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‘It Makes No Sense’: Experts Puzzled By Biden Admin’s Claim That Rafah Invasion Wouldn’t Help Israel Defeat Hamas

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8 minute read

From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JAKE SMITH

 

The Biden administration’s claim that an Israeli invasion into Rafah would not help the nation defeat Hamas or secure a hostage release deal “makes no logical sense,” several experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that Israel cannot achieve a “sustainable and enduring defeat” against Hamas by invading Rafah, also claiming that it could jeopardize ongoing negotiations to free the hostages in Gaza. Experts told the DCNF that the claim doesn’t hold water as a military operation is the only way to pressure Hamas into reaching a hostage deal and eventually achieve victory over the terror group.

“An enduring defeat of Hamas certainly remains the Israeli goal, and we share that goal with them,” Kirby said. “Smashing into Rafah, in [Biden’s] view, will not advance that objective, will not get to that sustainable and enduring defeat of Hamas.”

Two high-level defense experts and a former senior U.S. official told the DCNF that Kirby is mistaken and that the only way to ensure Hamas is defeated is through military operations.

“Kirby is wrong,” Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington-based defense think tank, told the DCNF. “Only the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) patient, well-planned and well-executed operation has been successful in smashing Hamas and releasing hostages, to date.”

“You can’t defeat Hamas with good vibes and nice words. You defeat them on the battlefield through munitions, through kinetic action,” Executive Director of Polaris National Security and former State Department official Gabriel Noronha told the DCNF.

Kirby and State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller have said that the administration believes if Israel chooses to push into Rafah, it will weaken their hand in negotiations to secure a deal to release the hostages currently held in Hamas captivity. Israel has been negotiating with Hamas through international meditators, including the U.S., for months to reach a deal that would see a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza region in exchange for their release.

“We actually think that a Rafah operation would weaken Israel’s position, both in these talks and writ large,” Miller said on May 9.

“If I’m Mr. Sinwar, and I’m sitting down in my tunnel … and I’m seeing innocent people falling victim to major significant combat operations in Rafah, then I have less of an incentive to want to come to the negotiating table,” Kirby told reporters, referring to Yahya Sinwar, the leader of the military branch of Hamas.

Hamas is unlikely to be more inclined to move the hostage deal along if Israel doesn’t invade Rafah as the terrorist group isn’t concerned with the wellbeing of Palestinians in the region, experts told the DCNF. The IDF has accused the terrorist group of using civilians as human shields and embedding itself within population centers.

“It’s preposterous. It stands in the face of all the evidence we’ve actually seen in this conversation,” Noronha told the DCNF. “There’s been nothing that the White House has released that makes room for any kind of justification for what they’re claiming from the podium.”

The lack of military pressure from Israel would make Hamas less incentivized to reach a hostage and ceasefire deal, Shoshana Bryen, defense analyst and senior director of The Jewish Policy Center, told the DCNF. Hamas agreed to one ceasefire deal in November after coming under intense stress from Israeli forces, but the deal quickly fell apart in December.

“The only serious negotiating Hamas did was in the very early days when Israel’s fury was evident and accepted by most of the world,” Byren told the DCNF. “Hamas leadership saw that it might be defeated on the battlefield, so it permitted a ceasefire and released hostages. Since that time, the Biden administration has worked to constrain Israel — up to and including the withholding of arms approved by Congress.”

“Hamas isn’t stupid. As long as the Biden administration works to constrain Israel, Hamas doesn’t have to give anything,” Byren said.

Experts who spoke to the DCNF also took issue with Kirby claiming that Israel does not need to push into Rafah because Hamas has largely been crippled by Israeli forces since Oct. 7.

“It’s like saying, ‘Oh, we did chemotherapy for a month. We got 80% of the cancer, we’re good to go. We’ll just leave now.’ Again, it makes no sense,” Noronha told the DCNF.

“When someone announces that they want to kill you, they train to kill you, they arm to kill you, they teach their children that if the adults don’t finish the job in this generation, the children are expected to do it in the next generation,” Bryen told the DCNF. “When they say, ‘100 October 7s,’ they’re not kidding.”

Israeli forces seized control of the Rafah crossing bordering Egypt on Tuesday, saying that it was a vital chokepoint to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza, according to The Wall Street Journal. The IDF is moving further into the eastern corridors of Rafah, but has not yet gone into Rafah city, where the bulk of the more than one million refugees are located, according to The Associated Press.

Biden said during a CNN interview on Wednesday that the administration has not seen Israel cross a line in Rafah, but warned of consequences, including halting military aid, if Israel launches a full-scale invasion.

“If Israel had listened to the White House [since the war began], 18 Hamas terrorist battalions would still be standing, dozens of senior Hamas terrorist leaders would still be alive directing terror operations, dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages would still be languishing in the helm of Hamas captivity and Hamas would still be in charge planning the next October 7,” Dubowitz told the DCNF. “The Biden administration’s pressure on Israel has only prolonged the war and the suffering on both sides.”

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Jeffrey Sachs charges CIA, White House with endangering the world in interview with Tucker Carlson

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Jeffrey Sachs

From LifeSiteNews

By Patrick Delaney

The left-leaning diplomat emphatically warned of possible nuclear annihilation due to the neoconservative policies of the U.S. government. ‘Are we mad?’ he asked, advising Joe Biden to ‘tell the truth’ and ‘stop the wars today.’

In an extraordinary interview with Tucker Carlson, Columbia University economist and senior UN adviser warned that a neocon-inspired “deep project of the (U.S.) security apparatus” is driving a policy that is endangering the world with nuclear war, primarily due to the current conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

He further cautioned such a catastrophe could happen very easily, through even an “accidental tripwire,” and yet if American policy makers decided to do so, these wars could be ended “today.”

According to the well-known analyst, this aggressive foreign policy plan was inspired by the neoconservatives and began just after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, with the now-disbanded think tank Project for a New American Century  (PNAC) later articulating its goals and principles, especially with the document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (RAD) released in 2000.

In the opening portion of the interview, Sachs thoroughly explains the well-documented reasons why, contrary to the western mantra that Russia’s February 2022 military movement into Ukraine was “unprovoked,” a long succession of serious provocations over three decades were committed by the U.S. and NATO against this nuclear adversary.

READ: ‘Monumental provocation’: How US and international policy-makers deliberately baited Putin to war

These included 1) the relentless expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders despite frequent, clear, and emphatic warnings from Russian leaders who reasonably saw such expansion as a security threat; 2) the facilitating of a violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014; 3) the building up of Ukraine’s army to be the largest in Europe poised to attack Russia; 4) the persistent and intensifying military attacks on ethnic Russians in the Donbass region of the country; 5) disregarding peace treaties it had agreed to (Minsk I & II); and finally 6) a cascade of reckless diplomatic and military provocations after the installation of the Joe Biden administration in 2021.

Sachs tells Jake Sullivan: Ukraine’s neutrality builds U.S. security, ‘don’t have an accidental tripwire’

While reviewing the historical outline, Sachs recalled Putin’s last attempt to come to a negotiated settlement before their invasion. On December 15, 2021, after a meeting with Biden, the Russian president “put on the table a draft Russia-U.S. security agreement” that, “the core of it was to stop the NATO enlargement.”

READ: Putin tells Tucker it would have been ‘culpable negligence’ for Russia to not intervene in Ukraine

Sullivan assured Sachs “there’s not going to be a war,” yet their policy was that Russia had no say or interest in whether or not Ukraine joined NATO, which could then house U.S. first strike missiles just minutes from Moscow.

Mocking this posture, Sachs observed, “to use the analogy, if Mexico and China want to put Chinese military bases on the Rio Grande, the United States has no right to interfere in that. And this was the formal U.S. response in January 2022.”

“So, unprovoked? Not exactly. Thirty years of provocation where we could not take peace for an answer one moment. (The only posture) we could take is, ‘we’ll do whatever we want, wherever we want, and no one has any say in this at all.’”

“We are not threatened by Russia, and Ukraine being neutral is not a threat to U.S. security. It builds U.S. security, period,” Sachs reported telling Sullivan. “‘It’s not even a concession, Jake. It’s a benefit for us. Leave some space between you and them. That’s what we want, some space so we don’t have an accidental tripwire … We don’t have to be everywhere. We’re not playing (the board game) Risk. We’re trying to run our lives. We’re trying to keep our children safe. We’re not trying to own every part of the world.’”

Neocons: NATO no longer about protecting Europe but U.S. hegemony

Before Europe became “a kind of vassal province of the United States government,” Sachs explained that they, with Russia, wanted what is termed “collective security” which he defined as “security arrangements in which one country’s security doesn’t ruin the security of another country.”

In such an arrangement, this would mean that Mexico would not rationally be able to welcome Chinese bases on the Rio Grande, and Ukraine would not be allowed to become a member of NATO with the ability to host U.S. military assets on Moscow’s front porch.

To reach this end the Organization of Security Cooperation in Europe was created in the 1970s, but another way to get to such collective security arrangements, Sachs said, was that after USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev’s dissolving of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, NATO should have been dissolved as well.

The neocons, however, explicitly wrote that the maintaining of NATO “‘is our way of keeping our hegemony in Europe,’” the political analyst explained. “In other words, this is our way of keeping our say in Europe, not protecting Europe, not even protecting us. This is hegemony. We need our pieces on the board. NATO is our pieces on the board.”

U.S. senators ‘don’t care at all’ about massive Ukrainian deaths

And according to Sachs, the resulting presence of American troops in Europe in places like Germany means they are not “free actors,” and thus lack sovereignty. “When the U.S. has a military base in your country, it really pulls a lot of the political strings in your country,” he said, citing Germany’s non-response to the U.S. obliterating the Nord Stream  pipeline in September 2022.

“They’re so subservient to the U.S. interests, it’s a little hard to understand because it makes no sense for Europe,” he said. In fact, “it’s doing huge damage to Europe (and) it’s destroying Ukraine … wasting a hell of a lot of lives and money in the United States, which the neo-cons don’t count … (including) 500,000 Ukrainians dead for nothing.”

Neocons ‘gambling’ with others’ lives, country and money and not ‘their own stakes’

Carlson noted that despite U.S. rhetoric justifying the war as supporting “our friends in Ukraine, the standard bearers of democracy,” senators in Washington “have no idea” how many Ukrainian lives have been lost “and they have no interest in knowing.”

“And they don’t care at all,” Sachs confirmed. “And sometimes they say they don’t care. Mitt Romney said, ‘It’s the greatest bargain, no American lives!’ Dick Blumenthal said the same thing … No, they don’t count the Ukrainian lives.”

He added that these neocon wars are not in the interests of the United States either, observing “we’ve spent maybe $7 trillion on these reckless perpetual wars since 2001,” adding to the national debt that has “gone from about 30% of national income to more than 100% of national income.” And considering that “millions of people have died in American wars of choice,” Sachs called these neocon policies “completely perverse.”

With regard to the current results of these wars, Sachs said the neoconservatives and allied policy makers have “gambled wrong all along … with someone else’s lives, someone else’s country and someone else’s money, our money, the taxpayer money… (and) not with their own stakes.”

All must understand: ‘Ukraine will never join NATO short of a nuclear war’

Going on to highlight the recklessness of American and other governmental leaders in the West, the lifelong Democrat, who stated he left the party last year over COVID policy, ridiculed these “idiots” who are willing to risk a nuclear conflict.

“My resentment gets very high when we reach that level,” he said, noting in disbelief current political rhetoric actually discussing the possibility of nuclear war, the many “crazy people in our government,” and allies cheering on the prospect of an all-out war with Russia. This includes the president of Latvia who has repeatedly tweeted, “Russia delenda est!” (“Russia must be destroyed”).

“Honestly, a president of a Baltic state tweeting that ‘Russia must be destroyed’? This is prudent? This is safe? This is going to keep your family and my family safe? Are we out of our minds? And all through this, Biden hasn’t called Putin one time,” Sachs complained. “I don’t like my family being at risk of nuclear war.”

Proposing some essential clarity for Carlson’s sizable audience, the former UN adviser observed that “until this moment, every senior official in the U.S. or the secretary-general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, says, ‘Ukraine will join NATO.’”

“One thing everyone that’s listening should understand: Ukraine will never join NATO short of a nuclear war, because Russia will never allow it, period,” he affirmed. “So every time we say it, all we mean is the war continues and more Ukrainians are destroyed.”

Neocons seek to break-up Russia, and instead commit strategic blunder in driving them into union with China

Contradicting Carlson’s perception that current Secretary of State Antony Blinken was a “driving force” of this ongoing U.S. aggression, Sachs opined that its origin is rather in “a big, deep project of the security apparatus that goes back 30 years,” including the CIA as “a driving force” along with the Pentagon, the National Security Council and other governmental bodies.

“It’s not one individual, but it’s a project that is long dated and it doesn’t turn,” meaning its “a rudder that’s stuck.” In other words, “they can’t do something different,” even when it is clear their current course is not capable of achieving their objectives.

READ: US is run by the CIA and other agencies, not elected officials, Putin claims in Tucker Carlson interview

Thus, with regard to the heavy U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russia 2 1/2 years ago, Russia was able to adjust, and instead of selling their oil to Europe, they sold it to Asia and “and the sanctions didn’t have any effect,” the economist said.

Additionally, the neocons caused what the late realist school, former National Security Adviser under President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, implored to be the worst possible outcome.

“In all of this neo-con strategizing, they had this glimmer of insight, and actually Zbig Brzezinski was very good on it,” Sachs explained. “He said, ‘by all means, the one thing never, never to do is to drive Russia and China together.’” And yet, “this is exactly what these (neoconservative) dunderheads have done.”

READ: Col. Douglas Macgregor tells Tucker that US handling of Ukraine war has ‘backfired’

In addressing what he believes to be the motive behind this U.S. government’s aggression towards Russia, Sachs indicated it is to break up this enormous nation into several smaller states. In making his case, he cited PNAC’s RAD document which “says maybe Russia will be decentralized into a European Russia, Central Asian Russia, a Siberian Russia they call it, and a Far East Russia.”

“The CIA’s hope… probably in this deep long-term vision, was after the Soviet Union fell, so too will Russia disintegrate. It will disintegrate along its ethnic lines… [and] geographic lines,” he surmised.

Sachs opines that this is a chosen project for the U.S. government only because they resent “there is a country of 11 time zones, and it’s so big that it is, on its face, a denial of U.S. global hegemony. In other words, how obnoxious of them to be there!” he quipped.

CIA’s ‘overthrowing’ of governments ‘not a good vocation for us’

When addressing Carlson’s question regarding the influence of the CIA in the operations of the U.S. government, Sachs said the agency “has absolutely extraordinary influence” including his relating a story where he personally witnessed a CIA-orchestrated coup d’état of Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, which he couldn’t get the New York Times to even cover at the time.

“Definitely in many, many places, [the CIA] is the instrument of regime change,” he explained. “The US is the only country in the world that relies on regime change as the lead foreign policy instrument.”

“We are the country that makes a living by overthrowing other governments. And that’s not a good vocation for us. It almost always ends in disaster, in bloodshed, in continued instability,” the diplomat explained.

Making reference to the Church Committee hearings in the House of Representatives, which conducted oversight of the CIA in 1975, Sachs said they discovered the agency was “a private army of the president of the United States” which may operate in a rouge fashion, on their own, but is “completely outside” the “oversight and control” of Congress. They also discovered that the agency had been involved in foreign assassinations, including that of Patrice Lumumba in Congo in 1961, was “trying to kill Castro” in Cuba “and many other things.”

JFK assassination ‘probably’ a CIA ‘coup in broad daylight’

In the last 49 years, “there’s never been another Church committee of its kind. It’s unbelievable,” he commented. “How many things have happened since then?”

Carlson asked, if the CIA’s expertise is “taking down leaders of foreign countries, how long before it does that here in the United States?”

Sachs responded that their “first run” at a coup in the United States “probably” came 61 years ago with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. According to his “best guess,” this treasonous crime was committed “at least maybe rogue CIA or maybe official CIA or maybe a compartmentalized CIA operation. It was clearly someone’s operation, not Lee Harvey Oswald’s, from all we know.”

“We probably had a coup in broad daylight on November 22nd, 1963, and we never quite got over it,” he said. There is “a tremendous amount of evidence that it was a conspiracy at a high level. And yet, it passed for the last 61 years without any official practical note of that fact.”

Neocons ‘think it’s a game,’ playing Risk with our lives and Ukrainian lives

The political analyst also recalled the last time he “had a word on mainstream media” was when he stated why he believed the U.S. government destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline. “I was yanked off the air within 30 seconds,” he said.

Carlson called this event “the largest act of industrial sabotage” in his lifetime and marveled that it is not being covered more by the press.

Sachs said it was “an act of war” and continued, “Look, if you can kill a president in broad daylight and get away with it for 61 years, if you can walk a president of a neighboring country out to an unmarked plane and not have it covered, if you can have a ‘unprovoked’ war that you provoked over a 30-year period, you can do lots of things. And this (blowing up of Nord Stream) is just one of the things that you could do.”

“The people in power think it’s a game,” he said. “They’re playing Risk with our lives … (and) with Ukrainian lives … The government says what it wants … (and) pretty much everyone knows it’s lies.”

“I don’t like the risks that were being put under Tucker. I don’t like it. This is not a game. I’ve got grandchildren and I really care about this, and I don’t like the games, and I want people to tell the truth,” he said.

Telling the truth would end the wars ‘today’

“If we told the truth, we could actually stop the wars today,” he asserted. “If we told the truth about Ukraine, if Biden called Putin and said that ‘NATO enlargement, we’ve been trying for 30 years, it’s off. We get it. You’re right. It’s not going to your border; Ukraine should be neutral.’ That war would stop today.”

“If the government of Israel either were told or said, ‘There will be a state of Palestine and we will live peacefully side by side,’ the fighting would stop today. These are basic facts, basic matters of truth that if we actually spoke them, if we actually treated each other like grownups, we would resolve what seems to be these insurmountable crises. They’re not at all insurmountable. They just require a measure of truth,” Sachs said.

World remains in close proximity to annihilation, ‘stay away from the cliff’

The diplomat also contends that since 1945, Americans have been living in a situation where their nation is just one mistake away from causing the potential extinction of humanity.

“The ability to screw things up in this world is very high,” he said, citing the apparent leak of the COVID-19 virus as just one example. This corresponds to “the ability to have a nuclear war even by accident,” which becomes much more likely “when you’re in the face of your opponent and talking about defeating them.”

Americans have been living in such close proximity to potential annihilation for these many decades but “don’t know it, because like everything else, the narrative doesn’t permit it,” he observed. He went on to give an example of how Biden uttered in the fall of 2022 that “we could be on a path to nuclear Armageddon” for which the media excoriated him for “scaring the people.”

He also unpacked a true story about how the world “came within a moment of a full nuclear annihilation” in 1962 when a Soviet naval officer named Vasily Arkhipov intervened to countermand an order by a submarine commander to fire a nuclear torpedo. The commander was under the false impression that a war was happening above the surface and they were under attack. According to U.S. military doctrine at the time, this single nuclear discharge would have triggered “the full force of the U.S. nuclear arsenal” with strikes across the Soviet Union, China and all of the Eastern European countries killing an estimated 700 million people.

“Now I take this not only as a literal event, but as a metaphor for our reality, which is something can always go wrong,” Sachs advised. Therefore, “stay away from the cliff. Stay away from the cliff. This is how close we are. Talk to President Putin, negotiate with China, make a two-state solution to stop the war in the Middle East. Stop carrying on like you run the world, because you don’t.”

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Biden gives green light for Ukraine to shoot US-provided missiles into Russian territory

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From LifeSiteNews

This is a major escalation of NATO engagement, likely intended to provoke Russia to strike alternate targets.

According to Politico and the New York Times the Biden administration has given Ukraine approval to launch U.S.-provided missiles into Russia. This is a major escalation of NATO engagement, likely intended to provoke Russia to strike alternate targets. The people inside Ukraine responsible for using these U.S. provided weapons are likely not Ukrainian.

CTH is in an unusually serendipitous position to analyze how Russia is responding to this shift in U.S. position. The morale inside Russia is very high amid the military-age population. The recruitment efforts of the Russian government appear to be numerous and very effective.

There are thousands of newly enlisted military personnel very visible in/around training facilities. There is no apparent tension discernable. Overall Russia appears to take great pride in their military, and it is considered a matter of honor and pride to support them.

From Politico:

The Biden administration has quietly given Ukraine permission to strike inside Russia – solely near the area of Kharkiv – using U.S.-provided weapons, two U.S. officials and two other people familiar with the move said Thursday, a major reversal that will help Ukraine to better defend its second-largest city.

‘The president recently directed his team to ensure that Ukraine is able to use U.S. weapons for counter-fire purposes in Kharkiv so Ukraine can hit back at Russian forces hitting them or preparing to hit them,’ a U.S. official said, adding that the policy of not allowing long-range strikes inside Russia ‘has not changed.’

In effect, Ukraine can now use American-provided weapons, such as rockets and rocket launchers, to shoot down launched Russian missiles heading toward Kharkiv, at troops massing just over the Russian border near the city, or Russian bombers launching bombs toward Ukrainian territory. But the official said Ukraine cannot use those weapons to hit civilian infrastructure or launch long-range missiles, such as the Army Tactical Missile System, to hit military targets deep inside Russia.

It’s a stunning shift the administration initially said would escalate the war by more directly involving the U.S. in the fight. But worsening conditions for Ukraine on the battlefield – namely Russia’s advances and improved position in Kharkiv – led the president to change his mind.

You can tell from the general vibe amid the officials of government, Russia is not playing around with their military approach toward previous NATO encroachment or the provocations by the U.S. The sense is that Russia is in this for the long haul and their structural changes in the aftermath of the sanction regime are not temporary. Russians overall are hard and resilient to the reality of things as they are, not as they would wish them to be.

Russia appears to be entirely prepared financially, sociologically, and economically to remain disconnected from the “West.” Asia and India are filling the economic void created by Western sanctions. Amid ordinary life, the general Russian sentiment seems to be one of acceptance to the geopolitical isolation.

In recent weeks, the push toward further conflict with Russia seemed to be diminishing; however, this direct action by Biden and the State Dept. puts the U.S. (NATO) in a more aggressive posture.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán opposes the escalation by NATO:

During a Friday interview on state radio, Orbán said that French President Emmanuel Macron’s stance that he wouldn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine, as well as a NATO proposal that would allow Kyiv to strike military bases inside Russia with sophisticated long-range weapons provided by Western partners, risked escalating the war in Ukraine into a global conflict.

‘War is a monster that is constantly hungry, it must be fed, and it must be fed with money. And I see that the Americans and the Democratic government of the United States, and the leaders of the European Union, are ready to feed it,’ he said.

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