Tom Del Beccaro: On Iran, understanding these 9 things is crucial

President Trump took the extraordinary step of killing an Iranian general. The deadly missile strike followed escalating Iranian provocations. Predictably, the American left says Trump did the wrong thing.

However, on this serious matter, these nine points should never be forgotten.

Iran's goal. For decades now, Iran has wanted to be THE military power in the Middle East. Yes, it wants its brand of Islam to be paramount but it really wants to be the preeminent military power in the region and for other countries to bow before it.

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Iran's old plan. Iran’s plan USED to be: First and foremost, get a nuclear weapon and the region would bow, and second, fund terror in the region to weaken foes and scare off others.

Iran's new plan. At the end of Bush 43’s second term, a fragile coalition held Iraq together. It required delicate negotiations to keep a U.S. presence so that Iraq did not descend into chaos.

Instead, the Obama administration effectively abandoned Iraq prematurely. Iraq weakened significantly and Iran saw the power vacuum and rushed to fill it. Iran’s Middle East hegemony plan changed to emphasizing making conventional war gains in the region and seeking to rule by proxy – including gaining control over Iraq.

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That is why the Obama/Iran deal was so bad. It gave cash to Iran (up front and over time by lifting sanctions) to pay for conventional war gains.

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American policy had to change to stop Iran. It was right to change policy and rip up the Iran deal because it was allowing Iran to achieve its objectives and endanger the world.

Soleimani had to be stopped. Soleimani was rightfully declared a terrorist for his decades of killing in the region. He was reportedly involved with attacks that included the killing of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, the bombing of the U.S. barracks in Beirut, and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. He is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and countless others in the Middle East.

Soleimani also masterminded Iran’s Middle East military rise. Trump was right to stop him and thereby stop Iran from making further gains in Iraq and therefore the entire region.

Democratic politicians who blame Trump first are useful idiots. During the height of the Cold War, many on the left blamed America first for every wrong act taken by Russia. The left’s logic went that Russia acted badly because America provoked it. It was a total fallacy.

In time, those who espoused that came to be called useful idiots for the Russians because they helped the Soviet cause.

Today, the Democratic politicians who are rushing to criticize Trump publicly fulfill a similar role for Iran. It is not enough to say Soleimani was a bad guy while questioning the authority to undertake the killing.

Iran takes any measure of partisan press and uses it to defend itself and foment violence against American interests in the region and around the world. Today, many Democrats are helping the Iranians do that.

Washington Democrats are hypocrites. The Obama administration dropped tens of thousands of bombs to kill terrorists and didn’t consult Congress with each new target. Democrats didn’t complain.

Trump had been patient enough. Iran’s escalation of hostilities warranted a significant escalation in the U.S. response. Trump did not overreact to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, nor to Iran’s oil field strikes. Attacking a U.S. embassy, however, is a far different matter.

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Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "It is an eternal truth that acquiescence under insult is not the way to escape war." In other words, appeasement is not an effective foreign policy. Sending cash to Iran was not an effective foreign policy. Allowing Iran to attack a U.S. embassy by proxy and not responding dramatically would not be effective, either.

It was time to fight back against Iran, not pay the regime off. That will eventually result in a weaker Iran and a safer world.

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