What is the Obama administration’s response to this multifront war? A lot of hot air and shameful inaction.
That the Iranians are proficient state-sponsors of terror is a long-time fact. The Iranians were killing American soldiers in Iraq when we were engaged in liberating that country. The Iranians have been supporting Hamas in Gaza, which just this week finished firing 25 rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot.
Iran is also the main sponsor of Hezbollah in Lebanon, which not only has used its arms against Israel and other Lebanese civilians, but has largely taken over the political system, and has more recently brutally attacked Lebanese supporters of the Syrian uprising. These threats to Lebanon’s stability have made the non-Hezbollah political establishment nervous enough to suggest negotiating disarmament with Hezbollah (excluding, of course, Hezbollah military action against Israel), which was quickly rejected with a threat.
“God wanted this [Hezbollah] resistance to be, and it was,” said Sheikh Muhammad Yazbak, head of Hezbollah’s Sharia committee. “It uses weapons and continue (sic) to do so, despite what people say, here and there.”
The Obama administration was until last week, engaged in negotiations with our European partners and Iran to settle on how to limit Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. Those talks, once again, went nowhere, except to highlight that Iran is feeling quite proud of itself, both for stymieing American and European efforts to stop Iranian uranium enrichment and the progress of that enrichment too.
President Obama has now received a bipartisan letter from 44 senators urging further sanctions against Iran as well as “making clear that a credible military option exists” should the most recent talks end without agreement. And they have.
Similarly, former Sen. Charles Robb of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) recently testified before Congress that “the dual approach of diplomacy and sanctions simply have not proved to be enough. We need the third track, and that is credible and visible preparations for a military option.”
These calls for further action against Iran by the White House have been received in silence.
Meanwhile, there is an opportunity for the United States to gain a victory over Iran that doesn’t require a full-scale military operation against Tehran. Such a confrontation should happen over Syria and Iran’s continued involvement in propping up the Assad regime. Iran has installed its own Revolutionary Guard troops in Syria to carry out the bloody suppression of a nearly two-year-long uprising against the Syrian dictator. Iranian and Russian arms are being used by Iranian troops to kill Syrian civilians and fighters alike. The United Nations-sponsored peace plan is covered in blood and shame and again the Obama administration’s response is near-complete inaction.
Moreover, even if this affront to humanitarian and moral principles weren’t enough to spur Mr. Obama to action to stop Damascus’ war against its own citizens, our military has determined that a successful confrontation over Syria would do a lot to weaken Iran in the process. As U.S. Central Command chief Gen. James N. Mattis testified to Congress in March, the downfall of Assad would be “the biggest strategic setback for Iran in 25 years.”
Iran is facing down America’s presence in the Middle East, threatening our security and the security of our allies with every available arrow in its quiver. The Obama administration refuses to even take the field.
(Abby W. Schachter, a Pittsburgh-based columnist, writes the Capitol Punishment blog for the New York Post (nypost.com/blogs/capitol). She can be reached online at twitter.com/abbyschachter.)