- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Rep. Dan Crenshaw says Democrats are denying history as a way to attack President Trump’s response to Iranian terror throughout the Middle East.

The Texas representative told reporters on Wednesday that two false premises have been peddled by Democrats to demonize Mr. Trump and undermine attempts to safeguard the nation.

“One [false premise] is that history began with Donald Trump’s strike against [Quds force Gen. Qassem] Soleimani,” the Republican said. “The second false premise is that there is this false choice between doing nothing and all-out war.”

Mr. Crenshaw — a Navy SEAL veteran — buttressed his points with a succinct recap of history in the region. 

“I deployed to Iraq twice, deployed to Afghanistan once, and after getting blown up I deployed back to the Middle East in Bahrain,” he said. “I have seen the Iran threat network and studied it closely. I’ve seen what their exported weapons do to our soldiers in Iraq — over 600 killed by IEDs, specialized IEDs that were exported there from Iranians. The Iranians are experts at surrogate warfare. They create sleeper cells in Bahrain right next to our Navy base. They stoke civil war in Yemen and Iraq and in Syria. They’re experts at creating chaos.”

The Republican’s comments came in the wake of Iran’s decision to fire 15 ballistic missiles at the Ain Assad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province. 

There were no U.S. casualties as a result of the strike.

“The Iranians have been escalating against the United States or a very long time,” he continued. “It started in 1979. More recently, they embarrassed our Navy sailors after they [the Iranians] boarded a Navy vessel. They shot down U.S. drones. They put limpet mines on oil tankers. They’ve attacked Saudi oil facilities; they put rocket attacks towards our bases and they orchestrated an attack against a U.S. embassy.”

Mr. Crenshaw said the difference between Mr. Trump’s administration and past presidents is that he “finally took action and stopped letting the Iranians punch us in the face.”

The president, speaking the nation Wednesday morning, lent Mr. Crenshaw’s second point credence by stating his preference for “punishing” sanctions over military action.

“The president is not taking us to all-out war,” Mr. Crenshaw said. “There is a lot in between and we have to be more honest about that fact. We have to set a red line and say that as the United States of America we will not be punished indefinitely. We have to take action. We have to respond and the president did just that. It’s time we unified behind our president instead of casting partisan stones.”

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