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Can the west avoid war with Iran?  Should we?

Can the west avoid war with Iran?  Should we?

In November of last year, I penned a commentary titled, “War with Iran has Already Started … But No One Told Biden.”  My point was that Iran had essentially declared war on the United States and the western allies.  Iran not only supports fellow Shia terrorist surrogates, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis, but it has extended its leadership reach to such Sunni terrorist organizations as the Taliban and al Qaeda.  The one notable exception is the Sunni ISIS terrorist network, which recently took credit for a deadly double-bomb attack in Tehran.

Make no mistake about it.  Iran is the strategic leader that heads the terrorist network.  It plans, authorizes, finances and arms the terrorist attacks in the Middle East and beyond.  None of those currently engaged in military attacks on Israel, American assets in the region and commercial shipping would or could act without the blessing — and financial and military support – of the Supreme Leader in Tehran.

The leaders in Tehran make no secret of their intentions.  Their constant mantra is “death to America” and “death to Israel.” That has not changed since President Carter allowed Iran to fall into the hands of the Islamic terrorists almost 50 years ago.

I have repeatedly called out President Biden’s response to attacks on American military assets and personnel in the Middle East as being anemic and would only result in escalation.  Limited response to each escalation and provocation by the terrorists would only encourage further escalation.  And that is exactly what has been happening.

President Teddy Roosevelt said America should “speak softly but carry a big stick.”  Biden got it ass-backwards.  He talks tough but brandishes a twig.  We have seen it with his too little/too late policy in Ukraine – and his flipping and flopping on support for Israel in the Hamas War.  His one-word warning to Iran and the terrorists … “Don’t” … has been completely ignored – and he has still been too slow to move.

The increasing number and severity of terrorist attacks – and the political pressure of a presidential campaign — has finally forced Biden to act more decisively.  But not yet sufficiently.  Biden has ordered attacks on Houthis’ military installations.  The U.S. military has seized a shipment of weapons – something we are still not doing in support of Ukraine.

The American to Houthis’ attacks is still measured – not enough to degrade or destroy the terrorists’ ability to retaliate.  As Biden has promised to do.

If we are ever to see the end of international terrorism, we need to destroy the terrorists’ military capabilities completely.  And … if that is not sufficient, destroy Iran’s ability to sponsor international terrorism.  And yes, that potentially means direct military action against the leaders in Tehran.

It should not be unilateral action by the United States.  Biden should demonstrate his proclaimed world leadership by assembling an international force of allies – such as the 65-nation coalition President Bush assembled to take out Iraq’s rogue leader Saddam Hussein.  Pakistan has already attacked targets inside Iran.

It was inevitable that the conflict in the Middle East would escalate – largely because of the perceived weakness of the United States.  The stated goal of the Defense Department under Biden is to “degrade” – their word – not destroy the terrorist organizations’ abilities.  It is because of western weakness that the terrorist organizations are as powerful and well equipped as they are today.  Hezbollah has more than 600,000 rockets.  They were building up that arsenal as America stood by.

We will never defeat international terrorism and their state sponsor by leading from behind with too little/too late policies.  The escalation against Israel, America and the democratic alliance will not end until we escalate our responses.  Victory – not sending a message – should be the United States policy.

I propose major military action not because I favor wars, but because I favor ending them as quickly as possible.  I see no reason for having America lose more lives and treasure in long seemingly endless conflicts.  Winning in these proxy wars will also discourage nations who provide indirect support, such as China, Russia and North Korea.

America is at a crossroads.  We either prove that we have the most powerful military in the world by using it, or we surrender world power to our adversaries in a misguided belief that we are achieving world peace.   It is time we and our allies stop channeling Neville Chamberlain.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.



    Does Horist even read the news before he spews tired old views unfounded on actual evidence? Yes, it’s probably Iran’s money, but it’s the Houthis that are attacking. The “war” is one of terrorism, and the Houthis are the terrorists we need to stop. Iran is the backer, probably, but that’s a follow-the-money, stop-the -money operation that is secondary to stopping the missiles from being fired. Iran has not fired any missiles. Horist want to pre-emptively strike them for what the Houthis have done because he knows the backer, even if he can’t prove it, without a shadow of a doubt. But bomb them anyway.

    Horist consistently wants to send your kids to fight his wars against anything that moves against the US as if that will stop war. So far, that message has not stopped wars from happening. His lust is unbounded, he wants to bomb Putin, he wants to bomb Xi, he wants to nuke Gaza, he wants Iran, Yemen, and Syria too. Biden wants to send your kids to die as a last resort, not his first retort like armchair general Horist who probably never served in any war or any military. Unlike hawkish Horist, Biden will send our kids when it matters to the defense of the US, and our freedoms, as the top priority. Protecting our businesses overseas, oil and such, is a secondary priority for putting our kids in harm’s way. I do not want to risk my kids for an Exxon supertanker.

    Yes, it’s slower and not as gratifying as an Operation Desert Storm and other military interventions, but it’s safer and still can accomplish the goals of stopping attacks on us. Three targets in Iraq on Christmas started our reply; then in mid-January, Biden hit 60 Houthi targets in 28 locations in Yemen, along with a message sent to Iran to cease and desist or face more consequences; UK pitched in support. The next day the Houthis fired a single missile and Biden immediately struck multiple targets with a bevy of rockets. As DoD notes: “The militaries of the United States and United Kingdom, at the direction of their respective governments with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, conducted an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes against 8 Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the Houthis’….” That’s six countries so far in the coalition Mr Horist for this strike. But there’s over 20, including Bahrain, in the Biden coalition that Horist apparently does not know about.

    Biden is also moving to reverse his reverse of the Trump Houthi terrorist designation although team Biden did a jump shift and already has a consortium of 20 countries to match fire, exceed the match, and diminish the Houthi if they continue to escalate.

    Hoirst instead wants to take on Iran but even there, first there’s the Houthis. With 100,00 soldiers, ballistic and cruise-like missiles, they are not ragtag and worthy of Horist overlooking in his bloodlust to start another war. Some estimates say only 20,000 well trained soldiers, but still a force. They are the ones attacking, they are the ones we need to immediately vanquish. Might be the best message to send Iran where we need to follow the money and stop the money.

    As far as going to war with Iran, it’s premature at this time unless Horist has better proof than “everyone knows it.” That’s just a bullshit hawkish perspective to kill your kids for Horist’s feelings. Personally, I still think a quiet whisper to Israel that it’s OK to take out Iran’s infrastructure is the way to go. Then we can plead ignorance and jump in if needed for support and any mop up. But unless Iran wants to be free, it’s just another Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria in the making IF we go in as Horist would like. And then he can bitch and moan a few decades later that we left too early……

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … You write about me …oh .. I mean the Larry Horist of your obsessed mind, “His lust is unbounded, he wants to bomb Putin, he wants to bomb Xi, he wants to nuke Gaza, he wants Iran, Yemen, and Syria too.” and … “That’s just a bullshit hawkish perspective to kill your kids for Horist’s feelings.” None of that is even remotely true. And as a member of a Gold Star family — which you know — I take particular offense to your disgusting and contemptable lies about me, my motives and my feelings about war. On this one, Frank, you have sunk to the nadir of nasty depravity … a true asshole. You always wanted to believe you had illicited an emotional response from me, but never have before. On this one you did. Congratulations.


        So, I was correct: “Horist, who probably never served in any war or any military” probably didn’t join the service. I honor your family’s loss for their service and my condolences on your personal loss. While the dead are gone, it’s the living that often pay a very deep price for the loss in service of our nation. I was not trying on purpose to tweak your emotions. I apologize for even mentioning service, it really added nothing and thank you for noting I should check this crap at the door. I am no dove, but strongly feel a pre-emptive attack on Iran is not the best course of action, not prudent at this time. Your consistent desire to send our kids to die really galls me in that most military are not as gung-ho as you and your non-serving ilk.

        You are not the only non-service citizen with service scars but I will not trot them out. I think I do understand the Gold Star feelings and, like I said, apologize for the service mentioning after getting ticked off at: “I propose major military action not because I favor wars, but because I favor ending them as quickly as possible. I see no reason for having America lose more lives and treasure in long seemingly endless conflicts. Winning in these proxy wars will also discourage nations who provide indirect support, such as China, Russia and North Korea” when you know full well that is not what happens. What happens is Iraq (we’re still there), Syria (we’re still there), Afghanistan, (how many decades for nothing?) etc.

        I am not against war, I just feel, like GW Bush Sr, “Five months ago, Saddam Hussein started this cruel war against Kuwait. Tonight, the battle has been joined. Our goal is not the conquest of Iraq. It is the liberation of Kuwait.” It was purposeful, focused, defined, and was a “good” war until his successor’s fucked it up. The difference: GWB had been there.

        “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war” said Norman Swarzkopf.

        I think destroying the Houthis is appropriate. Since Iran is probably the big money; stopping the money seems to be more prudent at this time than leveling the nation and then figuring out, what’s next…….

  2. LMB

    Think of IRAN as another North Korea!!! But worse!!!!!!

    • jim

      Iran is worse because it is using proxies To wage war on us North Korea is only making threats.

  3. Darren

    The real question is ” Would this even be a discussion if Trump and NOT Biden were in the White House the last 3 years”?
    Probably not!



      Some folks seem to feel that somehow, Trump’s mere presence as the crazy man, is enough to stop all wars. Fact is the Trump administration had a very good blackout on military actions during his regime so it’s cumbersome to figure out what’s going on. And certainly, you can’t get it from Don, he lies. But IMO, as Don screwed the covid response causing the US to be much more covid-dangerous that other developed nations, covid itself stopped many things including terrorism and war. But, did you know:

      Trump’s own Justice Department alleged that a mass murder in NYC in 2017, which killed eight people and injured others, was a terrorist attack carried out in support of ISIS? Yeah, eight people, terrorism, US, ISIS. Trump did nothing.

      Trump’s Justice Department also alleged that a 2019 attack by an extremist member of Saudi Arabia’s military, which killed three US service members and injured others at a military base in Florida, “was motivated by jihadist ideology” and was carried out by a longtime “associate” of al Qaeda. Trump did nothing. Three sevice members dead.

      Trump’s Justice Department said it was a “domestic terrorist attack” when one of Trump’s supporters mailed improvised explosive devices to prominent Democratic officials, CNN and other people in 2018.

      In 2019, a White supremacist pleaded guilty to multiple charges in New York, including first-degree murder in furtherance of an act of terrorism, for killing a Black man in March 2017 to try to start a race war. Trump did nothing.

      And Trump’s Justice Department described a 2019 shooting massacre at a Walmart in Texas as an act of domestic terrorism; the gunman who killed 23 people was targeting Latinos. Trump did nothing.

      The terrorist threat during Trump was Trumplicants themselves attacking Americans on our home turf. In August 2017 in Charlottesville, there was Unite the Right, a violent gathering of far-right Trumplicansts legitimized by Trump’s immortal words about good people on both sides. There are NO good white supremacists, Don. Never have been. Hundreds of these rat bastards marched to the U of V’s campus with tiki torches aloft, chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” Then, a Trumplicant neo-Nazi drove full speed into a crowd of peaceful protesters injuring nearly two dozen and killing one.

      Over Trump’s first three years, 87 people were killed by far-right terrorists. IF you pop Vegas on top, it’s 145. During that time, there were 17 killed by Islamists and four killed by left-wing extremists in America. All under Trump’s watch. And he did nothing.

      So don’t tell me no terrorism on Trump’s watch. Domestic terrorism was way up and Islamic terrorism continued in Amerca and around the globe.

      In terms of war, first, did Trump end any wars? Trump in Syria and Iraq let the generals take greater risks to innocents to hasten the destruction of the Caliphate. Many said Obama was too risk-adverse. Trump also abandoned America’s Kurdish allies which allowed ISIS to re-establish itself as a major threat today. Trump was still at war in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. We are still in two out of three today.

      Trump kissed the Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s ass letting him run amuck in Yemen which turbocharged jihadist wannabees. Because Trump allowed the Saudis’ disastrous military campaign, Yemen’s jihadists became the best-equipped terrorists in the world. We are now fighting the Houthi’s, Trump’s failed war on terrorism’s legacy. But the Trump family did rake in a few billion in Saudi investment dollars, so I guess it all makes “cents.” During Trump’s reign, we lost 45 service members in hostile actions. So far, under Biden, 2021 to now, including the three from Jordan, we have lost 16 to hostile actions.

      Trump’s failure to protect America from Covid was probably one of his best moves against war and immigration. No one was killing anyone in any war during covid and immigration slowed to a trickle. Trump’s covid response pretty much guaranteed that the US would be a shit hole covid sinkhole, so who the fuck wanted to come here to either work or blow us up. But in the first three years before covid, there were wars overseas, and a hell of a lot of terrorism in the US. But there was clearly terrorism and war during the time of Trump.

  4. JoeyP

    make a HUGE Parking lot out of IRAN . . . It wouldn’t bother president Reagan !

  5. Bob Valentine

    Just what we need another warmongering neocon ADVOCATING FOR WWlll. If you don’t see the danger of the alliances forming between Iran, Russia, China and North Korea then your head is in the sand. Keep your dangerous opinion pieces to yourself. You are clueless!


    Looks like Horist was ahead of the game on this one. With American soldiers killed by drone in Jordan, with Biden saying it’s Iran, looks like we will be game-on shortly for a strike on Iran. Hopefully we will send a very focused message but sure sound like we will expand past the perpatrators back to the money-men in Iran.

    I hate election years. 64 was Gulf of Tonkin, Johnson the incumbent’s election year.

    Still believe what I said, not sure how Biden jumped from probably to most certainly for Iran’s overt complicity, but US soldiers being attacked is a line we should not ignore all the way back to the source of the funding.


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