Wednesday, February 1, 2017

And Iran Breaks the Rules

What now will the Trump Administration do?

On Monday, it became known that Iran, that friend of humanity everywhere, had done a ballistic missile test in a clear violation of a UN Security Council resolution banning them from doing so, and in what can only be construed as utter defiance of the UN and of the countries, including the USA (or at least the Obama Administration), which signed a nuclear deal without Congress's approval.

Now what, we have to ask.  It is nothing if not curious that this was done in the second full week of the new administration.  It is a challenge to the world in general, but it has to be aimed at Donald Trump in a direct attempt to see how far he will go.

What might the consequences be?  Iran is, of course, the #1 sponsor of Islamic terrorism around the world, and has already spread its influence heavily into other countries in the region.  More to the point, it has captured and humiliated U.S. sailors in defiance of the Geneva Conventions, and to the everlasting embarrassment of Barack Obama, his Secretary of State actually thanked Tehran for releasing captured sailors it should not have touched in the first place.

This is where we have to be grateful that there are a few serious generals in President Trump's cabinet these days.  Because this is not a time for an Obamanesque finger-waving and declaration of "You'd better not do that again!" or a red line.  Obama used to do that to buy time for the crisis to go into the next administration for some other president to deal with.

This is a time to stop the Iranian government from pulling this crap.  And I would like to think that Secretary Mattis is chatting with the president as we speak, figuring out some clever response.  I'd expect for the president's press secretary. Sean Spicer, to be out there saying "We're looking into responses, but please be assured we're not going to tip our hand as previous administrations have been wont to do."

He might not say "wont", but you get the idea.

I will be quite happy to wake up to find that $100 million in Iranian assets have magically been extracted from the world banking system and materialized in the U.S. Treasury (or just disappeared completely).  I'd be happy to wake up to find that we had vaporized something Iranian -- maybe nothing with people, just a show of force, sort of a "See that mountain that used to be there near Isfahan?  We can do this to your beard, Khamenei, if you pull this crap again ... or if you take one step out of line."

I don't know the response, but I want a response.  I take the missile test as a challenge to our spine, and I'd like to think that they picked the wrong president to mess with.  But I also trust that President Trump is astute enough to get his generals in quickly to figure out what creative steps can be taken.

Just do it, Mr. President.  The left will scream and holler but they didn't vote for you in the first place.

Copyright 2017 by Robert Sutton
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