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VICTOR JOECKS: Biden’s weakness is paving the way to war

President Joe Biden’s “peace through weakness” strategy isn’t effective in deterring Iranian aggression.

On Sunday, three American soldiers stationed in Jordan died in a drone attack. Another 30 were injured, some seriously. U.S. officials say the drone came from an Iran-backed militant group inside Syria. The base had a drone defense system, but it’s possible soldiers mistakenly thought it was a returning U.S. drone.

“We know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said.

This is far from the first act of aggression the U.S. military has faced recently in the Middle East. Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, militia groups backed by Iran have attacked U.S. forces more than 150 times and injured some service members.

The Houthis, another Iranian-backed group, have been attacking ships in the Red Sea since November, too. That’s a huge deal, because around 12 percent of global trade floats through there each year. Last Friday, the Houthis even fired a missile at the USS Carney, which shot it down.

Iranian leaders have long hated America. A 2020 video shows members of its Parliament chanting, “Death to Israel. Death to America.” But Iran has a problem. The American military would crush its forces in a head-to-head battle. It can win only if the might of the American military is artificially restrained.

Look at what Biden has done. He inherited a relatively peaceful Middle East from Donald Trump. Through the Abraham Accords, an alliance of Arab countries and Israel was banding together to stand against Iran and its aggression.

But Biden came into office disparaging Saudi Arabia and kissing up to Iran. He restarted nuclear negotiations with Iran. He loosened financial sanctions. He gave Iran access to $6 billion to free five American hostages. He removed the Houthis from the list of foreign terror organizations. This month, Biden relisted them.

To the surprise of no one but the foreign policy “experts,” appeasing terrorists didn’t make them embrace the United States. It emboldened them. They view America and Biden as feeble and vulnerable.

Making matters worse, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby is openly saying the United States doesn’t “want a wider war with Iran.”

Telling your enemy that you’re uninterested in escalation makes it more likely they will continue to escalate.

Think of it this way. A 90-pound teenager hates a 200-pound MMA champion. The teen knows he would be crushed in a real fight, so he looks for chances to harass him. One evening, the MMA fighter is dressed up in a tuxedo for an awards show. It’s raining and muddy when he steps outside. The teen is considering throwing rocks at the fighter.

If the teen thinks the fighter’s priority is defending himself — even if it means getting his tux dirty — he won’t throw the rocks. But if the teen thinks the fighter values his appearance most highly, he’ll throw the rocks and count on the fighter’s vanity to halt an aggressive response.

Iranian leaders appear to believe that Biden is too feckless and incompetent to defend America or even her soldiers. Sadly, Biden has yet to prove them wrong.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on X.

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