- - Thursday, January 2, 2020

In contrast to the other media reporting on the recent attack on our embassy in Iraq, The Washington Times’ headline accurately describes the occasion and perpetrators of the attempted seizure (“Militiamen breach U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; Trump blames Iran,” Web, Dec. 31). While there have been numerous attacks on our embassies and consulates, the one most comparable to this most recent is that of 1979, when Iranians seized U.S. hostages at our Iranian embassy. The major difference between the two scenarios is that the 2019 attack was purportedly conducted by proxy Iraqi Shiites, friendly to if not financially supported by the Iranian military.

Iranian-supported Iraqi Shiites taking control of Iraq poses a greater threat to the U.S. and our interests in the Middle East than did the seizure of our citizens more than 40 years ago. That attack, while disturbing, limited the damage to Iran, with few or no reverberations in adjacent nations. On the other hand, the recent Iranian-supported attack on our embassy demands a response. With Iran’s military now engaged not only in Iraq but also in Lebanon and Syria, Iran is now in position to wage war against Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region.

This most recent attack bears some resemblance to past acts of aggression, but its consequences are far more dire — and they represent a collapse of our position in the Middle East.


New York

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