally banned the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to minors, announcing instead a focus on family therapy, individual child psychotherapy, parental support or counseling, and other forms of counseling and therapy. “Puberty blockers … are not available to children and young people for gender incongruence or gender dysphoria because there is not enough evidence of safety and clinical effectiveness,” NHS England announced. Last month, Scotland’s NHS offices followed suit, “pausing” the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to minors while health officials examine “evidence of safety and long-term impact for therapies.”

Many of the changes in how British healthcare practitioners approach transgenderism center around the publication of the Cass Review, an extensive four-year investigation led by renowned pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass into gender transition procedures for minors. The report found that there was “remarkably weak evidence” to recommend the use of puberty blockers and hormone drugs, there was “no evidence” that gender transition procedures prevented or reduced the risk of suicide, the majority of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria suffer from a host of often-neglected psychological co-morbidities, and serious research into the harms of gender transition procedures was impeded by “toxic” debate surrounding the topic. Additionally, the groundbreaking 400-page report found that gender transition procedures for children are largely based on biased and even low-quality research.

For example, the infamous Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic at Tavistock worked in close conjunction with transgender activist group Mermaids. In 2022, two years before her final report was due, Cass urgently recommended that the U.K. government shut down Tavistock’s GIDS clinic, based on concerns over an absence of child safeguarding and an excess of gender ideology guiding staff members’ decisions. Cass reported that staff and clinicians often rushed children as young as 10 years old onto puberty blocker and hormone drug regimens, sometimes after as few as three consultations. Ninety-six percent of child patients at Tavistock’s GIDS clinic were placed on puberty blockers and numerous whistleblowers reported that staff often diagnosed children with gender dysphoria while ignoring or neglecting other psychological conditions such as autism, anxiety, or depression.

In the wake of the Cass Review’s publication, a cohort of 16 unnamed clinical psychologists penned an open letter saying that they were “ashamed of the role psychology played in gender care” and of how psychologists “failed young people at Gender Identity Development Service clinics.” The clinicians called for “accountability for the managers and clinicians who pursued such unethical practice and caused avoidable harm to young people,” adding that “the role of our own profession should be fully examined.”

Numerous European countries have halted or placed stringent safeguards around gender transition procedures for minors. France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland have joined the U.K. in largely or entirely halting the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to children, warning that there is a lack of thorough research and study surrounding the safety and efficacy of gender transition procedures. Yet the U.S. still allows for gender transition procedures to be practiced on minors, earning the label of “outlier.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED VIDEO: Muslim leader demanding death to homosexuals


EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Hold Obama-Biden Foreign Policy Responsible for Iran’s Unprecedented Attack on Israel

The terrorist Iranian regime’s unprecedented recent attack on Israel, which included 185 drones, 36 cruise missiles, and 110 surface-to-surface missiles, is an unambiguous casus belli — an act of war — under international law.

Of course, Iranian proxies spread across the Middle East, such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah, Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Yemen-based Houthis, have committed countless previous acts of war against Israel. But last weekend was something different entirely: For the very first time since fanatical Islamists overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and took power in 1979, Iran launched such attacks directly from its own soil.

The regime’s attack against the Jewish state, a tactical failure in which 99% of Iran’s varying projectiles were successfully intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces and a U.S.-led multinational coalition, is highly revealing. No longer can anyone deny the Iranian regime’s role as “head of the snake” of Middle East chaos; nor can anyone now deny the regime’s genocidal intentions. It turns out that when they chant “Death to Israel” in the streets of Tehran, they really mean it. (They also chant “Death to America,” incidentally.)

The obvious question: How? How did we reach the point where Iran feels so emboldened, and so unafraid of any repercussions, that it lobs hundreds of offensive weapons from its own territory toward another sovereign nation — especially one so closely allied with the U.S. and interconnected with the broader Western order?

The answer is just as clear as it is troubling: The Middle East “realignment” so doggedly pursued by President Joe Biden, and by former President Barack Obama before him, got us here. Under the Obama-Biden foreign policy doctrine, an Iran so emboldened that it feels free to wage offensive war against Israel in such brazen fashion is not a bug; it’s a feature.

Steeped in pseudo-academic theories, such as postcolonialism and surrounded by left-wing ideologues who held America and Western civilization responsible for collective global sin, Obama sought to remake the Middle East map. On the one hand, he sought to hamstring the region’s sole outpost of Western civilization, Israel, as well as America’s traditional Sunni Arab allies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. On the other hand, he bolstered those countries’ natural foes: Iran, Qatar, and the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The apotheosis of the Obama-Biden Middle East “realignment” was the terrible Iran nuclear deal of 2015, laundered to a skeptical American people by failed novelist-turned-Obama White House apparatchik Ben Rhodes via a cynical, astroturfed “echo chamber” of a PR campaign.

In 2016, Obama secretly delivered $400 million in wooden pallets of cash to the mullahs — on the same day the nuke deal went into effect. More recently, the Biden administration agreed to cough up a whopping $6 billion in return for five illegally detained U.S. citizens — just weeks before the Iran-sponsored Hamas pogrom of Oct. 7. And just last month, Biden approved a fresh $10 billion sanctions waiver for Iran.

There are too many other examples to count. But it is all in service of the Obama-Biden doctrine: Punish America’s allies in the Middle East and reward its enemies.

Just as bad, the Iranian regime has also shown itself capable of infiltrating and co-opting America’s corridors of power: Last September, Semafor scooped emails revealing an Iranian regime-supported intelligence operation seeking to influence high-ranking government offices, think tanks and academic institutions in the U.S. The man at the center of it all? Robert Malley, Obama’s lead negotiator for the 2015 nuke deal and Biden’s now-suspended special envoy for Iran.

Most recently, Iranian reporter Vahid Beheshti revealed a stunning internal Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps document this week that inculpates the Iranian regime in helping to orchestrate America’s day of anarchic, crippling, pro-Hamas “demonstrations” on Monday.

The Trump administration, something of an interregnum between the two “realignment” presidencies, pursued the precise opposite policies: Punish America’s enemies and reward its friends. That is what basic logic would dictate, and the results were historic: new peace deals forged between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco under the umbrella of the Abraham Accords.

It turns out that the obvious thing is often also the best thing.

The Hamas pogrom and the ensuing war in Gaza was the first real test for the accords — and the Iran-containment coalition they represent. Crucially, none of the Arab signees have severed relations with Israel. Even more remarkably, Saudi Arabia — not part of the accords — acknowledged on Monday that it assisted the U.S.-led coalition that foiled Iran’s weekend attack.

All of this is a tribute to the statesmanship of former President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shepherded the accords across the finish line. And it is a glimmer of hope that more peace — and less Iran-emboldening Obama-Biden foolishness —might be just around the corner.

Josh Hammer is senior editor-at-large at Newsweek.

This article appeared in The Daily Signal.


Josh Hammer


Iran’s Attack on Israel Was a Direct Result of American Weakness

JOSH HAMMER: The Obama-Biden Doctrine: Punish America’s Allies In The Middle East And Reward Its Enemies

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Blank Checks and Slush Funds’: House Passes $95 Billion Foreign Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel

Members of Congress chanted “Ukraine!” and waved a sea of rippling, blue-and-gold flags across the House floor, as the House of Representatives approved a massive $95 billion foreign aid package that benefits Ukraine, Taiwan, and both sides of the Israel-Hamas war.

The aid package contained approximately $61 billion in additional funding for Ukraine’s war against Russia, which supporters say will pay for the military’s next year of efforts. The bill also contains $26 billion for Israel, $9 billion of which is constituted as “humanitarian aid” for the Gaza Strip. The Awdah Palestinian TV, owned by the Fatah Party, accused Gaza’s Hamas-controlled government of stealing and absconding with food and other vital supplies intended for its citizens “to their own homes.” The package also contains $8 billion for the “Indo-Pacific” region, primarily Taiwan.

The bill passed the House on Saturday by a 311-112 vote. While Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the bill, a majority of Republicans opposed additional aid (112-101). One congressman, Rep. Daniel Meuser (R-Pa.), voted present. The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday.

Raucous congressmen began chanting, “Ukraine! Ukraine!” and waving foreign flags in the lower chamber of the U.S. people’s House immediately upon the bill’s passage, putting off critics of continued aid. “Too much Ukraine. Not enough USA,” remarked Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

The only member of the House born in Ukraine, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), voted against sending more aid to her homeland, saying she would only vote to forward additional aid if it came with tighter oversight and provisions to secure the U.S. border. This aid package continues the Biden administration’s policy of “blank checks and slush funds,” Spartz declared on the House floor. “Unfortunately, this strategy has failed the American people. Biden has failed the American people.”

“If we don’t have proper oversight, we are not going to achieve our goals,” said Spartz earlier this month. “We cannot have these never-ending wars.”

House Republicans hoped to at least secure additional border enforcement from the aid package, but the measure failed to get the necessary two-thirds supermajority to be included in this bill.

House Democrats deemed the measure unnecessary. “Some say, ‘Well, we have to deal with our border first.’ The Ukrainian-Russian border is our border,” declared Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.).

Ultimately, insiders familiar with the process say, the Ukrainian aid package “would not have passed without Donald Trump.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told “Fox News Sunday” that “President Trump has created a loan component to this package that gives us leverage down the road.”

The legislation allows the U.S. to ask Ukraine to repay $10 billion in aid. But Ukraine is not expected to pay back U.S. taxpayers.

Controversially, the bill gives the president the ability to absolve Ukraine of half of that remaining $10 billion debt after the next presidential election but before the next president takes office.

“The ‘loan’ for Ukraine is all smoke and mirrors,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) posted on the social media platform X. “It allows the president to cancel up to 50% of funds owed after November 15, 2024, and all remaining funds owed after January 1, 2026. No bank would allow this.” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) dismissed the loan as “a joke.”

The deepening fissure within Republican ranks had been signaled during a procedural, rules vote on Friday. “What was significant about it is that the Democrats actually joined Republicans in voting in favor of the bill,” reporter Victoria Marshall told “Washington Watch” guest host Joseph Backholm shortly after that tally.

That bipartisan support may have cost Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) vital support among his own House caucus, as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) doubled down on their threat to vacate the chair, terminating Speaker Johnson’s short and embattled tenure in office. Observers say that could result in a unified Democratic caucus overpowering a fractured Republican bloc to hand far-Left Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) the speaker’s gavel — and its attendant powers to move, or block, legislation.

“One of the things that’ll be interesting to track is how this plays in the Republican caucus that Speaker Johnson continues to try to hold together,” said Backholm on Friday. This weekend’s vote holds “lots of political ramifications for him personally and certainly for the caucus, as they head into November.”

Alongside the aid package, Congress passed the REPO Act, which allows the Biden administration to freeze, seize, and redistribute an estimated $6 billion in Russian assets, sending the proceeds to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has already promised “retaliatory actions and legal proceedings” if Washington follows through with its threat.

An ebullient Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told “Meet the Press” the fresh injection of U.S. taxpayer funds gives his nation “a chance for victory” over Russia. Likewise, CIA Director William Burns insisted the additional resources were aimed at “puncturing Putin’s arrogant view that time is on his side” during a speech at the Bush Center Forum on Leadership in Dallas on Thursday.

But military experts say Ukraine’s defeat is inevitable.

“This aid does not enable Ukraine to win the battle,” Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst now with the America First Policy Institute, told Newsmax TV on Monday morning. “It simply keeps Ukraine in the fight.”

“The best option, which Zelensky and Biden won’t talk about, is to end the war — to start a ceasefire and a process to end the killing,” said Fleitz. “Because Ukraine will eventually lose this war of attrition.”


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Most Populous Muslim-Majority Country to Normalize Diplomatic Relations with Israel

The most populous Muslim-majority has agreed to normalize relations with Israel, according to Israeli news outlet Ynet. The news comes “after three months of secret talks” regarding a bid by Indonesia to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Israel normalized relations with four Muslim-majority countries (Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and U.A.E.) as part of the Abraham Accords promoted by the Trump administration, but further talks have not borne fruit since 2021.

The OECD Council decided on February 20, 2024 to open discussions with Indonesia regarding that nation joining the international trade and development organization, which is a “multi-year process.” At the same time, it reaffirmed that Indonesia could join without “unanimous” support from the organization’s 38 member states.

One of the OECD member states is Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz initially objected to Indonesia’s membership, per Ynet, and refused to remove his objection unless Indonesia made a gesture toward Israel. Indonesia and the OECD eventually agreed to include the stipulation that, before Indonesia joins the organization, it must establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Earlier negotiations to normalize relations stalled after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, according to the Times of Israel, and Indonesia chose to back South Africa’s charge at the International Court of Justice that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. The Times also said that anti-Semitic protests are common in Indonesia, as they have been around the world since Hamas’s terror attack.

However, Israel allowed Indonesian planes into its airspace as part of an airdrop of humanitarian supplies to Gaza, which may be a first step towards establishing relations.

Indonesia is the fourth-most populous nation in the world, behind only India, China, and the U.S., with more than 277 million people in 2023. Its population is 82% of that of America and twice that of Russia. The archipelago nation is overwhelmingly Muslim (87%), though not Arab, and it has a significant Christian minority (10.5%). Its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) totals $1.5 trillion, making it the world’s 16th largest economy.

The OECD is a Western-dominated economic organization whose members must maintain a commitment to democratic government and free markets. The organization includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and most nations in northern, western, and southern Europe, as well as a smattering of nations in Latin America and elsewhere. Current members in the far east include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea. Israel and Turkey are the only Middle Eastern members of the OECD.

Russia and China are not members of the OECD. Russia was never a full member, but its partial participation was suspended over its invasion of Ukraine.

The news that Indonesia is pursing normalized relations comes at a critical time for Israel as the country continues to face international pressure to abandon its goal of eradicating the Hamas terrorist network in Gaza. Even once solid supporters of Israel, like the U.S. government, are now wavering in their support. That a large, influential, Muslim-majority would seek to improve relations with Israel now indicates that their international standing is not as bleak as might otherwise appear.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

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The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Facts Matter’: Poll Shows Americans’ Firm Rejection of Hamas-Linked Two-State Solution

On the heels of a much publicized Gallup poll released Wednesday showing Americans’ shrinking support for Israel’s war in Gaza over the last four months, another poll is revealing that when people are informed about the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) alignment with the terrorist group Hamas, their support for a peace deal between the PA and Israel drops dramatically.

The survey, conducted by the public affairs agency Gideon300 in partnership with Scott Rasmussen’s RMG Research, found that “55 percent of American voters initially favor the U.S. encouraging Israel to make a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.” However, after survey conductors informed the participants that the PA “wants to form a unity government with Hamas (including Cabinet positions for Hamas), pay Hamas Terrorists, and that 82% of PA supporters approve of the October 7th terrorist attacks by Hamas,” the percentage that still approved of the peace deal dropped down to 30%.

Notably, the survey also found that Democratic voters saw the “biggest swing towards negative sentiment” towards the peace deal after learning about the PA’s association with Hamas, from 73% of initial support down to 43% support (Republicans went from 38% to 19% and Independents went from 47% to 28%).

On Wednesday, Matthew Faraci, president of Gideon300, joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the impetus behind his organization’s administration of the poll and what the results indicate.

“There’s a Harris/Harvard CAPS poll that they do quite regularly, and one of the things that we’ve seen in this poll back from the beginning, since October 7th, is that [Americans’] support for Israel hovers around 79 to 80%” versus support for Hamas, he pointed out. “[I]n fact, one of the interesting trends is that young people have actually trended more supportive [of Israel], which again, goes against everything you see from the propaganda official state media that we’re fed every day.”

But as Faraci went on to contend, the Biden administration is attempting to lessen the public’s support of Israel in order to put pressure on the Israeli government to give in to Biden’s preferred policy objectives, including a two-state solution.

“[P]art of the tension [between Israel and the U.S.] is clearly that the U.S. … doesn’t want Israel to finish the job and take out Hamas and invade Rafah,” he explained. “But the slight of hand, the quiet other thing that they are pressuring Israel for is that they ultimately want Israel to settle for a two-state solution, which means the end of Israel. And the State Department … is trying to polish up the Palestinian Authority and make them look more palatable. Because the question is, if there’s a two-state solution, who would such a solution be with? Who’s the person making the deal on the other end? And what the Biden administration is doing is saying, ‘Well, that’s going to be the Palestinian Authority, the more moderate, peaceful wing of the governance over there.’”

However, when Americans are presented with the facts regarding the PA, Biden’s policies aren’t well received, Faraci observed. “Once people started to learn the details of that, they swung in their opinion,” he noted. “I’ve never seen a swing this big in any poll I’ve ever done, and I’ve done hundreds of them.”

“So Matthew, are you saying facts matter?” asked Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

“Shocking,” Faraci deadpanned in response. “Facts matter.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘A Great and Effective Door of Opportunity’: Perkins Visits Israel to Meet with Key Leaders

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins touched down in Israel on Saturday, March 9 to meet with Israeli leaders and assure them of American Christians’ support. The next day, Perkins visited Re’im, the site of the October 7 attack where, as Perkins described it, “over 300 people were brutally murdered, tortured, raped, and abducted by both members of the Hamas terrorist army and civilians from Gaza who were the second wave that came in behind the fighters.” Perkins reported that Hamas’s October 7 attack “was not designed to be terrorist strikes, but an invasion and occupation of the various kibbutz that were attacked.”

While visiting Re’im, Perkins told The Washington Stand, “We prayed and repented for America’s complicit role through the funding of Hamas through the UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and through the billions released to Iran, which is the puppet master behind Hamas and the other rogue actors in the region.”

Perkins and his team also visited Kibbutz Be’eri, where at least 130 people were killed by Hamas insurgents on October 7. “We walked among the bullet-pocked houses where grenades were tossed into houses by terrorists and RPGs were fired at houses in an attempt to breach the reinforced walls of the safe rooms where families were hiding,” Perkins recounted. “When they could not get the families out of the safe rooms, they set the house on fire. When the smoke forced the families to open the bulletproof windows of the safe room for air, they waited outside the widows to toss in grenades.” Hamas forces also invaded the nearby city of Ofakim, which Perkins visited. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) cleared the city of Hamas soldiers on October 8.

On Monday, Perkins stopped in Samaria, along with mayor Yossi Dagan and Israeli parliamentarian Ohad Tal. Perkins explained, “Approximately 70% of what we read in the Bible took place in Samaria and Judea. This includes Bethlehem, Hebron, Shiloh, Schechem, and so many other places. It is also what is deceptively called the West Bank, as if it were not part of Israel.” He added, “We stood on the mountains of Samaria and looked down on Tel Aviv, showing how impossible it would be to defend Israel under the ‘two-state’ solution that is being promoted that would give the heart of Israel over to the Palestinians.”

“We stood on the Mount of Blessing and prayed for God’s peace and blessing upon Israel, recognizing that the blessing comes from God when we obey His word and walk in His ways,” Perkins recalled. “We also prayed for America to walk according to His word and ways.”

Perkins also met with Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who is now serving as the country’s Minister of Strategic Affairs. Perkins recounted, “In our meeting with Dermer, his opening question posed to me, but directed at the group in a lighthearted way, was, ‘You’re not going wobbly on us, are you?’ I assured him we were not going wobbly.”

Next, Perkins sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who “discussed the situation and made clear the resolve of Israel to protect itself and that victory must be complete, which is the elimination of Hamas.” Perkins said that Netanyahu “expressed appreciation for America’s support, past and present. Still, under the present political circumstances, which was not spoken about but understood, he asked for Christians in America to stand with Israel.” Afterwards, the FRC president prayed over the Israeli prime minister and attended a late-night worship service. As Perkins described it, “Everywhere we went, including at that worship service, people were so thankful for us coming to Israel at this time.”

After an interview with Dan Cohen of NewsMax, Perkins recalled that “a small crowd had gathered to watch, and one very elderly lady came up to me with tears in her eyes and said in broken English, ‘Thank you, thank you for coming to Israel,’ and she began weeping, ‘We need you to be with us.’” He continued, “There is clearly a sense that Israel, apart from America, is standing alone, and with President Biden’s statements, America looks wobbly. In one kibbutz, it was said by one person that many members of the community had come there to escape persecution elsewhere and that Israel had been the safe haven they had fled to — what now?”

His delegation also visited the site of the 1929 Hebron massacre, where nearly 70 Jews were killed by Palestinian Arabs before being evacuated by the British authorities. Perkins explained that the Hebron massacre, “while not in scope but in brutality, was a mirror of October 7.” He added, “Hebron, like Bethlehem, is a Palestinian area with just a small enclave of Jews living there that the media refers to as ‘settlers.’”

Perkins also met with Yossi Fuchs, Netanyahu’s chief cabinet secretary. “[A]gain,” recounted Perkins, “the focus was on Israel’s need for the church to be visible and vocal in their support of Israel because the threat is great.”

On the team’s final day in Israel, they visited with Holocaust survivors and a senior citizen choir at a Jewish Agency-sponsored retirement community. “That joy-filled event was followed by a very somber visit with families of hostages at the hostage headquarters in Tel Aviv,” Perkins recalled. “It was encouraging for both the families and for us that after hearing their ongoing grief and struggle, we prayed for them and hugged them. The impact was visible.”

Perkins concluded:

“Every generation has its test of how it will treat the Jewish people. While not all have persecuted this population, which represents less than half of a percent of the world’s population today, many remained silent. October 7 was preceded by growing antisemitism, and it has pulled back the curtain on even more, right here in America. What will our generation do? Ignore it until the horrifying evidence of the consequences of our silence can no longer be denied, or will we stand against it and heed the promise and warning of Genesis 12? There is a great and effective door of opportunity opening to the church to show love in a tangible way to the Jewish state of Israel by standing with them in their hour of need.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Attacks in West Bank Highlight Futility of Two-State Solution: Expert

Last week, an Israeli civilian was killed and several were left wounded after a Palestinian terrorist shot at cars around the Maale Adumim settlement. In response to the attack, Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, announced that over 3,000 housing units would be built in the West Bank, also known by their biblical names of Judea and Samaria. This decision, however, seems to have sparked further controversy.

As The Jerusalem Post reported, other than a short period of time during the Trump administration, “Israeli settlements in the West Bank have almost always been a thorn in the relations between Israel and the U.S.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already condemned the construction initiatives. He stated that he’s “disappointed” because “settlements are counter-productive to reaching an enduring peace” and “inconsistent with international law.” He added that the Biden “administration maintains a firm opposition to settlement expansion,” holding the belief that the settlements “only weakens … Israel’s security.”

Some have pointed out that Blinken’s comments, as well as Biden’s developing stance on the issue, are the opposite of “the Trump administration’s view in 2019, which did not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank as inconsistent with international law.” But as Family Research Council President Tony Perkins pointed out on “Washington Watch” Monday, the Biden administration has only widened the “divide between the U.S. and our strategic ally Israel.”

In addition to that statement, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that the claim Blinken made during Friday’s press conference, that Israel’s decision was inconsistent with international law, was simply “not true.” He stated that Blinken’s belief implies “the Jewish people have no right to live in their biblical homeland.” And ultimately, “It really is just a gut punch to those who take a theological view to biblical Israel.” And “people need to know,” Perkins added, “when you hear this term ‘West Bank,’ we’re talking about everything we read about in the Bible.”

But aside from the biblical significance, Friedman highlighted that “Biden’s been nothing but difficult on some of Israel’s most important issues.” For instance, Biden has pushed for a two-state solution, Friedman pointed out, “which nobody in Israel wants. … [N]obody with half a brain should want.” In the past, when a two-state solution was in place and the Palestinians in Gaza were self-governing, Perkins noted that “all they did was focus on how they could attack Israel.”

Not to mention that the people in Gaza “have yet to denounce the October 7th attacks on Israel,” Perkins said. As a matter of fact, the Palestinian National Authority (PA) “has a pension system … where they award funds to terrorists … based upon the severity of the terrorist attack,” Friedman explained. In short, “The more Jews you kill or wound or maim, the more money you get as a pension,” he said. “And this goes on to this day.” In other words, Perkins explained, “the PA is just hostility by another name.”

Biden’s agenda for Israel, Friedman argued, would only lead to “another terrorist state and another October 7.” Perkins agreed, adding, “It would not even be kicking the can down the road, because we know exactly what’s going to happen with this setup. They regroup and they attack again.” To which Friedman concluded, whether it’s a two-state solution or ceasefire the administration is pushing, “It’s just a terrible idea on many fronts.”


Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Truth About ‘Genocide’ and Israel

In a too-infrequent moment of moral clarity, the United States has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Israel to accept a comprehensive ceasefire arrangement regarding the Gaza Strip.

Instead, the United States is calling for “a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released, and calls for lifting all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale.”

Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gilad Erdan, was both more direct and more accurate: “A ceasefire achieves one thing and one thing only — the survival of Hamas. A ceasefire is a death sentence for many more Israelis and Gazans.”

Hamas must be ended as any kind of viable military or political organization — without qualification. Israel is not trying to kill the families of Gaza. For a time, at least, the Israel Defense Force posted warnings on the internet, dropped leaflets, and even made phone calls into Gaza urging everyone not involved with Hamas to leave for the Strip’s southern region to avoid bombings and ground attacks.

No one can question that the needs of the people in Gaza are profound, and Christians need to be deeply concerned for them. As relief ministries seek to provide essential medical and food aid to the Palestinian Arabs, followers of Jesus should support them.

Yet with all this said, the single greatest irony of the conflict to date is the charge that Israel has a “genocidal” policy toward Gaza’s Arab population while genocide is exactly what radical Islamists have in mind for Israel.

Consider Iran, the greater Middle East’s leader in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. As reported by scholar Kian Tajbakhsh in The Atlantic, “Hours after Hamas’s horrific attack on Israeli civilians on October 7, all of Iran’s parliamentarians rose from their seats to chant ‘Death to Israel!’” Tajbakhsh notes, “Iran’s fingerprints were all over the October 7 operation. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, are only the biggest in a network of 19 armed groups that Iran has established along Israel’s borders.” These and other groups receive financial support nearing $1 billion annually from Iran, whose military provides them with weapons and training.

Hamas is unapologetic in its desire to slaughter Jews and destroy the Jewish state. In April of last year, a Hamas leader named Hamad Al-Regeb preached a sermon in which “he prayed for ‘annihilation’ and ‘paralysis’ of the Jews whom he described as filthy animals: ‘[Allah] transformed them into filthy, ugly animals like apes and pigs because of the injustice and evil they had brought about’.”

Why such hatred? Clearly, Satan is its ultimate inspiration. The irrational hatred of a people who compose one-fifth of one percent of the world’s total population cannot but have a spiritual basis. The story of the Bible is, in part, the story of the adversary’s attempts to destroy the Jewish people spiritually, morally, and physically. The Jewish people are the channels of God’s self-revelation in His written Word and in the person of the world’s Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. Of course the Hateful One wants them dead.

On a political level, many Arab leaders see Israel’s representative democracy as a threat to their power. Newsweek columnist Lee Habib, himself Lebanese, writes that “Israel, like America itself, is a threat to dictators, kings, mullahs, and clerics who despise freedom of conscience and the sanctity of the individual.” This has led Arab nations to rally against “a manufactured common enemy” — Israel.

Again, consider the disturbing but undeniable paradox: Those who try to deny that six million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis and their abettors are the same people who want to fulfill Hitler’s demonic scheme all while claiming that the Jews themselves want to commit genocide against Gazan Arabs. “There can hardly be a charge more false and more malevolent than the allegation against Israel of genocide,” said Israeli attorney Tal Becker in his opening defense of his country at the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands. “Israel is in a war of defense against Hamas, not against the Palestinian people,” he added.

Israel is in crisis, at home and abroad. America has a moral duty and political obligation to safeguard her security. And, at a time when America’s college campuses contain cesspools of anti-Semitism, that safety must be ensured on our own shores. In a 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, President George Washington wrote to Jews anxious about how they would fare in the then-new republic, “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Amen, Mr. President. Amen.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

2024: The Year of Consequential Elections

As the 2024 U.S. presidential election comes into sharper focus, much of the political punditry has focused on the potential rematch of Joe Biden versus Donald Trump. In recent weeks, the American press has reported extensively on former President Trump’s ongoing court cases and Special Counsel Robert Hur’s characterization of President Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Although Americans should expect an avalanche of news related to the presidential election over the next 10 months, it is important to remember that other offices besides the presidency will also be on the ballot ?” including 34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. House seats, 11 governorships, and legislative seats in 44 states. The results of these elections will have massive consequences for years to come.

The United States isn’t the only country engaging in national elections this year: at least 64 other countries will be choosing leaders as well. Already, millions of people have voted in elections in Bangladesh (January 7), Taiwan (January 13), Finland (January 28), El Salvador (February 4), Pakistan (February 8), and Indonesia (February 14). In the coming months, citizens in many other nations will cast ballots.

As Christians, we recognize that participating in elections is a stewardship and an opportunity to love our neighbors in a practical way. Since the outcome of these elections will affect the rights and livelihoods of so many people, Christians ought to pray that those participating in the political process make wise choices.


South Africa will hold its general election on May 29. Observers expect it will be the most competitive election in that country since the end of Apartheid. Additionally, many analysts predict that the governing African National Congress will lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since 1994. With unemployment and poverty on voters’ minds, incumbent president Cyril Ramaphosa faces a challenging re-election campaign.

Other countries with elections include Togo (legislative, April 13), Ghana (general, December 7), Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, and Somaliland.


This spring, voters in India will decide whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be elected for a third term. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is popular and holds the most seats in the Indian Parliament.

On April 10, South Korea will hold legislative elections that will determine the composition of the 300-seat National Assembly. President Yoon Suk Yeol (elected in 2022) is hoping his conservative People Power Party, currently the second largest party in the National Assembly, will wrest control from the more liberal Democratic Party of Korea.


On June 2, Mexican citizens will participate in a general election to pick a new president and legislature. Incumbent president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is ineligible for a second term, has endorsed former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum as his successor. Sheinbaum is a member of Mexico’s more liberal party and is competing against Xóchitl Gálvez, the leader of a center-right coalition.

Other countries with elections include Panama (general, May 5), the Dominican Republic (general, May 19), and Uruguay (general, October 27).


The European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union (EU), will hold its quinquennial election on June 6-9. All 720 seats are up for election. With an estimated 400 million eligible voters, the election will be the largest transnational election in the world. It will also be the EU’s first parliamentary election since the United Kingdom’s exit in 2020. Many pollsters are predicting a strong showing by conservative parties, an outcome that would dramatically affect the EU’s political landscape.

European countries with elections this year include Portugal (legislative, March 10), Slovakia (presidential, March 23), Lithuania (presidential, May 12), Georgia (general, November 5), Croatia (general, TBD), and Romania (presidential, TBD).

Expected Elections

In addition to these confirmed elections, other nations expected to hold elections in 2024 include Austria (legislative), Jordan (legislative), Moldova (presidential), Syria (legislative), and Uzbekistan (legislative).

Worth noting is that Russia is also scheduled to hold a presidential election in March, although observers expect President Vladimir Putin to win upwards of 90% of the vote in an election a Kremlin spokesman conceded “is not really democracy.” Additionally, it is possible that the United Kingdom will hold its general election this fall, with polls indicating the ruling Conservative Party may lose 10 Downing Street to the Labour Party for the first time in 14 years.

In short, 2024 has already proved itself to be a consequential election year. By the year’s conclusion, nearly half of the world’s population will have seen a national election take place in their country. As hundreds of millions of people participate in these elections, Christians should commit to praying for voters as well as the leaders who will take office.

In an interconnected world, what happens in one country inevitably affects another. Elections matter because people matter, and the 2024 elections will undoubtedly affect an untold number of people. Thus, until King Jesus returns, Christians should pray, vote, and engage with politics, remembering that faithfulness, not results, is how we will ultimately be judged.

FRC intern Natalie Spaulding contributed research for this article.


David Closson

David Closson is Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

GUEST: America Must Stand with Israel

In 1945, when Allied troops liberated the concentration camps in Germany and they witnessed firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust, the world cried, “Never again.” The Holocaust led to the tragic ending of six million innocent lives. Men, women, and children suffered and died only because they were Jews. The horrors of the Holocaust were detailed by those who survived and evidenced by those who lost their lives. Shock waves reverberated around the world at the massive destruction and death. In 1933, only 9.5 million Jews lived in Europe, and the Holocaust brought that number to a devastating low. By 1945, two out of every three European Jews had been killed.

The tragedies were mind-boggling and left the Allies questioning how these things could have happened. At the Nuremberg trials, the world learned more of the horrendous atrocities Holocaust victims suffered. Survivors spoke of how people were herded like cattle, and how men, women, and children were driven to their deaths in the Nazi gas chambers. These victims suffered only because of their Jewish heritage.

The Jewish people were not new to suffering, as they for nearly 2,000 years were without a homeland. They wandered the world seeking a place to belong, and the Holocaust nearly wiped out the entire European Jewish population. Upon the discovery of Nazi Germany’s slaughter of the Jewish people, the Allies rallied to establish the nation of Israel and give the Jewish people back their homeland. In 1948, the Jewish nation-state of Israel was established.

Since regaining their homeland, the Jewish people have been a stalwart Middle Eastern ally of Americans. Israel remains a counterweight against radical forces in the Middle East, including radical Islam and violent extremism. Israel has also prevented the further proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region by thwarting Iran, Iraq, and Syria’s nuclear programs. This makes Israel our greatest ally and friend. Israel and America work together to ensure peace throughout the Middle East. Hamas, Hezbollah, and others surrounding Israel have no desire for peace, and the recent war in Israel is a reminder of that.

Since 1948, the Jewish people have fought to protect their homeland from various wars, daily encounters with terrorists, and a constant fear of losing their land. In this way, the current crisis in Israel is like other crises in Israel over the last 75 years. The Jewish people are resilient in their defense of their homeland, and with the reminder of the

Holocaust less than 100 years ago, it is imperative America stands with our ally and friend, Israel, and the Jewish people.

Last year, my wife, Haley, and I had the honor of visiting Israel and meeting the country’s incredible people. We are appalled by the actions of Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization. Hamas’s deliberate, gruesome attacks on innocent Israeli citizens are despicable acts of war, and I support Israel’s right to self-defense as the nation protects its

people and homeland.

I have joined bipartisan legislation supporting Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists. This legislation condemns these horrific acts and reinforces support from the U.S. House of Representatives to help Israel in this time of distress, and I am pleased that the resolution was approved in a bipartisan vote recently. I also have joined letters to President Biden expressing concern about his administration’s decision to unfreeze $6 billion in assets for Iran, and I have cosponsored legislation that would refreeze and ultimately redirect the $6 billion to support victims of terrorism.

You have likely seen news reports regarding Americans held hostage in Gaza. I, too, am closely monitoring the crisis, and I am in communication with our State Department and military authorities regarding Hamas’s continued terrorist activities. Please know that we will continue to work non-stop to see that all Americans return home safely.

Now, more than ever, the United States must support Israel. It is in the national security interest of the United States to unequivocally stand behind our longtime friend and greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel. I hope that you will join Haley and me as we “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). May we, as a great and prayerful people, continue to offer our support to our Israeli brothers and sisters in their time of unexpected challenges.


Michael Guest

Michael Guest represents Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district in U.S. House of Representatives.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Ukraine, Israel, and the American World Order

An emerging stream of thought in American politics questions America’s longstanding international commitments because it doesn’t remember why we made them in the first place. Why is America supplying Ukraine with weapons in its war against Russia? What is America’s interest — as distinct from a Jew’s or Christian’s interest — in securing Israel’s victory over Hamas? Would America really put its own blood and treasure on the line to defend the sovereignty of faraway Taiwan?

When taken in isolation, these commitments may seem arbitrary. But understanding the history of American foreign policy can put them into their proper context.

America and Freedom

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of American foreign policy is the character of the American people. America is founded on free ideals. These include ironclad protections for free markets and free enterprise, a primary source of American strength. America’s strong and open economy means American producers can often supply goods to new markets — when they can find them.

Enabling American merchants to freely buy and sell in overseas markets has remained a core objective of American foreign policy throughout most of American history. This was true when Boston merchants loaded bales of tobacco and cotton onto wooden sailing ships bound for Europe. It remains true as Coca-Cola and Apple market soft drinks and iPhones to the interior parts of Africa. The Washington administration and the Truman administration had drastically different foreign policies, but they shared this in common.

In fact, the young federal republic fought its first wars to defend the freedom of American merchant shipping. In the 1790s, America’s first post-revolution naval actions were to defend American sailors being pressed into service in the British and French navies. In 1801, American marines assaulted “the shores of Tripoli” to end Mediterranean piracy against American vessels. Later, an American squadron in 1853 threatened military action against Japan to force that hermit kingdom to open its ports to American trade.


Throughout most of the 1800s, America was able to achieve its goal of protecting international trade while largely avoiding foreign entanglements because a more powerful nation had the same goal. Great Britain, a banking powerhouse, also pursued a merchant-focused foreign policy — mostly by trading with colonies it established around the globe — and it had the world’s most powerful navy to enforce its will. This left America largely free to settle the giant continent that lay before it.

The main exception to American non-intervention in the 1800s — after the foolish war of 1812, that is — was the Monroe Doctrine. As South and Central American colonies declared independence from European powers in the 1810s and 1820s, U.S. President James Monroe announced that the U.S. would oppose any effort by European powers to establish or re-establish a colony in the Americas. This policy was designed to keep the world’s most powerful militaries from establishing a base on America’s doorstep, but it also allowed the fledgling new nations to learn how to govern themselves without fear of imminent invasion (admittedly, many of them performed poorly). In other words, it was America’s first attempt at creating other nations like ourself.

From the 1890s through the 1910s (the Progressive Era), American presidents embraced a more muscular foreign policy. They fought and won a war against a European power (Spain), created the nation of Panama to build a canal, and elbowed America into World War I to influence the post-war settlement. The war elevated America to an international status close to that of the great powers, mostly because these were exhausted and devastated from years of hard fighting. However, the American people ultimately rejected the post-war League of Nations negotiated by President Wilson, and once again withdrew from foreign concerns during the Great Depression.

World War II

Then came World War II, which profoundly changed America’s relationship with the rest of the world. America was reluctant to interfere in foreign affairs and did not join in the war until we were attacked. But, once America was roused, our economy demonstrated just how powerful it was, as we basically outproduced our way to victory against Japan and Germany.

America emerged from World War II with only one close rival, the Soviet Union. Previous powers, such as Great Britain, France, and Germany, were devastated by the war. This role forced the U.S. to engage more actively in foreign relations. In particular, a war-weakened Britain no longer stabilized world finances or patrolled the world’s oceans; now America’s central bank and Navy would have to perform these functions if we were to protect our own trading interests.

America deployed the Marshall Plan to rapidly rehabilitate Western Europe, and even our recent enemies, Germany and Japan. Partly, this investment corrected the mistakes made after World War I, which left Germany humiliated, weakened, and eager to avenge itself in another war. Partly, this investment helped to fortify a bulwark against the Soviet Union, which was rapidly gobbling up eastern Europe. But partly, this investment helped to stimulate America’s own economy, because we needed trading partners wealthy enough to buy our goods.

America and other nations also sought to prevent a repeat of World War II, which began with a strongman and his military machine gobbling up smaller, weaker neighbors one after another, while other nations were reluctant to take responsibility to stop him. To that end, America and other nations formed the United Nations in 1945, with a resolve “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

The U.N. Charter’s very first article defined its purposes: “To maintain international peace and security … To develop friendly relations among nations … To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems … To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.”

Article 2 of the U.N. Charter set forth additional principles to govern international behavior. It affirmed “the sovereign equality of all its Members,” required member nations to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means,” forbade “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state,” and required member nations to make sure that non-member nations acted according to these principles.

This Charter is worth noticing carefully. Granted, the U.N. has many shortcomings and outright failures. It seethes with anti-Semitism, overextends its authority into the affairs of sovereign nations, is often taken captive by the worst human rights abusers, and often fails to have any positive effect when actual crises arrive. Granted, too, the Charter exudes an overly optimistic view of international relations that lacks realism.

But notice the Charter’s goals: maintaining international peace, acknowledging national sovereignty, and preserving the territorial integrity of nation states against aggression by stronger, more powerful neighbors. These principles create conditions where international trade can flourish. They also enable a nation to handle its own affairs without undue interference by outsiders. These are the conditions American foreign policy has sought to achieve throughout its entire history. This is the Monroe Doctrine made global.

Also significantly, the principles set forth in this Charter were emphatically not those of the Soviet Union or other warmongering dictators. Before World War II, Joseph Stalin had eagerly partnered with Hitler to divide Poland between them. After World War II, the Soviet Union continued to dominate all the nations in its sphere of influence — nations behind what came to be known as the Iron Curtain. It took decades before East Germany, Czechoslovakia, or Romania saw political freedom again. Additionally, the Soviet Union was constantly trying to export its toxic ideology — to Nicaragua or Cuba, for instance — or invade other countries — but more on that shortly.

In other words, although the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were the two global superpowers, the international union they formed reflected American values far more than Soviet ones. Partly, this was because communists are willing to say nice things and then do terrible things. But partly, this represented a moral victory for the United States. The world order that took shape after World War II was an American one.

The post-World War II American World Order has endured for nearly a lifetime. America has profitable and sophisticated trade relationships with countries in Europe, eastern and southern Asia, South America, Africa, and the Pacific. America has developed and deepened security relationships with more than 50 nations on every continent. After roughly 45 years, America’s only peer rival, the Soviet Union, collapsed, leaving the U.S. in the rare position of a global hegemon. This has been the American World Order, and America has, on average, benefited by it.

Sometimes, the U.N. has positively helped confront challenges to the American World Order. Soviet- and Chinese-backed communists attempted to invade Korea in the 1950s, but a U.N. coalition fought them to a draw. Thus illegally annexed, the northern part of Korea remains an international pariah, while the southern part of Korea flourishes among the world’s most developed economies. In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein overran his smaller neighbor Kuwait. Again, a U.N. coalition forced him to relinquish the territory he conquered.

At other times, the U.S. has had to confront the challenge on its own or with a smaller group of allies — with varying degrees of success. It countered the U.S.S.R.’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s by arming local fighters. It has confronted various coups at various times, and it responded to the growing threat of international terrorism by experimenting with regime change of its own. Perhaps its greatest blunder was the failed attempt to prevent a communist takeover of Vietnam, which thrust the nation down into a decade of despair and retreat. Nevertheless, the fundamental structure of the world order remained favorable to American interests, even at the moments when America did not seem to benefit thereby.

Over the past 15 years, a fundamental principle of the American World Order has come under increasing scrutiny — the notion that every nation has a fundamental right of sovereignty over its territory — all its territory. In 2008, Russia, the largest successor to the Soviet Union, invaded its smaller neighbor Georgia; to this day, Russian troops occupy two breakaway regions of Georgia, which only Russia recognizes as a sovereign nation. In 2014, Russia invaded another neighbor, Ukraine, and claimed to “annex” the southern, oil-rich Crimean peninsula and eastern, industrialized Donbas region — a blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. In 2015, an Islamist insurgency dubbing itself the “Islamic State” captured and controlled large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria that had been destabilized by civil war and the withdrawal of U.S. troops — although its territorial gains were largely wiped out by 2019.

That brings us up to recent history, which has seen further challenges to the American world order and to American world supremacy. In 2022, Russia extended its invasion of Ukraine, first attempting to conquer the entire country, and then revising its goals towards solidifying additional territorial gains in the south and east. In 2023, Islamist militants sponsored by Iran launched a war against Israel, publicly declaring their intention to wipe it off the world map.

On the other edge of Asia, communist China continues its aggressive expansion across the South China Sea and its provocative behavior towards Taiwan, which it falsely claims is not an independent nation but rather a breakaway province. While China has not actually launched an invasion, foreign policy observers widely agree that it seems prepared to do so and is closely watching America’s response to other global hotspots.

So, how do these various conflicts relate to America’s core interests? America benefits from a peaceful world order that allows international trade to flourish. Ever since World War II, America has sought to enforce a global norm of national sovereignty and territorial integrity as a means to prevent global conflicts, which could disrupt America’s trade interest — not to mention upset nations’ self-determination. America’s authoritarian rivals are increasingly testing those norms.

If America backs away from its commitment to the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of all nations, our global adversaries will interpret this as a license to further acts of aggression, which will further undermine the (relatively) peaceful world order that is structured in America’s interest. This is the context for conflicts in both Ukraine and Israel, the nervous stalemate in Taiwan, and in other global hotspots that could quickly unravel if America retreats from its commitment to its own interests.


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.


EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Senator to Biden: ‘You Can’t Be Pro-Israel and Pro-Iran. You Have to Choose.’

A month ago, the idea of U.S. troops doing live-fire exercises in Iraq would have seemed like something out of 2002. But almost three weeks removed from one of the bloodiest days in the modern Middle East, war is closer than it’s ever been. With more than 18 separate attacks launched at American soldiers last week, it’s clear: Israel is no longer the only target.

“My warning to [Iran],” President Biden said Wednesday, was “be prepared.” “If they continue to move against those troops, we will respond.” Whether the Ayatollah takes the message seriously is anyone’s guess. After all, Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) pointed out, it’s not like this White House’s position has been one of strength.

“Iran does not know if this president has any red lines,” the Kansan argued on “Washington Watch,” “and I’m afraid that they could be right. And that’s why I’m saying we need to retaliate and teach them a lesson. We need to hit the bully across the nose really hard the next time they do anything whatsoever. As long as we have ships in harm’s way, which we do, it’s very possible that one of those drones or one of those underwater attacks get through. So of course, I’m very, very concerned about the situation there.”

And it’s not just Republicans who are sounding the alarm. After 24 Americans were wounded on bases in Iraq and Syria, hard-core Democrats like Senator Chris Coons from the president’s own state have expressed frustration with Biden’s lack of spine. “There needs to be pressure back against Iran,” he insisted to Fox News’s Bret Baier. “… Iran funded, supplied, and trained the fighters of Hamas and is behind these other proxies that are in the north of Israel, in the south of Lebanon, in Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula, in Iraq. So, we need to be striking back — and we need to be prepared for the very real prospect that this will get harder before it gets easier.”

In conversations with some of the Syrian rebel commanders, Biden’s weakness is only feeding Iran’s aggression. “There has been absolutely no response to these attacks,” one told a Washington Post reporter, “which has resulted in the fact that the Iranian-backed militias are getting much braver.”

Much as this White House has tried, you can’t be “pro-Israel and pro-Iran,” Marshall insisted. “You have to choose one or the other.” But if we think back to what’s happened under Biden, the senator explained, “… [H]e’s empowered their nuclear weapon program. He’s unfrozen this $6 billion [dollars] … three months ago. He unfroze $10 billion [dollars]. And he’s now allowing them to sell $1 billion [dollars] of oil every week.” Under this administration, Iran’s reserves have climbed from $6 billion dollars to $60 billion dollars.

“This is what’s happening under Joe Biden’s watch,” Marshall shook his head. “He’s allowed Iran to once again be a force, to be a power. And again … You have to choose Israel or you have to choose Iran. Iran is the one that says, ‘Death to Israel. Death to America.’”

If Biden doesn’t act, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins asked, could we see this escalate into a “global conflict?”

“Absolutely,” Marshall answered. “We’re [all] looking [for] some type of clarity from this president, some type of priorities. [No one understands] what the president’s priorities [are] under this situation. To me, the priorities should be very, very clear. Number one, we want to get all the Americans back safely. We need to secure our southern border. By the way, we need to cut the head off the snake of Iran, and we need to eliminate Hamas. … We need a president who’s going to put our first, our best, best foot forward to stand with peace through strength.”

Frankly, Perkins pointed out, “I wish this president had the same clarity on issues such as this, as he does for abortion, the whole LGBTQ agenda, and climate change. [Those seem] to be the only three issues this administration has clarity on. It’s frightening.”

And look, the senator replied, we’re not “warmongers.” “I don’t want this war,” he admitted. “But let’s face it — over the next days, weeks, and months, it’s going to get really ugly there in the Gaza Strip. And Israel needs to know that we have their back, that unequivocally we’re going to stand with them.”


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.