By Joe Ragonese
When President Bush (43) decided to attack Iraq after September 11, 2001, he may have been more driven to punish that nation on behalf of his father than due to the fact that it was the main source of trouble in the Middle East. We must recall that the first President Bush (41) went to war with Iraq over its seizure of Kuwait, one of our allies and a major supplier of oil to America.
Bush 41 did everything right in his prosecution of that war, until the very end, when just short of total victory he backed down due to the leftist press. The world press showed video footage of the absolute devastation caused on retreating Iraqi troops when they were caught fleeing in stolen vehicles from Kuwait City, by the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force destroyed hundreds of escaping Iraqi soldiers inside their vehicles with missiles, machine gun fire and bombs, some of them napalm bombs.
For those who have never seen the aftermath of the devastation left by total war, it is the most horrendous sight imaginable. When I saw those videos I stood up and cheered, after all, it is exactly what the Air Force is supposed to do. Most who saw those images; however, were repulsed. The revulsion to those scenes reawakened hatred of our military that was left over from the Vietnam War. Those sights only highlighted the division between those who love our military and those who don’t. Bush 41 didn’t have the stomach to stand up to the left, who hate the military and did not want to see America victorious.
Bush caved and ended the fighting short of securing total victory. He left Saddam Hussein in power with his Republican Guard ready to fight another day. This act of cowardliness from Bush 41 was quickly pointed out and oft repeated by the same MSM that drove him to depart early in the first place. The MSM will do anything to embarrass a Republican and America. That early departure caused Hussein to attack Shiite Muslims and Kurds; even going so far as to use poison gas against the Kurdish population.
Everything Hussein did only highlighted Bush 41’s ineptness in not finishing the job when he had the chance, and the press never let him forget it. So when Bush 43 had the opportunity to rectify the situation, he took it. The problem was, sitting next door to Iraq was the real problem, Iran.
Iran has been a hotbed of terrorism ever since the Ayatollahs took control of that nation, due to another inept American President, Jimmy Carter. Carter did not support the Shah of Iran and allowed the radical Imams to take over that country. One of their first acts was to invade the American Embassy and hold our staff hostage for over a year; until a real President took office, Ronald Reagan. The Ayatollahs were afraid of him, and with good reason.
Reagan did not invade Iran, he was too busy winning the Cold War that everyone on the left said couldn’t be done. He did it anyway. But in the meantime, he did not let Iran run wild, at least not openly. Iran was responsible for the deaths of 229 Marines in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, when two of their surrogates from Hezbollah drove a bomb-ladened truck into the Marine barracks there. It was the most deaths, for one day, of American servicemen since the invasion of Iwo Jima in WWII.
Again, nothing was done to Iran for the part they played. In 1996, when Iran mined international waters in the Gulf of Hormuz, and an American warship was damaged, Reagan sent the Navy in to destroy their naval capabilities. In the largest naval operation conducted since the end of World War II, called Operation Praying Mantis, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps destroyed two oil platforms used for intelligence gathering, sank four small patrol boats, an Iranian frigate and severely damaged another of their warships.
It is the only thing that Iran understands, brute force in sufficient amounts to humble them. Iran did not again target Americans until Bill Clinton showed weakness when he withdrew troops from Somalia after the deaths of 18 soldiers and another 70 wounded in Mogadishu; commonly called the Blackhawk down incident, without retaliation against those responsible. That act of cowardice can be said to mark the actual beginning of the war of terrorism against the United States. It demonstrated to every would-be despot that America is weak and will cave in when met with force. It is why we have been at war for the past 16 years. Iran has had its hands in most plots against America, either directly or indirectly, ever since Clinton fled from his duties as Commander-in-Chief.
Clinton, Bush, and Obama, all let Iran slide for provocation after provocation, Obama rewarded Iran with the nuclear deal and providing huge amounts of cash which allow them to continue to carry on their terrorist activities against America and every Arab nation (except Syria and Lebanon) in the Middle East. That division between Iran and the rest of the Arab world has its roots in the break-up of Islam, as well as differences in the races.
The conflict between Iran and its neighbors has been going on for over a thousand years. Iran is not Arab, they are Persian. Iran believes in the Shiite form of Islam, while most of its neighbors are Sunni. The difference between the two branches of Islam is their belief in the succession of leadership after Mohammad died.
Mohammad had many wives and many children, and therefore did not name a successor prior to his death. Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr is the legitimate successor because he was elected as the first caliph by the Muslim community. Shiites, on the other hand, believe that only Allah can name a successor and believe that it is Ali, Mohammad’s son-in-law and cousin, because he was the next male blood relative in line after Mohammad.
Shiites make up only 10% of Muslims. The only countries with Shiite majorities are Iran, Iraq and the island nation of Bahrain. But Iran is not only a Shiite dominated nation, it is also a Persian nation, and therefore, thinks itself superior to Arabs. This is why they are trying so hard to become the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East. It is why they want nuclear bombs and why they support terrorism against their Islamic neighbors. Iran, through its surrogates like Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, have carried out attacks in Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and others states.
Saudi Arabia and all of its neighbors, including Egypt, are fearful of Iran obtaining the nuclear bomb. They know that Iran will use it against them either actually or to bully them into submission. Iran wants to be the major player in the Middle East, reviving the days of the Persian Empire.
Obama seemed to have sided with Iran over its neighbors repeatedly, for some reason. Maybe the madrasa that he attended in Indonesia was a Shiite madrasa? We will never know as his Islamic education is one of his most guarded secrets. Obama took sides with the Shiites over Sunnis, who are our allies in the area. President Trump has a lot of ground to make up in repairing our relations with those countries who actually went to war with us in Kuwait and Iraq.
During our war in Iraq, before Obama withdrew our forces prematurely, Iran’s Quds Forces and Revolutionary Guards supplied Iraqi Shiite militias with weapons, training and even soldiers to do direct battle with American soldiers and Marines. Both Bush and Obama knew this, one time one of their generals was captured by American forces inside Iraq with stores for our enemies. Iran has never denied this.
Obama’s Presidency has emboldened Iran to push ahead with their plans for regional dominance. They have repeatedly tested medium-range ballistic missiles in defiance of the treaty signed by Obama and U.N. resolutions. Within the past week they even tested a missile that was fired from a ship in the Gulf of Hormuz. Their boats continue to harass our ships in that area as they test the limits of President Trump’s new administration.
Iran needs a serious lesson in messing with the U.S. They need another Operation Praying Mantis type of behavioral modification. Yet that alone will not be enough to stabilize the situation in the Middle East. Iran is going ahead full force with development of nuclear weapons and rocketry to deliver them. They must never be allowed to obtain those weapons. We may not wish to fight another war in the Middle East; however, we must take out their nuclear capability.
To do so we may be able to enlist the help of several Arab nations, and even Israel, to make a concentrated attack against their nuclear facilities, while degrading their command and control as well. A coalition of Arab states, in concert with America and Israel might stabilize the Middle East and degrade Iran at the same time. Something needs to happen and soon, because as we send troops into harm’s way in Syria to fight ISIS, we are in direct conflict with Iran and their surrogates. Russia is there too, it is like mixing gun powder with fire, something is going to explode.
And then there is North Korea, it is a very dangerous time in the world, and there are very few options available. Thank God we have a President who has the temerity to face these challenges and deal with them in a positive way.