Greetings, and I pray all you dads out there had a great Father’s Day weekend last weekend. I certainly did, as our family gathered in Wheeling, West Virginia for our oldest daughter, Aubrey’s, graduation from West Liberty University with her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. This is her second Master’s degree in four years; the other is in Molecular and Cell Biology from Southern Methodist University. However, as I cherish the academic accomplishments of Aubrey, I also have a great concern. That concern is that we leave a secure America, and world, for our children and grandchildren. I want to ensure that my two daughters have every opportunity to travel the world, and not be in fear.
So, I discussed the situation with Aubrey, and Austen, our youngest daughter, after the possible Iranian sea mine attack on two oil tankers. Yes, I said Iran because there is no one else in that region capable, or who has a history, of exacting such a blatant attack.
I think it is time we really had a serious conversation about the number one sponsor of Islamic terrorism in the world, the Islamic republic of Iran. First, I find it rather humorous, hypocritical, that many progressive socialists assail Christians for wanting to establish a theocracy in America. Of course, anyone not embracing a leftist ideological agenda will be assailed. But these same leftists are the ones who said nothing when Barack Obama was dolling out billions to a repressive Islamic theocracy, Iran. As a matter of fact, in response to these attacks on civilian oil tankers, some Democratic Party presidential candidates would assert that it was a result of President Trump’s rescinding of the Iranian nuclear agreement. There are some on the leftist progressive spectrum who are even dismissive of the alleged actions of Iran. Those are the delusional voices that only serve to embolden, and encourage, this regime of Islamo-fascists.
There are those who say we do not need to start a war with Iran. I hate to inform those individuals, but Iran has been at war with the United States since they took over our Embassy and held Americans hostage for over a year. And that was because of a weak liberal progressive president at that time, Jimmy Carter. It was just a few years later, 1983, that Iran took direct action against deployed American troops in Beirut, Lebanon. On that November day, 234 American Marines, sailors, and soldiers were killed by a truck-borne suicide bomber by Hezbollah … the terrorist client of Iran. And that relationship continues to this day – and is evidencing itself in Syria.
In Iraq, the Islamic terrorists that were fighting our troops were supplied with a deadly weapon called explosive force penetrators (EFPs). This weapon was employed via improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and in the end, these Iranian supplied weapons led to 18-20 percent of the deaths and maiming of our troops in the Iraq combat theater of operations.
Need we a reminder that it was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy that forced the sailors aboard two of our riverine assault boats to their knees at gunpoint and paraded pictures of them? That was, of course, a violation of the Geneva Convention. Then again, it appeared that the insidious Iranian nuclear agreement was more important to Barack Obama and John Kerry than our sailors, who should have never surrendered their vessels. One had engine problems, but nothing was wrong with its weapon systems.
No, I do not want an armed conflagration with anyone, but there comes a time when the reality of your enemy must become yours. And we have been at this point with Iran before.
“Operation Praying Mantis was an attack on 18 April 1988, by U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran–Iraq War and the subsequent damage to an American warship. On 14 April, the guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine while deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will, the 1987–88 convoy missions in which U.S. warships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks. The explosion blew a 4.5 m (15-foot) hole in the Samuel B. Roberts's hull and nearly sank it. The crew saved their ship with no loss of life, and the Samuel B. Roberts was towed to Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 16 April. After the mining, U.S. Navy divers recovered other mines in the area. When the serial numbers were found to match those of mines seized along with the Iran Ajr the previous September, U.S. military officials planned a retaliatory operation against Iranian targets in the Persian Gulf.”
Operation Praying Mantis was the last major U.S. Naval surface engagement. The results of the retaliatory strike operation was the destruction of an Iranian frigate, a gunboat, three speedboats, and damaged another frigate, as well as two Iranian oil platforms. If you did not notice, there was no war with Iran, but Iran did get the memo.
Iran’s belligerence must be confronted by a world that considers their actions unacceptable. The two oil tankers were flagged under the Japanese and Norwegian flags. These tankers were operating in international waters, and therefore, this is a global issue …Where is the United Nations?
The immediate response is that oil tankers navigating through the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman must be protected by an international naval coalition. As well, there must be no relief of economic sanctions against Iran.
Thanks to the economic boon Iran received from the Obama administration, to include Secretary of State John Kerry seemingly acting as Iran’s chamber of commerce, Iran has been able to become a regional hegemonic power. Iran, thanks to the Obama administration, has extended its terrorist tentacles into Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and yes, even over into Venezuela and into the tri-State region of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, where we find Hezbollah activities.
Now is not the time to broadcast what we are not willing to do. Those proclamations only provide gaps to evil regimes such as Iran by which the United States, and the world, will be exploited. As well, what European country would want to do business with the Iranians who support the scourge which they now face, Islamic jihadism? I find it utterly incomprehensible that a nation like Germany would say they need further proof of Iranian involvement. And who is seeking to improve relations with Iran? Yes, dictator for life, China’s Xi Jinping, and there is truly a new “Axis of Evil” forming right before our eyes.
Yes, last weekend was Father’s Day, and I got some goofy socks from my girls. But it is my goal to give them the greatest gift – freedom, liberty, and a secure America, and world. And yes, Iran stands in the way of that gift I wish to leave them. Their dad is not a warmonger; he is just a realist who will never cower before an enemy.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias. Mr. West also writes daily commentary on his personal website theoldschoolpatriot.com.