Biden Strikes the Houthis, at Last

from The Wall Street Journal,

The press is reporting that Thursday’s U.S.-British strikes against the Houthis in Yemen risk escalating the current conflict in the Middle East. That’s the wrong way to think about it. The conflict was already escalating. The question has been whether the U.S. and its allies would respond to Houthi efforts, backed by Iran, to hijack commercial shipping and shoot at the U.S. Navy. President Biden’s patience, and his own fear of escalation, ran out Thursday night as U.S. and British forces hit more than 60 targets across 16 locations...

The U.S. strikes finally put some muscle and above all credibility behind warnings by American officials that the Houthis would face “consequences” if they kept up their piracy. Several denunciations and even a U.S.-led international naval coalition to protect shipping didn’t dissuade the terrorists.

The Houthis responded Tuesday to the Biden Administration’s last cease and desist letter by sending 20 or so drones, and cruise and ballistic missiles at a cluster of U.S. and British ships and an American-flagged commercial vessel. The terrorists have launched some 27 attacks in the Red Sea since November. Mr. Biden had to respond if he wanted his warnings to have any force.

As ever, the party behind the Middle East violence is Iran. ... The goal is to sow chaos, and neither Iran nor its allies in the Kremlin care if the price of oil pops, as it has. As oil exporters, they benefit. The White House is at pains to say it wants no military engagement with Iran, but Iran through its proxy militias sure seems to want one with the U.S. One misguided criticism of Mr. Biden’s use of force is the claim from the Congressional backbenches that he’s violated the Constitution. ... The Constitution gives the Commander in Chief broad authority to respond to such attacks without having to get permission...

Tehran is testing America’s will, and on Thursday they were met with strength. Americans, and anyone who wants a more tranquil world, should hope this is the beginning of new resolve by the Biden Administration.

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