Biden's Failure: US Taxpayers to Spend Another $22M to Repair Gaza Pier - Report


The good news: Thanks to God’s underrated sense of irony, President Joe Biden’s administration’s ludicrous plan to build a pier in Gaza without putting U.S. boots on the ground in order to deliver aid that absolutely, positively wouldn’t be stolen by Hamas has been, for the moment, foiled by the unseen element of bad weather that happens every year in the Mediterranean. More’s the pity.

The bad news: Apparently, “devout Catholic” Joe Biden can’t take a divine hint and the American taxpayer will be on the hook for at least another $22 million to fix the thing so Hamas can restart stealing … erm, I mean, borrowing aid.

According to the The Jerusalem Post, the $320 million pier had apparently been fixed and ready for action last Saturday after breaking apart under moderate seas and partially sinking in late May. However, it only managed to stay open for a single day before that darned water stopped cooperating again.

“The pier was reattached to the coastline Friday after a mishap in which heavy seas cost at least $22 million in damage to the structure. More than a million pounds of aid flowed over it Saturday, but operations were curtailed again Sunday and Monday because of more heavy sea conditions,” The Washington Post reported, citing military sources.

In addition, the World Food Program announced on Sunday that they were suspending aid operations because of rampant looting.

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“We are reassessing the safety aspects of where we should be and what this means for us,” said World Food Program head Cindy McCain. “It made things a lot more dangerous. … The crowd is already hungry. They’re desperate. And then to have something like this occur?”

“[WFP trucks] are looted because it’s so difficult to get along,” she added.

Hamas has a long history of, shall we say, requisitioning aid provided to the benighted residents of Gaza and decided who needs it most (hint: usually themselves), but that didn’t stop President Biden from promising to build the pier during his State of the Union address in March.

“The United States has been leading international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” he said. “Tonight, I’m directing the U.S. military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean on the Gaza coast that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters.

Should someone be fired for the failure of this pier?

“No U.S. boots will be on the ground. This temporary pier would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day.”

Sources say the military was not appraised of the plan before it was announced during the State of the Union. Which, you know, also presents problems.

The pier has run way over budget — up to $320 million, according to Fox News — and has “caused several issues since USAID commenced deliveries,” the outlet reported last month.

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Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh blamed some of the trouble on “heavy sea states,” which caused the temporary pier “to break free from their anchors due to a loss in power and subsequently beach ashore.”

“I think unfortunately, we had a perfect storm of high seas states, and then, as I mentioned, this North African weather system also came in at the same time, creating not an optimal environment to operate this JLOTS– this temporary pier.”

However, as National Review’s Jim Geraghty noted in a May 29 piece, “it did not require a ‘perfect storm’ to break apart the pier,” noting that CNN reported the pier is only designed to withstand three-foot waves and 15 mile-per-hour winds.

“Three-foot waves appear regularly on the Gaza coastline,” he wrote. “Now, the Pentagon’s JLOTS guys aren’t stupid. They knew the likelihood that weather conditions would require operations to halt at least temporarily, and the potential risk to equipment and personnel. This is why you’re seeing speculation that the Pentagon prioritized the president’s orders over a reasonable assessment of the risk.

“We don’t know who, precisely, came up with the idea to build a pier. Perhaps on some future date, we’ll hear that it was the proposal of national-security adviser Jake Sullivan or Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin or someone else. The buck stops with the president, anyway; he’s the one who authorized the mission.

“But . . . come on. The plan was to build a pier on the front door of a war zone, in the absolute minimally acceptable environmental conditions, and hope for the best? That has Joe Biden’s fingerprints all over it.”

And the results? Pallets of food, unused, sitting in warehouses. The risk of those pallets being pilfered by Hamas if they ever managed to make it to Gaza. Problems coordinating between the various governments involved in the effort to build the pier — the U.S., Israel and Cyprus, along with conflicts involving the U.S. Agency for International Development. Oh, and that darned weather.

“We know the weather, and we know the rhythm of the waves and the wind at any time of year, and we could have told it was not going to work,” said Miki Peleg, general manager of the Cypriot cargo-ship operator contracted by the government to remove the damaged pier with their tugboat.

As it turns out, the administration didn’t even need God’s sense of humor to disabuse them of this fiasco. They just needed common sense. Sadly, neither that nor the Lord are generally given much heed at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. these days.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture