Cliff May

A year ago, al-Qaeda was beating America in Iraq. Now, with Gen. David Petraeus implementing a new strategy, al-Qaeda is on the run. But even as Osama bin Laden's troops have lost ground, Iran has surged men and increasingly advanced weapons across the border. American military spokesmen now say the Iranian-supported militias are responsible for many if not most of the attacks that kill or wound American troops.

At the same time, Tehran continues its program to develop nuclear weapons. And it is intent on extending its regional domination. With assistance from Syria, its client state, and Hezbollah, its proxy terrorist organization, Iran is undermining the government of Lebanon. The list of Lebanese politicians who have been assassinated for daring to stand up for their nation's independence has been growing.

The United Nations can't bring itself to take any serious action. On the contrary, the organization this week welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, blithely ignoring his regime's crimes in Iraq and Lebanon, its domestic oppression, and its genocidal threats against Israel, a fellow U.N. member.

A few Congressmen – from both parties -- are responding. Senators Joseph Lieberman and Jon Kyl have offered an amendment calling on the U.S. to "combat, contain and stop" Iranian aggression in Iraq. It also would designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, providing a way to economically pressure Iran’s elites. It passed the Senate Wednesday on a 76 to 22 vote.

And the House this week approved the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act. Authored by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos and ranking member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the legislation aims to strengthen U.S. tools to cut off funds to Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Toward the end of his op-ed, Lt. Col. Brady writes that he sees "firsthand the human face of longing for a better life. That is all the Iraqis I interact with want: peace, security, and a future for their children." We should hope Iraqis achieve these goals. But let's stay focused on America's vital interest: to crush al-Qaeda in Iraq and to thwart the grand ambitions of the aggressive, malevolent, Islamist regime ruling Iran.


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.