This past weekend, two Saudi oil refineries were reportedly taken out by Iran.
The Daily Mail reports that after a security briefing, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) came out and stated that Trump’s earlier response to the events was seen as a “sign of weakness,” to which Trump responded, “No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don’t understand.”
A Sign of Weakness
After Iran downed a U.S. drone in June, Trump vowed to hit them back. The decision was soon made to conduct a drone strike, but President Trump called off the attack at the last minute over concerns about collateral damage.
Weighing the decision for several days, President Trump finally decided that killing 150 innocents was not a proportional response to the loss of an American drone.
The decision was met with a mixed response both within and outside the party, proving it was a no-win situation for Trump.
Calling off the strike was viewed by many as a sign of weakness. Had Trump allowed the attack to go forward and 150 innocent civilians were killed, Democrats and liberals would have erupted in outrage. Having Graham come out against Trump in this way, however, was completely unexpected.
Time to Strike Back
While Trump probably made the right decision in not carrying out a strike after the drone was downed, the situation has changed dramatically.
Iran has continued its aggressive behavior by taunting U.S. naval vessels and capturing allied tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The act of destroying Saudi oil refineries, though, cannot go unanswered.
Clearly, not retaliating earlier has empowered the Iranians and has them feeling that there will be no military response from this administration.
The United States and its allies need to send a message with something other than sanctions.
Vice President Mike Pence appears to believe that is the next step as well, stating, “The U.S. is prepared, we’re locked and loaded and we’re ready to defend our interests and our allies in the region. Make no mistake about it.”
The time has come for the U.S. to wield its power and bring Iran to its knees. Otherwise, the rogue nation will continue to carry out these attacks, hurting our Middle East allies and our national interest.