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Intimidating Iran

Newt Gingrich urges the U.S. to intimidate Iran to atone for those three American combat deaths, and shows how to do it.

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The United States is at a crossroads in the Middle East.

We either must be prepared to withdraw from the region to avoid continued efforts to kill American service members, or take decisive actions to intimidate Iran and convince theocratic dictatorship it can’t afford to continue its current proxy war.

The Biden administration seems incapable of understanding this clear and simple choice. President Joe Biden and his team have done little beyond hand-wringing and whining. As NBC News reported:

Even after two Navy Seals were killed last week and three more Americans were killed… In brief remarks Tuesday, Biden said he had decided on a response to the attacks, without giving details. The president said he held Iran responsible for the strike because it provided weapons to the militants, but he reiterated that he was not looking for a wider war.

The United States is under attack across the Middle East from Iranian proxies. Americans are being fired upon in Iraq, Syria, and in the Red Sea. Young Americans are bleeding and dying in defense of their country. What does Biden think a “wider war” would look like?

After three Americans were killed and another 40 were wounded, Department of Defense Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh asserted, “We don’t want to see a widening of this conflict.”

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The next day, Time Magazine reported:

Meanwhile, attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels continue in the Red Sea, most recently targeting a U.S. warship. The missile launched Tuesday night targeted the USS Gravely, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement.

So, the Biden administration talks, and the Iranian proxies attack. This cycle has been repeating since the first attack on Oct. 18. In fact, there have been more than 165 attacks in this three-and-a-half-month period.

The Iranians have already warned that any serious American response would lead to severe counterattacks.

The New York Post reported, Irani U.N. Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani told Irani journalists the Iranian dictatorship would make a “strong response” if it or any of its proxies were attacked by American forces.

Other leaders in the Iranian military have reinforced this threat of a strong Iranian reaction to any American attacks.

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The Biden administration must remember that the Iranian parliament routinely chants “death to America; death to Israel.” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has clarified that this is a policy – not a slogan.

When a government says it wants the death of your country – and it funds, trains, and equips proxies to attack you – it is imperative that you take them seriously.

The Biden administration should consider Leon Trotsky’s warning that “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” It is clear that President Biden and his National Security team simply can’t bring themselves to confront reality.

On Jan. 15, President Biden said, “I already delivered the message to Iran. They know not to do anything… Iran does not want a war with us.”

This statement came after three months of attacks on Americans. What does President Biden think war looks like?

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Sen. Mitch McConnell captured the current reality when he said Biden has been resorting to, “hesitation and half-measures” in response to the recent growing spate of attacks.

McConnell went on to say in a statement released Jan. 28:

The entire world now watches for signs that the president is finally prepared to exercise American strength to compel Iran to change its behavior. Our enemies are emboldened. And they will remain so until the United States imposes serious, crippling costs — not only on front-line terrorist proxies, but on their Iranian sponsors who wear American blood as a badge of honor.

Retired Admiral John Miller, former commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf had a similar view:

We’ve allowed ourselves to come to a point where now, direct strikes on Iran are what is required to quell this activity. In true Iranian fashion, they’re going to push and push and push, until they sense that they’ve come to a red line. They do that themselves. They do it through their proxies. Well, they crossed the red line. They need to be held to account for that.

Despite Biden’s comments, we have accepted a long running Iranian war against America. It has been an indirect war using proxies and terrorism. Both Presidents Barack Obama and Biden have refused to take this war seriously. Both have thought they could appease Iran and somehow convince the theocratic dictatorship to be an ally.

It is hard to understand how Obama and Biden heard “death to America” and concluded they should give billions of dollars to the people chanting it. Furthermore, Biden lifting the oil sanctions only produced hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue for Iran to fund its nuclear weapons program and the terrorism war.

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The simplest and most abhorrent fact is American money has gone to Iranian proxies who kill Americans.

It is possible the continuing violence and the death of young Americans will finally force President Biden to face reality.

The only long-term solution is to apply sufficient military and economic power, degrade Iran’s capacity to fund terrorism, and intimidate the regime from further belligerence.

Iran is going to intimidate Biden and force the U.S. out of the region – or we are going to intimidate the theocratic dictatorship (or ultimately help the Iranian people replace it) and develop a much more peaceful Middle East.

If President Biden can’t intimidate Iran by Jan. 20, 2025, I suspect President Trump will.

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This article was originally published by RealClearPolicy and made available via RealClearWire.

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Speaker Newt Gingrich is Chairman of Gingrich 360, a multimedia production and consulting company based in Arlington, Virginia. As former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gingrich is well known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994, creating the first conservative majority in the House in 40 years. He was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2012.

Gingrich is a Fox News contributor, podcast host (Newt’s World), and syndicated columnist. He is the author of 41 books, including 18 fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers. His latest books include Beyond Biden: Rebuilding the America We Love and Trump and the American Future: Solving the Great Problems of Our Time.

Gingrich and his wife, Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. Recent films include “The First American” and “Divine Mercy: The Canonization of John Paul II.”

Recognized internationally as an expert on world history, military issues, and international affairs, Newt Gingrich is the longest-serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals. He also teaches officers from all six services as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. In addition, Newt Gingrich served as a Member of the Defense Policy Board. He was a member of the Terrorism Task Force for the Council on Foreign Relations, and he co-chaired the Task Force on United Nations Reform, a bipartisan congressional effort to modernize and improve the United Nations.

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