“You really ought to go home!” were the words of warning from an American F-22 pilot, likely a Navy pilot, to an Iranian Air Force pilot this past March. The F-22 intercepted the F-4 Phantom II aircraft over international waters over the Gulf after the Iranian pilot attempted to engage a US drone there.
The Washington Times carried the story this week and PJTV’s Bill Whittle has excellent commentary on it on his hit podcast “Afterburner”. I invite everyone to look at both of these. I also wanted to pile in and comment on this story.
My brother first brought my attention to this story. He’s a retired Army Major and served as a space officer in Afghanistan. Here’s the story. The Iranians have been aggressively testing their limits in the region attempting to establish themselves as the dominant power in the Middle East. With the fall of their nemesis, Iraq, Iran feels a power gap in the region and is willing to fill the void. You may remember that Iran and Iraq were engaged in an 11-year civil war, a conflict that was costly in blood and material on both sides and ended in stalemate.
Since then Iran has been in a proxy war with us. As Mr. Whittle points out, most of the IED’s, improvised explosive devices have been manufactured by Iranian Quds Force agents operating in Iraq and have been used to target our American Servicemembers there, to costly effect. The Iranian military would love to further embarrass us and damage our credibility in the region, which is why they attack our drones from time to time.
In February of 2012 they attacked a drone and downed it, capturing the vehicle. They made another attempt in March, but it didn’t go as planned. Instead, as they were lining up a shot with their internal machine guns, the pilot, unawares, was intercepted by the best stealth fighter in the world, the F-22 Raptor. He literally didn’t see it coming. The US pilot lined up beneath the F-4 to check it’s payload, to ascertain the weapons it was carrying. Then it nonchalantly rolled out to the wingtip of the other aircraft and that is when the US Navy pilot got the Iranian’s attention. The US pilot flipped to the Iranian frequency and warned him in English, the international language of aviation that, “You really ought to go home!” The Iranian complied, tail tucked down between his legs, intimidated by the superior technology of the opponent aircraft and in awe of the sheer skill and aplomb of its pilot.
Now Bill makes some eloquent points on why this incident is significant and I’ll let him explain what those are. I would like to add a few more.
Sure, the F22 is a special aircraft, there is none like it and they are in short supply, thanks to the Obama administration’s canceling of their manufacture. That matters, but there is something else that matters more. Our political leaders lack in the vision and strength to meet the threats out there and it shows, but our men and women in the military are not lacking in that regard. They have it in spades and as long as we have them, the US is in good hands. What they need to succeed is a real leader in the White House, not the little girly man we have now that rides a little girl’s bike. We were blessed with that kind of leadership when Ronald Reagan occupied the office and for the most part the Bush family kept up appearances. We were lucky to have George W. for the beginning of this new cold war with radical Islam.
But, we are backsliding now and the world can feel our lack of leadership. Russia is stepping up and Obama is being easily outmaneuvered by the skill and political savvy of Vladimir Putin. The influence of Russia, which supports regimes like Iran and Syria, is growing, while the influence of the US is unfortunately shrinking.
While we are distracted by the healthcare debate and the economy and jobs, let us remember that we still have real men and women in uniform out there who are holding back the hordes of tyranny all around the world. They need our thoughts; our prayers and they deserve better leadership. They deserve the best training and the best equipment, items like the F22. Next time around, I hope we can pick a leader who is worthy of them.