Biden Administration Hits Back Against Khameini-Assad Axis
“Speak softly and carry a big stick” – Theodore Roosevelt
Donald Trump loved to talk a big game about the mullahcracy in Iran. He wasn’t quite as good at playing it, though. His bombast about the regime sounded hollow when juxtaposed with his military drawdowns from Syria.
Ten days ago, Tehran-backed militias took aim at Americans and their allies in Iraq. They might have taken President Biden’s lack of loud yelling or tweeting on the issue as a carte-blanche to keep killing Americans.
That will certainly change after what happened last night. From the Pentagon:
At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).
This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.
With this action, the Biden Administration did several things at once – all of them good.
First, they showed we are prepared to fight fire with fire when necessary. Retaliatory strikes against Tehran’s allies aren’t new, but now the minions of Ali Khameini and Bashar Assad know that the change of leadership does not mean a weakening of American resolve.
Second, by hitting forces outside Iraq, Biden kept matters inside Iraq from escalating into further instability. KH and KSS have previously relied on retaliation inside Iraq to anger Iraqis about outside military intervention. With this strike, the president removes that from the equation. The only outsiders causing pain and anguish to Iraq in this exchange are the Iranians.
Third, Biden damaged the Assad family’s grip on Syria – especially in Eastern Syria. This is the part Trump never seemed to get. Assad and the mullahcracy are not separate issues; they are an anti-American alliance determined to help each other keep their own peoples under the whip of tyranny. Of course, there was a major reason Trump wouldn’t put two and two together on this.
Oh, and in case anyone – anywhere – tries to discount the accusations and evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime with the what-did-Putin-really-get-for-it question, we have the answer right in front of us.
Putin got Syria. He got his chief client state in the region (the Tehran mullachracy) as the pre-eminent power in the northern Middle East. The forces of tyranny are ascendant in the region (and worldwide) as we retreat.
With this strike, Joe Biden is making clear that the days Washington danced to Moscow’s tune are over. Not only will America protect its own and its allies, we will also take aim at the Assad regime.
It is a darker day for the Assads, which makes it a brighter day for the American, Syrian, Iranian, and Iraqi peoples.