Reagan and the Hormuz Doctrine

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It’s time for the president to speak to this issue and to make clear that the security of the Strait of Hormuz is not a tactical matter for theater commanders to deal with, but rather a strategic interest of the United States—and as such a top priority for the commander-in-chief. As the Wall Street Journal advised last week, the president “should say plainly that any attempt to close or disrupt traffic through the strait would be considered an act of war that would be met with a military response.”

In other words, any mischief or interference by Iran’s military should draw an immediate military response from the U.S. Navy, and the White House should be prepared to use such a provocation as an opportunity to deliver a crushing blow to the Iranian navy—and perhaps to other nodes of the Iranian regime’s power.

The president doesn’t need to publicly define what that response will look like, but he needs to put Tehran on notice that it will not be permitted to toy with international shipping and global energy supplies.

The Persian Gulf is an American lake, and in order to ensure the security and flow of those energy supplies it must remain so. After all, those supplies represent a vital strategic interest for the United States. The only way some modicum of stability in and around the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf can be guaranteed is if Iran understands the seriousness of American resolve. That requires more than words. It also requires actions.

For example, if, as reports indicate, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis left the Gulf to sail east, it or another carrier needs to return to the Gulf to make it clear to Tehran that the U.S. Navy can and will move at will through the Strait. Recall that an Iranian military official recently declared that “the enemy’s carrier” would not be allowed to return to the Persian Gulf. “I advise, recommend and warn them over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once,” a state-run press agency blustered. Tehran must be disabused of any notions that it can constrain U.S. freedom of action.

Of course, the issuance of a Reaganesque “Hormuz Doctrine” from President Obama seems unlikely. After all, Obama is the man who ignored his commanders and sounded a general retreat in Iraq, “led from behind” in Libya, and inexplicably and indefensibly averted his gaze and bit his tongue when the Iranian people tried to topple the tyrants of Tehran in 2009.

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  • UCSPanther

    Apparently, Iran has wimped out for the time being when China more or less made it clear to them that they will NOT support their antics in the strait of Hormuz.

  • Amused

    Uh,,,,I think the US has ALREADY made it clear , that it would sail the Strait "at will " with it's Carriers , and will keep the Strait open to international shipping . Haven't heard that yet Dowd ?? How much stronger wording would you like Dowd ? And as for timing ? Well unlike Reagan , Iran has not taken any action thusfar in its threats , and has already been put on notice . As for China , you're narrative is a bit off, they are demanding a discount on their oil from Iran for not participating in a full oil embargo . China andJapan account for about half of Iran's oil sales .Japan has applied for waivers from the US Admin .

  • aspacia

    Dowd,

    Since when is the Persian Gulf and American Lake? This is an allusion to the Mediterranean as a Roman Lake, and has a colonial ring that we should avoid.

    • wsk

      It's a very important international waterway that a lot of oil passes through. It is in our national interest to keep it open.

      • aspacia

        True, but perhaps claim it is in the world's interests to decrease rhetorical heat.

    • intrcptr2

      Given the tint the phrase gives, it has been US policy since Jefferson's administration to ensure the navigability of international waters.

      Reagan gave the mullahs what for in '87 and the gulf has been free since. If anyone wishes to dispute US "ownership", they are free to try, as it sounds like the Iranians are about to.

      There is also the fact that other nations get more of their oil through Hormuz than even we do, yet they are generally pretty happy to let us get our hands dirty keeping the oil flowing.

      • aspacia

        I know I am being redundant, but why give rhetorical ammo to those who want the U.S. destroyed? Remember, I blog on ME sites too.

    • blake99

      The Persian Gulf belongs to the WORLD, not Iran. Don't get too wrapped up in your paranoid fantasies about colonialism, that's not what this is about. Also it's "an American Lake", not "and American Lake.

      • aspacia

        Does it? I am warning against any rhetorical ammo liberals or Muslims may throw back at us. One of their big stones is U.S. colonialism, regardless of how insignificant.

        Oops, I made a typo, sorry.

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      It may not be strictly, 'an American lake', but it will be American military power that will bear the brunt of any fighting that may occur; and if Dowd wants to characterize the Persian Gulf as "an American lake" for this article; and for any U.S. military response, there isn't a thing wrong with THAT. No one is implying that the Persian Gulf should become a pathway for colonial activities.

      • aspacia

        Why give rhetorical ammo to our enemies?

    • ziontruth

      "…and has a colonial ring that we should avoid."

      Yeah, it'd be a shame if anyone would start calling America a colonialist or imperialist power. Right now, no one does, and it should stay that way. Oh, wait…

      • aspacia

        zion,

        You are parroting bad boy Sheen claiming that most said he was a bad boy, so he might as well be one.

  • NotaBene

    Do you mean we should ‘make like Reagan’ and sell the Iranians arms?

    • aspacia

      Sell arms for our citizens–omission is a fallacy Nota. Reagan took out most of Iran's military might too.

      • Amused

        aspacia , you're so emersed in your own B.S. , you revise history now . Arms to Iran for money to circumvent Congress and pay for the Contras , just like CIA dumpng cocaine in the ghettos . Reagan , in regards to Hormuz , did what ANY American President would do . You AND Dowd must have a messiah complex in Reagan , as you complain about the same for Obama . Reagan got 250 or so Marines killed in Beirut as they were left to guard the Embassy with empty weapons . What in the hell do you call that ???
        Reagan's a legend in your own minds , he tripled the deficit , raised taxes atleast 6 times , expanded big government 20 % , lied to Congress and in the end , was taking the advice of a soothsayer visa-vis his wife Nancy . The revisionist history here permeates to such a degree , it would make one think , most of you here were born yesterday …lol….and probably were .

        • aspacia

          Thought I may have been mistaken, I was not. This is a down-and dirty from the unreliable Wiki:
          Iran–Contra affair
          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
          Iran–Contra Scandal
          Other names Iran–Contra
          Participants Ronald Reagan, Robert McFarlane, Caspar Weinberger, Hezbollah, Nicaraguan contras, Oliver North, Manucher Ghorbanifar, John Poindexter
          Date August 20, 1985 – March 4, 1987

          The Iran–Contra affair (Persian: ایران-کنترا, Spanish: caso Irán-contras), also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo.[1] Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress."

          Amused, I never voted for Reagan, and held my nose while voting for Carter. Similar to Wbya, I do not believe either too bright, or having common sense.

          True, regarding guard duty. My hubby had to stand guard duty with an unloaded rifle too. True, Reagan cut and ran from Beirut because he had bigger fish to fry with the Soviets.

          I am well of what Reagan did, and the 1987 economic fall-out. I lived through this and am 58, and will be 59 next month.

          Why on earth are you so angry, and insulting. The crack you made about my own BS and history revisionism was erroneous, and it is your who is WRONG. HAVE YOU THE BALLS TO APOLOGIZE? I DOUBT IT.

          • NotaBene

            Just what did I omit?

          • aspacia

            The reason Ollie was selling arms.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Today, Tehran is even more capable of wreaking havoc in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

    Thanks to years of Bush cowardice in the face of Iranian aggression and the insane and idiotic notion that war must only be used as last resort.

    Although now may not be the time for Reaganesque military action against Iran’s navy, it’s certainly the time for Reaganesque words from this president. All we’ve heard so far in response to Iran’s threatened closure of the Strait of Hormuz is a brief but blunt warning from the U.S. Fifth Fleet that disruptions of the vital transit route “will not be tolerated.”

    Uhm….why didn't Bush eliminate the Iranian ruling Mullah regime and destroy its nuclear weapons program instead of allowing them to get away with killing American troops with impunity for years? Indeed, how can you unhinged Bush supporters and deep admirers of his still look yourself in the face in the mirror, especially when the fantasy based nation-building missions you nutcases all foolishly supported inevitably turned into the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history?

    Meanwhile, at the same time this writer recommends a Reaganesque policy for Obama, it is hard to forget that he also supported it when Bush abandoned Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” defense policy and transitioned to Powell's “You Break It, You Own it” defense policy, and then proceeded to occupy two Islamic countries for the purpose of pursuing two incredibly counterproductive and fantasy based nation-building missions that were both founded on false PC multicultural myths that inevitably turned into the two biggest strategic blunders even in American history.

    Hence, the purpose of this article is obvious: to deflect attention away from Bush's gross incompetence and onto Obama's gross incompetence. Meanwhile, I say they are both incompetent, but Bush more so simply due to the fact that he was in office longer.

    • Supreme_Galooty

      "Thanks to years of Bush cowardice in the face of Iranian aggression…"

      I don't know if cowardice is the right word, but it's close enough that quibbling about it is a waste of time. As for your final statement regarding the comparative incompetence of our two most recent presidents, I fear you have it wrong. Bush was incompetent, and his feckless blundering led to widespread mayhem and needless butchery of our military. Obama, on the other hand, is doing EXACTLY what he wants. I may be a tad cynical, but a live-fire skirmish in that area sometime this summer would go a long way toward boosting Obama's re-election efforts.

      • Stephen_Brady

        " I may be a tad cynical, but a live-fire skirmish in that area sometime this summer would go a long way toward boosting Obama's re-election efforts."

        I agree swith this, entirely. It would make Obama look "strong' and "daring", and would force the Republican candidate(s) to "support the President". This could be accomplished by sending a single frigate into the Gulf, provoking a response, and then Obama "fights" for the freedom of the seas.

        He might even time this to pre-empt the GOP convention …

      • Asher

        Bush was not incompetent, neither was his father HW Bush, (Desert Storm stopped the plans to blow up oil fields in Kuwait which would have put all energy sources in jeapordy,) and especially Ronald Reagan who was the Biggest Leader of the Free world against totalitarin regimes. They knew peace through strength would create a safer world from Radical Rogue Regimes who base their decisions on Insanity…No Thanks to all you Leftwingers who voted for Obama…Even JFK believed in a strong National Defense…The Democrat party has sunk to Foolishness, bad policies, and possibly obliteration of America, Israel, or other cities in the Crosshairs of the Mullahs, due to a Delusional Denial of Evil! Congratulations, You have put yourself right up there with the enablers of Tyranny!

        • ObamaYoMoma

          Bush was not incompetent, neither was his father HW Bush, (Desert Storm stopped the plans to blow up oil fields in Kuwait which would have put all energy sources in jeapordy,)

          What….are you delusional? Saddam invaded and conquered Kuwait to blow up oilfields and not to steal them for Iraq? Give me a break! Whatever you are smoking dude, please send me some of that bad stuff. Indeed, Saddam blew up Kuwait's oilfields exactly because he was being kicked out of Kuwait, and I hate to rain on your parade, but GHWB did not stop Saddam from blowing up Kuwait's oilfields.

          In fact, had GHWB not been so in bed with the oil rich Sheikhs in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, instead of kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, he would have used Saddam as a convenient proxy by giving him the green light to invade and conquer Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to eliminate the stealth global jihad at the same time in one fell swoop. Indeed, why should Americans care who owns the oil they purchase?

          Not to mention that Saddam would have been indebted to us for giving him the green light and it's not like his vintage 1950s era surplus military and his untrained cannon fodder conscript Shi'a troops, which all hated Saddam's guts more than Saddam's enemies, represented much of an existential threat to us or the world in any event.

          Indeed, had GHWB took that course instead, there never would have ever been a 9/11 jihad attack. Of course, had he not also gutted Reagan's military and abandoned Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” defense model, a lot of things that occurred in the ensuing years could have also been avoided as well.

          and especially Ronald Reagan who was the Biggest Leader of the Free world against totalitarin regimes.

          Okay, then why do you seemingly contradict yourself? I mean GHWB and the son GWB both abandoned Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” defense model because it wasn't compassionate enough for them since in reality both of them were really delusional stealth leftists and in fact GWB adapted Powell's more compassionate “You Break It, You Own It” defense model instead. Which also led to two incredibly counterproductive and exceedingly fantasy based nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq that were both based on false PC multicultural myths and assumptions about Islam and Muslims that preordained them to fail and to inevitably turn into the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history.

          By the way, what do you think Islam is? It's not a religion like you, GHWB, and GWB naively all believe. Instead, it is a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology far closer to other totalitarian ideologies like Communism than it is to being a religion. As just like Communism, Islam seeks world domination, and the end result of Islam, exactly like Communism, is totalitarianism and lots and lots of misery.

          –continued below

        • ObamaYoMoma

          They knew peace through strength would create a safer world from Radical Rogue Regimes who base their decisions on Insanity.

          Actually, “Peace Through Strength” results in a peaceful world via deterrence. As no one dares to challenge us because they know beforehand that inevitably they will very quickly be eradicated via concentrated overwhelming brute force.

          Indeed, in the long run it is far cheaper to adapt “Peace Through Strength” as a defense model than it is to fight numerous and needless wars in self defense because we are failing to deter thugs. Indeed, would Iran even be pursuing nuclear weapons today had GHWB, Bill Clinton, GWB, and Obama not all abandoned Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” model and had remained vigilant instead? Obviously, not.

          Indeed, what was the outcome of abandoning Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” model beginning with GHWB? Saddam invaded Kuwait, hundreds of violent jihad attacks, the killing of American troops in Mogadishu, the Clinton Wag the Dog wars for the benefit of the Islamic world in Bosnia and Kosovo, the 9/11 jihad attacks, fantasy based nation-building missions preordained to fail in Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few.

          Meanwhile, all of it could have easily been avoided had subsequent presidents after Reagan not abandoned “Peace Through Strength.” Not to mention the trillions of dollars and thousand of lives that wouldn't have been loss as well.

          Thanks to all you Leftwingers who voted for Obama.

          Excuse me but I didn't vote for Obama, but at the same time I also didn't vote for McCain either, because he was far too far to the left for me to support, especially after enduring 8 long incompetent years of GWB, who like McCain was also a stealth leftist. Instead, I stayed home in protest. I'll be damn if I will continue to assist the left to hijack and co-opt the Republican Party by holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils, especially when that lesser of two evil is only slightly to the right of the leftist they are opposing.

          The Democrat party has sunk to Foolishness, bad policies, and possibly obliteration of America, Israel, or other cities in the Crosshairs of the Mullahs, due to a Delusional Denial of Evil! Congratulations,

          I hate to rain on your clueless parade, but thanks to GHWB and GWB, the Republican Party and the Dhimmicrat Party today are really just two side of the same grossly incompetent leftwing coin. Indeed, both political parties today are virtually indistinguishable, as GWB like a Dhimmicrat on steroids doubled the size, scope, and power of the federal government, ostensibly to protect the homeland from so-called terrorist attacks, but in reality to create a false sense of security so that the US could continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage. Indeed, it's why all those pictures of GWB making out and smooching with the king of Saudi Arabia are still circulating all over the Internet.

          You have put yourself right up there with the enablers of Tyranny!

          I hate to rain on your unhinged parade, but not only am I more conservative than you, but I'm also obviously exponentially far more intelligent than you as well. Don't humor yourself, you are as blind as a bat and as far to the left as GWB and GHWB. Give me a break!

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      Don't be so eager to discredit Bush. After all, it was Clinton who told Les Aspin
      to say "NO" to the plea of the embattled US Army Rangers, in Somalia in 1994, for
      armor support; when they were fighting the guerillas there. The bodies of the dead Rangers were dragged through the streets.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Don't be so eager to discredit Bush

        Why? I mean in response to 9/11 did Bush use common sense and outlaw Islam and ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP to protect the homeland, since Muslims never ever migrate to the West or anywhere else for that matter to assimilate and integrate, but instead to eventually subjugate and dominate via the eventual imposition of Sharia for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme? Not quite, instead Bush proclaimed that Islam is a so-called Religion of Peace™ being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, which beyond being ridiculous because it is also a false PC multicultural myth, is also a damn lie, and never mind the fact that 3,000 innocent Americans had just been killed at the hands of violent jihadists with the help, aid, and assistance of Muslim fifth columns already conveniently living in America. Or do you believe that non-English speaking Muslims could live in America for longer than a year before perpetrating the 9/11 violent jihad attacks without help, aid, and assistance of Muslim fifth columnists? In fact, that false PC multicultural myth whereby Islam is a so-called Religion of Peace™ to this day still remains US official policy and also the official policy of both political parties in America as well thanks again to the insanity of George Bush, your apparent idol.

        On top of that, Bush like a Dhimmicrat on steroids also used the 9/11 jihad attacks to create a crisis to justify the largest expansion in the size, scope, and power of the federal government in history via the overly intrusive Patriot Act, the humongous and totally useless Department of Homeland Security, the incredibly invasive TSA, and the gargantuan and totally incompetent National Intelligence Directorate. Ostensibly to protect the homeland from so-called terrorist attacks, but in reality to create a false sense of security necessary to increase mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage, and never mind the fact that expanding the size, scope, and power of government is never a solution for anything much less for protecting the homeland.

        Thus, the inevitable outcome is today other than a false sense of security, the truth is the homeland is far more vulnerable to violent jihad attacks than it was even prior to 9/11 because we have even more stealth jihadists living in America today as a convenient fifth column than we had before 9/11. Indeed, without an available population of Muslim fifth columnists already living in America prior to 9/11, the 9/11 jihad attacks would have been completely impossible. In fact, Bush has the blood of all innocent Americans that have been killed in violent jihad attacks since 9/11 – such as the Fort Hood Massacre – on his hands.

        Not to mention that thanks to Bush the instant the economy headed south in 2008, federal deficits and the federal debt both exploded through the roof. Why, because Bush doubled the size, scope, and power of the federal government, and why did Bush double the size, scope, and power of the federal government, to continue and indeed to increase mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage.

        Thus, we are gutting our military today, why? To continue accommodating mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage, and never mind the fact that Muslim immigrants just like clockwork never ever assimilate and integrate, but instead form segregated Muslim only enclaves that in time morph into Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia as fifth columns and in direct contravention to the laws of the states in which they reside.

        In addition, what other immigrant groups besides Muslims costs hundreds of billions of dollars on an annual basis just to accommodate, and what does mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage have to contribute to America that makes all these hundreds of billions of dollars spent on an annual basis all worth it? Indeed, can you point to just one country anywhere in the world where mass Muslim immigration after decades didn't turn into an unmitigated disaster?

        Now….what about Bush abandoning Reagan's “Peace Through Strength” defense policy because it wasn't “compassionate” enough for him, in favor of adapting Powell's “You Break It, You Own It” more “compassionate” defense policy? Do you also support that insanity? Indeed, what about pursuing two exceedingly counterproductive and incredibly fantasy based nation-building missions in Afghanistan and Iraq that were founded on false PC multicultural myths about Islam and Muslims and as a result were preordained to fail? Do you also feel that Bush shouldn't be discredited or held to account because thousands of patriotic American troops were either killed or maimed and trillions of American taxpayer dollars were wasted for nothing?

        –continued below

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Hence, thanks to Bush we no longer use overwhelming brute force to swiftly defeat our enemies while deliberately leaving behind our death and destruction to fester and to serve as deterrence. Instead, we employ a much more compassionate 21st Century cutting edge defense strategy: Indeed, we try to win our enemies' hearts and minds by foolishly occupying their countries for years on end in order to compassionately lift them up out of poverty and despair and to democratize them, which is absolutely impossible, by the way, and the splendid inevitable outcome of our new compassionate 21st Century cutting edge defense strategy courtesy of George Bush, of course, is the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history. But don't worry though, they will both be covered up by the politicians, the generals, and the media.

        Indeed, with RINO Republicans like you and your idol, George Bush, conservatives don't need Dhimmicrats.

        • Supreme_Galooty

          That is exactly my point! The incredible, mindless incompetence of BOTH Bushes has resulted in a succession of deadly quagmires of our own making. With friends like these, who needs enemies. As for the quisling Clinton in Mogadishu, "belch!" is all I can say. America has deteriorated to such an extent that the likes of Janet Reno, Joycelyn Elders, Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, et alia have risen to the top levels of national power like excreta in a soup tureen.

          Had we conducted ourselves during WWII as we have in recent years, this country would be split at the Mississippi by the Japanese and the Germans.

      • mlcblog

        Frdly Gary Cooper,

        nice reminder…thx

  • wsk

    I wonder how many Iranians vote Democrat? That may determine the man-child messiah's response ;)

  • BLJ

    If Obama does say anything he will try to link himself to Reagan once again which is an absolute joke. I prefer him to keep his arrogant yap shut and let the MEN take care of the situation.

    Even if the toad Obama tries to use an attack as a political football it will blow up in his face. He has shown enough of his true colors that a large enough portion of the guilty whites who voted for him 2008 are gone.

    • Asher

      We have been duped and lied to about every policy under this administration, We are less safe, less prosperous, in more debt, worse economy, less energy sources, and in a bigger divide among peoples than ever before.

      • Amused

        yea , and Republicans vis a vis BUSH got us here .

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    And what would RON PAUL say to the latest Iranian bluster regarding Hormuz? Why of course–"Let's mind our own business!"

    • Amused

      who gives a flyin' f–k about Paul ? he's irrelevant , not to mention un-electable .

  • Flowerknife_us

    There is a very good likelyhood that Bush would hav acted against Iran in 2006. That is untill the Press deliberately missrepresented the 2006 NIE report. The Majority opinion has proven itself correct today just as it was correct at the time it was issued.

    Just as our Carrier passed through Suez just prior to the Libyan meltdown, so our Carrier leaves the Gulf prior to the next? Obama runs so that the Emmanual Doctrine can carry more weight.

  • Amused

    Considering the Iranians have done nothing yet , except for running their mouths , I'm amazed at all the know-it-alls who presume to know what Obama is thinking , what he will do and what he'll be thinking when he does …….you're all a bunch of brainwashed idiots .
    The Stenet Carrier Group was due to leave the Gulf BEFORE the Iranian threats were spouted , thebIranians know this , and are playinmg it up as a result of their "warnings " .Of course we know the Iranians are idiots , anyone who has the ability to read ,everyone knows they did nothing to affect the carrier groups exit , that is everyone except the majority of idiots posting their parroted Obama hate syndrome , deliberately misinformed statements . If the US is going to pre-empt Iran over mere bluster and comments , then we should've done it a long time ago . What a bunch of revisionist losers !

  • Amused

    Another brainwashed zombie parrot speaks .Don't worry Free4500 , no one will ever accuse you of having a brain .