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.