Who do congressional Democrats blame for Iran’s rising aggression? Our own president, of course.
Over the last several weeks, Iran has attacked civilian oil tankers in the Middle East using limpet mines, shot down a U.S. military drone over international airspace in the Straits of Hormuz, and reportedly began preparing to attack U.S. forces in the region.
In response to these threats, the Pentagon and President Trump have authorized the deployment of 1,000 additional U.S. troops and Patriot Missile batteries. The weapons and troop levels speak to a defensive operation — not one meant to escalate tensions.
These facts haven’t deterred Democrats. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took to Twitter to blame Trump for Iran’s actions and intimated that the president has placed U.S. troops in greater danger. In doing so, Murphy has provided domestic political cover for hostile, illegal activities by one of America’s adversaries. This is totally irresponsible and, frankly, un-American.
Murphy blamed the president for putting “Iran back on a path to a nuclear weapon.” This is also false. If President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal had been effective, Iran wouldn’t be able to get back on a path to doing so at all.
Instead, the deal allowed Iran to keep the technology to produce weapons-grade uranium-235 in as little as 14 months thanks to the number of operational centrifuges Iran was allowed to maintain for so-called “medical purposes.” That’s despite scattering facilities across the country, with several in clandestinely underground facilities meant to both avoid detection and U.S. military strikes.
The Iran deal and other international agreements also called for Iran to cease providing direct and indirect material support to terrorist groups. Iran has failed to do so, continuing to fund terrorists and militants in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. As recently as a month ago, Palestinian fired more than 600 rockets into Israel. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) successfully responded by targeting an Iranian agent who reportedly provided funding for those militants.
It is for that reason that the Trump administration identified and subsequently sanctioned the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s (IRGC) Quds Force. The IRGC makes up approximately 10 percent of Iran’s military and reports directly to Iran’s religious leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and is responsible for conducting external operations, unlike the rest of Iran’s military that reports to the nation’s elected leadership.
The Quds Force has used Arab proxy forces, especially Hezbollah and Iraqi militias, to attack U.S. interests and allies across the globe. That includes providing lethal aid in the form of roadside bombs and technologies, which have directly resulted in the deaths of over 600 U.S. service members in Iraq.
Providing Iran political cover when U.S. forces are under threat of an unprovoked attack is beneath the office of any sitting politician. Murphy and others who have done so owe an apology to the president and to the American people.
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.