Donald Trump has been excoriated by critics for ordering the killing of the number one terrorist in the world, Qassem Soleimani. If he wasn’t number one, who was?
If Iran isn’t the very definition of an enemy and a threat to world peace, what nation is? Iran is a nation whose national slogan is “Death to America” and whose greatest aspiration is to wipe another nation off the map.
The president’s critics engage in some truly tortuous mental gymnastics to level their charges.
Take U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut. On New Year’s Eve, as Soleimani’s henchmen were ransacking parts of the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad, he tweeted: “Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East.”
Simultaneously, Iran’s Supreme Leader – and Top Tweeter, Ayatollah Khamenei challenged the president with a taunting tweet: “You can’t do anything.”
Surprise: dead wrong.
Both Murphy and the Ayatollah responded, the former challenging the president’s authority to kill “the second most powerful person in Iran,” and Khameni with an ineffectual rocket attack.
Here’s one citizen’s after-action report.
Execution: If ever there were a surgical strike, this was it. Perfect execution. Two bad guys and their aides were eliminated without any collateral damage.
Authorization / Consultation: Despite delegitimizing semantics terming the killing an “assassination” and repositioning Soleimani as an anodyne national leader or military commander, he was the leader of the Quds Force, which was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Dept long ago in 2007.
Critics want proof that Soleimani was planning an imminent attack, as if the Quds Force leader wasn’t planning attacks every single day of his life.
Windows of opportunity for surgical strikes open rarely and close quickly. Delay for significant congressional involvement might have jeopardized the opportunity. Moreover, POTUS operates in a White House that leaks like a sieve. Anonymous op-ed writers rove the hallways alongside whistleblowers, who communicate constantly and coordinate closely with anti-Trump Democrats and media reporters, who lionize these moles.
Justification: If Soleimani’s decades of mischief and his terrorist designation weren’t enough, Soleimani had just orchestrated an attack on an American embassy, sovereign territory under international law.