Why should we be so afraid of Iran?

Let’s be honest: President Biden and the Democrats want you to be terrified of Iran. And it’s not just on the left. There are plenty of people on the right expressing the same sentiment, though maybe for slightly different reasons.

All we hear is “We don’t want war with Iran, no matter what.” Well, pardon me for asking, but why not? Why are we supposed to be so afraid of Iran?

Look, I’m not hoping for a war. But do you really think it would be all that difficult for the U.S. to defeat Iran?

If we fight the war the way we should — roll through, destroy their military as quickly as possible and chase their government into hiding or into the arms of the public they’ve oppressed, then leave — there’s no doubt we’d win.

Just as Russia is weaker than we were told, so is Iran. Recall how, when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, we expected to see the world’s second-greatest military roll up Europe’s poorest country like it was a cheap carpet. But it turns out that Russia is so stupidly corrupt that it cannot wage war effectively. Everyone in the power structure is in on the scam, from the lowliest officers selling their military units’ fuel, rations and bullets, to the oligarchs looting the country’s public budget, to Putin himself. Russian military leaders themselves “have estimated that 20 percent to 40 percent of Russia’s military budget is stolen.” That implies a theft of as much as $34 billion per year, or more than the entire state budget of 29 U.S. states.

Iran is no different than Russia in one respect. It is judged as having a strong military based on what the intelligence community thinks the Iranians spend on it, and the fact that it fought Iraq to a stalemate four decades ago. But then, Iraq’s military was also supposedly formidable. It turned out not to be so — in fact, defeating Iraq’s military was the easiest part both times we invaded.

There is no reason to think we couldn’t neutralize Iran’s military just as easily, at least before it develops a nuclear weapon. I’m not saying we should invade, but we should be doing things that puts that fear into the back of Iranian leaders’ minds.

Ronald Reagan’s strategy of “peace through strength” worked not because of the peace part, but because of the strength part. The credible threat of severe consequences is one heck of a strong incentive to avoid bad behavior.

War is an inherently destructive activity. In principle, peace is always in everyone’s interest. But that ceases to be the case when peace requires turning a blind eye to so much aggression. Between its participation in the October 7 terrorist attacks, its nearly 200 attacks on our own bases in the time since, its attacks on Red Sea shipping and its massive aerial attack on Israel over the weekend, Iran has arguably already crossed the threshold of what we can afford to ignore.

The Biden administration seems content to protect Iran from consequences, even to the point of ridiculously denying Iranian involvement in October 7. Biden’s top priority, higher even than peace, seems to be a deal with Iran. But all of his denial is becoming unsustainable as Iran tests America’s limits.

Today, even a simple word of support for anti-regime protesters in the streets of Tehran would go a long way. We should really do more than that by actively supporting them.

Consider that Israel’s Islamic neighbors not only allowed Israel to use their airspace to defend itself from last weekend’s Iranian attack, but some of them actively participated in protecting the Holy City. That shows just how hated Iran’s regime has become in the region. It is making allies out of sworn enemies.

A strong president — one more concerned with the best interests of the country and world than his chances of winning Michigan — would by rallying opposition to Iran and squeezing its terrorist government from every conceivable angle. But we don’t have that president. Some other world leader will have to step up.

Until Iran develops a nuclear weapon, something Democrats seem desperate to make happen, it will be a paper tiger, only capable of inflicting damage through terrorist attacks by its own forces and the paramilitary groups it funds throughout the Middle East. Once Iran gets the bomb, that changes forever. So why are so many people helping the mullahs buy the time they need?

Derek Hunter is host of the Derek Hunter Podcast and a former staffer for the late Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.).

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