President Donald Trump smiles during a meeting with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Trump’s boldness has won the day, and positive results are already being realized.
Several sources have told investigative reporter Sara Carter that, in the days since the U.S. hit on Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani, “U.S. officials have intercepted chatter and received confirmation that terrorist leaders in Iraq have been fleeing the region and have gone into hiding fearing United States intelligence capabilities.”
Daniel Hoffman, a retired CIA station chief and former chief of the CIA‘s Middle East Department, told Carter:
Trump’s decapitation strike targeting general Qassem Soleimani was a seminal moment, a change in strategy for the United States and how we deal with Iran’s aggression.
Trump made it clear that we will deal with everyone’s proxy militia foot soldiers but we will also deal with Iranian leaders who are responsible for making the decisions that put our people and installations in harms way…
It’s with a high level of confidence that Iran’s military leaders have likely changed their calculus about the risks they are taking by ordering strikes against the United States.
Although both Presidents Bush and Obama had opportunities to “eliminate” designated terrorist Qassem Soleimani, they feared the political consequences of such a move. Bush was already bogged down with two wars and Obama’s JCPOA speaks for itself. In fact, as Trump said during his press briefing on Wednesday, Obama’s strategy lined the pockets of the clerical regime which enhanced their reign of terror. Soleimani and the soldiers of his elite fighting group financed, trained, and directed terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East.
Despite sanctions limiting his travel, Soleimani moved freely throughout the Middle East. One source told Carter that he “worked closely with Iranian allies in the Iraq government.”
In Wednesday’s address, President Trump put terrorists on notice. “Soleimani was only one of many terror leaders U.S. officials are monitoring.”
Soleimani’s death proved that, unlike his predecessors, Trump was willing to act. He did not fear the consequences, political or otherwise. This came as a shock to them.
Trump told Americans:
Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives. At my direction, the United States Military eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: if you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.
Apparently, no message could have been any clearer to the terrorists. Carter’s source said the evidence “suggested that terrorists in the region were signaling immediate concerns over Iran’s inability to protect Soleimani from the U.S.”
James Carafano, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, told Carter: “Iran’s inability to protect its most prized asset was a message to proxy terrorist organizations and terror leaders that they were vulnerable. Makes sense. If this is all Iran will do to avenge Soleimani no one can expect Tehran to expend a lot of capital to protect them from the Americans.”
A former senior military official, who now works in the region, told Carter, “President Trump’s decision to put American contractors and military personnel first was a reversal from the Obama administration’s position and is going to save more American lives than people realize. He has put our nation first. We’re respected and we’ll be safer because of it – it’s already working, terrorists are hearing the message loud and clear.”
The significance of Trump’s courageous decision to target Soleimani, knowing the political and military consequences that would ensue, cannot be underestimated and, I believe, is a turning point in the fight against terror.
Few leaders would have made such a move. Ronald Reagan, perhaps. Then again, he failed to act in 1983 after a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden truck into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Americans. (Giving him the benefit of the doubt, it was not certain at the time that Iranian proxy group Hezbollah had coordinated the attack.) The only other leader in modern history with enough stones to take this risk is Winston Churchill.
Terrorists throughout the world were gobsmacked. They had to be thinking, ‘He really did it. This guy is brave. He is not like the rest of them. He doesn’t care what people think of him. And he is watching us. If he can get Soleimani, he can get us. And we’re not quite ready for martyrdom yet.’
This is good news indeed. The killing of Soleimani has increased U.S. national security immeasurably.
Hail to the Chief!