Western Happy Talk Is a Dangerous Business

By Ben Shapiro Published on December 5, 2023

Happy talk is dangerous.

It’s dangerous because it gets people killed. It leads people to believe foolish things. Out of idiotic hopes and fatuous dreams, leaders tend to believe what they want to believe. That is precisely the opposite of their job, particularly when it comes to national security: Foreign policy ought to be the preserve of cold-eyed men and women capable of making hard but correct decisions.

Unfortunately, politics tends to draw those with starry visions — or at least cowards who will mask their own cowardice with those starry visions.

It’s hard to tell which one President Joe Biden is these days.

Joe Biden is Wavering

As Israel’s war against Hamas continues — and make no mistake, it will continue until Hamas is utterly destroyed — Biden is starting to waver. Biden has made many of the right sounds: He has expressed support for deposing Hamas and has correctly stated that Israel has a difficult task in doing so while minimizing civilian casualties.

Yet now, prodded by a radical Left-wing legacy media and young, daft staffers, he seems to be wavering.

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Biden seems to be increasingly falling victim to the propagandistic efforts of the legacy media, which promote four claims: first, that Hamas isn’t as bad as it seems; second, that Israel is much worse than it seems; third, that Israel ought to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority in order to defeat Hamas; and fourth, that Biden’s electoral prospects rely on believing the first three claims.

All four claims are false.

Downplaying the Evil of Hamas

First, the claim that Hamas isn’t all that bad.

It’s astonishing to watch Holocaust denial form in real time, but we’re watching it happen with regard to Hamas. The rewriting of history has involved outright lies — the lie, for example, that Hamas didn’t kill people at the Supernova Music Festival, Israeli helicopters did — and obfuscation: “do you have tape of Israeli women being raped, or merely medical reports of their broken pelvises?” But more often, it’s taken the form of downplaying Hamas’ evil altogether, suggesting that now that Hamas is releasing hostages, they must be a rational actor. That’s absurd and ugly.

Portraying Israel as the Bad Actor

Then there’s claim No. 2: that Israel is morally equivalent in some way to Hamas. This claim usually takes the form of suggesting that Israel is “carpet bombing” Gaza or “indiscriminate” in its use of firepower. That’s ridiculous. Israel is protecting civilian evacuation routes Hamas is attacking; Israel is giving weeks of warning before striking sites; Israel is using “knock bombs” to empty buildings; Israel is allowing Hamas terrorists to merge into civilian populations rather than killing too many civilians. Israel is being more careful than any army in modern history. It is also dealing with a terrorist group hiding in a heavily urban area. And that means civilian casualties will be high, by necessity.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority

Then there’s claim No. 3: that Israel ought to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority in order to somehow curb Hamas. This is the claim of simpleton Thomas Friedman, august foreign policy columnist for the execrable New York Times, who has never met an Israeli concession he didn’t like. Today, he writes, “a revamped Palestinian Authority is the keystone for the forces of moderation, coexistence and decency.” To believe this, one must truly be an imbecile. The PA, from the outset of Oslo, saw the Oslo Accords as a Trojan Horse. Their leadership said as much. Yasser Arafat said in 1994, “This (Oslo) agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Muhammad and Quraish.” That agreement was the prelude to the slaughter of the Quraish tribe of Mecca a few years after Mohammed signed a false peace agreement.

Examining Biden’s Electoral Danger

Then there’s the final claim: that Biden is in electoral danger specifically because of Israel’s war to exterminate Hamas.

That, too, is a lie. The data simply don’t exist to suggest that Biden’s electoral trouble is because of the Gaza War. On Oct. 7, Biden was riding at 44% in polls against former President Donald Trump, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. Today, he’s riding at 45%. On Oct. 7, he was at 40.5% approval; today, he’s at 40.4%. In other words, he’s just unpopular.

But perhaps Biden’s desperation will cause him to fall prey to these lies. If so, he won’t save himself, but he will damage both Israel and the broader West. Because if there’s one thing America’s enemies love, it’s happy talk.

 

Ben Shapiro, 39, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM.

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