American service members put their lives on the line every day. At home, the people have watched as Iran proxies attacked US military forces in Iraq and Syria with naught but token response from the Biden administration. After 158 attacks, there’s no question that Iran is the problem – or that, eventually, the persistent missile and drone attacks would finally achieve the terrorists’ goal: killing US soldiers. On the 159th attack, three Americans were killed. It was predictable.
Kid-Gloves Approach Doesn’t Stop Iran Proxies
On January 28, three US service members were killed and at least 34 more were injured in a drone attack on the Tower 22 outpost in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, US Central Command confirmed, and the final count of injured and dead could be higher.
In a statement released by the White House, President Biden had strong words for the Iran-backed terrorist militias who carried out the deadly strike. After offering his condolences to the families, he called the drone attack “despicable and wholly unjust.” But what of the previous 158 attacks? Were any of those not “despicable and wholly unjust”?
It didn’t take long for the White House statement to fall back into the standard narrative: “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq. And have no doubt – we will hold those responsible to account at a time and in a manner [of] our choosing.”
The American people must find such rhetoric confusing. If the national security team knows the attack was “carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups,” then why is there a need for more fact-finding? And why should the people believe the claim that “those responsible” will actually be held to account when they still haven’t been after 158 other attacks? These puffed-up declarations are becoming standard fare for the Biden administration – but what ever comes of them?
According to a Reuters report, several members of Congress feel no such confusion about what should be done – and the outrage crossed party lines. “The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East,” explained Senator – and post-9/11 combat veteran – Tom Cotton (R-AR). There was no fuzz on what Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) believes, either. “Iran must be held accountable,” she stated bluntly. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) pinned the tail right on the presidential donkey with his post: “Iran is blatantly questioning US strength & resolve thanks to @JoeBiden’s appeasement of the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. It must end.”
Congress Is Frustrated Over Biden’s Inaction
Others in Congress expressed their frustration at the White House’s persistent failure to deal effectively with the actual offender: Iran. “The Biden Administration can take out all the Iranian proxies they like, but it will not deter Iranian aggression,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) posted on X. “I am calling on the Biden Administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces but as deterrence against future aggression.”
The message from inside the administration remains consistent: We don’t want to escalate tensions in the region. But tensions are escalating whatever we do – and the unwillingness to go after Tehran’s military directly appears to do nothing more than embolden Iran proxies and create the very escalation the White House hopes to avoid.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.