The panicked Chicken Littles on the left are breathing a cautious sigh of relief when Iran’s retaliation for the killing of their number one terrorist leader has been a sort of bottle rocket attack on two of our military bases. In an eye-for-an-eye world, Americans gouged out an eye and Iran responded by clipping a couple of toenails.
Whether Iran was using the firing of 15 ballistic missiles at our military basis was meant to be a symbolic gesture – designed to avoid further escalation – or whether their military is not very competent is the subject of political debate on Capitol Hill. Some question how Iran, could fire so many deadly missiles and not kill anyone unless it was intentional – and on the other side people wonder how they could fire so many deadly missiles and not kill people even unintentionally. In either case, it was far from a proportionate response.
For hometown consumption, Iran’s propaganda agency claimed the attack killed 35 Americans. They obviously had to lie to make the attack look better than it was. In these days of Internet and satellite communications, the people of Iran will not be fooled.
Of course, the attack and the false reports weres only the official response – something to warm the hearts of the radical elements on the home front. This was not the proportionate response about which the folks in Tehran indignantly blustered. In all likelihood, the real response will be seen in the weeks and months ahead – and it will come by way of one or more of Iran’s proxy terrorist groups.
As an official response, Iran uncharacteristically struck an American base from Irani soil, with Irani weapons – and they took credit for it. They made sure that the official response was temperate so as not to force an even bigger retaliation from the United States. That probably means that President Trump scared the hell out of them.
Iran’s wimpy response was also designed to indicate to the world that they are really not so bad after all – and of course, Democrats and the American media took the bait. The left-wingers were offering up thanks and praise for the restrained response to Trump’s aggressive and provocative behavior – as they put it. (Whose side are these folks on? Oh, we know.)
Democrat Congressman Jason Crow, of Colorado, went so far as to declare that Qasem Soleimani was NOT a terrorist, but a state-based general of a foreign military. He even objected to the designation of the Irani Republican Guard as a terrorist organization – seeing them as simply the military force of a foreign nation.
Someone needs to explain to Crow that the Republican Guard is NOT a functioning unit of the Irani government, but a quasi-independent paramilitary organization under the authority of the clerics – not the government. It should also be noted that Soleimani – as head of the Guard – has created a network of terrorist organizations and cells throughout the world, making the Guard an integral part of that network. Soleimani’s sole purpose was to mount terrorist attacks on western civilization. That makes the Guard and Soleimani terrorists by any definition.
Future retaliation against the United States by Iran will be conflated with the normal program of terrorist attacks on the United States. We have had thousands of little ones and a number of big ones – the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the torpedoing of the USS Cole and 9/11, to name a few. Soleimani has been the organizer and implementor of thousands of terrorist attacks in the past decades. That is not the role of a military leader of a specific nation. Iran has spent years sponsoring and exporting terrorism and Soleimani has been the primary exporter.
When a big one happens, Iran will deny all responsibility, Democrats will blame Trump and … Well, the “and” is the question. If Democrats are in charge, there will only be the call for more diplomacy. If Trump is in charge, the air raid sirens might be heard in Tehran.
The killing of Soleimani will not entice Iran into bolder and more aggressive action. They have been the number one state sponsor of terrorism since President Carter handed Iran over to the radical jihadist clerics. Since 1979, “death to America” has been the national motto of Iran’s leaders.
Irani leaders say they do not want war, but they have been waging a jihadist war on America, Israel and western civilization for more than thirty years. In all those 30 years, there has hardly been a day when America was not attacked in one way or another – including here in the United States.
We have become so accustomed to this simmering conflict that we actually delight that our bases in Iraq were hit with only 15 missiles and no one was killed. But a lot of good soldiers have died in this ridiculously protracted terrorist war in the Middle East. In any rational time, the attack on our bases would have been a declaration of war and we should have responded with America’s terrible swift sword.
No one wants war, but it takes fools to believe that we must avoid war AT ANY COST. No. There are times that our national security and the freedom of the world are at stake. Surrendering all that to avoid war with those who see their mission as controlling the world and eradicating their enemies is too high a cost. We understood that in World War II – and the same principles should apply today.
One way to avoid a war is decisive responses to aggression. President Reagan bombed the presidential palace in Libya when it was proven that they were responsible for the terrorist attack on the Olympics and the Lockerbie plane bombing. After that, there was a measurable decline in international terrorism.
When Libya claimed the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean Sea and sent jets out to harass US military ships in open waters, the fleet commander asked Reagan what he should do. It is reported that Reagan answered, “You have guns, don’t you?” Two Russian-made Libyan jets were shot down and there was no further claim to the open waters of the Mediterranean.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the new Russian ambassador told me that Reagan’s action shook the folks in Moscow because there was no way of knowing if Russian pilots were flying those jets. It also taught the Russian leaders that they could not be belligerent with the new American President.
We do not have to enter into a full-blown world conflict. Direct and firm responses can do the job. It seems to have worked with Iran. Killing Soleimani was not only a humanitarian act of justice, but it appears to have caused a lot of fear in Tehran. Now we must make sure that they cannot hide behind those proxy groups. America – and our allies – need to hit and hit hard whenever and wherever the terrorists attack. And we have to hold Iran accountable when they are the behind-the-scenes perpetrator.
The way of the Washington diplomatic establishment is to ignore provocation and peddle the failed policy of endless and meaningless negotiations that have led to prolonged conflict. They favorably compare the Bush and Obama decisions to not take out Soleimani to Trump’s decisive action.
They would rather prolong the simmering war – letting a tolerable number of soldiers and innocent civilians die along the way – rather than end it through demonstrable strength and determination. As long as that is the policy, we will be engaged in this simmering warfare for the foreseeable future – and a lot more people will die needlessly.
So, there ‘tis.