POLITICS: Biden finally strikes back — too little, too late
Too Little, Too Late.
Late Friday afternoon the US military began strikes in response to the attack that killed three US soldiers the weekend before, but so far it looks like President Biden opted for the least he could do.
We’ll keep up some hope: The Pentagon and National Security Council said Thursday it will be a multifaceted campaign, and NSC spokesman John Kirby announced, “The first thing you see won’t be the last.”
But it looks like the targets will be exclusively in Syria and Iraq, and mainly Iran’s proxy forces there, though some Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps units might get hit.
IRGC forces inside Iran will be perfectly safe, even though the White House fully admits Tehran is behind it all.
The Iranians direct 160-plus attacks on us, but we respect their border?
As important, Washington’s been talking about this all week, with much noise about Biden weighing his options.
Which means Iran and its pawns had plenty of time to move everything vital away, evacuate higher-ups (at least) into hiding and so on.
How many empty buildings and tents will our multimillion-dollar weapons “annihilate”?
In what we expect the White House will sell as meaningful symbolism, the strikes began an hour or so after the solemn Dover Air Force Base ceremony marking the return home of the remains of Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett.
(The president, incidentally, attended the ceremony — then jetted off to California for a fundraiser where he’ll no doubt brag about his resolve and decisiveness.)
Yet a far more fitting honor would have been to start the strikes as soon as the Iranian “axis of resistance” killed those three soldiers.
Indeed, the strikes should’ve begun the instant Iran’s allies started shooting at us.
Every one of those attacks intended to kill Americans, yet Biden only OK’d pinprick responses lobbing missiles at an unoccupied terrorist warehouses and so on.
Sorry: No president should give the enemy a single free slap at the US Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, let alone 160.
We should have replied as if every attack succeeded: Every one that went unanswered was an invitation to try again.
And we sure as hell should have had plans in place for a response to the inevitable attack that did get through.
A commander-in-chief who refuses to think about it until it actually happens, and then takes his time deciding, is plain unfit for his sworn duties.
Or maybe he did privately have a plan — namely, to do as little as possible, something he could only judge by reading the polls and political winds after the fact.
In other words: Speak loudly for domestic consumption, but carry a tiny stick.
That’s been Biden’s approach on everything touching on national security, from his refusal to give Ukraine the more advanced weapons it’s desperately needed from the start to his utter fecklessness on the southern border.
As for our president’s oft-expressed fear of escalation: As we’ve said before, Iran is escalating anyway, and will keep at it at least until we give it real reason to worry how we’ll escalate.
Tehran won’t care how many of its proxies we kill, nor even a few low-level IRGC sacrificial lambs.
Whereas it does fear having its own forces pulled in: As it finishes its dash to nuclear-weapons capability and negotiates the transition to a new “supreme leader” (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is 84), the last thing it wants is any more instability at home.
For months, Biden has done calibrated strikes to warn the enemy what we could do to them.
Unless he starts showing them that we will respond massively, he’s guaranteeing the deaths of more men and women sworn to defend our nation.