Hey Joe Biden, the United States is under attack

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87), one of the many American naval assets tasked with maintaining free navigation of maritime shipping routes, came under attack over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Mason received a distress call from a tanker with links to an Israeli-owned company. The Houthi Islamist militia group in control of much of Yemen had previously warned Israeli-linked vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden that they would come under attack, and the tanker’s distress signal suggested that this was no idle threat. The Mason found an ongoing attempt to hijack the ship, disrupted the attack, and captured the attackers as they made their way back to Yemeni shores. Within hours of this intervention, two ballistic missiles were fired from within Houthi-controlled Yemen “toward the general direction” of the Mason.

“U.S. officials would not say who was responsible for the attack and if the five-person group was acting under the orders of a state or group,” the New York Times reported. Nevertheless, “officials said that they are investigating whether Iran was involved.” We should expect a speedy conclusion to the administration’s investigation. Since the October 7 massacre, American assets and interests in the region have come under sustained attack by Iran-backed elements. The attempted attack on the Mason is almost certainly a part of that campaign.

This missile attack was preceded by a strike that took down a $30 million U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone operating off the coast of Yemen in early November and the interception of several Israel-bound ballistic missiles by another U.S. missile destroyer in the Red Sea in late October. Both attacks were attributed to the Houthis, an organization that is armed and supported by the Iranian regime. 

Meanwhile, American forces in Iraq and Syria have experienced a sustained tempo of attacks from Iran-backed Shiite militia groups and terrorist organizations for weeks with no letup in sight. While Americans back home were celebrating Thanksgiving, U.S. service personnel at Iraq’s al-Assad and Erbil airbases experienced four separate attacks. These attacks mark the 73rd occasion in which Iranian proxy forces targeted U.S. troops in the region since the October 7 massacre. Dozens of American soldiers have been injured in these attacks.

The United States is not content to simply absorb these blows, but the Biden administration’s efforts to restore deterrence in the region have been unsuccessful. On October 26, U.S. forces conducted airstrikes on two facilities in eastern Syria linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Two more similar strikes on November 12 targeted pro-Iran militias operating inside Syria to “make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests,” according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The message was not received, so American and coalition forces conducted a third series of retaliatory strikes on Iran-backed targets on November 21, this time against targets inside Iraq. That response hit its marks, killing at least eight Kataib Hezbollah militants and wounding four others.

In the interim between America’s second airstrike on Iran-backed militants and its third, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh assured reporters that a durable deterrence had been restored to the Middle East. Moreover, the administration had not yet seen indications that Israel’s war against Hamas would “spill over into other neighboring countries and into the region,” she said. But Iran’s puppets in the region were not deterred then, and they remain undeterred today. Israel’s war with the Iranian cats’ paws in Hamas has clearly triggered a region-wide response from the constellation of terrorist enterprises loyal to Tehran. These Iran-backed groups are united in their purpose and are quite open about their goal.

“These actions reflect great courage because it is the Americans they are fighting, the Americans whose fleets, aircraft carriers, and bases fill the region,” Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah said of the attacks on U.S. forces throughout the Middle East. “If you Americans want these operations on the supporting fronts to stop, if you don’t want regional war, you must stop the aggression and war on Gaza.” In other words, the attacks on American soldiers will continue until Washington sacrifices Israel to the terrorist organizations amassed along its borders.

The Biden administration is surely attempting to calibrate its responses to attacks on U.S. forces to avoid the risk of triggering a broader conflict with Iran’s more capable terrorist proxies, like Hezbollah, or even with Iran itself. But Tehran’s agents are not being especially coy about their intentions. They are engaged in a coordinated campaign designed to punish the United States for its support of Israel. Through a combination of prudent preparation and luck, American forces in the region have not yet suffered any fatalities from these attacks, but America’s luck won’t hold out forever.

The United States is under attack. The Biden administration’s unwillingness to acknowledge this unsustainable reality won’t make it disappear. Absent a development that changes Iran’s calculations, the Islamic Republic will test American resolve in increasingly reckless ways.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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