President Trump dismissed criticism of his airstrike in Iraq that killed top Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the man behind Iran's force that backs terrorists worldwide. To those who accuse him of sparking a war with Iran, Trump said, “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.” He said the strike was meant to prevent war by taking out the “#1 terrorist anywhere in the world,” and “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”
Trump went on: “I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people, with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change. However, the Iranian regime’s aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbors, must end, and it must end now…If Americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified, and I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary. And that, in particular, refers to Iran.”
To drive home the point, a second airstrike was launched just 24 hours after the first one, this time taking out at least five members of the Iran-backed militia group.
At this link is a round-up of several commentaries on what’s happening with Iran, courtesy of the Instapundit blog. Among them, Prof. Glenn Reynolds tallied all the hysterical fear-mongering over what Iran might do in response, broke down the possibilities one by one, and asked which of these things has Iran not already been doing for the past 40 years?
A Revolutionary Guards commander is threatening strikes against “vital American targets” in the Strait of Hormuz, which he claims Iran has already identified – which supports the claims of an “imminent attack” already being planned that the airstrike on Suleimani disrupted. So again, it’s a threat to “retaliate” by doing what they were already planning to do.
Are they going to become even deadlier, now their chief strategist has been blown to atoms, their economy has been wrecked by our sanctions, we don’t need their oil, and they know President Trump will retaliate with unprecedented deadly force? Iran had to promote Suleimani’s #2 man, Esmail Ghaani, to run their Revolutionary Guards. Are we supposed to fear him more because, being #2, he tries harder? He should be thinking of that job as being like the holder of the “world’s oldest person” title: it’s an honor, but it’s not one you’re likely to live to enjoy for very long.
Big story the media have largely overlooked: there was another major terrorist figure killed in the airstrike that obliterated Suleimani. As Rick Moran notes at the link, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was “a top Iraqi paramilitary leader whose long, bloody career includes attacks on American and other Western embassies, as well as being a founder of Kata'ib Hezbollah, a group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq.” Moran reports that in some ways, his killing is even more significant than Suleimani’s because he was behind an organization that wields political and military control in Iraq on behalf of Iran.
Read more about it him here because you’re not likely to hear much about him between all the eulogies for Suleimani in the mainstream media.
It’s been said that President Trump has some sort of mystical, magical power over Democrats. Simply by living in their heads 24/7, he forces them to do incredibly dumb things, like endorsing open borders and free health care for illegal aliens, calling for abolishing ICE and police forces, badmouthing dogs, and now, taking the side of Iran and mourning the man behind countless terrorist plots, including the Benghazi attack that killed our ambassador, Chris Stevens.
I’m sure they’ll say that’s not what they’re doing – they’re just calling for restraint, diplomacy, engagement, and all those other cherished State Department buzzwords that have helped persuade Iran to become the peaceful, open, friendly, America-loving, non-terrorism-supporting Utopia that it is today. But it’s kind of hard to see the difference when liberal news outlets are describing the late, unlamented Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the Iranian military leader responsible for the deaths of at least 600 US soldiers and tens of thousands of people across the Middle East, as a “revered military leader” (WaPo) and giving airtime to people who describe the Iran-backed militia that attacked our Baghdad Embassy as “war heroes.”
Pouring on the syrup, a New York Times writer tweeted video of the soft side of a terrorist mass murderer, showing Suleimani reading poetry about “friends departing & him being left behind” (did they “depart” when he killed them with IEDs?)
We’re also being told how horrifying, vulgar and unseemly it is to cheer the death of a vicious enemy of the US, something that nobody seemed to care about when Hillary Clinton was laughing about the death of Muammar Gaddafi. And that really did lead to a deadly, hellish chaos in Libya.
The Democratic Presidential candidates also fell over themselves to voice disapproval of Trump’s action in killing Suleimani, calling it “reckless,” with several referring to it as an “assassination.” So if you vote any of them into office and an attack is launched on American soil, as with our Embassy in Baghdad, now you know how they'll respond. Caveat emptor.
We also had the spectacle of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, among many others, giving the standard disclaimers about how awful Suleimani was, BUT Trump should have consulted Congress and gotten its authorization before launching a strike.
A few points:
Trump was under no obligation to seek their permission, just as Obama didn’t tell Congress he was about to take out Osama bin Laden (he even ignored Joe Biden’s opposition) or launch any of his drone strikes (come to think of it, has any President ever had less concern for Congressional approval than Obama?) These types of strikes are based on fleeting opportunities, and if you miss your shot by wasting time dealing with Congress, it may never come again. Also, what are the odds that people like Schiff, who have demonstrated on multiple occasions that they hate Trump more than they love America and can’t be trusted, wouldn’t leak this to the media where Iran’s government would see it? Judging by content, I assume the enemies of America and airport travelers are CNN’s target audience.
As long as I brought up Obama taking out Osama, another reminder: even Republicans who staunchly opposed Obama praised him and didn’t try to find ways to spin that raid as a negative or a "provocation."
Also, Joe Biden has previously admitted to advising Obama not to okay the bin Laden raid, but now claims he did approve of it while at the time claiming Trump should not have okayed the raid to take out Suleimani. But in 1996, he said a bombing by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (run by Suleimani) was an act of war that gave the US the right to respond in any way it wanted. Are you as confused as Joe Biden yet?
You know, it’s really not that hard. You can voice legitimate concerns about the consequences, the heightened tensions, the potential danger to the soldiers, or the possibility that it will lead to another quagmire war. In fact, Sen. Rand Paul did just that…
But note how he questioned Trump’s strategy without sounding like he’s rooting for Iran, apologizing to Iran, or eulogizing a mass-murdering monster as some kind of sensitive, poetry-reciting folk hero?
The Democrats, by assuming everything Trump does is wrong and evil and they have to take the exact opposite side, are making themselves look as if they’d rather align with America’s worst enemy that show any support for a President they oppose politically. Their unthinking, kneejerk opposition to Trump even at a time like this is not only making them look foolish and unpatriotic, it’s also making the jobs of the satirists at the Babylon Bee even easier.