Biden, Bernie, Others Condemn Killing of Iranian Terrorist Chieftain
As the AP reports, the United States military launched a missile strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Al Quds force, the deadliest terrorist chieftain in the Middle East. Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and untold thousands of others in the untold thousands. His death is a victory on the level of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.
The killing of the previous two terrorist leaders elicited universal, bi-partisan praise. Not so the execution of Soleimani. The UK Daily Mail explains.
“Top Democrats, while condemning Soleimani, warned that that the airstrike had the potential to set off a war, and chastised Trump for not seeking congressional approval. Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, said in a statement that ‘President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.”
“The Administration’s statement says that its goal is to deter future attacks by Iran, but this action almost certainly will have the opposite effect,” Biden said.
Bernie Sanders was just as direct.
“’Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars. Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.’”
Biden’s and Bernie’s sentiments were echoed by most of the other Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard. The theme running through the reaction from Democrats and some in the media is that Iran is likely to attempt revenge for the targeted killing of its most deadly terrorist strategist, therefore it would have been best to have allowed him to live.
The reaction of Democratic politicians was measured compared to some of the Hollywood left, Rose McGowen, an actress who is at the center of the #metoo movement, was especially eloquent on Twitter.
“Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize. We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us. #Soleimani”
The tweet elicited outrage on social media, with demands that McGowen moves to Iran and suggestions that the Iranian regime would likely execute her for lewd behavior should she ever fall into its hands.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a different perspective on the killing of Soleimani. According to Hot Air, the Iranian general was taken out to forestall more terrorist actions.
“Did the US take out Qassem Soleimani over business as usual, or something much more acute? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has begun laying out the case — in somewhat cryptic terms, necessarily — that the decision to kill Iran’s top commander and virtual #2 regime leader came as a necessity to save American lives from “imminent threats.” That assessment was ‘intelligence-based,’ Pompeo told CNN this morning, and the danger was specific to the region.”
Pompeo’s case is buttressed by the fact that Soleimani’s killing took place against a backdrop of the storming of the American embassy in Baghdad by pro-Iranian militia and rocket attacks directed against American service members. Soleimani met his end at the Baghdad airport. Clearly, analysts suggest, he was up to something and was likely directly coordinating the attacks on Americans, thus making him a legitimate target even without his decades-long history of murder and mayhem.
In other words, Trump ordered Soleimani’s death not to provoke a war with Iran but to forestall more violence in Iraq. Still, some analysts who are not partisan Democrats or hysterical actresses warn about Iranian revenge attacks. Some have even suggested that Iran might activate sleeper cells in the United States to launch terrorist actions in the American homeland.
National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes that the criticism of the hit on Soleimani derives from a false cliché in foreign policy.
“Last night you could see the conventional wisdom response assembling itself in real-time on Twitter. It was darkly amusing to see the number of supposedly serious foreign-policy thinkers and lawmakers who skipped over the pro forma, ‘Make no mistake, Suleimani was a bad guy who killed a lot of Americans, but . . . Within a few hours, that conventional wisdom had concealed: Sure, Suleimani was a bad guy with a lot of innocent blood on his hands, but what’s the endgame?’”
Geraghty went on to note that in foreign policy not “end game” actually exists, especially in the Middle East. Soleimani’s death may cause blowback, but it certainly inhibited Iran’s ability to cause mischief by taking one of the most deadly players in the art of terrorism off the board. That fact is something to think about whether one is a Democrat aspiring to the presidency, a talking head on TV, or an emotionally unstable Hollywood actress.