WASHINGTON: Two Americans and one British soldier died in Iraq last week as Iran continues its war with America
U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts, U.S. Army Specialist Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, and British Army reservist, Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon, died during a rocket attack against al-Taji Air Base in Iraq on Thursday, March 12.
Covarrubias, a regular Army technician was a member of the 1st Cavalry Division, Roberts an engineer with the Oklahoma National Guard, and Gillon served as a frontline medic with the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.
Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, is responsible for the rocket attack that killed or injured 18 military and civilian personnel on al-Taji Air Base. While our military responded with airstrikes at five Kata’ib locations, suspected of being weapons caches, no retaliation was conducted against Iran, who is responsible for these attacks.
After Iran sent more than 20 ballistic missiles to two bases inside Iraq that housed U.S. troops, President Trump did not retaliate; I believe this was wrong. While there were no deaths associated with this attack, over 100 soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries, and it was enough to require a massive response.
President Trump did not respond because he wanted to de-escalate the confrontation. He wasn’t prepared to go to war over the attack. However, Iran has been at war with America ever since 1979 when they attacked our embassy and held Americans captive for 444 days.
That act of war was never responded to, leaving Iran to believe that we do not have the will to do so.
Our failure to hit them back after more than 100 U.S. service personnel were injured showed weakness to Iran’s leadership. And it was a weakness. Iran feeds on American weakness as a hyena feeds on carrion.
We may not have wanted to go to war with Iran, but Iran already sees itself at war with us.
Showing them the slightest amount of kindness, which is what Trump did when allowing them to save face after the killing of Iranian Quids Forces General Qasem Soleimani, is mistaken for weakness.
And what would make them think otherwise? Since their overt attack on our embassy in Tehran in 1979, they have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of American service members.
Their fingerprints are on the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, the 1988 mining of the Persian Gulf that damaged a U.S. Navy frigate. The 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that housed U.S. Air Force and other military personnel, their open support of al-Qaida terrorists that attacked America on September 11, 2001.
Iranian backed militias killed hundreds of U.S. military members serving in Iraq during our war there.
That period saw Iran provide material support, technical support, and training, including the construction of IEDs (improvised explosive devices)and EFPs (explosively formed projectiles) that killed and maimed thousands of service members between 2003 and 2011.
There have been credible reports of uniformed Iranian Quids Forces taking active roles in attacks against American and coalition forces between 2004 and 2009 before our surge ended the uprisings. The Quids forces, led by General Soleimani, were the primary force outside of Iran who provided all support, including the hands-on killing of Americans.
Further, Iran has kidnapped Americans, including FBI Agent Bob Levinson in Iran, while attempting an assassination of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Washington D.C., in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 they conducted attacks on American interests in Africa through proxy forces, including bombings.
Their continuing harassment of American ships in the Persian Gulf, as well as plots against America, prove they consider themselves in a state of war with us. We have not responded to most of these acts of war, except for President Reagan who crippled Iran’s Navy after the mining incident in 1988, and President Trump when killing Solimani after an attack on the American embassy in Iraq.
Yet President Trump did not respond to the ballistic missile attack that came directly from Iran, nor did he attack after the most recent missile attack at al-Taji Air Base, on Saturday, the second attack at that airbase in three days, where three persons were injured. This latest, and second attack, has yet to be responded to in any way as this is being written.
President Trump – trying to reason with Iran’s government
Just as you cannot reason with a brick wall, you cannot reason with Iran’s ayatollahs. The only thing Iran’s leadership understands is brute force. They went quiet after President Reagan demolished their navy in 1988, not again confronting America until he left office.
The only way to secure concessions from them is when they feel they have no other choice. Reasonableness is not a part of their DNA. Israel understands this and is why they are both feared and respected. Send a missile into Israeli territory and expect ten back. While Iran will never associate with Israel, they have not directly sent any missiles into their territory even though they have the ability to do so.
Israel has attacked as many Hezbollah military sites as America has, and killed many of their leaders, yet Iran has not retaliated against them. It is because Iran knows there will be a heavy price to pay if they do. They do not believe that America will respond when attacked, so they continue to attack directly and through their proxies, capriciously.
Until we make Iran understand that there is a price to be paid for their recklessness, they will continue to attack Americans as they want. President Trump has two options, get out of the Middle East, or strike hard at Iran.
If he chooses the latter, at least both sides will know that they are at war. In any case, America cannot continue to bury its head in the sand and pretend that a state of war with Iran does not exist.
About the author:
Joseph Ragonese is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a retired police officer, has a degree in Criminal Justice, a businessman, journalist, editor, publisher, and fiction author.