This letter was written by a friend of ours who was a judge in California, now lives here in Arizona.
Sent: 1/10/2020 4:41:23 PM
Hello family & friends- The rocket attacks on Iraqi military bases housing our troops by the Iranians fortunately resulted in no injuries or deaths. There is some evidence that the Iranians gave advance warning, possibly indicating a desire to avoid President Trump’s threat of massive retaliation if Iran or their proxies killed Americans or committed other “bad acts.”
Left wing critics have predictably spread fear by claiming Trump has no strategy when it comes to dealing with Iran, and that his “impulsive” actions could lead us into another war. Those critics overlook the fact that we have been in a low-key war with Iran since the early 1970’s when they stormed our embassy and held our staff as hostages for a full year. President Carter attempted a rescue which failed. As a candidate Ronald Reagan articulated a policy of deterrence through strength which worked. A few days after he assumed office the Iranians released our hostages. Months later the Iranian regime attacked an American frigate which resulted in President Reagan retaliating by sinking of one third of the Iranian navy. Again, there was a period of relative peace thereafter.
To say that President Trump has no strategy and is impulsive ignores the facts and is a false narrative. President Obama adapted a policy of appeasement toward the Iranians which was disastrous. The nuclear treaty (which I have read in its entirety) that Obama instigated assured that the Iranians would be able to develop a nuclear weapon in ten years. The billions of dollars he secretly bribed the Iranians with was used to finance activities and weapons which have killed hundreds of American soldiers. The treaty also failed to address terrorism and ballistic missiles, which Iran developed at a furious rate, while the treaty was in effect, to carry the nuclear weapons they would eventually develop. Trump was right to exit that treaty and ask for a renegotiation. The Iranians have refused to renegotiate.
Left wing critics claim that diplomacy should have been used instead of killing Soleimani, the senior terrorist of the Iranian regime. The senior terrorist of Al Queda, Osama bin Ladin, was killed by the Obama Administration without diplomacy and with bipartisan, support of both Republicans and Democrats. Both sides understood that diplomacy never works with a hostile adversary unless we have leverage. To negotiate now after years of a defensive posture gives us no leverage with which to change the Iranian regime’s behavior. Why would the regime compromise while their terrorist imperialism was working?
As a businessman and realist, President Trump understands the power of economic leverage as a means of deterrence. He stated his policy toward Iran as a candidate and many times as president. It is this: Obama’s policy of appeasement is replaced with a policy of deterrence. As president, Trump reconstituted our military with the most advanced weapons. He made us energy independent, and made our economy the strongest it has ever been, thereby lessening our dependence on mid-east oil as a prelude to lowering our profile in the region. He terminated the U.S. participation in the nuclear agreement and immediately imposed severe economic sanctions designed to, and it successfully accomplished, a resurgence of unrest within Iran. That created a second front at the regime’s back that could topple it. In the recent past the regime accelerated it’s attacks on American personnel, our assets and those of our allies, but our President exercised restraint while waiting for a propitious moment to institute the next phase of his deterrence policy.
The killing of Soliemani was that moment, and it has powerful significance. Timed as it was to follow the recent killing of an American contractor, Trump articulated punishing retaliation if another American is killed. He effectively linked Soleimani, the killer of hundreds of Americans, to the red line of future consequences. The killing of Soliemani, the highest military official and second only to Khomeini, was a shock to the regime. It telegraphed the vulnerability of Iranian officials at the mercy of American technology and firepower. And, for the first time in American dealings with Iran, Trump and his Administration threatened that any killing or threat of killing any American or other “bad acts” by Iran or it’s proxies, the result would be that the regime would suffer retaliation on critical assets in the homeland. This was coupled with the suggestion from other officials that nuclear facilities and oil fields will be probable targets. Should their oil fields be attacked, the Iranian economy could completely collapse and the regime’s existence would be extremely untenable.
In short, the regime is in a hell of a tight box. Their next move could mean disaster if they don’t make the right decision. For them now, the only right decision is to radically change behavior. The regime does not want a war they know they cannot win. Their ultimate goal is to save the regime, and they are now aware that even a surgical strike could spell their doom. This could force them back to the bargaining table at a serious disadvantage. Trump’s strategy is designed to make our country, our people and our interests safer. War is not imminent, and to suggest otherwise is irresponsible. The regime knows that they would lose with any war against the U.S. President Trump has likewise stated he does not want war, he wants to end it. By exercising restraint after the missile attack and inviting the regime to negotiate, he has de-escalated the situation. It is now in the hands of the regime–do they want to exist and submit to negotiation for peace, or do they want to risk political suicide. That is an effective foreign policy.