by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
An arc of conflict stretches from Jerusalem to Kyiv. The active fronts cannot be understood in isolation from one another. Israel and Ukraine are different countries. They face unique situations. But this is one war.
This fact should not go unnoticed. Biden’s travels are connected. He has pledged America’s moral and materiel support to Israel and to Ukraine. On the eve of his trip, far from where Israel and Hamas traded fire, Ukraine used the American ATACMS tactical missile system to hit the Russian invasion force.
Already you see voices on the Progressive Left as well as on the nationalist Right separating the war in Ukraine from the war in the Middle East. For the Left, different power dynamics are at work. Progressives always must side with the “oppressed” against the “oppressor.” For the Right, Ukraine is somehow “woke” and thus bad, while Israel deserves support because it is nationalist and religious.
Enough with the obfuscation. The normal work of intellectuals is to make distinctions, to tease out the differences between phenomena. Not in this case. There is more than enough evidence of a vast international effort to overturn the American-led post-World War II international system. The rabid dogs tearing at the seams of world order are Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Holding the leash is Communist China, whose leader Xi Jinping welcomed Vladimir Putin to Beijing the day before Biden touched down in the Holy Land.
This terrible scenario did not emerge overnight. Since 2022, Biden has spent much of his presidency shoring up American allies who have come under assault from evil men. Why? Because of two fatal mistakes he made in 2021. The first was the harried and tragic retreat from Afghanistan. The second was his dogged effort to revive the nuclear deal with Iran.