This is the kind of message America — and the world — needs to hear.
As Islamist militants laid siege to the United States Embassy in Baghdad, a sprawling symbol of American power in the heart of the Middle East, a force of roughly 100 Marines was being deployed Tuesday to reinforce security for U.S. personnel and employees, according to Fox News.
In the United States, meanwhile, big-name Republican senators were issuing toughly worded messages to the country’s friends and foes, with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham summing it up best.
Very proud of President @realDonaldTrump acting decisively in the face of threats to our embassy in Baghdad.
He has put the world on notice – there will be no Benghazis on his watch.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 31, 2019
“Very proud of President Donald Trump acting decisively in the face of threats to our embassy in Baghdad,” Graham wrote. “He has put the world on notice – there will be no Benghazis on his watch.”
The reference, of course, was to the disgraceful incident of September 2012, when an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by Islamist terrorists.
Then-President Barack Obama responded by flying out of Washington to attend a political fundraiser in Las Vegas — a day after four Americans, including a United States ambassador, were murdered in North Africa.
In the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack, Obama administration officials — desperate to avoid admitting a terrorist attack so close to the 2012 election, told the nation a lie about how the violence was actually the result of outraged Muslims protesting an internet video virtually no one had seen.
The American response to the ongoing situation in Baghdad so far has been the polar opposite — from actually sending military help to having no illusions about who the enemy is.
Early Tuesday, Trump himself had made clear in a Twitter post that he was holding the Islamic Republic of Iran — and the murdering mullahs who rule it — responsible for the embassy attack.
As Fox News reported, the embassy siege follows a U.S. airstrike Sunday on an Iranian-backed militia that came in retaliation for an attack on a U.S. base Friday that left an American contractor dead.
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
Also Tuesday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a one-time rival of Trump’s for the 2016 presidential nomination, placed the blame on Tehran as well.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 31, 2019
In other words, there’s no shilly-shallying about who is responsible for the attack — and no craven, Obama-style obfuscations about the real cause.
There’s a commitment — in the very formidable form of United States Marines — to defending American interests.
The Baghdad embassy situation is serious — evoking as it does, the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 that was the Iranian revolutionary regime’s way of openly declaring its now four-decade-old war with the United States.
But the immediate Trump administration response has been clear so far in conveying one message: American interests, American rights under international law and American diplomatic personnel are not to be menaced lightly.
What the Obama White House accepted from the country’s Islamist enemies won’t be tolerated under Trump.
In short: “There will be no Benghazis on his watch.”
And that’s a message American — and the world — needs to hear.
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