End the Iranian regime, now

by Thane Rosenbaum

Iran is a world menace.

(JNS / Jewish Journal) The good news: Israel’s air defense systems—Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 3, and its vaunted fighter pilots—assisted by the United States, Jordan, England, France and Saudi Arabia, performed brilliantly in intercepting the 300 projectiles (over 100 of which were ballistic missiles) that Iran launched at Israel on Saturday night. Except for an Israeli-Arab child seriously wounded by shrapnel, the nation didn’t suffer a scratch.

The bad news: What language does the Biden administration speak when it reassures Israel that it stands in solidarity with the Jewish state and warns Iran, repeatedly, “Don’t”? Because, here again, those expressions of support soon come to mean something less boldly protective and cautionary. Does anyone know of a diplomacy thesaurus that Israel, and the rest of us, can use to decrypt the mixed messaging that emanates from Biden’s West Wing and State Department?

During those first days after Oct. 7, Biden unequivocally stated that Israel had a legal and moral right to self-defense in response to Hamas’s invasion and massacre in southern Israel. Hamas was deemed an Islamic-State clone which needed to be completely vanquished. Any country in the same position would do the same thing.

Anticipating civilian casualties once Israel’s bombing campaign and ground incursion into Gaza commenced, Biden made clear that the responsibility for those Palestinian deaths would lie with Hamas. The terror group broke a ceasefire and started a war with a barbaric massacre. Worse still, it insisted on shielding itself with Gaza’s civilian population.

A fair reading of Biden’s assessment of the situation was that Israel couldn’t be faulted for striking at the locations where Hamas and its weapons are located. Gazans elected a terrorist organization that grotesquely deployed its own people as the first line of defense. Tunnels were built to transport terrorists and hide weapons, and not as bomb shelters for Gaza’s civilians.

Israel is not to blame for that sad state of affairs.

A few months later, however, a very different Biden showed up. He mumbled that Israel’s military operations were “over the top,” warning against any precipitous invasion of Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas’s remaining battalions. He questioned whether the large Palestinian civilian death toll comported with international humanitarian law. And he hinted that future military aid would have to be reevaluated. And the topper: The United States abstained when the U.N. Security Council called for a temporary ceasefire without the release of any Israeli and American hostages.

Then, just the other day, Doctor Jekyll returned to the Oval Office. President Biden, having been apprised through intelligence communiques that Iran was about to launch a significant attack against America’s only democratic ally in the region, stated, repeatedly, that the United States’ commitment to Israel was “ironclad.” His message to Iran, repeated by both his Secretary of State and Defense Secretary: “Don’t!”

But Iran did. Biden gave the same “Don’t!” warning to Iran’s proxies in the early days of the war. Yet, Hezbollah and the Houthis did, as well—the Lebanese terrorists have been launching missiles at Israel nearly every day; and the Yemenite terrorists have wreaked havoc on Israel and commercial shipping lines in the Red Sea.

And then Biden once again revealed his inner Hyde. On Saturday night, not long after Iran’s arsenal of missiles and drones detonated in the sky, the president spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and advised him to “take the win”—no need to escalate tensions further.

Really? If Mexico had launched 300 missiles at New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, the United States would have been satisfied with simply defending against them? I have news for the president: Texans wouldn’t take it, and the Rangers would be suiting up (the special ops guys, not the baseball team).

The necessity for nationwide air raid sirens blaring across Israel, warning of ballistic missiles incoming at major population centers, was not a proportional response to the killing of a few senior commanders in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Damascus. This was a major act of aggression, tantamount to a declaration of war.

Biden’s advice to Israel? Just walk away. And one more thing: America will not take part in any Israeli reprisal.

Obviously, “ironclad” means something different to Biden than it does to everybody else. And “don’t” apparently means “don’t take us seriously.”

If “don’t” actually means, don’t,” why are any Houthis still alive? Back in October, the most powerful nation in the world warned them that taking an ancillary interest in Hamas’s escapades would come with consequences. The Houthis aren’t even Iran’s most dangerous proxy. Most people never even heard of them. Shouldn’t all of them have been killed by now?

On Saturday, Iran finally decided to get its own hands dirty, rather than direct its proxies to do the dirty work. For two decades, trash-talking mullahs threatened to “wipe Israel off the map!” Finally, rather than delegate skirmishes to its proxies, Iran’s maniacal Islamists mixed brinksmanship with the Rubicon and lit up the Middle East sky with missiles and drones. Israel can now, justifiably, retaliate. F-35 pilots can lock on Iran’s ostensibly civilian nuclear facilities—something the rest of the region has secretly been longing for.

Will Biden stand for that? Last week he orchestrated Israel’s withdrawal from southern Gaza, leaving Hamas intact. Now he’s seeking further capitulation.

American foreign policy, these days, seems to be directed from Michigan and Minnesota. Are Muslims in battleground states actually dictating which battles America’s Jewish ally is permitted to fight? Foggy Bottom will soon be renting space from the Ford Motor Company, based in Dearborn. That would make sense. Its founder, Henry Ford, after all, was the leading antisemite of his day.

I realize there’s an election on the horizon and Biden is beholden to shrieking progressives and petulant, ignorant students. But perhaps now, more than ever, is the time for this president to exercise moral leadership, remain actually faithful to “ironclad” commitments and eschew political calculations.

Iran is a world menace. Why else would Jordan and the Saudis have assisted in downing drones whizzing over their airspace? No one other than Bernie Sanders and the Squad is rooting for Iran.

Here’s a tip, Mr. President: Stop the political schizophrenia. Demonstrate that America knows how to stand beside a friend, and won’t stand in the way of allowing the Jewish state to finish the job in Gaza, and, finally, take steps to bring a long-awaited end to the Iranian Islamic regime.

Originally published by The Jewish Journal.

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