When U.S. President Joe Biden moved two carrier task groups to the Mediterranean, I had some hope that he would finally take the necessary military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability and end the Islamist regime’s threat to the region and the Western world.
He might as well have sent a couple of garbage scows.
One clue that he wasn’t serious was that he also announced the movement of a nuclear submarine to the area. The whole point of submarines is that our enemies don’t know where they are, so through that move, Biden telegraphed that he had no intention of using them.
The prolonged pursuit of fruitless negotiations has not only failed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions but also resulted in a multibillion-dollar giveaway, indirectly supporting Iran’s disruptive activities. The world now stands on the brink of Iran possessing enriched uranium for multiple atomic bombs, exposing us to potential blackmail and aggression.
The rationale behind positioning powerful assets near Iran to deter further conflict has proven ineffective. Deterrence depends on our enemies believing we are prepared to use force against them. However, having observed a pattern of reluctance to engage in war from the last three administrations, Iran has concluded it is free to pursue its expansionist agenda.
Once its Palestinian beneficiaries perpetrated the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, Iran turned loose its proxies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
Hezbollah began to attack Israel from Lebanon and Syria. Rather than leverage our influence over Lebanon to pressure the government to rein in Hezbollah, Biden has told Israel not to attack Lebanon. For those who have forgotten, it was the United States that forced Israel to end its war with Hezbollah and accept a U.N. “peacekeeping” force that was supposed to prevent arms-smuggling and keep Hezbollah far from Israel’s border. (U.N. Resolution 1701 also called for the disarming of Hezbollah.) UNIFIL turned out to be a joke, except to the Israelis, who now face a stark choice of either going to war or conceding that its northern border is uninhabitable.
No one was surprised Hezbollah immediately joined the fight, albeit at a lower intensity so far than feared. What was unexpected was that the Iranian-armed Houthis, who have no territorial dispute with Israel, would launch missiles at Eilat. Fortunately, Israel has the means to defend itself from those rockets.
Iran’s chants are not just “death to Israel” but “death to America,” so it should have been no surprise that Iranian-backed militants in Iraq and Syria, along with the Houthis, have attacked U.S. bases and ships. The Biden administration has acknowledged that Iran is behind the attacks but still refuses to respond directly to the instigators. There have been more than 130 proxy attacks on American bases in Iraq and Syria, resulting in injuries to dozens of U.S. service members. Biden ordered a handful of inconsequential strikes on the Iraqis and Syrians that did not stop the assaults.
After the Houthis effectively shut down the trade route through the Red Sea and fired dozens of missiles and drones at commercial and U.S. Navy vessels, Biden finally decided to launch strikes on Yemen. Still, the Houthis insist they will not relent, and the waterway remains unsafe. Meanwhile, the Chinese are watching as America fails to stop the mighty Houthi military and calculates the odds that Biden can or will defend Taiwan.
Our other principal enemy, Russia, is also taking advantage of Biden’s fears and benefiting from his timidity towards Iran. While the Iranians supplied the Russians with drones and may also send them ballistic missiles, Biden withheld critical weapons from Ukraine. Just as Biden appears determined to prevent Israel from destroying Hamas, he is ensuring that Ukraine cannot win its war by stopping them from launching attacks on Russian territory. Except for ineffective sanctions, Biden has done nothing to stop Iran’s intervention against our Ukrainian allies.
Afraid of the optics of Palestinian suffering, Biden forced Israel to lift the siege to weaken Hamas but refuses to allow Gazans to leave. Still, Israel is blamed for the humanitarian plight of those who started the war, while the terrorists responsible for their suffering steal the aid Israel allows for noncombatants. Biden pressured Israel to fight to protect these Palestinians at the expense of IDF soldiers. Meanwhile, Iran is happy to fight to the last Palestinian (and Lebanese and Houthi).
Like a good magician, Iran’s Supreme Leader is using misdirection to get Biden and the rest of the world to focus on his proxies. He does not have to pull anything out of his sleeve because the reveal is in plain sight—a nuclear weapon.
In this high-stakes act, the destiny of the Middle East hangs in the balance, and the escalation of the global danger of radical Islam looms ominously. Time is running out for Biden to cast aside the illusion that he can avoid the use of force to prevent Iran from provoking a nuclear arms race in the region and insulating itself from threats to the regime. Pinprick attacks on Iran’s proxies do nothing to alleviate the danger. Only a strike that eliminates the regime’s nuclear program can alter the course of history in the West’s favor.