Saunders: Iran’s attacks of Israel happened on Biden’s watch

We can’t know if a Trump presidency would have made a difference. But we know what happened Oct. 7.

By Debra J. Saunders / Las Vegas Review-Journal

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby took the White House briefing room podium Monday with a mission: to dispel reports that Iran “meant to fail” when it launched missiles and drones to attack Israel over the weekend.

Kirby also scoffed at reports that Tehran secretly tipped off the administration in order to limit any bloodshed and damage if Israel responds militarily.

“You can’t throw that much metal in the air” — more than 300 drones and missiles — “in the time frame in which they did it and convince anybody realistically that you weren’t trying to cause casualties and you weren’t trying to cause damage,” Kirby observed.

Iran failed after launching a sizable part of its arsenal at Israel — just about every aircraft and projectile was blown out of the sky — but not for lack of trying, Kirby maintained.

(Sadly, a 7-year-old Bedouin girl was severely wounded.)

It must be frustrating for Kirby. In the flush of a vital ally’s victory against a brutal, hostile regime intent on killing civilians, rumors intrude. And those whispers drown out what is at stake: the survival of the Jewish state.

As I watched Monday’s White House briefing, I thought, we don’t celebrate victory anymore. I wonder if Kirby thought so as well.

That falls in part on President Joe Biden, who signaled that he did not want the Jewish state to retaliate against Iran. According to Axios, Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “You got a win. Take the win.”

I don’t know. Is it a “win” when you successfully defend yourself from the country that bankrolled Hamas, the terrorist group indelibly tied to the Oct. 7 attack that slaughtered some 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians? Hamas also took some 250 hostages back to Gaza.

Biden also told Univision that Bibi’s handling of its war with Hamas is a “mistake.”

Former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social, “ISRAEL IS UNDER ATTACK! This should never have been allowed to happen — This would NEVER have happened if I were President!”

We don’t know what would have happened in the Middle East if Trump had been reelected. Because he wasn’t reelected.

And we know Trump’s game-changing approach to Middle East diplomacy during his term in office did not lead to the sort of catastrophes critics predicted when he moved the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The awful Oct. 7 carnage happened while Biden was in the White House. Not Trump.

Email Las Vegas Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at Follow her on X @debrajsaunders. Copyright 2024,

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