State of the Union 2024: Biden Announces Temporary Aid Port for Gaza

ON 03/08/2024 AT 02 : 51 AM

Last night dementia-ridden Joe Biden babbled something about the U.S. building a Mediterranean docking area offshore of Gaza to allow more humanitarian aid to enter, among other things.
2024 State of the Union
President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union speech for 2024 to a joint session of Congress on March 7, 2024. On his left is Vice-President Kamala Harris. On his right is Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. U.S.-Funded C-SPAN video feed screenshot (FAIR USE)

Much of the content of the State of the Union speech Biden delivered last night was expected. Biden patted himself on the back for record job creation in the post-pandemic era, low inflation, extensive infrastructure construction, and laws which supposedly brought in substantial foreign investments in factories making advanced semiconductor chips, electric vehicle batteries, and solar cells.

The one surprise, at least up until White House officials leaked information about it yesterday, was a U.S. plan to build a way to bring in more aid for Palestinians in Gaza who are starving to death. 

The pledge to build the new port was pathetic political theater, aimed at a mindless audience which actually believes the disinformation on what is happening in Gaza, and with the goal of raising the president’s approval rating somewhat higher than the meager 42% who believe the broken puppet is doing the right things in running the country.

Biden made this promise during what was his last State of the Union address to Congress during his current term of office.

The project, assuming it becomes reality, will involve building a temporary floating docking area in the Mediterranean outside Gaza. That dock will be connected to a long temporary pier structure which leads to the beaches and then stops there, near where a much older Gaza City port used to service the Rimal part of Gaza. It may also include a coordinated construction of a roadway leading from the beach into Gaza itself, but that would almost certainly have to be built by Israel itself, since as of now there is no indication Israel would let the United States inside Gaza to do anything except continue to support the genocide. 

The purpose described for the dock is to provide yet another way to pretend to bring in much needed food, water, and medical supplies to the Palestinian people currently under siege in Gaza. Hundreds of trucks have been lined up for weeks at Gaza's border with Egypt but Israel won't allow the trucks in. If they won't allow the trucks to enter they won't allow ships to dock offshore or for their cargo to be brought ashore. 

Because of Israel’s stranglehold on the territory it is unlawfully occupying in Gaza, not only has it murdered over 31,000 innocent Palestinian people there and injured an estimated many tens of thousands more, its deliberate sabotage of the Gaza Strip’s water systems and cutoff of supplies of any kind to the people has left much of the region without much of any new food deliveries since January.

The situation is sufficiently dire that the United Nations estimates fully one in four people in Gaza are “estimated to be facing catastrophic levels of deprivation and starvation.” The roughly 600,000 in this situation, the UN said, would die in large numbers as the “almost inevitable” famine comes, unless some immediate action is taken on a grand scale.

The children who have been suffering from malnutrition because of Israel’s deliberate act to starve the people there are understood to have been permanently harmed from the genocide being waged against them by fascist Israel and its colonies. 

For Biden, building the dock is an idiotic attempt to distract his equally idiotic supporters from the fact that Washington has been waging genocide against Palestinians at the direction of Israel. It has continued to supply vast amounts of weapons and American soldiers have been actively engaged in murdering Palestinians. The U.S. has also been defending Israel against missile attacks and waging war on Israel's behalf against Yemen for trying to impose a shipping embargo to slow the genocide. 

It is also to distract from the sadistic killing of over one hundred Palestinians in north Gaza just a few days ago by Israeli Defense Forces’ troops, as they lined up for food from aid trucks Israel had brought in and the IDF used the occasion to fire on them – and then lie about it. The White House supported the lies, but then realized the political backlash was sufficiently big that the White House would have do something to counter the impression it was letting innocent people starve, even if that was the reality.

U.S. military personnel moving bundled ready-to-eat meals to be parachuted into Gaza by U.S. aircraft as of earlier this week.. U.S. Central Command official social media account on X

The U.S.’s first step to do something different was to deploy parachuted expired army food rations across Gaza, in a step like one Jordan took on unilaterally a few weeks earlier. The first of those airdrops happened on March 2 and delivered roughly 38,000 mostly inedible ready-to-eat meals on Gaza via three U.S. aircraft.

A second publicity stunt was when the U.S. was apparently granted permission by Israel to open another “gate” into Gaza, to allow humanitarian aid trucks into the area. That too is under criticism as still leaving Israel in control of what few trucks enter Gaza and how the aid is distributed afterwards.

The third path of utilizing the floating dock Biden described in his speech last night will, when complete, provide the U.S. with a talking point that it is helping delivery food and other supplies to Palestinians by land, air, and sea. The vast disinformation complex will focus on the staged stunts while ignoring the ongoing genocide. 

As Biden wound up to talk about this during the last minutes of his State of the Union address, he stated more clearly than perhaps in any other speech to date since fascist Israel began its genocidal war, though still with care, it seemed, to avoid offending Netanyahu, that something was out of line about what had happened in Gaza.

After acknowledging the ever-repeated American justification for Israel’s brutality that the country had a right to defend itself against Hamas, Biden said that along with that right “Israel has a fundamental responsibility … to protect innocent civilians in Gaza.” This was said while American weapons specifically to kill civilians continued to flow into Israeli ports and airbases. 

“This war has taken a greater toll on innocent civilians in Gaza than all previous wars in Gaza combined,” Biden went on. “More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of whom are not Hamas. Thousands upon thousands of innocents, women and children, and girls and boys, also orphaned. Nearly two million Palestinians under bombardment are displaced; homes destroyed; neighborhoods, cities in ruin; [and] families without food, water, and medicine.”

After this setup, however, rather than make any statement attacking Israel at this point for its cowardly murder of so many, Biden shifted from this point to talk about the latest thing the U.S. was about to do to assist with humanitarian aid. Again while continuing to aid and abet the genocide. 

“Tonight, I am directing the U.S. military to lead an emergency mission, to establish an emergency pier in the Mediterranean on the coast of Gaza, that can receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters,” he said.

“The temporary pier will enable a massive increase of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day.” Biden claimed. And it will happen, he said, without any “U.S. boots…on the ground.”

As to the details behind this plan, Biden gave little more information in his speech. But in statements made by an unnamed senior White House official who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity prior to Biden’s address, “This port, the main feature of which is a temporary pier, will provide the capacity for hundreds of additional truckloads of assistance each day.”

Prior to this war, over five hundred trucks of food and other aid entered Gaza every day, during a time of relative calm. Far more than that are needed now.

“We will coordinate with the Israelis on the security requirements on land and work with the UN and humanitarian NGOs on the distribution of assistance within Gaza,” the individual continued.

“Initial shipments will come via Cyprus enabled by the US military and a coalition of partners and allies,” the official explained. “This new significant capability will take a number of weeks to plan and execute. The forces that will be required to complete this mission there are either already in the region or will begin to move there soon.”

It was not explained why it would take weeks for anything to actually be sent the relatively short distance to Gaza. 

Israel will perform its inspections of the humanitarian aid goods in Larnaca, a port city on the southeast coast of Cyprus, where the humanitarian aid will be staged.

“The concept that’s been planned [for the building of the floating aid dock] involves the presence of US military personnel on military vessels offshore,” the senior official went on, “but does not require US military personnel to go ashore to install the pier or causeway facility that will allow the transportation and humanitarian assistance ashore.”

Israeli officials released a statement that they “fully support” the U.S. plan to build this and to arrange for the aid. They made no comment about it having done little in support of directives they were ordered to follow by the International Court of Justice in late January, to ensure proper flow of aid into Gaza for food, water, medicine, and more.

Biden wrapped up his comments about the new maritime delivery route for humanitarian aid, and on the genocide in Gaza with a gentle kick towards Israel. But just as with many other things he said in the speech yesterday, what sounded like criticism was still watered-down. It also avoided any mention of the many killed and hundreds wounded when aid was brought in about a week ago across the border into northern Gaza, and Israeli soldiers opened fire on the Palestinians lined up to get food for their families, in a scenario which some at the scene said looked like it could have been a deliberate trap to kill, maim, and demoralize the Palestinians still remaining.

“Israel must do its part,” Biden said, finger pointed at the camera as if to suggest he might dare do so with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in person. “Israel must allow more aid into Gaza, and make sure humanitarian aid workers are not caught in the crossfire.”

Biden did not say a single word about Israel needing to take equal care to make sure the innocent Palestinians waiting to receive that humanitarian aid would also not be “caught in the crossfire.”

The Zionist genocide of Palestinians will continue with America's full support. But, for now, Biden supporters have a bit of something to justify their delusions and to displace any guilt a few of them they may have been feeling for role in the ongoing atrocities.

On the border security issue, Biden said he was ready to fix the border and blamed Trump for his own regime opening the border to many millions of migrants, including tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers, criminal and agents.