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Jack’s Angle: Biden’s hit & miss response to American lives lost – John J. Jack Partridge

by John J. “Jack” Partridge, contributing writer, commentary

President Biden ordered tens of sorties against Iran’s proxies last week, no doubt inflicting damage in Syria and Iraq. The air and missile missions went without hitches, thank God. That is, they ‘hit’. But did they do anything to stop a continuation of the attacks against American outposts, or bases, or shipping in the region? If it did, one would expect attacks to promptly cease within the region. It was fair to wait a week to evaluate the effect of the strikes. Unfortunately, there is a ‘miss’ as attacks continue. What does this demonstrate?

Our air show strikes on the proxies are similar to strikes in the past and might make Washington feel good and satisfy those who seek a show of force, but they have no long-lasting effect because the proxies have little to lose, and Iran, their master, is not exposed to danger of reprisal or damage by this administration’s feckless policy, leaving Iran and its proxies free to create a crisis whenever they choose.

But we should be clear that the proxies take orders from their sponsor and a few bombs on their remote and squalid sites do little to deter their attacks. Indeed, it appears that even successful air strikes are brushed off by the proxies because they can move their equipment and weapons and personnel quickly out of harm’s way, especially when we telegraph our attack plans and wait three days to act. And when the proxies know that all damages will be replaced by Iran, the air raids by American forces have little deterrence value.

The Biden approach to this issue seems to be that America will not actually use its power to harm Iran no matter what the provocation, or loss of life because of its potential nuclear threat. That seems to be the administration’s policy, when what is needed is a strategy to take the initiative and not be a paper tiger that flaunts its airpower and naval force to no use or avail.

Only a policy that delivers to Iran the unmistakable message not to create danger to our forces, or foment unrest among our allies, or to build its nuclear bomb would demonstrate the leadership and determination we need to project. The ayatollahs running Iran act with impunity, aware that this administration will seemingly not hit back forcefully, no matter how grievous the injury and notwithstanding the harm and havoc they support in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen and Iraq; and  now with the ability to craft a nuclear bomb, the lesson, they will derive from a defeatist attitude in America is that nothing will blow back on Iran, despite President Biden’s promise that he will not allow Iran to possess a nuclear bomb. Whatever does that mean now?

Will the president have to walk back his statement in another humiliation like the Afghan withdrawal? The ayatollahs will likely get their bombs because they see no American force behind the rhetoric of our president. The ayatollahs think America is all talk. So long as they think they can bludgeon other countries, promote unrest, indulge, and support militants and terrorists in escalating aggressions, and now threaten with a nuclear capability without any fear of retribution, they will risk it.

We have in the past used our financial powers against the ayatollahs and they backed off because of their fear of a domestic revolution caused by bad economic conditions. It is hopefully not too late to make them fear again. Even though our economic sanctions against Russia were poorly administrated and were full of gaping holes, Iran has fewer options than Russia. Such a policy would also serve notice on our other adversaries that we still stand on principle and will not accept attacks by proxies on Americans. While a little’ daring do’ from the CIA would not be out of order, finding appropriate means of causing fiscal disorder in Iran and telegraphing our intent to use it would be a preferred route to show American strength and determination.

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John J. ‘Jack’ Partridge, is a retired lawyer and Senior Counsel to the firm of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, with four offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.A Pawtucket native, Jack graduated from St. Raphael Academy and summa cum laude of Providence College, where he majored in history. After Harvard Law School, he served in the United States Army in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. In 1967, he joined the firm of Tillinghast Collins & Tanner. In 1988, he became a founding partner of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

Jack has been engaged in many civic, political, governmental, and business organizations, serving as legal counsel to the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce for 27 years and was chairman of the Old Slater Mill Association, Common Cause Rhode Island, and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

He is the co-founder of The Pawtucket Foundation and an officer and director of innumerable not-for-profit entities. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club and was Treasurer of the Ocean State Charities Trust.

Jack has a long history of leadership involvement with Providence College, which recognized him in 1999 with the Providence College Alumni Association Recognition Award for Public and Community Service, and in 2011, with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

He is married to the former Regina McDonald and has three children: Sarah, Gregory and David.

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  1. gladys+Corvera-+Baker on February 26, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    Very interesting Mr Partridge.

  2. Wilhelm Freuerbach on February 24, 2024 at 9:09 pm

    Yes, but.
    Biden and his administration were put in place by the votes of young people and women.
    Adult males, and those who know that realpolitik is hard and uncomfortable, were disenfranchised.
    And this is what we got.
    And if it happens again, Iran and the rest of the world will be stronger, and the US will be gasping.

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