- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Let the “all out war” games begin.

Iran shot off more than a dozen missiles at two military bases in Iraq that houses U.S. troops, ratcheting tensions but injuring or killing no one — and now Iran is warning America: Respond and it’s war.

Well, isn’t that a pot calling the kettle black moment.

America, on Iran, must not retreat.

Both openly and through proxies, Iran has spent years funding terrorism activities that target America and American allies; Iran’s recently shot down an American drone; Iran’s just this past summer attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil tanker in the Red Sea, as well as numerous other oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz; Iran’s attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq — and then, when President Donald Trump responds by taking out one of Iran’s leading terrorist leaders, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles at American-tied bases in Iraq.



And Iran has the gall to respond with this?

“Any adverse military action by the U.S. will be met with an all out war across the region,” said Hessameddin Ashena, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a statement on Twitter, reported by Reuters. “The Saudis, however, could take a different path — they could have total peace!”

Iran, all along, all along its years-long path of using proxies to attack America — to kill Americans — and to go after American interests and allies, has played the innocent card, denying any and all involvement. And when that didn’t work, Iran has all along, all along its years-long path of attacking America and American troops and interests, has declared itself a peace-loving nation, only using aggression as a means of self-defense.

Iran has played America for a fool.

America, under previous administrations, has treated Iran with kid gloves, hoping that through diplomacy, the nation would soon enough settle down and play nice.

But that’s not a strategy of strength. It’s only emboldened Iran to view America as weak. It’s emboldened Iran to poke the bear here, poke the bear there, and crying loudly about the devil of America, the evil aggressor of America, the big satan of America in the process — all as a means of furthering its victimhood ploys.

All as a means of distracting the world from its nuclear weapons development designs.

The thing is, America should have a strict policy that goes, if you kill Americans, if you attack Americans, if you assault American embassies, America will consider those attacks acts of war — and respond similarly.

On this, America should not back down or barter. Or send stacks of cash to appease. Or pretend peace when peace does not really exist.

America is a country with citizens who hate war.

But America is also a country with citizens who are willing, able and quite capable of going to war, and winning, when necessary. Iran has needled war for years with America. Retreat and pretend peace is no longer an option. Neither should be simply soothing the savage beast.

If Iran is going to declare “all out war” on America, America’s response should be this: Good. At least the regime’s finally being honest about what it’s been doing for years.

And then America should stand ready to meet might with might. 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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