“From the halls of Montazuma to the shores of Tripoli . . .” goes the Marine Corps hymn.
Now we need them back.
The Houthi rebels, operating out of Yemen, are mounting essentially the same challenge to global shipping and trade that the Barbary Pirates did in 1801, using their strategic location astride the globe’s shipping routes to extort concessions from the world’s maritime powers.
The Barbary Pirates hung out on the northern coasts of Algeria and Tunisia, blocking ships from the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal unless they paid them tribute.
Citing the slogan “millions for defense but not one cent for tribute,” then-President Thomas Jefferson dispatched naval units under the command of Stephen Decatur to break the pirates’ stranglehold on global commerce.
His success signaled America’s first successful foray into global peacekeeping.
Now we find the Houthi rebels mounting a similar challenge, using their strategic location on the gulf of Oman to bottle up shipping or to lob missiles at ships enroute to the Suez Canal.
They are tying up shipping on this vital artery of global commerce, forcing ships to undertake the long journey around the horn of Africa, the very reason France built the canal in the first place.
This challenge is one of hundreds that arise because of our weakened government under feeble Joe Biden.
These pirates do not seek ransom, but the demise of Israel and, operating in coordination with their allies in Hamas who are invading Gaza, they home to force the issue.
The U.S. is responding, predictably, with targeted missile strikes, pinpricks really, while warning against a wider global engagement.
This sort of problem is one of hundreds that arise from Biden’s policy of allowing Iran to sell oil freely, lifting Trump’s embargo.
These funds flow to Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis, anywhere Teheran and its allies can make trouble in the world.
The answer is not just to deploy the U.S. Navy to replicate the heroic feats of the U.S. Marine Corps, it’s to reimpose the Trump oil sanctions on Iran until it stops fomenting trouble in the world.
In the meantime, we need to stop subsidizing Iran and its many surrogates from their mission of global mayhem.
But, then again, a president who won’t fight on the shores of the Rio Grande cannot be expected to fight on the Gulf of Oman.
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