Watch Live: Biden Delivers Prime-Time Oval Office Address On Israel, Ukraine

Update (1940ET) – When President Biden delivers the 2nd Oval Office address of his presidency, he is expected to make a supplemental spending request to Congress that will include:

$14 billion for Israel
$60 billion for Ukraine
$10 billion for humanitarian aid
$7 billion for Indo-Pacific
$14 billion for border security

Watch Live:

We were off by $5 billion…

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Following a trip to Israel that did little to soothe worries of broadening conflict in the region, President Biden will address the American people from the Oval Office at 8 pm ET Thursday night, delivering a speech intended to foster Congressional support for throwing more money at not only Israel but also Ukraine. 

“Tomorrow, President Biden will address the nation to discuss our response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel and Russia’s ongoing brutal war against Ukraine,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement. 

Support for funding the West’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine has been sagging, particularly in the wake of a vaunted Ukraine counteroffensive that has resulted in a net loss of territory. Last month, an amendment that would prohibit any more military aid to Ukraine won the support of 93 Republicans…and zero Democrats. That was a gain of 23 votes from a similar resolution offered in July. 

Destroyed Ukrainian armored vehicles in Donetsk (Russian Defense Ministry)

As the 2007-08 financial crisis erupted, then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

That spirit will be evident in Biden’s prime time address: The Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel gives the White House and the war state an opportunity to tie Ukraine aid to security assistance for Israel — something few members of Congress will dare oppose, and especially Republicans.  

Further sweetening the deal for Ukraine-weary Republicans, Biden will also ask for money for Taiwan and the US-Mexico border, the New York Times reports. He’s expected to ask for a total of $100 billion, about $60 billion of which would go to Ukraine, compared to $10 billion for Israel. The package will be positioned as an allocation meant to last a year, deferring the need for additional requests from Congress.  

The US government has poured more than $75 billion into Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine in January 2021. As the outlays have mounted, so too has the technological complexity of the weapons. Just last weekend, Ukraine fired ATACMS missiles at Russian forces for the first time. 

In Tel Aviv, Biden said he would request an “unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense.” Though Israel is among the world’s richest countries, it already receives about $3.3 billion in annual assistance from the US government — even as America’s total public debt has surged past $33 trillion, to say nothing of unfunded liabilities related to entitlement programs.  

A rocket is fired from an Israeli “Iron Dome” missile defense platform; the US government gives Israel billions of dollars to maintain the system (IDF)

Oval Office addresses are relatively rare. In March 2020, Donald Trump detailed his administration’s plans to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. Obama spoke in 2015 following the Islamic extremist mass shooting in San Bernardino, and in 2010 after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. George W. Bush memorably used the Oval Office to address the country on 9/11.

Much as Bush lied to Americans by telling them al Qaeda attacked them because of their “freedom,” expect Biden to tell his audience that military and financial aid to Israel keeps Americans safe — when in fact that support is one of the principal motivators of terrorism against US civilians. 

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