Whether Iran attains enhanced nuclear capability or not, the Islamic Republic already has a prominent and growing role in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon. And it is in Lebanon that a variety of troubling regional fault lines now intersect just as the fractured Lebanese political system is on the brink of total collapse.
The damage Trump did to the U.S. domestically rivals the damage Bush Jr.’s team did to the international order, but both administrations demonstrated a flippant and arrogant dismissal of the rule of law. While Trump plotted to destroy the U.S. Constitution and expunge the checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. government, Rumsfeld and Cheney were eager to overthrow international law and established U.S. military protocol to achieve domination over the Middle East.
The attrition of the United States’ global hegemony is well underway, and with numerous and serious challenges at home—not least of which is a deeply divided populace roiling with White supremacist ideologies and domestic terrorists in the midst of a brutal pandemic—Biden cannot afford to take his eye off the domestic policy front, even as he and his administration struggle to cobble together a coherent foreign policy agenda.
It is still far too early for celebrations or announcements that “Palestine will soon be free” as a result of changed U.S. policy. So much hinges on circumstances that are still in flux in the interconnected realms of U.S. policymaking, electoral politics, and media coverage.