Like so many across America and the world, I am sickened and angered by the events unfolding in the Middle East. We’ve witnessed unspeakable brutality with families murdered, even children beheaded. As someone who has served on the frontlines in the war on terror, I know how barbaric the enemies of freedom and civility can be. But seeing the brutality of this attack is still something that is hard to comprehend.
At a time like this we need strength from our leaders more than ever. Unfortunately, we are getting more weakness.
But I believe there are some straightforward actions that America can undertake right now in response to this disaster:
First, we must work to bring home every American hostage. The administration should work with the Israeli government to find safe passage home of every U.S. citizen that is being held. And we must send a clear signal to Hamas and to Tehran that there will be severe consequnces to the Iranian regime should any American hostage be harmed.
Second, we must condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. There are not two sides to this conflict, regardless of what leftists and liberals on college campuses are saying. We must call out murder and evil for what it is.
Third, we must stand with the people of Israel and their right to defend their sovereignty and their people. America knows what it is like to be attacked on our soil, and we appreciated the support of free nations as we fought to defend ourselves. As someone who was a part of our response, I know how important it is to have the support and moral certainty of America behind you.
Fourth, we must reinstitute the Trump policy of maximum pressure on Iran. The U.S. State Department says that Iran spends $700 million every year to support terrorist groups – with Hamas receiving a large portion of that blood money. In fact, Iran recently paid $70 million to develop missile systems for Hamas. This is unacceptable and we are seeing the devastating consequences of allowing this to happen. When President Biden was elected, the Iranian currency account had $6 billion in it. It now has $70 billion. We must cut off all supplies of money to Iran, stop the world from purchasing their oil, and the administration must absolutely stop payments on the $6 billion they just allowed Iran to have access to.
Fifth, we must protect the American people. It is clear that there were intelligence failures by the west leading up to this attack. We need to understand what dangers face American citizens, and we absolutely must close our border. After watching the carnage in Israel does anyone believe that the enemies of western democracy would not attack our citizens again if given the chance? And yet thousands of people on the terrorist watch list have been found coming over our open border. America is not safe and will not be safe until the border is secure.
Sixth, we must call out and condemn antisemitism wherever it arises. When antisemitism is allowed to grow it winds up costing people their lives. We must educate our children and eradicate this hateful ideology from our society forever.
These actions would begin to address the problem the world is facing with radical terrorists, but they take courage and strength of leadership. Unfortunately, those attributes are sorely missing in the current White House.
Since the start of his presidency, Joe Biden has demonstrated a fundamental failure of leadership at home and abroad. His administration’s retreat-from-strength foreign policy has motivated our adversaries and put millions in danger. It began with the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, and has continued with weakness towards China, Russia, and Iran.
This is a complete reversal of the “peace-through-strength” foreign policy of the Trump administration. Under President Trump’s leadership, Qasem Soleimani (the right hand of Khamenei and the leader of Iran’s terrorist operations) was brought to justice. By killing him, the U.S. sent a powerful message that we would not stand by and allow violence and terrorism to threaten the security of America and her allies.
The Trump administration also accomplished what other presidents failed to do for decades, by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. This had been the stated policy of presidents in both parties for decades, but none of them had the courage to carry it out. This was bold leadership that reemphasized our commitment to Israel, the only functional democracy in the Middle East.
Now is the time for leadership and action. Israel has already paid far too high a price.