I don’t purport to be a foreign policy expert, but you don’t have to be an expert to know that Iran’s chief terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, was a monstrous, mass murdering scumbag who slaughtered hundreds of Americans, planned attacks on American soil, sowed discord through the region, and coordinated an assault on our embassy in Baghdad. It is good that such a person is now out of the picture. The Earth is a safer place with Soleimani buried beneath it.
But Democrats see it differently. In their minds, the problem with Trump killing Soleimani is that Trump is Trump. According to their worldview, nothing Trump does can ever be anything other than apocalyptically awful. And that’s why the Left has lined up to condemn Soleimani’s “assassination” with a hostility and passion that matches the statements being issued from Tehran.
While New York Times reporters eulogize the mass murderer by posting clips of him reciting poetry (yes, really), and Hollywood actors condemn Trump as “fascist” as they offer tearful apologies to Iran, elected Democrats have largely refused to find anything positive or praise worthy in the annihilation of a man who killed over 600 American soldiers and was reportedly planning future attacks against Americans.
Bernie Sanders blamed Trump for a “dangerous escalation” and warned that his actions will lead to the loss of “countless lives.” Elizabeth Warren also played on the “escalation” theme, describing it as “reckless” for the United States to defend itself against an aggressor. Democrat Senator Chris Murphy was whining a few days ago that Trump has made us look “impotent” and that “no one fears us,” but now he’s concerned that instilling fear in the hearts of terrorist might precipitate a “massive regional war.”
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin underwent a similar sudden conversion. Yesterday afternoon she was accusing the Trump Administration of not “doing anything” about Iran. Later that night, after something had been done, she was worried that Trump didn’t go through the right “inter-agency process” to do it.
Revered military analyst Marianne Williamson said that Trump’s strike against Soleimani was “one of most reckless, irresponsible actions ever” by a president. I have no doubt that a President Williamson would solve the Middle East conflict in one fell swoop by wielding her unity crystals. Though one must wonder why she doesn’t use them now, if she has them.
A few responses to all of this.
(1) Contrary to outlets like Time and elected officials like Omar and Sanders, this was not an “assassination.” To call it an assassination is to agree with, and disseminate, Iranian government propaganda. An assassination is by definition murder. No American would say that bin Laden or al Baghdadi were murdered, and we shouldn’t say it about Soleimani. He was an aggressor and illegal actor who was killed in a war zone by a lawful strike carried out by the government whose embassy he’d just attacked.
(2) If this qualifies as “an act of war,” then Iran had already committed many acts of war against the United States. Attacking our embassy was just the latest, though it alone would seem to warrant this level of response. Are Democrats suggesting that we should not respond to acts of war for fear that the enemy who already hates us and is already attacking us will hate us more and attack us more? Words can scarcely express how cowardly and pathetic that attitude is.
(3) Does anyone doubt that almost every Democrat in the country would be extolling the strategic brilliance and moral righteousness of this move if it had been initiated by Obama? After all, there was only a smattering of protest on the Left when Obama sent drones to blow up American citizens. And when he correctly ordered the strike against bin Laden, I don’t recall hearing very many Democrats fretting over reprisals and escalations.
Granted, Soleimani is a different beast and this is a different situation. Soleimani was more dangerous, for one. And, yes, he worked directly for a foreign government, as opposed to the fugitive bin Laden hiding out in Pakistan. There are legitimate concerns that can be raised, and anyone who isn’t somewhat worried about where this all might lead must not be paying very close attention.
But Democrats are not merely raising concerns or urging caution. They are propagandizing on behalf of the Iranian government. They are refusing to acknowledge that there is any moral justification for, or strategic benefit in, killing the world’s most dangerous terrorist. That’s not because they don’t see the justifications and benefits. It’s because they are totally beholden to their sacred doctrine of Orange Man Bad. And they are willing to say anything, and take any position, for the sake of advancing it.