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Biden deserves credit for taking out top ISIS commander in Syria – and for standing with the UAE during recent missile attacks

From Iran to Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, Biden’s Middle East policies have been dangerous – but when he does things right I’m not afraid to say it

U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other national security staff watching the U.S. Special Forces operation in Northern Syria against ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi from the Situation Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 3, 2022. (Photo: The White House/Handout via REUTERS)

JERUSALEM—Anyone following my work over the past year knows that I have been critical of the new American president.

Especially when it comes to his handling of the Middle East.

That said, there are several principles I operate by as I serve as editor-in-chief.

  1. These are non-profit and thus fiercely non-partisan websites. 

  2. My job as an analyst of the news is like that of an umpire in a game of baseball, calling balls and strikes as I see them. The mission is honesty. The goal must be to find and speak the truth. 

  3. When someone – especially a leader in public office – does something wrong, I cannot be afraid to call him or her out, even if that is unpopular. I need to say what I have to say with fairness and respect, not callously or with cruelty. Why? Because the Bible teaches me to always be “speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV)

  4. By the same token, when someone – especially a leader in public office – does something right, I cannot be afraid to say so, even if it’s unpopular. Why? Because the Bible teaches me to “give to everyone what you owe them…if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:7, NIV)

Which brings me to Biden’s decision to take out one of the region’s most dangerous terrorists yesterday.

As we reported on ALL ARAB NEWS, “ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was reportedly killed in a U.S.-led Special Forces counterterrorism operation that took place in northwest Syria.”

“Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces in the northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our allies, and make the world a safer place,” Biden told the nation.

“Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi – the leader of ISIS. All Americans have returned safely from the operation.”

Good for him.

Biden made the right move. 

He had the opportunity to take out a serious bad guy and he didn’t flinch. 


Biden and his team have done a few other things well in recent days for which they also deserve credit.

First, Biden this week decided to send the USS Cole warship and advanced, fifth-generation American fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates to bolster Emirati defenses in light of recent Houthi missile attacks on Abu Dhabi. 

“The USS Cole is equipped with the Aegis defence system, used to shoot down high-speed missiles,” reported The National, an Emirati newspaper. “Fifth generation is the term used to describe Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Officials did not say which would be sent.” 

Given that the terror masters in Tehran arm, fund and advise the Houthis in Yemen, Biden’s move sends and important signal to the Iranian regime that he will stand with America’s allies. Given how much doubt Biden has sown in this regard this past year, moderate Arab states – and Israel – are taking notice.

Second, as we reported on Wednesday, Biden and his team authorized the largest naval exercise in the Middle East to kick off this week with over 60 participating countries and organizations. 

Known as International Maritime Exercise 2022, the 18-day biennial naval training event was launched in a ceremony at U.S. 5th Fleet’s headquarters in Bahrain. The combined training includes 9,000 personnel and up to 50 ships operating across two regions. Forces from Israel, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Sudan are taking part in the drill led by the US Navy. 

This also sends a strong signal to Tehran of U.S. unity with its regional allies at a critical moment. 

Third, after initially showing reluctance to strongly and enthusiastically back the Abraham Accords, Biden has directed his team to provide real and active support – it’s not enough, but Biden is finally taking steps in the right direction. 

Last week, for example, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides launched the Ambassadorial Abraham Accords Working Group hosting his Emirati, Bahraini and Moroccan counterparts. 

Nides says he hopes “to figure out how to dramatically increase tourism” and cultural collaboration between Abraham Accords partners. He revealed his plans to convene a regional meeting of tourism ministers in the coming months and to create an “Abraham Accords/normalization cup” that will draw youth from the region to sports tournaments. 


Biden is increasingly unpopular in the U.S. and, in my view, pursuing one policy after another is bad for America and her allies. 

But not everything he does is wrong and that’s important to know.

Whether you like it or not, Biden is the commander-in-chief. He has an enormous burden of responsibility on his shoulders. 

I, for one, am praying for him daily to have the wisdom and discernment to be effective and successful in keeping Americans safe, and to advance both U.S. national security and the peace and prosperity of Israel and our friends in the Middle East. 

Why? Because the Bible commands me to “pray for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (I Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)

I encourage you to be praying for Biden, too. 

Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

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