''We've taken this action to make certain the Iranians have no illusions about the cost of irresponsible behavior,'' the president said. ''We aim to deter Iranian aggression, not provoke it,” he continued, warning Iran against further hostile actions in the strategically vital Persian Gulf. “'They must know that we will protect our ships, and if they threaten us, they'll pay a price,'' said the president.
Alas, President Barack Obama said nothing of the sort today after Iranian forces fired shots at a Marshall Islands flagged vessel and boarded the ship. The forceful words are those of another commander-in-chief: Ronald Reagan, who was explaining why a little more than 27 years ago, April 14, 1988, he’d ordered the Navy to attack Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf. Operation Praying Mantis came in response to the damage done to an American warship by Iranian mines. The Navy made quick work of the Iranians, explains a Navy website:
By the end of that day the coalition air and surface units not only destroyed the two oil rigs but also Iranian units attempting to counter-attack U.S. forces
Naval aircraft and the destroyer USS Joseph Strauss (DDG 16) sank the Iranian frigate Sahand (F 74) with harpoon missiles and laser-guided bombs. A laser-guided bomb, dropped from a Navy A-6 Intruder, disabled frigate Sabalan (F 73), and Standard missiles launched from the cruiser USS Wainwright (CG 28) and frigates USS Bagley (FF 1069) and USS Simpson (FFG 56) destroyed the 147-foot missile patrol boat Joshan (P 225). In further combat, A-6s sank one Bodghammer high-speed patrol boats and neutralized four more of the speedboats.
The event reminds us that Iranians are the same as they always were. What’s different is the man sitting in the Oval Office: Obama believes that his legacy rests on securing a nuclear arms deal with the Islamic Republic. He might be right—and in the worst way possible, since the regime has just illustrated how easy it is to disrupt the shipping lanes that keep the world moving.