Opinion: ‘Our government’s current priorities are backwards’

Third Congressional District candidate Joe Kent offers his thoughts on some current events impacting the United States.
Joe Kent

Third Congressional District candidate Joe Kent offers his thoughts on some current events impacting the United States

Joe Kent|
Third Congressional District candidate

Three American troops were just killed and twenty-five more were wounded defending a remote outpost in the volatile tri-border region of Jordan, Iraq, and Syria. As we receive the tragic news that we’ve lost three great Americans overseas on a mission with no direct national interest, our border is wide open, allowing an estimated ten thousand foreign invaders to unlawfully enter America each day while fentanyl floods across our border, creating an epidemic of death that is killing our loved ones and neighbors.

Our government’s current priorities are backwards.

As if the nearly seven thousand lives lost and two trillion dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t enough, President Joe Biden and representatives like Marie Perez are comfortable continuing to send our troops and tax dollars to be wasted in the Middle East with no clear mission while refusing to secure our own border as fentanyl flows freely into our nation and our district, killing 118,000 of our citizens, and enabling an estimated ten million illegal immigrants to break into our country.

Biden and Perez have proven they are completely incapable of defending our nation. This becomes even more apparent when you look at who killed our troops in Jordan: the militias that the Biden Administration is funding.

While the Biden Administration immediately released a statement saying that “Iranian-backed militants operating from Iraq and Syria” conducted the attack, these militants are part of the government of Iraq that we fund, arm, and train to the tune of $3 to $6 billion dollars a year. Iran’s ability to direct and provide logistical support that allowed their proxies to make the attack was enabled by the billions of dollars Biden gave them to get back into the failed and foolish Iran nuclear deal.

Biden and war hawks in DC will use the loss of our troops to justify a new war against Iran, but Iran directly benefits from us pouring more troops into the region and fighting them on their turf. Iran fights via proxy, with Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Iraqi militias. These proxies are armed with rockets, drones, and small weapons that require close proximity to their targets. We would be fools to continue to fight Iran on their terms by leaving our troops within range of their proxies and giving Iran access to US funding via the government of Iraq. If we follow the advice of the war hawks and take this fight directly to Iranian soil, we will only make the Iranian people rally around the Ayatollah and his hardliners.

The most pragmatic way forward is removing our troops from Iraq, Jordan, and Syria so Iran no longer has easy American targets, and cutting off every US penny that can reach Iran. The government of Iraq is a monster we created that Iran controls. We must abandon the lie that the Iraq War ended in anything other than an American defeat.

When we remove our troops from harm’s way in the Middle East, we are free to strike Iranian proxies in Iraq and Syria with impunity and we can couple that by cutting off any US funding that ends up back in the hands of the Ayatollah. We must avenge the deaths of our troops, but we must do it on our terms, not the enemy’s.

Pivoting to the homefront, it’s time to immediately secure our border and begin deportations, starting with any illegal alien who’s committed violent- or drug-related crimes or is on the terrorist watchlist. The September 11th attacks were conducted by fewer than twenty highly motivated men and in recent years, we’ve had ten million people, mostly men, illegally enter our nation and we have no idea who they are. We’ve seen the rate of terror suspects arriving at our border drastically increase because of Biden and Perez’s open border policy.

There is no bigger national security threat than this coupled with the fentanyl that’s killing Americans by tens of thousands. Our military is for our nation’s defense, not the defense of other nations or a tool for defense contractors to make fortunes in endless wars. Our enemies are pragmatic, self-interested, and on the attack. It’s time for our government to take a lesson from them and finally put our nation and its people first.”

Joe Kent is a Yacolt resident and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District.

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