President Trump made the right call to order the drone strike that eliminated Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, ridding the world of a murderous terrorist leader and achieving an American strategic victory.
Iran has finally learned that its actions will be met with consequences. The future will depend on Iran’s cessation of violence against Americans and our allies – not our ability to ignore their provocations.
Moving forward, it is imperative that Congress work with President Trump – and not impede him – as he seeks to protect America and deter Iran.
Iran and its terrorist proxies have waged a decades-long campaign of violence and terror against America, our service members, and our allies, with Soleimani playing a key role.
Soleimani is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American military service members and the wounding thousands more. He is also responsible for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad last month, in which Iran-backed militants tried to burn it down while chanting “Death to America.” That crossed the line and President Trump took decisive action.
We have finally turned the page on the Obama era of appeasement, which failed to curtail Iran’s attacks against our service members or quell Iran’s quest for regional hegemony achieved through the export of terrorism.
Many congressional Democrats opposed the strike against Soleimani, with some arguing it was an unnecessary escalation on the part of the United States and others pandering to their base to advance their own political ambitions.
This group included Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who went so far as to label the strike against Soleimani an “assassination,” disgustingly comparing it to Russian President Vladimir Putin murdering political dissidents.
The strike eliminating Soleimani was neither assassination nor an escalation. It was a response to Iran’s malign and violent acts against American service members and civilians. It bolsters deterrence against future deadly attacks and greater escalation.
The leaders of Iran predictably responded with bluster, threatening to avenge Soleimani’s death by attacking the U.S. military. But although Iran carried out missile strikes against coalition bases in Iraq early Wednesday, there were no American causalities.
It is telling that initial intelligence reports indicate that the Iranians missed hitting anyone by design. They seemingly relied on the missile launch visuals as a way to save face with a domestic audience without challenging the United States.
This made it plain that Iranian leaders received President Trump’s message loud and clear.
Unfortunately, some Democratic members of Congress who are unsupportive of the strike on Soleimani are pushing for a War Powers Resolution. If passed with veto-proof majorities, the resolution would compel the president to remove American forces “from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military within 30 days,” unless Congress authorizes further military action.
To be clear, America did not provoke Iran. America eliminated a notorious terrorist leader 15 miles from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad – sovereign U.S. soil – days after Iranian militias he commanded attacked it. Our retaliatory action does not meet the threshold required under the War Powers Act.
The resolution is dangerous, causing America to relapse to the failed Obama-era posture of appeasing Iran.
The resolution would signal to the Iranian ayatollahs that when they send the new head of the Quds Force to another nation to export terror with impunity and attack Americans and American interests, they need not fear. It would signal that America will only respond when Iran and its proxies ratchet up the level of attacks on Americans far beyond what we have seen in the last few weeks.
The good news is that this restrictive resolution has little if any,chance of passing Congress with veto-proof majorities.
All Americans should be relieved that President Trump’s strike on Soleimani was a success, resulting in both the elimination of a notorious terrorist leader and a de-escalation in the confrontation with Iran.
The leaders in Tehran now know that the Trump administration means it when it warns them of the consequences of continued violent aggression. The question now is whether Congress will be a help or a hindrance when it comes to supporting President Trump’s successful peace through strength strategy.