Over the past several weeks, tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran have increased steadily. Democrats in Congress, such as Connecticut’s Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Jim Himes, have blamed the Trump administration. They have insinuated that the United States is responsible for Iran’s behavior, including its plans to attack U.S. forces in the Middle East. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Iran has failed to live up to its international obligations — including those stipulated by the “Iran nuclear deal” touted by Democrats — by funding and arming terrorists in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Afghanistan, to name just a few. These operations have been carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. The IRGC reports directly to the ayatollah rather than to the elected government, and uses proxy forces such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and a number of Iraqi militias to conduct terrorist attacks against civilians.
Less than three weeks ago, Palestinian terrorists funded and armed by Iran indiscriminately launched over 600 missiles into Israeli targeting the civilian populace. Other Iranian backed groups have attacked Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure and tankers. That says nothing of the 600 U.S. troops killed in Iraq, including some with whom I served, whose deaths have been attributed to lethal aid and weapons provided by Iran.
In response, President Trump designated the IRGC a state-sponsor of terror, which allowed his administration to impose additional punitive sanctions against the group and its leadership. He was right to do so, but Democrats disagree. Multiple defense and intelligence sources have confirmed that intelligence reporting revealed Iran’s intent to sponsor attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East. The reporting is so sensitive that National Security Advisor John Bolton took the unprecedented step of holding a National Security Council Principals Committee meeting at CIA headquarters to review the threat.
Trump has also moved defensive weapon systems such as Patriot Missile batteries into theater and deployed additional offensive weapons platforms to deter an Iranian attack. Again, Democrats disagree.
Himes and Murphy have sought to portray the rise in tensions as a consequence of the Trump administration’s decision to designate the IRGC as a state-sponsor of terror. The truth is that Iran alone is responsible for this situation. They have continued to arm and fund terrorists and have actively worked undermine U.S. interests, our allies, and to endanger our troops. Iran
Iran has secretly planned to attack U.S. forces and moved weapons clandestinely across the Middle East. Those decisions belong to Iran alone. The president did what you would expect acCommander in chief to do — he moved weapons to protect our troops and deter an attack.
Democrats have tried to place him in a no-win situation. If he didn’t move to protect our troops, they would have said he was derelict in his responsibilities. When he did take action, they blamed him for Iran threatening to attack us. It’s absurd.
Iran has flouted every international agreement to which it has been a party. The U.S. is either going to hold Iran accountable and try to change their behavior, or sit by talking about how tough it is — while watching as Iran continues to fund and arm terrorists.
No one wants to see a war with Iran, including me. I personally fought against Iran-backed militias in Baghdad. However, Iran cannot be permitted to get away with their recent actions.
Democrats would prefer more of the same failed policies that clearly have not worked. They have demonstrated that they do not understand how to deal with dictators such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The weakness they displayed through the feckless foreign policy of the Obama years contributed to the brash and irresponsible behavior we’ve seen from our adversaries in more recent times.
It’s time now to rally behind our commander in chief, not to appease our enemies by blaming him for their behavior.
Alex Plitsas (@AlexPlitsas) is a national security and management consultant and Army combat veteran. He served previously in the Pentagon as chief of sensitive activities for the assistant secretary for special operations.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.