OpinionMiddle East

Three US soldiers died because Biden won’t stand up to Iran

When one side wants to expand the war while the other fears any escalation, the outcome is a cycle of retreats and defeats.

The “USS Carter Hall” dock landing ship and “USS Bataan” amphibious assault ship in the Bab al-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Aug. 29, 2023. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Moises Sandoval/U.S. Navy.
The “USS Carter Hall” dock landing ship and “USS Bataan” amphibious assault ship in the Bab al-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Aug. 29, 2023. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Moises Sandoval/U.S. Navy.
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

Iran’s terror militias launched a wave of rocket attacks against American soldiers in Iraq and Syria under Biden. There were dozens of these attacks last year alone.

In the spring of 2023, Scott Patrick Dubis, a 52-year-old military contractor who had worked on U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar, was killed by an Iranian-backed attack.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin responded by promising that, “as President Biden has made clear, we will take all necessary measures to defend our people and will always respond at a time and place of our choosing. No group will strike our troops with impunity.”

But Iran and its jihadi proxy militias could and did go on attacking our troops with impunity.

We launched a few light airstrikes for show and the attacks went on. American personnel kept being wounded in Iranian attacks and sometimes we responded, sometimes we didn’t.

After the latest wave of attacks and responses, the Shi’ite regime in Baghdad demanded that the United States leave Iraq. And Biden, obediently, began negotiating the withdrawal.

Now, three U.S. Army soldiers were killed and over 30 were wounded in an Iranian-backed drone attack on a position on the Jordanian-Syrian border. This is the worst death toll in some time.

A few months after the Shi’ite Islamic regime in Tehran commemorated the takeover of the U.S. embassy with chants of “Death to America,” it succeeded in inflicting more death on Americans.

Biden has issued a statement vowing that, once again, “We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing.” Like Austin’s previous statement after the murder of Scott Dubis, that means that no one should expect a quick, meaningful response.

The message to Iran and its Islamic terrorists is that they have nothing to worry about. And Iran’s message to us is that we can never pull out far enough until we have surrendered the entire region, the rest of the world and then finally our own country to the enemy.

In the spring of 2020, Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias and Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, as well as Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon, a British female medic, were killed in an attack by the Shi’ite Iran-backed militias. Roberts died trying to save a female comrade.

And the attacks just keep right on coming.

When Biden came into office, Iran had a pretty good lock on Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Then Biden allowed it to seize control over Yemen. During the winter break, it used its Houthi strongholds in Yemen to hijack shipping in the Red Sea. While Biden was out of the office and Austin was in the hospital, it seized a channel used by a third of the world’s container ships.

Much as in Iraq and Syria, Biden responded with limited airstrikes that fell far short of ending the threat, while conducting a 30-day review before possibly bringing back sanctions on the Houthis. And the Houthis have since managed to hit an oil tanker, while global shipping costs have doubled and shipping insurance premiums have skyrocketed.

The same pattern of failure that had played out in Iraq is now playing out in the Red Sea.

Iran has now decided to push the frontiers of terror all the way to the Jordanian border. Jordan is a key intersection, a Saudi client state that shares a border with Israel, whose “Palestinian” population would prefer to be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s arms include Hamas and its state sponsor, Qatar, is an ally of Iran.

Iran is serious about winning and we are not. It has a plan and we do not. Every tentative response that we make telegraphs the fact that we are afraid to attack it. The Biden administration emphasizes that its strikes are measured, defensive and come with warnings.

Our terrorist enemies, however, have no such fears or concerns. They hit us where they can.

The Biden administration and the foreign policy apparatus lives in fear of “expanding the war” while Iran seeks to expand the war as far as it can. When one side wants to expand the war while the other fears any escalation, the outcome is a cycle of retreats and defeats.

Every time Iran attacks, we retreat, and every time we retreat, it pushes harder. Negotiations, sanctions relief and diplomacy have failed miserably. The so-called “moderates” have been pushed out in Iran and the new regime burned them along with their American puppets like Biden’s Iran envoy Robert Malley, who was outed by Iran regime outlets, as it prepares for war.

Oct. 7 was only one of the points of Iran’s jihadist blitzkrieg across the region as it prepares to become the dominant power in the Middle East. And while it was devastating to Israelis, it may be less significant than the takeover of the Red Sea or Iran’s existing nuclear program, under which it now has enough enriched uranium to build several nuclear warheads, its simultaneous launch of three satellites or its ballistic missile program.

All of this foreshadows a struggle on a grand scale, that will test America and the world.

Much like WWII, this crisis could have been averted through geopolitical maneuvers, maximum pressure, limited intervention and other tools that were never properly used. Instead, Obama attempted to cut a nuclear deal with Iran that he knew was worthless. Biden resumed efforts to restore the deal even though Tehran by then had achieved enough of its goals that it demanded only billions in cash while offering nothing in return but contempt, threats and terror attacks.

The killings of three American soldiers is only the latest consequence of these policies.

Iran got lucky in its Tower 22 attack in Jordan, but the attacks could have also been worse. While American soldiers deployed in Iraq and Syria are used to rocket alerts and quickly run to shelter, those in Tower 22 had not gotten into that same habit. A large barrage of rockets or missiles could have inflicted much worse casualties than three dead and 30 wounded.

And that leaves out the possibility that we have yet to consider.

On Oct. 7, Israeli soldiers braced for rocket attacks by retreating into shelters, only to face a massive assault by thousands of armed jihadis overrunning their positions under the cover of rockets. Israel wasn’t ready for that kind of attack, and the real question is, are we?

Iran will keep testing and pushing us. And if we fail to take the initiative, the attack will come.

We were not ready for the seizure of our embassy in Tehran. We were not ready for the Marine barracks bombings in Beirut. We were not ready for 9/11. We were not ready for the fall of Kabul. We were not ready for the takeover of shipping in the Red Sea near Yemen.

What aren’t we ready for next? We only have so much time to wait around and find out.

Wars are fought by taking the offensive or holding defensive positions. When you are always defending, then you allow the enemy to take the initiative, and then you have to find out what comes next.

If we don’t take the offensive, we will have to wait to find out how bad the next attack will be.

Originally published by The Gatestone Institute.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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