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Remember the pier Biden was going to build in Gaza?

Seven weeks after the president announced that the administration would build a pier on the Gaza coast to receive aid shipments, a Pentagon spokesman admits that “there has been no physical construction of the temporary pier or the causeway.”

Remember in President Biden’s State of the Union Address — delivered March 7 — when he pledged, “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. No U.S. boots will be on the ground”?

Remember how a whole bunch of us asked a lot of questions about how all of this was going to work, logistically, and how Biden could keep that promise?

How, exactly, will U.S. military forces build a temporary pier on the Gaza coast without putting any “boots on the ground”? Is the plan to build the pier offshore and then float it over toward the Palestinians? Is this some spin that if the boots are on the beach, they still count as “offshore”?

How close are our forces going to be to the Gaza coast? No one in the administration is worried about members of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any other extremist or terrorist group taking shots at American forces? Am I the only one getting vibes of Beirut in 1983 or Mogadishu in 1993? . . .

And if we’re going to do the Palestinians some favors, doesn’t that seem like the sort of thing that should involve the freeing of some hostages?

The aim was to begin “delivery operations in approximately 60 days.”

Well, 49 days, or seven weeks, have passed, and yesterday, the Pentagon press secretary, Air Force Major General Pat Ryder, conceded that nothing has been built yet:

As of right now, there has been no physical construction of the temporary pier or the causeway. As we’ve discussed, you know, there is a — for lack of a better term, sort of a checklist that one is going to follow in order to implement this capability.

And as Central Command and U.S. Army Central goes through that checklist, we are positioned to begin construction very soon, in the very near future, but you want to do those steps in order so that by the time you are erecting this causeway and temporary pier, that all of the pieces are in place and that you can begin operating.

So we’re still, based on all indications, on track to see an operating capability by the end of this month or early May, and we’ll keep you updated on that.

This contradicts media reports that “the dock has been built off U.S. naval vessels.” Part of the delay is that “one of the ships deployed to support the mission of building a pier to deliver aid to starving residents in Gaza was forced to turn back last week after it suffered a fire in its engine room.” Apparently, they found a substitute or can function with one less ship, as Ryder said yesterday that “all the necessary vessels are within the Mediterranean region and standing by, as I mentioned, to begin construction when given the order to do that.”

As for the security concerns:

While the Pentagon maintains that no U.S. troops will deploy into Gaza, it has disclosed little about how long the operation could last and how it intends to ensure the safety of those involved, alarming some in Congress and other critics of the president’s plan. Military officials declined to answer questions from The Washington Post about where the pier will be located and what security measures will be taken, citing a desire not to telegraph its plans.

And as for whether this benevolent gift from the U.S. government has spurred Hamas to release some hostages, not only have we not seen any hostages released since then, Hamas won’t even give updated numbers on how many hostages are alive or dead.

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