Sometimes by flipping a coin the question of “common probability” arises, especially when multiple flips ensue. But the chances of a coin landing heads instead of tails or vice versa is always 50%. Each act of coin flipping is an independent one, with no greater influence on the third flip being tails just because the first two were heads. Likewise, even if a gambler flipped a coin that consistently landed on the same side many times in a row, causing the gambler to think he was “on a roll,” the chances will always remain 50/50 of a different outcome on the next flip. To believe the chance of a certain outcome of the flip is greater than 50/50 based on past performance is simply gambler fallacy.
As we examine the consistently wrong decisions President Joe Biden has made since taking office, especially on a foreign policy level, believing the gambler fallacy might not be a fallacy gains credence. Whether it was the Afghanistan withdrawal or opening our borders to illegal immigrants or stopping U.S. oil production, etc., Biden was consistently making one wrong decision after another.
It has taken 18 months into Biden’s term for us to see the other side of the coin in his supposed decision-making. The results of that decision occurred the last weekend of July. Ironically, Biden had opposed a similar decision 11 years earlier while serving as vice president under Barack Obama.
On July 30, at 9:48 p.m., Ayman al-Zawahiri – a 9/11 mastermind, medical doctor and al-Qaida leader – made the mistake of stepping out onto the balcony of the building where he was awaiting the arrival of his family in Kabul, Afghanistan. After years of searching for the terrorist, he had finally been found. His location was being closely monitored by the CIA, which only awaited a final prescription for the physician via Biden giving the go-ahead. With that prescription in hand, the CIA sought to fill it with a drone carrying two Hellfire rockets. In what was described as “a precise tailored airstrike” causing no other casualties, Zawahiri met his demise.
Interestingly, it was Vice President Biden who, in 2011, counseled against a raid to take out Osama bin Laden who had been found hiding in a compound in Pakistan. Fortunately, Obama chose not to take Biden’s advice and authorized the raid in which Zawahiri’s terrorist cohort was eliminated as a future threat. Biden later lied about not giving such counsel before ultimately fessing up to having done so.
The assassination of Zawahiri has provided the first positive face to Biden’s clueless foreign policy decision-making. He is fortunate enough to be able to lay claim to it as a success simply by virtue of occupying the Oval Office at the right time. After all, the search for Zawahiri had been ongoing under every previous president since 9/11. Undoubtedly, Biden also learned his lesson from calling the bin Laden raid wrong. It may well be his decision to give the green light to kill Zawahiri was motivated more by concerns over not repeating his earlier mistake.
Zawahiri was a living contradiction. As a physician supposedly committed to saving lives, he wrote a 1998 manifesto stating, “To kill Americans and their allies – civilian and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in every country in which it is possible to do it.” This mentality led to his masterminding the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing 224 while injuring thousands more, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, killing 17 Americans.
Biden said of Zawahiri’s death, “Justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more. We made it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.” While a win for Biden, Zawahiri’s death leaves us no safer. Afghanistan – the country from which Biden chose to withdraw last year leaving the Taliban in power – has now become a safe haven for al-Qaida, which is just as determined as ever to kill Americans – a sentiment shared with the Taliban.
There is another positive foreign policy development for which Biden “may” lay claim, although he exercised bad judgment in how he went about it. The word “may” is applicable as we remain uncertain about the outcome of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip. While America stood up to China’s bullying by Pelosi going, there still may be consequences of her having done so. Biden’s involvement again was mostly on the sidelines.
Pelosi announced she would visit Taiwan during her trip to Asia. Biden and the military advised against it, but Pelosi, being Pelosi, brushed aside such advice, making the trip. This was also done despite a threat from China to shoot her aircraft down or to undertake other aggressive action. Pelosi became only the second House speaker to visit Taiwan – a quarter century after Newt Gingrich did so in 1997.
It is clear there was little effort made by Pelosi and Biden to mutually agree upon such a visit before the speaker flagrantly violated the guidance of a president from her own party. This was a slap in the face to Biden, undermining his credibility as his party’s leader and leaving the international community wondering who, if anyone, was in control of the U.S. government.
While Biden proclaimed the U.S. did not support independence for Taiwan, Pelosi released a statement suggesting America supports democracy there. Perhaps finally accepting Pelosi would not toe his line, Biden eventually caved in, proclaiming she had the right to visit Taiwan and the U.S. would not be intimidated by China.
Losing face, particularly when an Asian nation feels victimized by a Western power, is deemed an egregious sin that cannot go unpunished. We have yet to see what cost China will extract from the U.S. for Pelosi’s end run of Biden. We can only pray it does not come at the cost of American or Taiwanese lives. Some experts believe one possible outcome is that China’s timetable for exercising its game plan, which has always included bringing the island under Beijing’s control, has now been expedited by Pelosi’s visit.
Despite the success of the Zawahiri attack and possible success of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, Biden is not “on a role.” But “common probability” tells us we are in store for many more of bad Biden foreign policy decisions.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.