Responding to the air strike kerfuffle of blasting an Iranian general who was also, as it turned out, one of the worst terrorists in the world, Donald Trump held a press conference. During the presser he said he made the strike as a way to stop war not to start it.
Much of the caterwauling today from Democrats and a few Republicans was the concern a strike in the Middle East would kick off another long, expensive, endlessly tedious war in a region which has hardly ever been stable. You know what, fair concern. I also am not interested in going to war in Iran, Iraq, Syria or pick your sandy cesspit sprinkled with oil. Call me a non-interventionalist and I’ll just agree with you.
But this strike against Soleimani seemed necessary. Soleimani did hit the US Embassy and not to respond to that would’ve been a huge sign of weakness. The only way to respond to bullies is with strength. I’m using the term “bully” here illustratively. Soleimani was more than a bully from what I understand.
Now what happens next, obviously we can’t know. Trump signaled this move against Soleimani was preventative, as a way to stop war rather than to start one. Obviously it’s too soon to know how true that statement is. But I do think it’s possible to avoid another war, and one way to go about it was exactly what Trump did in the air strike. Hit a high value target with a great show of strength and confidence. The message being: you hit us, we’ll hit you back harder.
Compare Trump’s response to Obama, who shipped money to Iran.
No, I’m not pretending to be an expert. I’m not one. I know very little about Middle Eastern affairs. But I do know something about responding to aggressors. You cannot just ignore someone who is attacking you, hoping they’ll get bored and go away. Physical attacks and acts of terror are not a child’s teasing of “I’m not touching, I’m not touching” with wiggle fingers in the face. Attacks are attacks, and an aggressor who’s killing your friends deserves to be blown into the netherworld with such a spectacular display of power, the country who hosts him should think twice about screwing with you again.