Home » GOP Hawks Bay for Blood After 3 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iran-Backed Strike

GOP Hawks Bay for Blood After 3 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iran-Backed Strike

Republican congressional leaders on Sunday mounted calls for the Biden administration to “grow a backbone,” as Rep. Nancy Mace (SC) put it, and retaliate against Iran for backing the militants believed to be responsible for the recent deaths of three American service members.

The trio of soldiers were killed in an unmanned aerial drone attack that injured more than 30 other service members on a U.S. base in Jordan, according to military officials. In a Sunday speech confirming the loss of “three brave souls,” President Joe Biden vowed that the U.S. would hit back: “We shall respond,” he promised.

While the matter is still being investigated, Biden attributed the attack to “radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” triggering GOP hawks, who began demanding bloody vengeance soon after.

“The Biden Administration can take out all the Iranian proxies they like, but it will not deter Iranian aggression,” Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC) said in a statement. “I am calling on the Biden Administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression.”

Noting that the only thing “the Iranian regime understands is force,” Graham added in a tweet, “Hit Iran now. Hit them hard.”

Sen. John Cornyn (TX) was less loquacious, tweeting only: “Target Tehran.” (He later clarified that he was not jonesing for the direct bombing of Iran and its civilians.)

Both Cornyn and Graham’s tweets were screenshotted by fallen Fox News star Tucker Carlson, who weighed in with a similarly concise assessment of the senators. “Fucking lunatics.”

But that didn’t deter other Republicans from jumping in with their two cents on the matter. Reps. Mike Johnson (LA) and Steve Scalise (LA), the No. 1 and 2 House Republicans respectively, demanded a show of strength in separate X statements. “America must send a crystal clear message across the globe that attacks on our troops will not be tolerated,” Johnson wrote.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said that the world was waiting for America to force Iran to change its behavior. “Our enemies are emboldened,” he said. “And they will remain so until the United States imposes serious, crippling costs—not only on front-line terrorist proxies, but on their Iranian sponsors who wear American blood as a badge of honor.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that it was “time to act with purpose and resolve in response to attacks that have tragically taken the lives of American service members and injured scores more.”

“We must respond to these repeated attacks by Iran and its proxies by striking directly against Iranian targets and its leadership,” he continued. “It is time to act swiftly and decisively for the whole world to see.”

In her own X statement, Mace blamed the service members’ deaths directly on Biden. “The U.S. needs to show some grit and let the world know that we won’t be played,” she wrote. “No more cozying up to regimes who threaten our safety.”

“Biden’s failure to isolate the regime in [Iran], defeat Hamas, & support our strategic partners has emboldened the enemies of freedom,” Rep. Carlos Gimenez (FL) posted. “The President’s MidEast policy is a total disaster. And now our men & women are paying the price—with their lives.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) similarly charged Biden with “[emboldening] Iran for years by tolerating attacks on our troops, bribing the ayatollahs with billions of dollars, and appeasing them to no end.” Saying he’d “predicted” the loss of American life as a result, Cotton continued on to say that the “only answer” was “devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces.”

“Anything less,” he said, “will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief.”

Former President Donald Trump was also ready to argue that Biden’s “weakness and surrender” was behind the deadly strike. “This terrible day is yet more proof that we need an immediate return to PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH, so that there will be no more chaos, no more destruction, and no more loss of precious American lives,” he said.


January 2024