Artificial Intelligence

Outside the Box: Will Famine Compromise Biden’s Electoral Chances?

In “Outside the Box,” I interrogate ChatGPT to better understand how AI “reasons.” It’s like a conversation with an intelligent friend, sharing ideas and challenging some of the explanations. Fearing that US policy concerning an ongoing genocide has reached a summit of absurdity, I wondered whether AI might offer some insight.
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March 11, 2024 06:34 EDT

The US is literally making a fool of itself in its response to the developing famine in Gaza. The Biden administration appears to believe that the way out is to demonstrate its Yankee ingenuity, first by organizing a massively insufficient airdrop of food and then by promising to build a port where this none. The airdrop has offered little relief. Instead it actually killed five starving people when the parachute on a pallet of aid failed to open. The futility of the plan to build a port becomes evident when one considers the time frame, possibly two months, required to complete it.

Behind these “exceptional” initiatives aimed at demonstrating Washington’s objection to the use of starvation as a weapon of war is the specter of electoral politics. Objecting is fine, but wouldn’t preventing be better? I threw the question to ChatGPT.

“Why has Joe Biden shown himself to be so powerless to halt what the international court of justice calls a plausible genocide in Gaza? Is the best explanation the influence of the Israeli lobby and the risk of upsetting it only months before a presidential election? Or is it just Biden’s visceral attachment to Israel? Is there some fundamental strategic reason no one is willing to explain about Israel’s role in US foreign policy?”

**Joe Biden**, the current President of the United States, has faced significant challenges in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly the recent escalation in Gaza. Let’s explore some key factors:

1. **Diplomatic Priorities and Shifts**:

–       The Biden administration has prioritized other foreign policy issues, such as relations with China, climate change, and global health. Consequently, their focus has not been primarily on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

–       They have quietly worked to restore elements of US policy that were disrupted during the Trump administration’s pro-Israel stance. This includes repairing relations with the Palestinians and expressing rhetorical support for a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

2. **Traditional Stance on Israel’s Right to Self-Defense**:

–       In public statements, President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense in response to Palestinian rocket attacks.

–       While expressing concern about Palestinian casualties, they have drawn a “clear and absolute distinction” between “a terrorist organization targeting civilians” (referring to Hamas) and Israel’s actions targeting militants.

3. **Historical Patterns**:

–       Washington typically gives Israel an initial “carte blanche” to respond to rocket attacks until they believe Israel has had sufficient opportunity to neutralize militant infrastructure.

–       The recent conflict follows a familiar pattern, where the US initially supports Israel’s actions but eventually calls for calm and de-escalation.

4. **Legal Challenges and Genocide Allegations**:

–       A federal court in California ruled that Israel’s military campaign in Gaza “plausibly” amounts to genocide, although the case was dismissed².

–       Another lawsuit alleges that President Biden and US cabinet officials are complicit in Israel’s actions against Gazans³.

5. **Complex Factors and Strategic Considerations**:

–       The relationship between the US and Israel is multifaceted, involving historical ties, shared interests, and strategic alliances.

–       While the Israeli lobby does exert influence, it is essential to recognize that US foreign policy decisions are shaped by a combination of factors, including domestic politics, security concerns, and geopolitical considerations.

In summary, President Biden’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflects a delicate balancing act, considering various interests and pressures. However, the situation remains complex, and no single explanation can fully capture the nuances of Israel’s role in US foreign policy.

ChatGPT dodges the question of the Israeli lobby

“You seem to ignore an elephant in the room: the Israeli lobby. Do you dismiss its role in the orientation of US foreign policy as negligeable or non-existent? If so, you are at odds with the opinion of distinguished analysts such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.”

The **Israeli lobby** in the United States is a topic of significant debate and analysis. Let’s delve into its role in shaping US foreign policy:

1. **The Israeli Lobby**:

–       The Israeli lobby, as described by distinguished analysts like **John Mearsheimer** and **Stephen Walt**, is a loose alliance of individuals and organizations actively working to influence American foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction¹.

–       It includes influential figures and organizations such as **AIPAC** (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

2. **Influence on US Foreign Policy**:

–       The Israeli lobby exerts its influence through several mechanisms:

–       **Appointing Allies**: By strategically placing allies in key positions within the US government.

–       **Campaign Contributions**: By steering campaign contributions toward politicians who align with pro-Israel policies.

–       **Lobbying and Advocacy**: Through lobbying efforts and advocacy campaigns.

–       It is often regarded as one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington.

3. **Debate and Controversy**:

–       Critics argue that the Israeli lobby’s influence has led to decisions that prioritize Israel’s interests over broader American interests.

–       Some assert that this influence played a role in shaping US foreign policy decisions, including the invasion of Iraq and the focus on Iran instead of diplomatic solutions³.

4. **Counterarguments**:

–       Supporters of the US-Israel alliance emphasize the historical ties between the two nations and bipartisan support for Israel in Congress⁴.

–       They contend that supporting Israel aligns with broader US strategic interests in the Middle East.

5. **Complex Reality**:

–       The relationship between the US and Israel involves multifaceted factors, including historical bonds, security considerations, and geopolitical alliances.

–       While acknowledging the Israeli lobby’s influence, it is essential to recognize that foreign policy decisions result from a combination of various factors.

In summary, the Israeli lobby’s impact on US foreign policy remains a subject of ongoing discussion. It is neither negligible nor non-existent, but rather a complex force that intersects with broader geopolitical dynamics.

Is morality a problem of strategy?

“The International Criminal Court may not only confirm the reality of Israel’s campaign genocide which it deemed plausible, but also consider the US complicit due to Biden’s failure to act as well as his opposition to a ceasefire expressed repeatedly at the Security Council. Shouldn’t Biden be worried? Wouldn’t it be a courageous stance on his part to brave the Israeli lobby, even at the risk of losing an election? Or was the Hur report right to excuse Biden because of his diminished mental faculties?”

The situation surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is indeed complex, and President **Joe Biden** faces significant challenges in navigating it. Let’s explore some aspects:

1. **Genocide Allegations and Legal Proceedings**:

–       The International Court of Justice (ICJ) recently found it **plausible** that Israel has committed acts of genocide in Gaza, based on a case brought by South Africa¹.

–       In a separate lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court, Palestinians, including Americans, testified against the Biden administration, accusing it of **complicity** in the unfolding genocide in Gaza¹.

–       While the U.S. federal court dismissed the case, it urged President Biden to examine the implications of the country’s unwavering support for Israel².

2. **Biden’s Dilemma**:

–       President Biden faces a delicate balance between upholding U.S. strategic interests, maintaining relations with Israel, and addressing humanitarian concerns.

–       The Israeli lobby, a powerful force in U.S. politics, actively shapes American foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction⁶.

–       Biden’s opposition to an immediate ceasefire and his handling of the conflict have drawn scrutiny.

3. **Potential Implications**:

–       Braving the Israeli lobby could indeed be politically risky, especially in an election year.

–       However, the precedent set by the **Hur report** (which excused Biden due to his mental faculties) might influence his decision-making.

–       It remains to be seen whether Biden will prioritize strategic interests, humanitarian considerations, or electoral calculations.

4. **Complex Factors at Play**:

–       U.S. foreign policy involves multifaceted considerations, including historical alliances, security concerns, and geopolitical dynamics.

–       While the Israeli lobby is influential, other factors, such as public opinion, international law, and humanitarian imperatives, also shape decisions.

In summary, President Biden faces a challenging balancing act, and his choices will have far-reaching consequences. Whether he prioritizes the Israeli lobby’s influence or other considerations remains a critical question in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

ChatGPT’s all-purpose excuse for avoiding any form of moral judgment relies on the rhetoric of “multifaceted complexity.” It’s an interesting strategy but can this truly be called intelligence? On the other hand, it lives up to its other attribute: artificiality.

Among the variety of human intelligences is moral intelligence, which today’s AI is clearly devoid of. The fear some people have of the singularity may well derive from the existential incapacity of any AI to generate moral intelligence. On that score, AI is a bit like that of the Biden administration, whose morality is clearly more artificial than intelligent.

*[Artificial Intelligence is rapidly becoming a feature of everyone’s daily life. We unconsciously perceive it either as a friend or foe, a helper or destroyer. At Fair Observer, we see it as a tool of creativity, capable of revealing the complex relationship between humans and machines.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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