In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei talks to clerics in his Islamic thoughts class in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday backed the government’s decision to raise gasoline prices and called angry protesters who have been setting fire to public property over the hike “thugs,” signaling a potential crackdown on the demonstrations. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)
Far from sparking a long, bloody war with Iran, President Trump’s stunning strike on Soleimani served as a wake-up call to the country’s leaders. Accustomed to the restraint of President Bush and the appeasement of President Obama, they believed they could taunt and threaten President Trump without consequence. For so long, the regime had operated freely throughout the Middle East, sowing chaos and instability, with impunity, never dreaming it could all come to a screeching halt in an instant. Dumbfounded, resembling Wile E. Coyote when he slams into a wall, his flattened body sticking there for a moment, before sliding to the ground.
Their face-saving show of force on Tuesday night was more about domestic consumption than revenge on the Great Satan. The regime, already weakened by U.S. sanctions and unrest among its citizens, has now lost some of its bluster. This is not to say that they’ve been beaten into submission and no longer represent a threat to us. I’m only saying that it scared the %$*& out of them and they never thought that President Trump had it in him to order the attack on Soleimani. They are now faced with the knowledge that this U.S. President is different. They also know he has the intelligence capabilities, the courage, and the willingness to strike them.
Rather than triggering WW III, it signaled a turning point in the war on terror, a shift in the balance of power. It has weakened Iran and strengthened America. None of this sits well with the left who see it only as another feather in Trump’s cap.
As much as Democrats have criticized the killing of Soleimani, calling it everything from unnecessary to reckless, they’re well aware it was a huge foreign policy success for President Trump, especially because, at least for now, it hasn’t thrust us into war with Iran. They so hoped for a war. Because a war with Iran, particularly one caused by Trump, could do for the left what Russiagate, Ukrainegate, and impeachment could not. It could tilt the odds of a Democratic victory in November back into their favor.
Instead, Iran backed off. They tested their limits and discovered that Trump has boundaries they must not cross. No other American President had ever pushed back. Following Tuesday night’s missile strike, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said via tweet, “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched…We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr “told pro-Iranian militias in Iraq not to retaliate, saying in a statement, “the crisis is over.”
And during Wednesday morning’s White House address to the nation, President Trump “gave the Iranians an off-ramp, saying America is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
At the same time, he put the terrorists on notice. He said, “Soleimani was only one of many terror leaders U.S. officials are monitoring.”
His bold, decisive steps are already showing results. As I posted yesterday, several sources have told investigative reporter Sara Carter that, in the days since last Thursday’s strike, “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.
All of this is great news for U.S. national security, but terrible for the anti-American Democrats who have now taken the side of the terrorists. It will be difficult for them to explain that to voters this fall.