Commentary

What Part Do We Not Understand About State-Sponsored Terrorism?

By Allen West | January 6, 2020 | 10:29am EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Greetings everyone and welcome to a new year, the beginning of a new decade, 2020. It appears that the Ayatollah Khameini received a special New Year’s greeting courtesy of the United States of America. However, what has been utterly disturbing, and perplexing, to me has been the response from some progressive, socialist media pundits, politicians, and yes, some Republicans.

I think it is time we understand what “state-sponsored terrorism” means.

Let me begin by stating the reference of “War on Terrorism” is an abysmal moniker. Terrorism is a tactic used by state and non-state belligerents to advance their goals and objectives, which primarily means asymmetric warfare. A nation cannot engage in fighting or defeating a tactic. It can however, use its elements of National power – diplomatic, informational, military, and economic – to defeat the ideology that enables terrorism.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In this case, what we have failed to recognize is that we have been embroiled in a global conflagration against militant Islamic terrorism since the seizing of our embassy in Iran in 1979. This was the beginning of the ascension of Iran as the premier state-sponsor of Islamic terrorism, their Islamic revolution.

Four years later, 1983, the Iranian-backed proxy terrorist army, Hezbollah, was responsible for the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing over 240 Marines and sailors.


Five years later, 1988, Iran was responsible for the damaging, by a sea mine, of the U.S. Navy Guided Missile Frigate U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts. Yes, Iran attacked a U.S. Naval vessel. Four days later, President Ronald Reagan launched Operation Praying Mantis, which resulted in the Iranians losing two frigates (45 Iranian sailors killed), a gunboat (11 Iranian sailors killed), three speedboats, and two oil platforms.

At that time, I was transitioning as a young Army artillery captain from Ft. Sill Oklahoma to Ft. Riley Kansas, May 1988. If memory serves me right, President Reagan did not go and make a presentation before Congress. Nor did we enter into a war with Iran.

It would be three years later, in 1991, that I would deploy, with many others, for Operation Desert Shield/Storm, to defend the sovereignty of Kuwait against the invasion of Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi Army.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Funny, I recall all the doom and gloom predictions from the media and pundits, even the absurd declarations from Saddam that it would be the “mother of all battles.” Well, it ended in 96 hours, with a decisive defeat of Saddam’s so called venerable million-man army. Saddam is now dead, along with his sons Uday and Qasay.

It appears we are hearing the same proclamations, absurdities, and disconcerting comments from Iran and our liberal media today.

General Qasem Suleimani was the leader of a designated Islamic terrorist organization. The blood of Americans on Suleimani’s hands goes back through the decades, and he was poised to continue such into this new decade.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Suleimani was directly responsible for the supplying of the lethal explosive force penetrator (EFP) improvised explosive device (IED) resulting in 18-20% of the deaths and maiming of our men and women in that combat theater of operation.

I have met some of those warriors who are without a limb due to Suleimani’s efforts.  Most recently Suleimani was coordinating the Shiite Paramilitary Forces to conduct a missile strike against a base resulting in the death of an American contractor.

Suleimani was the conductor who orchestrated the assault against our U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. It is a fact that the attackers were spray painting his name on our embassy. Last thing I remember, our embassy is a sovereign extension of the United States. And just because Barack Obama did nothing, and lied about it,  when our special mission compound, consulate, in Benghazi, Libya was attacked  and four Americans killed – Amb Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty – that type of reticence, cowardice, is not a defining character of the Trump administration.


Not to mention that Barack Obama approved over 500 drone strikes, without any congressional approval, reveals the hypocrisy that is now affecting our national security.

The Trump administration had every right to launch the drone strike that killed an Islamic terrorist organization leader. General Qasem Suleimani was not a foreign official. He was not a revered military figure. He was not some dashingly handsome man. He was an Islamic terrorist responsible for the deaths of American men and women in uniform.

And now we find out that the west African Islamic terrorist organization Al Shabab is responsible for an attack that killed U.S. servicemen and an American contractor.

Donald Trump did not start Islamic terrorism, he did not instigate their attacks…and it is only a perverse, partisan mind that would assert such. Donald Trump does not want us involved in “endless wars” of occupation. His focus is on focused strike operations that attack enemy capability and capacity.

In World War II, when the United States got intel on the transport of Imperial Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, we launched. Sadly, when we had Osama bin Laden in the sights of a drone back in 2001 heading out of Kabul, Afghanistan east on the Jalalabad Road, we hesitated, conferred, and then he escaped into Pakistan, where we later conducted a strike operation that killed him.

I do not recall the liberal media second guessing and praising bin Laden in the aftermath of his killing. Nor did the leftist press rail about a war starting with Pakistan.

There will be no war against Iran, because Iran, the number one state-sponsor of Islamic terrorism has long since declared war against the “Great Satan” since 1979.

However, we have a choice. We can go back to the policy of sending Iran billions of dollars of palletized cash on unmarked aircraft in the middle of the night, or we can finally understand what state-sponsored Islamic terrorism is and strike back.

Having served in that part of the world, let me convey this clearly. Some people see compromise, appeasement, and negotiation as weakness. Terrorists only understand strength and might, and precision violence. That is the only response to Islamic terrorism, some may not like it, but it’s better than acquiescing to their objective of fear, intimidation, and the most heinous forms of violence against civilians.

The world is a safer place when evil men like Qasem Suleimani are destroyed. And deploying our military forces as a deterrent is exactly what our warriors train to do…and we are itching to punish Iran and Islamic terrorists.

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